Netball, as the name suggests, is a ball sport, played between two teams consisting of seven players each. The game is very popular in Commonwealth nations, more so in schools, and is mostly played by women. Today, along with the Ladies Netball League, the Mixed Social Netball League has also become popular wherein the netball team is made up of team members of either sex. The game is now played in 80 countries worldwide.
History of the Netball Game
Netball sport is derived from the earlier versions of basketball. Right at the beginning, the game was considered socially appropriate for women due to restricted movement while playing. Hence, Netball emerged as a popular sport for women in different countries. The international playing rules for Netball were standardized by the year 1960.
The Women’s Basketball and the International Federation of Netball later merged to form the International Netball Federation (INF) for administering the sport worldwide. This is one of the few sports which encourage a mixed social netball league.
Equipment needed to play the Game
The following are the equipment necessary to play a Social Netball League:
- A vertical goal post which stands 3.05m tall, having a metal ring of an internal diameter 38cm. from here the net hangs.
- The netball having a circumference of around 69-71 cm and weighing around 0.4-0.45 kg. The ball is stripped, with the combination of orange, blue and white colors.
- Player Attire: In a social netball league, the members of each team are dressed in uniform sports attire. During the game, each member wears a bib to show their position. There are 7 bibs indicating the number of positions that a team has on the court at any given time.
- Team members can wear knee or ankle guards as additional support gear to provide stability from injuries.
How the Game Is Played?
Each game of the mixed social Netball league is played over 4 quarters consisting of 15 minutes each with a three-minute break between the first and second quarter and the third and fourth quarters. A five-minute break is provided at half-time.
Just like basketball, which is the parent game of netball, the objective of this game too is for each team to pass the ball around and shoot into the goal ring to score a goal. This is how the game is played:
- The game is played between two teams. Each team consists of seven members. The netball court has to be rectangular and should have raised goal posts (10 feet) with baskets, at both ends of the court.
- Each player takes on a specific position which is their role within the team and restricts their movement to other areas in the netball court.
- The game begins when the first center pass is taken from the center circle at the umpire’s whistle. After every goal, a new center pass is taken by the two opposing center players. This is done alternatively, irrespective of which team scored the goal. The beginning and end of each quarter are indicated by the umpire’s whistle. A player can keep the ball with himself for only 3 seconds, after this he either needs to shoot a goal or pass it to another team member.
- A goal is considered when a Shooter throws the ball within the goal circle completely through the ring of the goal. The whistle of the umpire signals that a goal is scored.
Today, the mixed social netball leagues have become very popular in countries like the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai etc. Many clubs conduct such leagues for recreational or entertainment purpose.
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