A popular sport in Commonwealth countries (such as the UK, New Zealand and Australia), netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. This fun, no-contact game was once known as “women’s basketball” and was brought to England from America in the 1900s. Interesting, yeah? Netball is played on a hard court consisting of scoring rings (or hoops) at both ends but with no backboard to score off. The balls are similar to those used in basketball but are lighter, softer and smaller in construction.
Although played mainly by women, men have slowly started showing interest in the game. Around 20 million people play netball in 80 countries! In 1995, netball became recognised as an Olympic sport but has not been played in any Olympic Games. Maybe it’s time they did, don’t you think?
Netball is played mainly on open courts. Over the years, indoor netball, played on a court surrounded on each side and overhead by a net, has grown in popularity. Other variations of the sport include Fast5 netball (a variation on the rules of netball designed to make games quicker and more television-friendly), and netball for kids (where the goal height and ball size are altered to suit children’s needs).
So, how do you play netball? Playing netball is much more than just throwing a ball into a ring. The aim is to score within a defined area by throwing a ball into a ring attached to the top of a 305 cm tall pole. Players are assigned specific positions that define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain court areas. But the thrilling part,,, a player cannot hold onto the ball for more than three seconds! So, even though you might like the ball, you need to let it go. Sounds like fun! Each match lasts for an hour and the team with the most goals wins.
There are seven positions in netball. Each position is specialised and has a specific purpose for the game. The positions are:
Goal Shooter (GS): They shoot the ball into the hoop to score points for their team.
Goal Attack (GA): They are responsible for setting up offensive plays and securing goals. They give the ball to the GS to score.
Wing Attack (WA): They help move the ball from the centre third to the goal third and feed the ball to the GS & GA.
Centre (C): They are responsible for attacking and defending, and restart the game from the centre circle each time a goal is scored.
Wing Defence (WD): They defend against the opposing team’s players, mainly the WA.
Goal Defence (GD): They help prevent the ball from reaching the opposing team’s GS and GA (or the shooters).
Goalkeeper (GK): Their responsibility is to guard the circle and prevent goals from being scored.
So why should you play netball? Being a fast-paced and intensive game, netball boosts fitness levels, burns calories and improves upper body strength. Most importantly, netball improves your teamwork skills. So, if you want to become fit and build your team skills, get a netball and learn to play the game!
Speaking of getting a netball, The Ball Store has an exciting campaign. To go into the draw to win a high-quality SAS Sport netball, comment on their Facebook page with your favourite netball position to play and which SAS netball you would like to win and you’re in. It’s quick and easy! Go comment now!
Also, don’t forget to visit The Ball Store for all your netball needs: netball posts and stands, accessories, balls and bibs. So, what are you waiting for? Join the fun and start playing netball now!