When asked the question where do you prefer to play netball; indoor or outdoor, the answer is always split. Personally I’ve always preferred playing outdoors then inside a hot, sweaty sports hall. Even though you’ll find the Superleague played inside, Netball is considered a winter sport and is predominantly played outdoors. So why is it so many netball players have divided opinions on where to play the sport?
Weather: this is one of the main factors players have when deciding where to play their matches. Playing inside prevents any matches from being cancelled by the unpredictable British weather, also no one wants to stand outside in the rain for 60 minutes catching pneumonia! Although the same can be said for warm weather, sports halls become incredibly stuffy in the heat whereas you can work on your tan whilst playing netball outside!
League size: it is obvious you become quite restricted with the number of teams that can play indoors (unless you manage to find a sports hall with multiple courts). Outside courts are more accessible to hire and you’ll easily be able to find sports centres or schools with multiple floodlit courts. It is also a lot easier to organise bigger leagues outside as you can have all matches take place at one venue, preventing confusion on where your team or umpire should be heading each week. Furthermore, it’s a great atmosphere having all teams play at the same venue.
Quality of the courts: unfortunately not all outside courts have great surfacing, especially if they’ve not had any maintenance done to them in a few years. This issue normally occurs when the court is not polymeric and is just a tarmac surface with lines painted on. Loose stones/chippings are the main issue from unkept courts which can cause player injury, also it takes longer for the surface to dry after bad weather. The surface for an indoor court is non-slip and has a soft cushioning effect making it nicer to land on your feet whilst playing. Inside courts can’t prevent injuries from occurring but some players feel more confident playing on these courts.
Even though these factors are all reasonable justifications when explaining your preference to playing the sport, players shouldn’t restrict themselves on where to play. If you have to play outside, play outside, if you’ve got to go indoors so be it. As long as you’re enjoying the sport at that moment, that’s all that matters.