What do Ross Geller and Netball have in common?
Pivot, pivot, PIVOT a phrase not only heard on the hit TV show Friends but also on Netball courts up and down the country!
For those of you out there who aren’t familiar with the game, we thought we would give you a quick summary of the game before the Netball Vitality League starts this weekend.
You’ve been warned, netball is a fast and skillful game where two teams, each consisting of seven players, aim to get possession of the ball and move it into the goal circle.
All about that GOAL
Only when the ball is in the goal circle that players can attempt to score a goal by shooting the ball into the opponent’s goal ring. Ultimately, the team with the most goals is the winner.
A netball match is split into four quarters of 15 minutes, with the full game lasting 60 minutes.
The netball court is slightly bigger than a basketball court and split into three sections. Player positions limit which sections the player can be on the court.
It’s the fastest growing female participation sport in the UK.
Now that you know the basics, read our preview below on the O’Neills teams playing this weekend!
O’Neills Teams Hit the Court
We’ve got two O’Neills teams taking part, Team Bath and Celtic Dragons. Both teams kick off their Superleague campaign on Saturday and begin their quest to glory in the UK’s top female participation sport. Team Bath and Celtic Dragons will begin their quest for Superleague supremacy in the Arena Birmingham.
Team Bath pivoting into the 2020 season
Team Bath, the most successful VNSL franchise, begin their season with a game against Loughborough Lightning. They look to build upon their 2019 performance when they finished third. After retaining a large proportion of her players for the 2020 season, head coach Anna Stembridge is determined to build on their collective experiences from last season:
“I am really excited about the squad, I think there is a really nice blend of experience and youth. There is a lot of competition for places but the girls are also extremely supportive of one another and they know how to get the best out of each other. We can’t wait to get going.”
After a strong pre-season led by England Roses’ Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Summer Artman, Team Bath have their sights firmly set on the Grand Final on July 4th. The blue and golds are on the hunt for gold (silverware technically)!
Celtic Dragons ready for some fire-breathing action
The Celtic Dragons go into the new season after a very productive 2019 when they secured a spot at the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship for the first time in franchise history. The Dragons hope new signings, including Sunshine Girls Latanya Wilson and Rebekah Robinson from Jamaica, will make for a great 2020 season. If they can continue their performances from the Fast5 All-Stars Championship a big season is on the cards, which is echoed by Head coach Tania Hoffman:
“We’re starting 2020 with a bang. It is wonderful to have Rebekah and Latanya with us and the squad has given them a great ‘croeso’ back to Wales. Things are really starting to take shape now and we are focusing on starting strongly at Arena Birmingham against Storm on 22 February against Surrey Storm.”
We look forward to an action-packed weekend on netball and hope for some brilliant results for Team Bath and Celtic Dragons. Although we cannot be certain of Saturday’s outcome, there are two things that we are certain about this weekend:
- Saturday will be an electrifying day of Netball.
- Team Bath and Celtic Dragons will be the best-dressed teams in the arena.