Australia v England netball match (2008). The England Goal Shooter (in red) shapes to shoot while the Australia Goal Defence (in...Read More >>Australia v England netball match (2008). The England Goal Shooter (in red) shapes to shoot while the Australia Goal Defence (in yellow) attempts to prevent her doing so. Netball is played by two teams of seven players. The game is most popular in Commonwealth nations, especially in schools, and is chiefly played by girls or women. A netball court has raised goal rings at either end. The ball used is similar to that used in basketball, but slightly lighter. Players pass the ball to other members of their team and attempt to score by shooting the ball through the goal ring at the opposing end. Netball games are 60 minutes long, divided into four 15-minute quarters. At the end of the game, the team that has scored the most goals wins. Breaking a minor rule in netball results in the opposing team being awarded a free pass, taken from the same spot where the infringement occurred. Breaking a major rule results in the opposing team being awarded a penalty pass (or a penalty shot at goal if the offence took place in the shooting circle). In this case, the offending player must stand out of the way until the pass or shot is made.
Goals are scored when a player positioned in the attacking shooting circle—actually semi-circular in shape—shoots the ball through the goal ring. The goal rings are fixed to the top of 10-foot (3.05-metre) posts that have no backboards. The netball court is 100 feet (30.5 metres) long, 50 feet (15.25 metres) wide, and divided into thirds.
Netball caught on in the early 1900s, because the restricted movement, which is a feature of the game, was considered appropriate for women participating in sport at that time.
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