Netball Australia apologises after review into result

A scoreboard error altered the Lightning's tactics against the Giants in Saturday's Super Netball.

A scoreboard error altered the Lightning's tactics against the Giants in Saturday's Super Netball. Photo: Getty

With no avenue for an appeal, Netball Australia have apologised after a review into Sunshine Coast Lightning’s controversial Super Netball loss to the Giants.

Saturday night’s match between Lightning and the Giants descended into farce, with the teams at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena unclear for 50 minutes of the final score.

Lightning lost 86-80 in overtime after a score-bench bungle at the end of regulation time.

The Queensland team walked off the court in Sydney when the full-time siren sounded thinking it had won, with the scoreboard showing it was in front 71-70.

Players and coaches from both sides shook hands and disappointed home fans began filing out of the exit doors.

With Champion Data showing the score as 71-all, the Giants remained on court while the visitors were in their change-room, before a 50-minute investigation revealed the match was actually tied, forcing overtime.

Lightning warmed up again but was no match for the Giants during the additional two five-minute halves.

Netball Australia (NA) issued a statement on Sunday apologising for the lack of a formal process, which resulted in confusion for both teams.

“We apologise to our fans – both in stadium and at home – and to both teams for the errors that occurred,” new NA boss Stacey West said.

“These errors should not have occurred and caused significant confusion in venue and also for those watching at home.

“There were failures in our systems, processes and communication that have been addressed to ensure this does not happen again.”

The NA review revealed the score was correct at the venue and in the broadcast with one minute 24 seconds remaining, when it was incorrectly adjusted by a bench official.

The discrepancy was identified, with the error eventually discovered by officials at the venue.

NA conceded the competition didn’t have a formal process in place to officially notify umpires and teams a score review was being undertaken, but said it would have one before the next round.

Post-match Lightning said it was considering a formal protest, with coach Belinda Reynolds saying her team would have played out the last half-minute of regulation time differently had the scoreboard been correct.

Believing it was protecting a one-goal lead, Sunshine Coast – after securing a turnover with 34 seconds remaining – played keepings-off as the clock ticked down.

Had the scoreboard correctly shown the scores were level, they would have instead made an attempt to get off a shot.

“Really disappointed with the way it played out,” Reynolds said.

“We have scenarios for end of games and we played it to what we thought would win when the scoreboard showed a one-goal lead.”

There is no mechanism to appeal or replay the match under World Netball or Super Netball rules.

“There is no avenue for appeal of the final score. Further there is no appeal right of any decision within a match,” the ruling states.


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