NETBALL

NETBALL: What are the reasons behind netball’s increased popularity?

Netball has always been widely considered as a women’s sport even through schools.

In the lower years of school it is mixed with five players forming a team.

However, once you get to secondary school, the boys play basketball and the girls play netball, hence the stereotypes.

Now, things seem to be changing with netball appealing to everyone. Men, women, boys and girls. Older and younger.

Ever since England won Netball gold at the Commonwealth games, beating World Champions and world number one Australia, participation levels have increased even in men.

More men are now playing netball, but not only is netball becoming more popular; new forms of the game are being created to help bring more people to the game.

Indoor netball has been introduced to many and has proven popular with both men and women.

This difference between indoor netball (Nets) and outdoor netball (traditional) is that the courts are netted meaning that the ball never goes out of play.

There are women’s, men’s and mixed teams that compete all over the world.

There are also men’s teams being created such as the London-based Knights who play all formats of netball.

At the moment they are helping the Super League teams warm-up for the new season having played Celtic Dragons, HertsMavericks, Severn Stars, Surrey Storm and Manchester Thunder.

There has also been a rise in the amount of people watching netball thanks to the Fast5 format. It is like Netball’s answer to T20 cricket.

It is much shorter lasting 12 minutes instead of an hour and is very different to the tradition game of netball.

It was created to open netball up to a wider audience.

There is now a Fast5 World Series and an All-Stars League in the UK, which have been huge successes especially with younger people.

As there is a fast version of netball, a slower version has also been discovered to make netball more accessible.

Walking netball has been very popular and allows people of all ages to participate, since it could appeal to those who are older and who aren’t as fit.

It is easy to see how all these changes and additions can help increase participation with both men and women and also different age groups.

It has easily been one of the biggest growing sports of the year thanks to the success of the national team and also the amount of netball now seen on television, including.

Hopefully it will continue to grow especially with the BBC gaining rights to show matches from the Netball World Cup, alongside Sky Sports, which starts in July 2019 in Liverpool.

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