If you were to ask someone about netball, many would tell you that ‘it is a girl’s sport’, but why is that?

A main reason that is usually given to justify people’s opinion is that it simply ‘does not require the same level of physical activity as other sports’ such as basketball. However, that is not true. If you were to use basketball as an example, you are able to see that both sports have the same basic structure and therefore, require very similar skill sets. Scoring by shooting into a hoop is needed by both sports. One has a backboard behind the hoop and the other doesn’t, but does that make one less sufficient than the other? You are scoring either way.

In basketball, there is slightly more running, but once again that should not make a difference. You only stop moving for approx. 3 seconds. Are those 3 seconds that long of a time? Both women and men compete in running Olympics, so a lack of running should not be associated with being female. In the same way that, the fact that basketball has more physical contact should not make it ‘manlier’.

In both primary and secondary schools, you are taught to play netball. No matter if you are a girl or a boy you play. So, when do we develop the idea that netball ‘is a girl’s sport’ and basketball is a boy’s sport? We think that one sport suits one gender better and the other suits the other, but we are all capable of playing it.

 In the whole of England there are very few men’s netball teams compared to women’s. There is no reason for this, since there is not a specific guideline in netball stating you must be a woman to play netball. There is no need to categorise any sport into genders, any sport can be played by anyone.