History of Netball

The history of netball can be traced to the early development of basketball. A year after basketball was invented in 1891, the sport was modified for women to accommodate social conventions regarding their participation in sport, giving rise to women's basketball. Variations of women's basketball arose across the United States and in England. At a physical training college in England, the rules of women's basketball were modified over several years to form an entirely new sport: "net ball". The first codified rules of netball were published at the start of the twentieth century, and from there the new sport spread throughout the British Empire.

From the beginning, netball was widely accepted as a sport suitable for women. Domestic netball competitions arose in several countries during the first half of the 20th century. Starting from the 1920s, national associations were formed to organise the sport in netball-playing nations. International matches were played sporadically in the early 20th century, but were hampered by varying rules in different countries.

By 1960, the rules of netball were standardised internationally. An international governing body was formed to oversee the sport globally, now called the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA). The second half of the 20th century has seen international competition expand, with the sport's premier international competition, the Netball World Championships, starting in 1963. Netball has also been contested at the Commonwealth Games since 1998.

Australia has dominated the World Tournaments, beating the other 11 teams competing in 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1995 and 1999. In 2003, New Zealand finally broke the pattern and took home the gold. In 2007 Australia claimed back the gold medal.

The history of netball in South Africa. In 1925 Phyllis Cardin introduced the game to future teachers at the Johannesburg College of Education who spread and developed it at primary and high schools in the province of Transvaal.

During the same year, Mrs. Salmon introduced the game to students to both the University of
Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town. In 1926 Miss D Hopkins replaced the game of korfball (a game indigenous to South Africa) with the game of netball. In 1926 the first inter-club netball match, recorded in South Africa was played between the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch.

During the next decade netball became the popular team sport in other tertiary institutions and in both primary and high schools in the Transvaal and Western Province. The popularity of the sport grew and soon spread to the Orange Free State and Eastern Provinces.

In 1938 the first provincial schools association formed and in 1946 the first South African provincial women’s Netball Association formed. The Southern Transvaal Women’s Netball Association. The Eastern Province provincial association followed thereafter and in 1949 the Western Province Women’s Netball Association followed by the Orange Free State and Northern Transvaal.

This made way for the first national netball body. The South African Women’s Netball Association (SAWNA) was formed in 1951. In 1976 the first netball association for black women was formed. The African Women’s Netball Association of South Africa (AWNASA) and became part of the newly formed Black Association SANA. In 1977 the first black teams took part in the SA National and Provincial tournaments. During the late seventies the SA Netball Board for coloureds was established. In 1979 SAWNA invited all existing netball bodies to form one umbrella body to govern netball in SA. The All South African Netball Union (ASANU). The name was changed during the late 1980’s to Netball Association of South Africa. In 1987 the umbrella body was replaced by ASANU as the official governing body with affiliates from both SANA and NASA. In 1991 after talks between ASANU, NASA, SANA and SANEC an interim committee SANIC was formed in order to establish a unified body for netball in the country and in 1993 the governing body for netball was formed. NETBALL SOUTH AFRICA.