7-a-side netball is unique. It’s played by 158,000 women every week and is the only female team sport to be given weekly TV coverage by Sky Sports. Since 2010 35,000 women have started playing netball again through the Back to Netball programme.
Netball is played by two teams and the aim of the game is simply to score more goals than the other side. You score by shooting the ball through the opposing team's net. Sounds easy? Well the net hangs off a metal post ten feet (3.05m) high!
There are seven players in a team and they each have their own position. Each player is only allowed to move in a certain area of the court. This means team-work and strong passing skills are very important. There's extra help on the sidelines too as each team are allowed five more players who can come on as substitutes.
The court is divided up into three sections: the defensive third, the centre third and the attacking third. Also marked on the court is a centre circle and at each end two goal circles. Inside each goal circle sit the goalposts.
A game of netball lasts for an hour. The match is split into fifteen minute quarters with a three-minute break between the first and second and the third and fourth quarters. Half-time between the second and third quarters lasts five minutes.
Netball is a fast-paced and intensive game, which will quickly boost your health and fitness levels. Here are some of the key benefits it has on the body:
Burning calories and lowering body fat if played regularly.
Improves upper body strength, working out key arm muscles
Improves hand-eye co-ordination, with precision passing and shooting necessary to succeed.
Builds up leg muscle strength and stamina due to its mixture of brief bursts of sprinting and longer jogging
Develops the body’s cardiovascular system, with the heart and lungs able to deliver more oxygen to fuel the muscles.
Improves the body’s flexibility and nimbleness, as it requires quick changes of direction and speed.
Any Everyone Active run leisure centre with a sports hall will generally be able to offer netball as courts are pre-marked with the netball court. If you are looking to get into netball for the first time or get back into netball again as an adult then the best place to start is England Netball. You can visit their website at www.englandnetball.co.uk
This activity is available in other centres too.
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