About Netball America
Netball America is the leader in bringing Netball to the USA. We are focused on showing how Netball creates an exciting atmosphere of participation and supports individual progress, team unity, good health and education of youth. Our aim is to encourage children and families to be physically active, maintain a healthy lifestyle and includes those with disabilities to ensure they feel part of their community. Netball America seeks to have Netball included as part of the core curriculum for educational systems throughout the USA as a way of promoting good health and aiding in the education of youth. Netball America was able to get the first school districts in the United States introducing Netball. These are Miami-Dade County, New York City, New Hampshire, and Brevard County. In addition, Netball America has introduced Netball across many community centers across the nation, including New York City Housing Authority which has seen over 8,000 youth be introduced to Netball.
Netball America is a registered 501c(3) Not-For-Profit organization and currently has members located in 32 states across the USA. Netball America as the key sponsor won the bid in conjunction with the US International University Sports Federation to host the FISU World University Netball Championship with 12 nations participating in July 2016. Netball America was successful in our bid to have Netball included for the first time in the World Out Games, which will see 17,000 athletes descend upon Miami in 2017. In addition, Netball America has conducted ‘Harlem-Globetrotter’ style showcases to over 50,000 people at Madison Square Garden (New York City), Staples Center (Los Angeles), Key Arena (Seattle), and Philips Arena (Atlanta). All of this is with the aim of working to get Netball the recognition it deserves in the international sporting community and one day will see its place rightfully in the Olympic Games.
What is Netball?
Netball has roots stemming from women’s basketball, has been played throughout the world for over 110 years. Now an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized sport this game is based on the principles of basketball however the goal shooters ‘wow’ the crowds as they shoot into a 10 foot high basket in which there is no backboard. Players only have three seconds to pass the ball and with their aerial jumps to intercept and move the ball down the court, it’s a great spectator sport that is going to change the face of women sports in the United States.
Netball is similar to basketball although the rules, equipment and team numbers are slightly different:
- No dribbling;
- No running with the ball;
- 7 players per team;
- Ball must be passed in 3 seconds;
- Ball and basket are slightly smaller and there is no backboard; and
- Players are designated to play within certain areas of the court.
Netball is played in a competitive yet non aggressive environment enabling players of different ages to become actively involved. More importantly, Netball is an all inclusive sport that can be played by females and males and offers a range of positions that allow for the application of different skill levels.
History of Netball
Canadian sports coach, Professor James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891 and by 1895 the game of Netball, an adaptation based on the concept of basketball, had evolved. Due to fashion at the time, women couldn’t dribble the ball due to their long skirts, so the rules were amended to create a passing game and as women couldn’t be athletic back in the day, zones were created on the court and certain positions could only move within certain zones. The sport was then taken throughout the Commonwealth countries of the world and is currently played at the semi-professional level in England, Jamaica, South Africa, Singapore, Malawi, Hong Kong, Fiji, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia & New Zealand.
Netball is enjoyed in over 70 countries and by more than 20 million people worldwide. In 1995 it became a recognized Olympic sport and three years later, was played in the Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur. Netball competition was also a part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Currently the Netball World rankings are: #1-Australia, #2-New Zealand, #3-England and #4-Jamaica.
Although Netball has been in the USA for over 30 years, Netball America is the first to introduce it at grass roots level which provides an opportunity for us to create excitement in potential players at an early age. This is critical if American Netball is to become a dominant player on the international Netball circuit.
The USA University Head coach, Ilze Gideons, explains the opportunities this brings for young women: “Netball brings to the world stage a true team sport that allows all different heights and ability levels to come together to play on one team. I’m excited to be able to work with you to teach you this sport played by 20 million people around the world. I know you will come to love it as much as I have. The great thing is it’s easy to pick up and as long as you can pass and catch a ball – I can teach you the rest.”