Mixed netball is on the rise, with almost 20,000 adult men now playing netball regularly in either men’s or mixed teams across the country. The rules to mixed netball are the same as regular netball except one male player from the team has to always be on court, with a maximum of three males allowed on the court at any time. Ideally there should only be one male player positioned in each third of the court, i.e. GS, WA and GK. Apart from these slight changes to help keep the sport fair for everyone, the game of netball carries on as usual. Sounds pretty straightforward, but why would we want to include men in what is known as a “women’s sport?” We’ve listed our main reasons below.
Mixed netball brings a more exciting and unpredictable turn to the game. From school P.E to pro sporting events, men and women have always been separated when it comes to sporting activities. This is because men are viewed to be much larger and physically stronger than women, providing an unfair advantage towards any sporting activity. However, in a game of netball, all positions on court require different attributes which both men and women can bring to the game, you don’t have to just be super-fast. For example, Goal Keeper requires putting a lot of pressure on their opposition and having a close partnership with Goal Defence. By combining the two sexes together, it can deliver a much better performance for the whole team.
The perfect opportunity to get your partner down to the courts. If you’re trying to find an activity which both you and your boyfriend will enjoy, try mixed netball. Netball provides an avenue for you to find and explore your sporty side in a fun and social way with so many physical and mental health benefits, so why not get involved together. Never know, you both might form the perfect partnership on court!
Further supporting the netball community. Mixed netball is helping to remove the stigma that netball is only for girls, something which is preventing netball from becoming a world recognised sport, (netball being viewed as a women’s only sport is one of the factors why it’s not considered an Olympic sport). Men playing netball is more prominent in Australia and New Zealand but the England Roses are now following suit. Back in October, the England Roses invited the England’s official men’s netball team to a match, with Roses captain Natalie Metcalf telling the Telegraph it felt “history-making” to see the sport’s ongoing evolution play out on the court. With more male teams making an appearance and playing against women, it’s raising the profile of netball as a whole.