Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Netball Fever

Yes, netball season has arrived! The only problem is, as an American, the game is completely new to me. So when Mariah began playing on a team this year, I decided it was time for me to find out a few of the ins and outs of the sport.

This information was gathered off the internet, so I make no claims that all of it is completely accurate, though I’ve been chatting to friends about the sport to learn from them so hopefully most of it is right.

Netball is a team sport that originally derived from basketball. In fact, it was once known in the United States as women’s basketball. Normally the game is played on a hard court with hoops on both ends, but here the younger school children play on grass courts. With seven players on each team, each must wear bibs that are abbreviations indicating their position. It’s important not to play “offside” but only in their allowed area of the court. This too depends on your position.

Positions are Goal Shooter, Goal Attack, Wing Attack, Centre, Wing Defense, Goal Defense, and Goal Keeper. Only the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter can score goals directly. Another interesting fact about the game is that players are not aloud to take more than one step while in holding the ball. In order to move the ball toward the goal, the player has to throw the ball to a team mate. The ball can also not be held for more than three seconds.

One of the reasons for the lack of running and dribbling is due to the fact that the game was invented back in the late nineteenth century where their clothing hindered such movements. Here in South Africa, the game is very popular among school children beginning as early as kindergarten as far an aid for motor skills.

I've posted some photos of Mariah playing one of her first games.



1 comment:

  1. You must really be a proud Mama. Mariah looks so vibrant out there!!