Origin of Netball

In 1891, a 30-year-old Canadian, James Naismith, immigrated to Springfield, Massachusetts in the USA. He had invented men’s basketball game in the 1890 and was asked to develop a women's version of basketball game by the Boston YMCA. Then the miniature form of Netball game was formed. The game was then brought to Australia as to many other countries, by English school teachers in the early 1900's. Women liked the game but they found that the long passes were difficult to execute in the game due to their limited strength. So, the ladies decided to adapt the game to suit their circumstances. They divided the court into thirds and introduced a rule that the ball must be caught or touched at least once in each third. No one was allowed to run with the ball and they established restricted playing areas for each position. They got rid of the backboard and modified the goal ring to suit the smaller sized soccer ball and created "NETBALL". After then, the game of netball was also known as Woman's Basketball. Until 1970, the name of the game was changed to “Netball” by the All Australia Women’s Basketball Association. At the same time, the Association became known as the All Australia Netball Association. In 1979, the Hong Kong Netball Association was founded to promote and organize the Netball game in Hong Kong. In 1995, netball became recognized as an Olympic sport but as yet has not appeared at an Olympic Games. r In 1999, a non-profit making sports organization ----- Netball Club, HKUSTSU was established to promote the Netball game in HKUST. In 2001, the 1st Inter-Varsity Netball Invitation Tournament was held. It aimed to promote Netball in all university and tertiary institutions and strengthen the linkage among tertiary institutions. And HKUST Netball team won the Overall Champion at last. After this year’s success, the 2nd Inter-Varsity Netball Invitation Tournament was held in the following year. In this year, HKUST Netball team kept on the Overall Champion after competing HKIED, HKU and CUHK Netball team.

Netball in India

This game of Net Ball was invented by Dr. James Naismith a Y.M.C.A. Instructor in America in 1891 and was known at first as “Women Basket Ball”. In 1895 Dr. Toles an America introduced this game to girls of the Physical Education College of Medatopterberg in Hamested in England. At the early stages the goal was a basket fixed on to a wall. According to the encyclopedia of sport the first basket ball game on grass was played in England in 1897 by ladies using broom sticks for posts and wet paper bags for baskets. In 1898 certain amendments were made. The numbers of players were increased to nine. A soccer ball was introduced and the court was divided into thirds. In 1901 Rules for the game was formulated. The game became very popular among ladies in England. It was taken to many other countries by English School Teachers. In 1913 an inter school several side basket competition was held in Victorian Primary School in Australia. In 1915 Secondary Schools in Australia took to this game. In 1938 first ever international competition was held between Australia and New Zealand. At a council meeting held in Brisbane in August 1970 the name of the game was changed to Net Ball of the association became the All Australia Net Ball Association. By 1977 all states and territories became affiliated to the parent body. In 1926 All England Net Ball Association was informed. In 1960 International Net Ball Association was formed with the representation of eight nations . This association conducted its first tournament in 1963. World tournaments are held once in four years. The tournaments were held in the following year

  • 1963 – England
  • 1967 - Australia
  • 1971 – Rumania
  • 1975 – New Zealand
  • 1979 – Trinidad
  • 1983 – Singapore
  • 1987 – Scotland
  • 1991 – Australia
  • 1995 – England

In 1921 Jenny Green from England Introduced this game of Net Ball to High School girls in Kandy in Sri Lanka. Gradually the game spread to some of the leading Girls’ Schools in Kandy, Jaffna and Colombo. The first interschool competition was held between Hillwood and High School Colleges in Kandy. Later as it became popular among schools in the Western Province and a tournament was held for the Westroph Shield. Colombo Ladies Net Ball Club was formed and in 1954 the Net Ball Federation of Sri Lanka was formed. In the recent past a major milestone in the history of Net Ball in Sri Lanka was crowned Asian Champions in 1990.