Netball is a game played the world over (including Sri Lanka) but as far as I am aware, only by women. It is superficially similar to basketball in that the goal is to throw the ball though an elevated hoop. The main difference is that you cannot move while you have possession of the ball and must pass it to another player within three seconds. This means no dribbling but actually results in a fast-moving game with plenty of passing since the non-ball carriers have to move rapidly around the court to try to get free to accept a pass from a team mate or block an opponent from passing or receiving.

As part of International Women’s Day, the women of Nyamonge created this delightful video to share their love of this sport.


  1. Ysanne says

    I guess the definition of “fast-moving” depends on what you’re used to… Seeing how netball was specifically developed from early basketball to limit movement to levels deemed appropriate for ladies in late 19th century Britain, I’m not surprised that it’s not all too popular among men — or, for that matter, among women in countries where women’s sports arose with less of a focus on being ladylike. For a contrast in speed, power, contact intensity and force of throws, check out team handball, which is popular among men and women alike in much of Europe: London Olympics Handball.

  2. miles says

    Oh that’s neat – you can play it on Grass! Any sport you can play barefoot > any sport that you can’t play barefoot.

    But still, I’m gonna stick to Calvinball.

  3. left0ver1under says

    Netball isn’t the only variant of an established game that was “redesigned for women and girls”. Often that means the game is perceived as “requiring less skill”. (Yeah, right – try hitting a basket without a backboard – and not just because there’s nothing to bank off of.)

    A popular game in Canada which is played mostly by girls and women is ringette, a variant of hockey. Seeing the speed and action of the game will quickly shrug off any notions of it being a “soft” sport. Excuse the lousy music, I chose this for the quality of the video.

    It’s very rare to see men and women or boys and girls play on the same teams in ringette or hockey, even in recreational leagues, even though they could. But you will find mixed players and teams in road hockey or floor hockey (played in gynmasiums).

    An interesting game played by both genders together is one of the most violent: wheelchair rugby, or as it’s known in the US, quad rugby. But it’s best known by its original name, “murderball”.

  4. Mano Singham says

    Thanks for those links. Wheelchair Rugby seems pretty brutal!

    I am not that familiar with ice hockey so could not see what the difference is between that and ringette. But you are right, it is a fast moving game.

  5. Rob says

    Ysanne – 30 years ago netball was already breaking out of that whole ‘lady like’ thing. These days a good game with topflight players (male or female) is played at breakneck speed and is very physical. For a supposedly non-contact sport a surprising number of people end up lying on the floor. Recommend you catch some Australia vs new Zealand matches.

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