Netball was invented by Clara Gregory Baer in the late 19th century as a competitive exercise for women, similar to basketball for men. It has become popular in countries such as Australia, the UK, and the West Indies. Netball has its own set of rules, including zoning areas, and a standardized set of regulations was established by the International Federation of Netball Associations in 1960. It became a recognized Olympic sport in 1963.
A sport that has its origins in the late 19th century, netball is generally understood to be a sport created and pursued by women. Netball was invented by Clara Gregory Baer and has become one of the most popular sports for women in different countries of the world. Netball is hugely popular as both a participant and spectator sport in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the West Indies.
The origins of netball have a close association with the creation of the sport of basketball just a few years earlier. In essence, netball was created as a sport that offered women similar competitive exercise as the new game of basketball offered young men. Thus, the ground rules for this form of women’s basketball were very close to those of men’s basketball. Some minor changes have been made, mainly due to prevailing cultural factors regarding women’s abilities and roles in society.
One of the areas where this is illustrated is how you dress while playing the game. The uniform tended to protect female modesty in terms of the costumes of the day as well as for easy movement on the playing field. As a result, netball players have not engaged in the same level of running and dribbling that was common with their men’s basketball counterparts.
A significant difference in netball’s regulations from the basic rules of basketball is the creation of zoning areas, essentially establishing areas that each player would patrol. Some sources indicate that the creation of zoning areas occurred due to Baer’s misunderstanding of the basic rules of movement on a basketball court, while other sources indicate that Baer intentionally included this innovation to help give netball an identity of its own. By 1901, netball had an officially recognized set of rules and was also an established sport.
During the first half of the 20th century, netball established itself in several countries. Over time, local elements started to be incorporated into the sport, which could make holding international competitions somewhat difficult. In 20, national netball officials from South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and several countries in the West came together to standardize the regulations related to the sport. The result of their efforts was the formation of an organization which is currently known as the International Federation of Netball Associations. In 1960, the first international tournament took place under the auspices of this new association. Since that time, the federation’s membership has continued to grow and more tournaments have been organized. Today, netball has grown into such a major sport that it became a recognized Olympic sport in 1963 and is now also included in a number of smaller sporting competitions.