Hosts of the popular netball podcast The Goal Circle have revealed their interest in seeing a Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final played out across three weekends – in an effort to crown the best team premiers and to attract new fans to the sport.
Nick, Luke, and former Swifts player Abbey McCulloch host The Goal Circle and raised the topic at the end of their show ‘Flop City’ last Friday.
Luke raised the point that teams who win the preliminary final are usually able to continue the momentum into the grand final weekend and win the biggest game of the year.
Since Suncorp Super Netball was introduced, Sunshine Coast Lighting (2017) and Melbourne Vixens (2020) are the only sides to have earned the week off and win the title.
In 2018, Fever earned the right to host the grand final and a week off but was beaten by Sunshine Coast Lightning.
In 2019, Lightning got the better of the Swifts in the first week of the finals to earn a spot in the big dance, before a spirited Swifts side charged home to upset the Lightning after going the long way.
It was this statistic that sparked the conversation about SSN introducing a three-game series for all finals games.
Within these finals games, they discussed a reshuffle of who would be playing each other in the top four, with first playing fourth, and second playing the third-place team before the two winners of the best of three series’ would play off in the grand final.
After taking a minute to ponder the suggestion, Abbey said she’d be supportive of a three-game grand final.
Luke backed it by saying it would offer a whole new element for netball and its fans.
“From a coaching perspective, they put one brand of netball out, you put that out there, you review the tape you come back the next game,” he said.
“We do it for Constellation Cup why can’t we do it for a finals series?”
While Nick supported the idea, he said he’d be interested to see how it would play out structurally.
“If you win the three-game series, right, it means your performance was better, you were able to sustain the performance for three games,” he said.
“If it is a three-game series would you put it on in the mid-weeks as you might not get as many crowds?”
From a club perspective, the idea of creating merch was something that the podcast mentioned.
The opportunity to create more merchandise for the fans would definitely be well received, as evidenced in other leagues across the world.
The Women’s National Basketball League in Australia has chosen to go down the path of a final series, and by doing so has increased its popularity and viewership.
This idea is definitely something that can increase the popularity of Suncorp Super Netball and add a different dimension to the ever-growing game of Netball.
What do you think?
Categories: Suncorp Super Netball