Tab Tries: Mixed netball as a guy
Put the ball in the net. How hard can it be?
“We’re always looking for boys on the Mixed Netball team”, my friend Holly told me.
While I am well aware that gendered demarkation of sport is something that ought to belong to the not-too-distant past, there does seem to be a certain stigma attached to netball in particular.
Personally, it seemed quite appealing, having neither the 6am wake up of rowing nor the ‘getting the shit kicked out of you’ of rugby.
So I went along to training on Saturday and immediately realised two things: first; netball is actually more effort than it looks, and second; that a term and a half’s worth of drinking, sleeping all day, and ingesting cheese soaked chips has taken its toll on my fitness.
You think it’s basically just basketball that girls play at school?
Turns out there’s actually a lot of rules. You’re not allowed/supposed to push them – not even when they’re infuriatingly better than you. Also, if they have the ball you can’t go within a metre of them, so you basically just stand on your tip toes pretending to try and stop them passing, but really just trying to not look like a dick.
The net is higher than you’d think. I kind of naively thought I might be able to slam dunk it like Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal or…(yeah I don’t know that many basketball players), but no. I had to rely on my shite hand-eye co-ordination.
We have a game the following day.
The other team seemed to bring their entire college, with about ten subs. I don’t know how many you’re supposed to have in netball but seems a bit odd to have more players off the court than on (there are 6 on the court just fyi).
Now that I was playing against other boys I was pleased to see that they didn’t understand the rules either and that they also found the constant reference to ‘the D’ funny.
Despite their intimidatingly large squad we managed to secure a solid 7-2 win. I managed to make quite a few interceptions, which I am told is good. And on several occasions I threw the ball so that it was received by a member of my own team, rather than the other, which I am told is very good.
Don’t worry, despite it’s complex structure you soon get used to complicated terms such as ‘passing’ and ‘shooting’.
Overall, Mixed Netball is a great way to get outside and remind yourself how unfit you are. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t too hungover on a Sunday morning.