Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hardy, hardy Dinaletsana, but you did the nation proud

A heart-breaking goal ratio loss that knocked Botswana’s national Under-23 netball team has not deterred the team.

Following their unceremonious exit from the Top 8 contention places, Dinaletsana rallied back to record crucial wins as they sought to finish in the top 10 bracket.

Subsequent to them crashing out of the Top 8, Dinaletsana regrouped on Thursday to beat Wales 51-39 before dispatching Samoa 45-43 to ensure they finish within the top 10 at the World cup.

The fight back by Botswana lasses to finish within the top 10 delighted the nation, which had seen them play their hearts out against one of the World’s toughest netballing nations, Jamaica.

Dinaletsana’s top 8 finish ambitions at the ongoing Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) were cut short on Wednesday after they were ruled out of the top two finishes in their pool C group through the goal ratio rule.

With the group having finished with a six-point three-way tie between Uganda, Jamaica and Botswana, confusion reigned as to who would make the Top 8.

While Uganda always seemed a sure bet to go into the Top 8 due to their superior goal difference, it was a different scenario for Botswana and Jamaica, who both had a similar goal difference.

With many expecting the tie between Botswana and Jamaica to be decided on a head-to-head basis, as per rule 20D of the INF tournament rules, heads were turned as the International Netball Federation (INF) decided to resort to the Goal ratio.

According to rule 20D, “in the event of a tie on points at the end of the preliminary matches, the results of the match between the two teams decides the winner”.

Explaining the decision, INF technical officer Liz Broomheed revealed that in a tournament of this nature, when three teams are locked on points, goal ratio is used to decide the standings.

“Within this pool, we have three teams with six points,” Broomheed said. She highlighted that to break the tie, rule 21A of the INF tournament rules was invoked.

According to the said rule 21A, “…. if more than two teams have the same number of points at the end of the pool rounds, goal ratio of the preliminary matches will decide the placings (goals for divided by goals against).”

The goal ratio resolution meant Uganda and Jamaica, who had a 1.5 and 1.35 ratio respectively at the end of the pool matches, proceeded to the top 8 at the expense of Botswana, who finished behind them with a 1.33 goal ratio.

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