Nine things only girls who played netball know

‘Here if you need’ is only the beginning

Nine things only girls who played netball know

 

From the boredom of wing defence to the perils of skirt sizing, Kimberley Gillan shares the insider secrets that only real netty players will get.

You’ll fight for the goal attack or centre bib

If it’s netball glory you’re after, then you’re going to want to nab a C or GA bib when they’re being divvied up at the start of the match. Centre is in on most of the action and is basically your Sporty Spice member of the team. GA moves quick but has the added eye for detail and not only gets to participate in most aspects of the game, but gets the high fives and kudos reserved only for the two players allowed to shoot goals. 

You must shout ‘Here if you need’

There’s no more common netball lingo than the old “Here if you need” shouted to anyone who has the ball. If you’re a good player, the ball will likely come flying in your direction but if you’re on the unco side of things, then there’s a good chance your shouting will fall on deaf ears. 

Wing defence sucks

While WD can have occasional moments of glory, it tends to see less of the action – particularly if your team is winning. If you’re losing, the ball will be down your end a lot, but if your GD and GK aren’t pulling their weight then your opponents will keep getting goals while sideline parents scream “watch your de-fence”. 

Umpires always frown

Good luck getting a gig as a netball ump if you’re not capable of a brutal scowl whenever anyone dare attempt an obstruction or stepping.

You must become a stealth nail taper

The minutes leading up to a game are a hive of nail-covering activity as those not willing to cut their nails to the quick plaster their fingertips in tape. Fail to completely cover the end of the nail and the grumpy ump will have you sitting sub.

You must become a stealth nail taper

You’ll snack on oranges at half-time

You don’t want to lose energy after a gruelling first half, so you’ll munch on a slice of orange to keep your carbs up. Although more recent players won’t be clued up in the wonders of the half-time orange as some states have banned it due to concerns about acid wear to teeth.

Skirt sizing is strange

You’ll have to shop around for the ideal skirt, as the sizing is often whack, giving you a choice between a normal length but painfully tight waist or a plus size that sits comfortably around the hips but drags to your knees. 

You wear bloomers over your undies

Rather than risk spectators seeing your undies, netballers know to pull on a pair of thick nylon bloomers over the top. They really look no different to ordinary underwear but somehow seem to provide extra piece of mind if you slip and flash your butt.

You know you’ve made it if you wear lycra

There’s no quicker way to intimidate an opposition in baggy polos and maroon pleated skirts than with matching lycra outfits. You’ll mostly see this pro get-up in the squad games but every now and then a team will pull them out in a casual comp, much to the intimidation of their opponents. 

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