Men’s netball is taking centre stage this month with a three-match series now underway between the Mystics Men and the Stars Men in which a number of exciting new rules are being trialled.

Now in its third year, the series is aimed at providing exposure and development opportunities for men’s netball, and is this year serving as a valuable testing ground for rules that could make their way into the 2025 ANZ Premiership.

In close collaboration with Netball New Zealand, the teams are playing with four key rule adaptations including a two-point shot, a ‘captain’s timeout’, a live umpire feed to fans in stadium and a goal review request at the end of each quarter.

Teams can net two points for the duration of the match from a designated zone in the shooting circle, call one ‘captain’s timeout’ of 60-seconds at any point in the match after a goal is scored and captains can request a review of goals scored at the end of each quarter prompting umpires to review Sky TV footage to determine if the goal counts.

The new rules add an exciting new dimension, evident in the first match where the Mystics Men claimed an early upper hand in the series with a narrow 49 – 48 win over the Stars Men on Saturday 6 July at Pulman Arena.

The two teams are fighting for the chance to be the first to lift the brand new series trophy Te Taonga Manu Taki, or The Leadership Trophy. In Te Ao Māori, Manu Taki is a type of bird that represents the qualities of leadership, integrity, passion and determination. It has been chosen to symbolise the qualities reflected in the people within ANZ Premiership clubs who have incorporated men’s netball into their wider vision and purpose. It also represents the hopes of both teams to display these qualities throughout the series.

Players are also vying for the coveted Kruze Tangira MVP award, named after men’s netball legend Kruze Tangira, to be presented to the most valuable player of the series after the final game. An MVP will also be chosen for each match and presented with a pair of cutting edge JBL Soundgear Frames Audio Glasses.

The Mystics Men are being led by head coach Waana Araroa, former assistant coach of the Northern Marvels who is currently serving as an observation coach with the MG Mystics under the guidance of Tia Winikerei and Rob Wright. Former MG Mystics captain and Silver Fern Sulu Fitzpatrick is on board as assistant coach.

There are two games remaining in the series, including 2pm this Saturday 13 July at Eventfinda Stadium before the MG Mystics take on the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, and the final match at 2pm on Saturday 21 July at Pulman Arena to precede the MG Mystics versus Stars in their final ANZ Premiership match of the regular season.

Games will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and TVNZ.