Do you know what’s the most popular women’s sport in the World? If you were thinking gymnastics or soccer or even cheerleading (yes, it’s a sport) then you’d be mistaken. The most popular women’s sport in the world is Netball. That’s right, netball. Now I had sort of heard about netball, not sure where, but I had no idea what it entailed other than a net and a ball. Now you may be an expert in netball, but for all of those people who aren’t as familiar, well keep on reading.
Netball was started in the United States in 1891, but has just recently been gaining in popularity in the States and is considered a “new sport”. Netball is similar to basketball and actually derived from it, in that a ball is passed down the court and each team tries to score points by putting the ball in the basket. It differs in that the players, depending on their positions, must stay in a specific area of the court designated for their position. The ball also looks more like a volleyball than a basketball.
This sport, which is played primarily by women, is popular in over 80 countries around the world and played by more than 20 million people. It’s most popular in the commonwealth countries and it is a primetime sport in the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean. Netball is quickly gaining momentum on the world stage and many school-aged children learn the sport while in school as part of the educational curriculum and continue to play into adulthood.
I love all kinds of sports and I think that one day, I could even be sporting an I love netball bumper sticker too. As the sport continues to rapidly grow in the United States, Europe, and Africa, players from around the world are lobbying to get the sport included into the Olympics. With that many people playing in over 80 countries from around the world, I can see why it should be included as one of the Olympic events, and maybe one day soon we’ll all be watching Netball on the sport’s world stage.