Just when I thought I knew most of what there is to know about sports, life throws me a netball. Has anyone else heard of this game or have I just been waaaay too preoccupied with hockey and football?
A friend of mine recently introduced me to the sport and took me to see a game. She explained some of the rules to me and informed me there is actually a national level team – the Silver Ferns. I was really surprised that the team name didn’t have “Black” in it. Like the All Blacks. Or the Black Sticks. And then there’s the Iron Blacks And the Black Sox. It’s definitely a recurring theme here.
Anyway, the Silver Ferns play outdoor netball, which slightly differs from the indoor version I spectated. Here’s what I gathered from my brief, 30-minute netball encounter:
1. A similar sport, that I am familiar with and can compare it to, is basketball.
2. Games are short and fast – eight minute quarters.
3. The court is surrounded by netting, off of which you can play the ball.
4. The net doesn’t have a backboard. “Nothin’ but net” indeed.
5. Six players to a team – two defence, two centres and two attacks. Defence and attacks are restricted to their half of the court, while centres can play the whole court (except the shooting circles).
6. Scoring – shooting from inside the shooting circle is worth one point; shooting outside the circle is worth two points.
7. No running with the ball. As soon as someone passes it to you, you must stop and pass it to a teammate (without holding onto it for longer than three seconds).
8. If you fumble the ball or miss a shot, you can’t be the first to touch it unless it rebounds off the net.
Seems pretty straightforward. Maybe one of these days, I’ll strap on my bionic knee brace and give it a whirl.