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  • Netball developed from the American game of basketball- a game played mainly by women. The All-England Women’s Netball Association was formed in 1926.

  • The Jamaica Netball Association was not founded until 1958, although netball had been played in the schools there for some time. They now produce one of the world’s strongest teams.

  • The first World Championships were staged in England in 1963 and were won by Australia.


  • Netball can be played indoors or outside, as long as it is on a hard surface. The court should measure 30.50x15.25 metres. The goals, which are usually portable, consist of a ring at the top of a post 3.05 metres high.


  • The ball can either be a size 5 football, as used in association football, or a netball measuring 68.7 centimetres in circumference. Players wear a shirt covered by a bib indicating the wearer’s position. A short skirt or short with short socks and rubber-soled shoes complete the outfit.


  • There are seven players on each side. The game lasts 60 minutes and is divided into four quarters with the teams changing ends after each short break. Unlike basketball the players are not allowed to hold the ball for more than 3 seconds, or to dribble. A player may only take one step while in possession of the ball.

  • Netball is a non contact sport. If the defence commits a foul in the shooting area, a penalty shot at the goal is awarded. Other infringements on the court are penalized with a free throw.


  • Australia and New Zealand have dominated the World Championships, which were started in 1963. England are rated fourth in the world. England’s captain is Tesside-born Kendra Slawinski. She has been picked to play for England (capped) 112 times. She plays for Bedfordshire’s senior squad as earlier goal defence, goalkeeper or wing defence.


  • With little or no other entertainment, netball became the most popular sport on the Channel Islands during the German occupation of the Second World War. It was said that netball matches, along with football games, were played slowly to prevent the Germans from using the pitches.

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