If you’re a fan of netball, you’ve undoubtedly heard of England Netball. This popular team sport is played by millions of people around the world, with England being a major player in the sport. In this article, we’ll dive into the history of England Netball, the current state of the sport, and everything in between. So grab your netball and let’s get started!
History of England Netball
Netball has a long history in England, dating back to the early 1900s. The first recorded netball game was played in 1895 in England, and the sport quickly gained popularity. In 1926, the All England Netball Association (AENA) was formed, and it became the governing body for the sport in England. Throughout the years, England Netball has seen many changes and improvements. In the 1960s, the AENA introduced the seven-player game, which is still the standard format of the game today. In 2006, the organization changed its name to England Netball, and in 2018, it became the first netball governing body to receive Sport England’s Code for Sports Governance.
Rules of England Netball
Before we dive into the current state of England Netball, it’s important to understand the basic rules of the game. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Seven players are on the court at a time: goal shooter, goal attack, wing attack, center, wing defense, goal defense, and goalkeeper.
- The aim of the game is to shoot the ball through the opposing team’s netball hoop, which is placed 10 feet high.
- Players can only hold the ball for three seconds before they must pass it to a teammate.
- Players cannot move with the ball – they must either pass it or shoot it.
- Contact is not allowed between players – this includes pushing, shoving, and obstructing.
- The game is divided into four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes.
Current State of England Netball
England Netball has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the success of the national team. In 2018, the England Roses made history by winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal – the first time England had ever won a major netball tournament. The success of the national team has also led to an increase in participation at the grassroots level. In 2019, England Netball reported a record number of registered players – over 116,000.
England Netball Competitions
In addition to the national team’s success, England Netball also offers a range of competitions for players of all levels. Here are some of the major competitions:
|Vitality Netball Superleague
|The top-level netball league in England, featuring 10 teams from across the country.
|National Premier Leagues
|Regional leagues for club teams, with promotion and relegation to and from the Superleague.
|England Netball Cup
|A knockout cup competition open to all club teams in England.
|Junior Netball Leagues
|Leagues for players under the age of 18, with age groups ranging from under 11 to under 19.
England Netball Facilities
As the popularity of England Netball continues to grow, so does the need for high-quality facilities. England Netball has made significant investments in recent years to improve facilities across the country. One of the major facilities is the Copper Box Arena in London, which was the venue for the netball competition at the 2012 Olympics. The arena has since been renovated and is now the home of the Vitality Netball Superleague team, the London Pulse. Other notable venues include the University of Worcester Arena, which hosted the 2019 Netball World Cup, and the Belle Vue Sports Village in Manchester, which is home to the Manchester Thunder Superleague team.
England Netball Coaching and Training
In addition to facilities, England Netball also provides coaching and training opportunities for players of all levels. The organization offers a range of coaching courses, from beginner to advanced levels, and also provides resources for coaches to help improve their skills. England Netball also has a talent pathway for young players who show potential to play at the highest level. The pathway includes regional academies, national performance academies, and the England Roses Academy, which is the highest level of the talent pathway.
England Netball Inclusivity and Diversity
England Netball is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity within the sport. The organization has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that netball is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or abilities. One of the major initiatives is the Back to Netball program, which aims to encourage women who have not played netball since school to return to the sport. The program has been a huge success, with thousands of women across the country participating in Back to Netball sessions. England Netball has also established the Netball Equality Standard, which sets out a framework for clubs and organizations to promote inclusivity and diversity. The standard covers areas such as leadership, participation, and talent development, and has been adopted by over 100 organizations across the country.
England Netball Future
Looking ahead, England Netball has ambitious plans for the future. The organization’s strategic plan, Vision 2025, sets out a number of goals, including:
- Doubling participation in netball by 2025
- Increasing the number of registered umpires and coaches
- Improving the talent pathway to ensure that more young players reach their potential
- Building a sustainable and diverse sport that is accessible to everyone
England Netball is also committed to hosting major events in the future. The organization has submitted a bid to host the 2027 Netball World Cup, and is also working with other netball organizations around the world to establish a quadrennial Netball World Series.
England Netball has a rich history and a bright future. The sport has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, thanks to the success of the national team and the organization’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity.
Whether you’re a seasoned netball player or a newcomer to the sport, there’s never been a better time to get involved with England Netball. With a range of competitions, high-quality facilities, and coaching and training opportunities, there’s something for everyone. So grab your netball and join the thousands of players across the country who are enjoying this exciting and dynamic sport.