Fascinating Facts About Netball That You Never Knew

The Fascinating Facts About Netball That You Never Knew

Netball is one of the sports in the world with a strong female presence. It is popular in many countries, and netball trends show that the number of sports fans is increasing worldwide.

Keep reading to find out when netball was invented, is netball an Olympic sport and other jaw-dropping facts about netball.

5 Most Interesting Facts About Netball

  • England had the honours of inventing netball in 1895.
  • There are over 20 million netball players around the world. 
  • Netball is not played at the Olympics. 
  • The duration of one netball game is one hour.
  • There are seven netball player positions

Facts About Netball History

1. How long is a Netball game?


An hour is a typical length of time for a netball game. The game is divided into fifteen-minute periods with a three-minute rest in between the first and second, and third and fourth quarters.

There is also a five minute break between the second nad third quarter.

2. What is Netball?


One year after the invention of basketball, a modified version of the game was made for female players in 1892. The game’s purpose was for the ladies to be more active and involved in sports. 

3. How many players on a netball team?


Netball is a ball game played between two teams of seven players. The court is rectangular and has raised goal rings at both ends.

4. Is Netball a contact sport?

(Our Netball History)

No, Netball is a no-contact sport and according to netball history facts Madam Österberg’s college is where the no contact sport was born with the visit of the American Justin Toles. In the English town of Dartford, students played netball inside with wastebaskets hung on walls instead of basketball hoops. They played the first trial game without printed court lines or specific rules.

The court was transformed in 1897 by adding two rings with nets. The first netball game in England was played on grass following netball rules.

5. Netball was initially known as Women’s basketball.

(Big Game Hunters) (BBC)

Women’s basketball is the name that remarks the first step of the sport. Later on, in 1897, as the rules and equipment used in the games were more determined, the name was changed to “netball”.

6. First-ever international netball match was played in 1938.


The first international game was between the netball teams of Australia and New Zealand. 

In 1949, contributing to international netball games, England, Scotland and Wales were next in line to write netball history as they played their first international matches. 

7. The first netballs were out of leather.


Facts about netball history provide insight into the balls that have been used over the years.

For the first matches, netball players used 32-panel handmade orange-brown balls, which later developed into white rubber weatherproof balls. The rubber material used now enables the players to grip the ball better.

8. The first netball tournament was in 1963. 

(Our Netball History)

The Chelsea College of Education in Eastbourne hosted the first netball tournament. Australia is the tournament champion of the first tournament in netball.  New Zealand finished in second place, while England third.

Global Facts About Netball

9. There are over 20 million netball players around the world. 


Over 80 countries play the no contact sport of netball, but the Commonwealth countries are the ones who dominate the netball fields. New Zealand, Australia and England are the leading netball nations.

10. Netball became part of the Commonwealth Games programme in 1998.

(Netball Sport)

From the first time netball was introduced to the Commonwealth Games, the programme recognised netball as one of the ‘core sports’. 

11. Netball is not played at the Olympics. 

(Play Netball) (Fly Hawk)

Unfortunately, netball is not currently an Olympic sport, but there is a solid campaign to have it added to the programme. The biggest reasons why the no contact sport is not part of the Olympic Games are the lack of countries where it is played and the low number of male players worldwide.

One of the fun facts about netball is that it has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee since 1995, although it is not an Olympic sport.

12. The English Geva Mentor is one of the best netball players in the world.

(England Netball) (Netball Scoop)

Netball players are also known as one of the hottest female athletes in the world of sport. Besides Geva Mentor, other influential players in the sport are the Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler, the English Serena Guthrie, Karin Burger from New Zealand and Courtney Bruce from Australia.

13. The centre player in netball has the highest intensity in one match.

(Deakin) (Research Gate)

The centre position and wing defence have above 3 AU per minute, followed by the goal attackers and wing attackers with above 2.5 AU per minute. 

UK Facts about Netball

14. The All England Women’s Netball Association was founded in 1926. 

(Our Netball History)

On February 12, the association was formed by 230 delegates. In addition, a committee consisting of five representatives from the Ling Association and the London and Home Countries Net Ball Federation was formed.

15. The First National Clubs Tournament in England was played in 1966.

(Our Netball History)

Sponsored by the “Woman” magazine, the First National Tournament was played at London Sarah Siddens School. The first tournament champions in England were the Birmingham club Harborne.

16. In 1960, the game’s new rules were adopted with the improved international code.

(BBC) (Our Netball History)

The new rules included the official names of the player’s positions and also the length of a netball match was changed.

England adopted the new set of rules for the game in 1961. 

Netball Statistics UK

17. Where is netball played?

(Statista) (Sky Sports)

In 2021, around 76 700 people participated in netball in England.

In 2021 netball participation statistics show a drastic decrease of English people who participate in netball games compared to 2020, which counted 283 700. 

From 2016 till now, 2019 had the biggest number of participants in netball with 319 400 people.

Netball sport viewership statistics cannot be taken for granted since England’s Vitality Roses in 2019 had an audience of 550 000 viewers.

18. The overall income generated from netball in England in 2021 was £8.2 million.


The year-over-year English netball income data also notices a decrease of £3.2 million in 2021 compared to £11.4 million in 2020.

So, 2020 remarks the highest total income generated from netball from 2013 to 2021.

19. England netball recorded 488 000 website page views in 2019/20.

(Statista) (Youtube) (Instagram)

England netball had the most website page views in 2017/18 with over 3 million. 

There are over 6400 subscribers to the England Netball Youtube channel and more than 103 000 people follow the Instagram account of the no contact game in England.

20. In 2019, the East of England had 18 219 netball members.


After the East of England, next comes London South East with 16 714 members and the South West region counting 16 538.

21. 19.3% of 11 to 15-year-olds in England played the sport in the past four weeks.


Facts about netball for kids reveal that only 3% of the younger generation from 5 to 10 years old English kids have participated in netball in the last four weeks of 2017/18.

Bottom Line

With its origins in basketball, netball is a fast-paced, exciting sport ideal for individuals who appreciate a physical challenge. The basic rules are straightforward, making it simple to learn and play.

Since you know all facts about netball, you can start passing them on to your friends while watching the next netball game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *