The History of Netball and The Australian Diamonds
In 1891, Dr. James Naismith invented the sport we all know well; basketball. However, it wasn’t until four years later that it was introduced to England. It wasn’t long before it became extremely popular amongst the ladies.
The ladies would use broomsticks for posts, and wet paper bags for the basket, all of which would be played on a field of grass. Unfortunately, their long skirts, sleeves, and button up shoes made it extremely difficult to run and restricted movement. Therefore, the game was eventually adapted to suit women, accommodating the restrictions they had.
Almost 50 years later, in 1938, the Australia’s national netball team, the Diamonds, were first formed, playing their first international game against New Zealand in Melbourne on the 20th of August 1938. For the next 18 years, Australia would only ever play against New Zealand.
Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War II delayed a three-match tour of New Zealand in 1948. Luckily, once the competition resumed, Australia was able to take home the win. Finally, in 1956, the Australian Diamonds took on Sir Lanka, the first non-Kiwi team they ever faced.
Australia managed to take home the win at the Netball World Championships in 1963. This was only the start of their international dominance, with the team continuing to win 11 of 14 World Championship titles, and coming second only to New Zealand.
Netball was included in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, with the Diamonds winning a total of three gold medals and two silver medals over the years. The sport has continued to grow since its first appearance at the Commonwealth games.
Netball has grown to become the most popular women’s sport in the country, with over 400,000 registered players just in Australia, and more than 20 million players worldwide.
If you have weighed up the advantages against the disadvantages and have decided that you would still like to give ice-hockey a shot, why not sign up with your local team this season?