What Are the Benefits of Netball?
Netball is a game similar to basketball, but there are a few notable differences between the two. In netball, there are seven players per team. You're not allowed to dribble the ball, it must be passed between players by throwing. The ball and basket are smaller and there isn't a backboard. Despite these game differences, the health benefits of netball are comparable to basketball.
Benefits of Running
Playing netball requires you to run around the pitch, sprint short distances and change direction quickly. The running skills involved provide a good cardiovascular workout and over time will improve your fitness, strength and agility. The standard netball court is 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. As a netball game progresses, many of the players will cover some significant distance running around the court. In particular, the player in center position has to cover most of it.
Netball requires players to pass the ball to members of their own team using different throwing techniques. Each requires and develops good hand-eye coordination; a player must throw and catch the ball accurately. A high pass sends the netball over opponents' heads, and the player's teammate must usually jump to catch the ball from a high pass. A chest pass is a fast throw at chest height from one teammate to another; a bounce pass sends the ball to and from waist height with a single bounce on the ground.
In comparison to basketball, the game of netball does not allow any individual player to operate independently. Many of the player positions in netball are restricted to less than half the pitch -- for example, the goal shooter is allowed only in the opposing team's goal area. Likewise, the goal attack and goal defense positions are limited to roughly one-third of the total pitch. Only the goal attack and goal shooter positions are allowed to make attempts at scoring. Therefore, the netball team must cooperate to attack, defend and score goals.
In comparison to many sports, netball requires very little in the way of special equipment or facilities. A netball pitch with two goals is all that is required for a game, regular team practice or a tournament. Many of the individual skills required of the netball player -- running, marking opponents, attacking and defending the goal -- can be practiced on any level ground. No specific clothing is needed unless team uniforms are worn. Regular athletic clothing and sports shoes will suffice for practice and unofficial games.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.