Netball World Championships
Netball is a sport that’s becoming increasingly popular the world over and it’s fast earning respect from sporting authorities and spectators. An easy game to understand and one that’s being promoted to encourage girls to engage in team sports, even in the poorer areas, the netball World Championships, or International Netball Federation World Cup is attracting a bigger audience with every passing year.
The Netball World Cup began as the Netball World Championship in 1963 and has since grown from strength to strength ever since. Played on a quadrennial basis, the winning team then retains the trophy for 4 years, until they are once again given the chance to defend their title.
Co-ordinated by the INF
The INF has over 70 members internationally and is responsible for coordinating the Netball World Championships. Established in 1960, the INF has a host of responsibilities that include maintaining the rules of netball, organising the World Netball Championships and monitoring world rankings. The federation has 5 main areas of operation, namely America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
Dominated by Australia
Australia has always been at the forefront of the international netball scene and has dominated since the inception of the World Championships. The Australian team, the Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns are well known for their sporting prowess and both teams are a formidable force in the World Championships.
The most recent netball World Championships were held in Sydney in 2015 and were won by the host country, adding an 11th win to their already impressive tally. Australia will have the chance to defend their title in 2019, when the World Championships are played in Liverpool.
History of the Netball World Championships
With netball gaining in popularity around the globe in the late 1950’s it was a natural progression that several countries would sit up and take notice and look at regulating the sport and its rules.
In 1960 netball representatives from South Africa, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and England met to decide on a number of factors regarding the regulation of the sport. This meeting set the groundwork for the establishment of the International Federation of Women’s Basketball and Netball, which later went on to become the International Federation of Netball Associations, a turning point in the structuring of the sport.
A Globally Appreciated Sport
The first Netball World Championships were a massive success and were hosted by England in Eastbourne. 11 Teams participated and predictably, Australia was the winner, with New Zealand as runners up and the host country in 3rd place. Over the years the World Championships have been held in Glasgow, Singapore, Port of Spain, Auckland and Kingston in Jamaica. This has given the sport a greater exposure globally and has ensured that a larger number of fans are able to watch the games and enjoy the action.
Netball is now played at all levels, staring with small children and going on to the professional leagues that compete with one another on a national basis. Playing for your country in the netball World Championship has become a goal of many avid player and the standards of the games and the skills of players continue to develop with every passing year.