Netball in Europe

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Netball players in centre third of court. One player in red has caught the ball and two players in white are moving towards her.
Orkney A (red) v Shetland A (white/blue): intercounty netball (March 2009) in Scotland.

Netball is primarily played in Commonwealth countries, which were heavily involved in standardising the rules for netball.[1] The Federation of European Netball Associations (FENA), sometimes referred to as Netball Europe, is the governing body for netball in the Europe netball region. The organisation was created in 1989/1990.[2] As of August 2016, the English women's national team was ranked number three in the world, Wales is ranked number eight, Scotland is ranked number ten, Northern Ireland is ranked number twelve, Ireland are ranked number twenty-five, Gibraltar are ranked number thirty-one, Malta are ranked number thirty-two and Switzerland are ranked thirty-four. [3]

The major netball competition in Europe is the Netball Superleague.[4] The Netball Superleague is the elite netball competition in England and Wales. The league features eight teams from all areas of Britain.[4]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, netball management has been traditionally run by women.[5] This is different from many other sports for women in the United Kingdom where men have managed women's sport.[5]


English national team is standing in a row, wearing red uniforms, on one of the centre lines that divides the court in three.
The English national team at the England v Australia Netball test: Adelaide, October 2008.

In England, netball has been popular enough to be included as part of the physical education curriculum.[6] Its inclusion had been at times controversial; during the 1910s and 1920s, schools worried about the potential negative impact of physical exercise like netball participation on the health of girls.[7]


The Welsh Netball Association (Cymdeithas Pêl Rwyd Cymru) was created in 1945.[8] The WNA is responsible for national championships, Welsh squad selection, international matches, the training and development of players, coaches, and umpires and for the Sport Wales National Centre Netball Academy, Cardiff.[9] The Welsh Netball Association is based in Pontcanna, Cardiff.[9] Like other national associations, the Welsh have created a modified version of the game for children called "Dragon Netball".[8] It is geared for seven- to eleven-year-olds.[8] Male participation in netball in Wales has been increasing in the past several years.[8]

Northern Ireland[edit]

The rate of comparative participation for netball to other sports differs from key-stage to key-stage (year levels in school) in Northern Ireland.[10] For girls, netball is the third most popular participation sport in key-stage 2 with a 7% participation rate.[10] For key-stage 3 and key-stage 4, it is the most popular girls participation sport with rates of 20.2% and 14.0% respectively.[10] In the sixth form, netball is the fifth most popular girls' participation sport with a rate of 6.7%.[10] The total number of school participants is about 900.[11] In Northern Ireland, about 1,300 women play competitive netball in club based leagues.[11]


Relatively new to netball, a group of volunteers formed the Netball Switzerland governing body in 2008, they are highly passionate group and have had a formal under 17 team since 2010. With netball teams and matches held regularly in Geneva, Basel and Zurich.[11]