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.