Jamaica series big Commonwealth Games boost for Barbados
While Jamaica did themselves no favours with their latest Test series draw against their Caribbean neighbours, Barbados have definitely improved their chances of qualifying for next year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
The International Netball Federation has given teams until July to secure their spot in the top 12 of the world rankings, which is used to select teams for the Commonwealth Games netball tournament.
Barbados is currently ranked at 12th with 88 points, behind Northern Ireland with 89 points, in 11th, and Scotland in 10th spot with 97 points.
The 1-1 series draw against the number four-ranked Jamaica, which included one win (43-41), one loss (34-40), and a draw (44-44), could see Barbados move up to as much as 10th in the rankings. At the very least, they would not fall below 12th.
Barbados' coach, Sandra Bruce-Small, told STAR Sports last week that the aim in coming to Jamaica was to use the three-match series as a stepping stone towards qualifications for the Commonwealth Games next April.
"We are taking this very serious. Our girls have not played any Test matches since the (2015) World Championships and we want to see where we are at. We have trained for the last five months, and we want to look at the fitness, at their strengths, and analyse their strengths and weaknesses moving on from here," she said.
The Jamaicans currently have 152 points, ahead of fifth-ranked South Africa with 138 points. The new world rankings will be calculated on July 6. Several matches all the teams have played would no longer count towards their rankings.