History of Netball


Netball has its roots in early versions of women’s basketball. Players used to throw into a stand now called a netball stand. James Naismith, a Massachusetts Physical Education Instructor, invented basketball in 1891. Sendra Benson, a nearby Women’s college teacher, quickly picked it up and adapted it for ladies to play. Basketball for women quickly became popular in the United States.

By 1893, the game had spread to England, and Madame Osterberg, a PE instructor at a London college, had created an outdoor version of the game known as ‘netball.’

Popularity Expansion.

The original rules of ‘net ball’ were published in 1901, and the game immediately gained popularity and expanded through school systems across the British Empire. Netball’s popularity grew much more in the early twentieth century, especially in Australasia. Several leagues and competitions were formed. The All England Netball Association was founded in 1926 as the first recognised Netball governing body (AENA).

Global Competition.

Because there were so many distinct versions of the game being played worldwide, an international competition was first tough. As a result of this dilemma, attempts to standardise the regulations were launched in 1957. As a result, the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) was established. In 1963, the inaugural international competition was staged in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. The competition is now known as the Netball World Championships, and it takes place every four years. Netball’s popularity has grown, and premier leagues and events like the ANZ Championship and the Netball Super League are held worldwide.

Would Netball become a part of the Olympics?

Netball has never been included as an Olympic sport despite its widespread popularity. This is something that the IFNA has been working hard to change, and Netball was granted Olympic recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1995. As a result, there’s a good chance that Netball will be played at the Olympics in the not-too-distant future.

Netball is still a popular sport all around the world. Netball is played by about 20 million individuals from at least 80 nations, according to the International Netball Federation (INF). A national netball organisation is associated with the worldwide governing body in 74 of these nations. In Australia and New Zealand, Netball is the most popular women’s team sport.

The Evolution of Netball

Netball has evolved significantly since the 1800s, as you might expect. The game has gotten more tactical, faster, and more challenging. But, like everything else, technology has progressed through time. Waterlogged leather netballs and woollen box pleats are a thing of the past.

The Ball

Netball was initially played with a hand-stitched 32-panel leather ball. Players used rubber basketballs and soccer balls in the 1960s to make things waterproof. The colour transitioned from orange-brown to the current white. Gilbert is Netball Australia’s official ball provider.

The Uniform

A woollen box pleat tunic and stiff-collared shirt were the initial netball uniforms. Bloomers and athletic shoes became fashionable in the 1930s. By the 1970s, the game had adopted bibs indicating starting positions. Players nowadays don high-tech bodysuits constructed of durable, light-weight lycra.

The Footwear

Netball shoes have progressed in tandem with the sport. Players wore common sandshoes like Dunlop Volleys in the early 1900s. Netball had relocated to indoor venues by the mid-’60s; thus, shoes evolved.

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