Netball history facts

In Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891, 30-year-old James Naismith was tasked with creating a game that could be played indoors by high-spirited men. Previously, all other games had resulted in many injuries, so for Naismith, the challenge was to create an energetic game that saw fewer players limping away. Naismith created a game where a ball had to be lobbed into a peach basket suspended quite high up, with the logic being that if the ball had to be dropped into the goal, it couldn’t be thrown at high speed and make contact with another player. As a result, basketball was born, with the first version of the game consisting of nine players: three forwards, three centres and three guards.

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Ladies take the lead

Women’s basketball came to life exactly two days after the men’s version when the female teachers got caught up in the game Naismith had created. However, it was not until 1895 that the game of netball made its appearance and began to take shape.

The creation of netball was spurred on by a sports teacher by the name of Clara Baer who was based in New Orleans. Baer wrote to Naismith to ask for the rules of basketball and when he replied, he included a drawing of the court that had lines pencilled across it to show the areas the players could best patrol. Baer misinterpreted the drawing and thought that players were not allowed to leave those zones. In 1899, her mistake became law when it was ratified into the rules of women’s basketball.

Thanks to netball drill training, this would never have happened today, but it was an easy mistake to make. Dribbling the ball was also rare in the ladies’ games, and by the time the game reached Europe, it had virtually vanished.

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Storage of equipment

Because of the growth within the sports industry and the netball sector sports halls need somewhere to keep the extra equipment they are buying in for instance on garage shelving which is located at sites like

Fast-growing sport

Netball was first played at Madame Ostenburg’s College in 1895 in England, and its popularity simply kept growing from there. It may still not be an Olympic sport, but the game has been played by most Commonwealth countries since the start of the 20th century.

In 1957, the game’s rules were standardised globally. Today, netball continues to remain a popular game, with a growing fan and player base around the world.

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