Many are justifiably excited to see the AFLW make its debut in early 2017, but netball remains firmly in place as the predominant team sport for women and girls.
In the period of time examined, from October of 2015 to September of 2016, figures from the Australian Sports Commission’s AusPlay committee reveal that betwixt adult women and junior girls, almost 900,000 participants played netball.
One factor that was a definite contributor in a society where attention spans have become inexorably shorter is the development of a format known as Fast5 Netball that follows the pattern adopted by other sports codes of coming up with newer versions of old games that require much less time to play. Twenty20, anyone?
One of the major movers and shakers behind the rise in netball’s popularity, Netball Australia head of community strategy and netball development Anne-Marie Phippard lists goals of making the game accessible and enjoyable for anyone interested in taking part, regardless of age or talent.
The cause has been advanced by the inauguration of the new Australian-only netball league known as Super Netball that will debut in February. An agreement to broadcast games will not only enhance the popularity of netball, it will involve a substantial pay rise for players, something that cannot fail to incentivise participation.