The game of netball evolved from basketball, which was invented by Dr. James Naismith a Canadian Physical Education Teacher, who wanted an indoor sport to keep his pupils physically occupied during the winter months.
Dr. Toles introduced netball to England in 1895 from the USA at Madam Ostenberg's College. It was brought here to Jamaica by English women who came to Jamaica to teach in our girls' secondary schools such as Wolmer’s Girls School. This game has been a part of the physical education programme at Wolmer's Girls School, which is located on Marascaux Road in Kingston, since 1909.
In the early years following 1909 the game was played mainly in schools and teachers' training colleges, but after a while, the alumnae of these institutions started teams, and began to play friendly matches among themselves. In the 1930's seven teams in the Corporate Area played for an ISSA Cup. They were:
Wolmer's Old Girls Association (W.O.G.A.)
W.O.G.A. built a hard court at Cavaliers, the first hard court for netball in Jamaica.
The Jamaica Netball Association became affiliated to the West Indies Netball Board in 1959, and was invited to send a team to the West Indies Tournament in Montserrat in August 1959.
First Jamaican Netball Team - 1959
Barbara Buckley-Jones, Ph. D.
Ouida Golding-Beecher, M.B., B. Sc.
The Jamaica Netball Association was formed in 1959 by Pancho Rankine, Margaret Beckford and Margarietta St. Juste. The game began to be played at the club level since then. The game grew in popularity and its spectators looked forward to being entertained by competitions at the school, church, community, business, club, parish, and national levels.
The game netball is played in over 65 countries around the world. It is a popular Women's team sport, but in recent years some males have taken an interest in the sport and have played it on a small scale.
Netball as a game is exciting to watch as it is based on running, jumping, throwing and catching. The players of the game work very hard on endurance, speed and agility. A netball team comprises 12 players but only 7 from each team may take the court at once. The game is managed by 2 umpires, whose predominant role is to enforce the rules of the sport. Umpires use a whistle to gain attention and verbal and hand signals to communicate with the players.
The game of netball is somewhat similar to basketball, but different in that it: has no backboard on the hoop, and hoop is smaller does not allow players to run with or dribble the ball uses a smaller ball (similar to size of a volleyball) has a 3 seconds ball possession rule that applies to all players has restricted playing areas for all playing positions on the court has rules which allows only 2 of the 7 players to shoot a goal
A game is usually played into four 15 minutes segments called quarters. At the end of each quarter the teams change shooting ends. The game starts with a center pass, and center passes change after each goal is scored.
Netball is a non-contact sport and no player may come into personal contact with an opponent even if it is accidental.
All shots must be taken from within the goal-circle, which is the semi-circular area around the goal post.
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