History of Netball


In 1891, a 30-year-old Canadian, James Naismith, immigrated to Springfield, Massachusetts in the USA. He had invented men’s basketball game in the 1890 and was asked to develop a women's version of basketball game by the Boston YMCA. Then the miniature form of Netball game was formed.

The game was then brought to Australia as to many other countries, by English school teachers in the early 1900's.

Women liked the game but they found that the long passes were difficult to execute in the game due to their limited strength. So, the ladies decided to adapt the game to suit their circumstances. They divided the court into thirds and introduced a rule that the ball must be caught or touched at least once in each third. No one was allowed to run with the ball and they established restricted playing areas for each position. They got rid of the backboard and modified the goal ring to suit the smaller sized soccer ball and created "NETBALL".

After then, the game of netball was also known as Woman's Basketball. Until 1970, the name of the game was changed to “Netball” by the All Australia Women’s Basketball Association. At the same time, the Association became known as the All Australia Netball Association.

In 1979, the Hong Kong Netball Association was founded to promote and organize the Netball game in Hong Kong.

In 1995, netball became recognized as an Olympic sport but as yet has not appeared at an Olympic Games.

In 1999, a non-profit making sports organization ----- Netball Club, HKUSTSU was established to promote the Netball game in HKUST. In 2001, the 1st Inter-Varsity Netball Invitation Tournament was held. It aimed to promote Netball in all university and tertiary institutions and strengthen the linkage among tertiary institutions. And HKUST Netball team won the Overall Champion at last. After this year’s success, the 2nd Inter-Varsity Netball Invitation Tournament was held in the following year. In this year, HKUST Netball team kept on the Overall Champion after competing HKIED, HKU and CUHK Netball team.