What’s so super
In February this year, Suncorp Super Netball launched, and for the next couple of months, eight Australian teams of 80 fit and fierce athletes will continue to face off every week – city vs city and state vs state. Think: “Confident, athletic women in peak condition, showing why they’re the world’s greatest,” says Anne- Marie Phippard, Netball Australia’s head of community strategy and netball development. “You’ll see flying intercepts, incredible shots at goal and teamwork at its best.”
The best bit: you can watch two live games on free-to-air TV each week (on 9Gem) and all of the others live through Telstra TV or the Netball Live app. You can also see the replays on 9Gem. Get watching, or even better, buy yourself tickets to a game at supernetball.com.au.
If you’ve never played a game (or at least not since you were seven), let us take you back to those pigtail and pleated skirt days: seven players from each team are on the rectangular court at a time. Each has a different ‘position’, marked on their bibs, which defines their role and where they can move on the court. The object: to score goals by shooting a ball, from a semicircle area, into a ring attached to a 3.05m post at their opponent’s end of the court. The player with the ball can’t take a step, and can only hold it for three seconds before passing it to another player or shooting. The game has four 15-minute quarters. Although netty’s a non-contact sport – no tackling permitted – it can get rough; players go in hard for the ball.
The result? A fast, intense game that makes for great exercise.
Join a team!
Why? “Playing netball regularly helps improve both aerobic and anaerobic fitness – it’s quite the workout,” says Phippard. “Your agility will be fine-tuned, thanks to driving and dodging to gain possession of the ball. The throwing and catching sharpens hand-eye coordination. It’ll hone your teamwork – there’s nothing like giving your teammates a high-five after an impressive play.”
Don’t think you’re up to it? This year, Netball Australia launched Fast5 Netball, a good way to get involved with the game socially. “Think shorter quarters with rolling substitutions, five players a side, the opportunity to shoot for one, two or three points and power plays to double your score. The game’s only 29 minutes. It’s really fun,” says Phippard.
Go to playfast5.com.au to find a competition near you.