Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960, international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball (later renamed the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) was formed. As of 2011, IFNA comprises more than 60 national teams organised into five global regions. Games are played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score goals by passing a ball down the court and shooting it through its goal ring. Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During general play, a player with the ball can hold onto it for only three seconds before shooting for a goal or passing to another player. The winning team is the one that scores the most goals. Netball games are 60 minutes long. Variations have been developed to increase the game's pace and appeal to a wider audience. Netball is most popular in Commonwealth nations, specifically in schools, and is predominantly played by women. According to the IFNA, netball is played by more than 20 million people in more than 80 countries. Major transnational competitions take place, including the Netball Superleaguein Great Britain and the ANZ Championship in Australia and New Zealand. Three major competitions take place internationally: the quadrennial World Netball Championships, the Commonwealth Games, and the yearly World Netball Series. In 1995, netball became an International Olympic Committee recognised sport.
HISTORY OF NETBALL
The history of netball can be traced to the early development of basketball. A year after basketball was invented in 1891, the sport was modified for women to accommodate social conventions regarding their participation in sport, giving rise to women's basketball. Variations of women's basketball arose across the United States and in England. At a physical training college in England, the rules of women's basketball were modified over several years to form an entirely new sport: "net ball". The first codified rules of netball were published at the start of the twentieth century, and from there the new sport spread throughout the British Empire. From the beginning, netball was widely accepted as a sport suitable for women. Domestic netball competitions arose in several countries during the first half of the 20th century. Starting from the 1920s, national associations were formed to organise the sport in netball-playing nations. International matches were played sporadically in the early 20th century, but were hampered by varying rules in different countries. By 1960, the rules of netball were standardised internationally. An international governing body was formed to oversee the sport globally, now called the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA). The second half of the 20th century saw international competition expand, with the sport's premier international competition, the Netball World Championships, starting in 1963. Netball has also been contested at the Commonwealth Games since 1998. Today, netball is popular in Commonwealth nations, and is reportedly played by over 20 million people worldwide. It remains primarily a women's sport, although male participation is increasing in some countries. Netball is still largely an amateur sport, despite some countries having high local-level participation. Further developments to the sport are being trialled, including a shortened version of the game played in a World Series format; netball is also being advocated for possible inclusion in the Olympic Games.
ORIGINS OF NETBALL
Netball traces its roots to basketball. Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor...