Netball in a Nutshell By Mariana C

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Netball:
Netball is a fast, skillful team game based on running, jumping, throwing and catching. Teams may include up to twelve players, but only seven may take the court at any one time. The major aim of the game is to score as many goals as possible from within an area called the “Goal Circle”. Only two players from each team may score goals; the “Goal Attack” and the “Goal Shooter.”

The ball is made of leather, rubber or similar material. All players have a playing position determined by the areas on the court where they may move. The playing positions are shown by identification letters worn above the waist, on both the front and the back of the player.

The Rules are based on the core values of equal opportunity, fair play and respect for an opponent’s skill and safety.

History of Netball:
During the winter of 1891, James Naismith, a young instructor at the YMCA Training School at Springfield, Massachusetts, was assigned a task of finding an indoor sport for men – the result was basketball.  He based the game on the following principles: should be no running with the ball; no personal contact and the goal should be horizontal and elevated.

Senda Berenson who arrived at the college as a gymnastics instructor wondered whether this game would be a good activity for women.  She then designed women’s basketball.  She solved the question of overtaxing the women physically by dividing the court into three equal sections and requiring players to stay in their assigned section.   Thus, the players could not run all over the court and become exhausted.  She justified the three-section court because it encouraged team play.  To assure womanly play Berenson prohibited players from snatching or batting the ball from the hands of another player.  To increase the pace of the game, players were not permitted to hold the ball for longer than three seconds and they could not bounce or dribble the ball more than three times.

Benefits of Netball:
Netball is an all inclusive sport, can be played by females and males of all ages, and a wide range of positions allows for different skill levels.
Cost efficient sport and minimal equipment needed.
Maintains a competitive yet non aggressive environment.
A true team sport as the ball must be passed from one player to another in order to move the ball down the court.
Self esteem and confidence is built through team work required, and players owning their own ‘position’ on court.

This sport is great for both my confidence and yours. I suggest giving it a shot!

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