Netball is a sport very similar to basketball that is played between two teams of seven players. But who invented netball? This post will answer that question and also tell you some interesting facts about netball.
Who Invented Netball?
James Naismith, a teacher at the School for Christian Workers (later called the YMCA), invented basketball in 1891 (see our post ‘who invented basketball‘). The female teachers at the school were curious ans began to work out a version for girls to play. The clothes women wore at the time restricted their ability to run and dribble so the rules were changed to accommodate these problems. This was the birth of women’s basketball (that would be renamed netball in later years). In 1895, Clara Baer, a gym teacher from New Orleans, asked Naismith for a copy of the basketball rules. She mistook his markings showing areas where different players should defend for areas where women were allowed to move. This led to the introduction of ‘zoning area’ associated with netball today (for example, the goal attack is not allowed to enter the defensive area). In 1901, these rules (no dribbling and zones) were adopted and women’s basketball (netball) was adopted as an official competitive sport.
Interesting Facts About Netball
- New Zealand called the sport ‘women’s basketball’ until 1970 when it finally adopted the name ‘netball’. It was the last nation to adopt the name ‘netball’ for the sport.
- The first Netball World Championship was held in 1963. It was hosted by England and Australia were the winners.
- Netball became a recognized Olympic sport in 1995. This means it may be included in Olympic Games in the future. Netball has been played at the Commonwealth Games since 1998.
- Only the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack are able to score goals.
- Over 20 million people in 70 different countries play netball.
Other Great Inventions:
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