Origin of the Sport

The game was formed out of the sport of basketball – created by Canadian immigrant James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 Some four years later Clara Baer, a sports teacher in New Orleans wrote to Naismith asking for a copy of the rules, the rules package contained a drawing of the court with lines pencilled on it to show the areas that the various players should advisably patrol. Baer misinterpreted the lines the lines to mean players could not leave these areas. Dribbling – unlike in basketball - also quickly ceased to become a part of the game. Netball was first played in England in 1895 –although in both a five and nine-a-side format with no standard rules. Netball rules as we know today were only formally standardised in 1960 and three years later the first World Championships took place in England. The quadrennial event is the pinnacle of the sport.  Netball was introduced into the Commonwealth Games programme in 1998.

How it Works

The seven-a-side game of netball is played on a 100ft (30.5m) x 50ft (15.25m) court divided into thirds. Games consist of 4x15min quarters with a three minute interval between the first and second and third and fourth quarters and a five or 10 minute half time break. Each playing position – GS, GA, WA, C, WD, GD and GK – is determined by areas on the court where they are allowed to move.  Based on the skills of running, jumping and throwing the aim of the game is to score as many goals as possible from within the area called the goal circle. Only the Goal Attack (GA) or Goal Shooter (GS) can score goals.

Format at 2017 World Masters Games

Regarded as the most popular women’s sport in New Zealand – netball is sure to prove a major hit at the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland. The format set out should allow players of all abilities to enjoy the experience. Competitive, Social, Social Competitive and Mixed Competitive Grades will be run across a variety of age categories.

Expected number of athletes: 1200

Kiwi Hero

Jenny-May Coffin – An ambassador for the 2017 World Masters Games, the all-round sportswoman represented her country at both netball and touch rugby. Earning 26 caps for the Silver Ferns and winning the silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Jenny-May has since gone on to a successful broadcasting career with TVNZ. She believes competing in masters sports is a great way to reconnect with old friends and team-mates but the CrossFit devotee is undecided at this stage about which sport to compete in at the2017 World Masters Games.

Did you know?

The last World Masters Games in which netball appeared was the 2009 edition in Sydney.

How to Get Involved?