Get Inspired: NETBALL

Netball claims to be the fastest-growing and most popular team sport for women in the world.

First played in England just over a century ago, Australia and New Zealand are now the dominant nations - but the British are not far behind.

Resembling basketball in some basics, such as the look of the court, netball is a seven-a-side game where players are restricted to specific areas according to their position. Players cannot travel with the ball, making netball a game of fast passing.

The object of the game is to outscore your opponent by shooting more balls through the goal ring.

Why is it good for you?

Netball builds (and relies upon) core strength and so can play a big role in any fitness regime.

By playing netball, you will also develop balance, coordination and teamwork - as the ability to accurately pass the ball between team-mates is vital.

Get involved

There are various ways to get started in netball, beginning with Netball Now  - a network of sessions across England which allow anyone aged 16 or over to start playing netball as soon as they turn up.

If you played netball at school and want to try it again, Back To Netball  offers a gentle reintroduction to the game led by qualified coaches. For children, games like High 5  are a fun way to start the sport.

In the south of England, GoPlayNetball  runs a number of starter sessions, as well as variants such as street netball.

Netball Scotland offers a map of clubs  and contact details, as does Welsh Netball.  For information on clubs in Northern Ireland, visit Netball NI. 

History

Netball's roots lie in the game of basketball, devised in the United States in 1891, from which a separate version of the game for women emerged.

By 1895, the first game in England had taken place and the game rapidly spread to other Commonwealth countries, but only in 1960 were the rules standardised and an international governing body formed.

The first world championships were held in England in 1967 and then every four years hence, with Australia both the current defending champions and next hosts (in 2015).

Netball is not part of the Olympic Games but has been played at the Commonwealth Games since 1998.