Netball for men at Action Netball
At Action Netball we offer mixed grades (as well as ladies only). The mixed grade includes both males and females (3 males & 4 females on court).
To spice things up and make the mixed grade more interesting we offer a version of FastNet.
How this varies from standard netball rules:
2 pointers can be scored from outside the circle.
The team that concedes the goal takes the centre pass.
Each team chooses a quarter to power play (double points).
Also note there can only be 3 males on the court at one time, one in each third (i.e. one shooter, one defender, one midcourter).
Some stories from the guys at Action Netball
Jeremy originally started playing mixed netball when, back in 2013, a work colleague asked him to help form a team to compete in a couple of local tournaments. They enjoyed it so much that they searched for a league to sign up to in West London, found Action Netball and Jeremy has been part of our community for the past 6 years.
“I was originally a basketball player, and for me netball was a good substitute, as I personally think it's pretty similar, just different rules, that's all. It has all the pace of a game of basketball, if anything netball is more fast pace, as the court is smaller and there is more ball movement between players (as you only have three seconds with the ball).
I really enjoy team sports, such as netball, it's much easier to motivate yourself to exercise when you're doing it with mates and much more fun! By filling in for other teams, when they're down a player down, you get to meet a ton of new people. As the player base is quite Aussie/Kiwi heavy, you basically get to know new people every couple of years, as they tend to be pretty transient, which is great as you get to meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life.
It's a great shame that, here in the UK, netball is stereotypically known as being a 'girl's sport'. Netball already suffers from a lack of exposure in the UK media and whenever it does receive attention it is the ladies teams that are profiled. Very few men know that they can also get on court and play alongside women in a mixed netball team.
Guys have mostly grown up playing football, rugby, or basketball where contact is just like breathing, maybe the non-contact aspect of netball could put some blokes off. But having played for a few years and watching the ladies world cup, I can say it is definitely not a non-contact sport! Just like football, rugby, and basketball; there is contact (or contest) occurring everywhere!
To anyone that would dismiss netball as being a 'girls sport' - don't knock it until you've tried it! And don't think that because you have a physical advantage, you can easily outplay the females! Unlike football, rugby, and basketball, in netball you can't go coast to coast by yourself, as you cannot dribble, you have to work as a team to get from one end to another and as easy as it might sound, it certainly isn't! You can't just rely on your physical prowess, as smart players know how to read the play and can position themselves nicely to intercept. I've seen a lot of guys struggle with this, as they have no patience and then easily turnover the ball or get called up for stepping or contact.
I do think netball is one of those sports where no matter what shape or size you are and how athletic or unfit you are, you can still be an effective player if you understand the basic concept of netball. Im 5'6, which is easily the shortest guy at Action Netball, also shorter than most of the girls playing mixed! Fitness wise, I would say I'm ok. But even with the height mismatch and average athleticism I have still won player of the season twice, once as a GD/GK and once as a GA.”
Jeremy, originally from Hong Kong, has been living in London since 2008. After completing his degree here, he now works as a finance clerk in the City.
Russell, a 28 year old Electrician living in Shepherds Bush, originally from Sydney, Australia. And also a netball player . . .
“Back in 2015, I moved to London on a bit of a whim, 4 years later I'm still here. . . funny how time flies. Playing mixed netball at Action has been the first team sport I've got involved in since arriving in the UK. Back home, netball wasn't really on my radar, it was more footy, rugby league and soccer. But since starting to play netball, it's fair to say that I've become hooked!
I have my housemate to thank for the introduction to Action Netball. I'd gotten to a point where Monday to Friday, I had nothing going on outside of work. Everyday I was at a bit of loose end. I needed something to occupy my time and she encouraged me to give netball a go. It was the perfect solution. It gets me out every Tuesday (and Thursday if I want to fill in for another team), I've met heaps of new people and I'm keeping fit. I've now been playing for two seasons and I LOVE IT.
I didn't realise how competitive the game was before I started playing. Guys tend to really committ to an interception on court, maybe more so than the girls do, so it can get quite intense. But it's great fun and even if it does get a bit heated during the game, it's all forgotten about when the final whistle goes.
If there was more awareness surrounding mixed netball, the fact that it's not just a ladies game and there was more information about where you can sign up to a mixed netball league, I'm sure more guys would give it a go. It's a great sport for those living in a flat share to participate in, as team sport is a great way of getting to know each other. I don't see netball as a girls sport – for me it's very much mixed.
Come down and check it out for yourself, it's great exercise and anyone can do it!”
Hey guys - ever thought of taking up netball? We spoke to one of our Action Men, Kishor, asking him why he enjoys playing mixed netball:
"I've been playing netball for a while now, having started some time ago playing indoor netball (Nets) with a work team. I really enjoyed it, so a couple of years ago I did some research and found out that Action Netball ran a mixed league in Acton on a Tuesday and Thursday evening and I haven't looked back.
I've never been much of a gym man, preferring to exercise in a team sport scenario. People often find excuses when it's cold or raining to miss out on a run. On the days that you're time poor, the gym is the first thing to be removed from your busy schedule. It's much harder to do this in a team sport like netball, if you don't show up you're not just letting yourself down, there are 6 other people counting on you to be on court, giving it your all.
Netball is a great way to exercise whilst also being great fun - helped by the social side of things. Our team can often be found in the Chatsworth on a Tuesday or Thursday evening, nursing a well earned pint after our game, be it in celebration or consolation!
Netball is often presented as being a predominantly female sport and can sometimes be seen as a sub-standard version of basketball. To those of you that believe either of these statements to be true; I invite you to try it out for yourself. It's a great game, can be a high intensity workout and is a definite test of skill. The speed and positioning that is required is challenging but something guys often excel at, especially those that have previously played football, as the anticipation of where the ball will be played (key for making interceptions)is a transferable skill across the two sports – you're just playing this one with your hands rather than your feet!"
Kishor, originally from NZ, moved over to the UK to travel and experience some new work challenges. He works as a Software Engineer, is 36 and based in Ealing Broadway.