Quota robs team of victory
Potchefstroom - For the first time in this years Spar national netball tournament, Netball South Africa's (NSA) controversial quota system affected the outcome of a women's A-section match on Thursday.
Gauteng Central, who had lost all their previous matches, pulled off a narrow 41-39 win over last year's losing finalists, Boland.
Captain Nthabiseng Moabi was delighted with the victory, but said she was not surprised.
"We knew we had the fitness, the speed and the agility," she said. "We were sure that if we could control the ball from the centre, we would pull it off."
But the jubilation of the all black team turned to disappointment when their opponents were awarded six additional goals for sticking to the required 5/2 quota throughout the match, giving Boland a 45-41 victory.
It was Boland's first win at the tournament so far.
Ironically, Boland were penalised in their match against Dr Kenneth Kaunda (North West South) on Wednesday, when they fielded six white players and one black player for the second half of the match.
However, the six goal penalty did not affect the outcome of the match, as Kaunda won comfortably on court.
NSA introduced the quota system two years ago in an effort to reinforce their transformation programme.
In previous years, non-compliant teams had goals deducted from their total, but this year NSA decided to reward compliant teams by giving them extra goals.
Teams were also awarded points on registration, according to the composition of their squads, with 7/5 being the benchmark. Kaunda and Western Province were the only teams to meet the standard, and were awarded five points each.
Seven teams in the women's A-section received four points each for having a ratio of eight to four, Gauteng West received three points and Boland two.
Gauteng Central received no points. The compliance points could be a deciding factor in determining which teams play in the semi-finals.