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Isle of Man Netball: One of the Island's Most Loved Sports

Wednesday 5 May in Sport

Netball – the biggest sport for women in the UK

Netball was first played in England in 1895; the history of the sport can be found here. It’s fair to say the sport has come a long way and now is deemed the most popular women’s team sport in the UK.

From 2010 to 2019, the number of girls and women playing the game at grassroots level doubled to 1.6million in the UK! England’s glorious win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games defeating Australia on their home soil in the very last second certainly put netball in the spotlight. Liverpool then hosted the Netball World Cup a year later, with the England Roses taking bronze. Both events had a seismic impact on the sport. According to England Netball’s research, almost 300,000 women played the game more often.

Background on Isle of Man Netball

Isle of Man Netball is the promotional name of the Manx Netball Association, which was founded in September 1984. Since, it has grown to be a hugely successful association, developing at pace on the Island.

Today, there are over 1,000 Manx Netball Association members, there is a popular Senior and Junior league, an increasing number of qualified umpires and coaches, as well as a committed volunteer group.

Isle of Man Netball has developed a Board to drive the sport forward locally; a dedicated team working to a 3-year strategy: To encourage Netball and its values to flourish in the Isle of Man at all levels.

Manx Rams success

Both the Senior and Junior Isle of Man teams have had huge success in recent years, with the implementation of a fantastic performance programme.

In 2019, the Isle of Man team were crowned winners of the Netball Europe Open Challenge, held at the NSC.

Currently, the Isle of Man (senior squad) is ranked 23rd on the International Netball Federation World Rankings. In the medium term, Isle of Man Netball is aiming to earn a top 20 world ranking.

In 2020 The Netball Europe Under-17 Challenge was held on the Isle of Man. Not only was it a hugely successful event that Isle of Man Netball hosted, but the U17 Isle of Man team took home the silver medal.

Netball – a game for all

Netball is growing on the Isle of Man, and 2020 saw the development of a men’s netball squad, which now comprises nearly 40 members and is building momentum.

The Mixed Business League, which has been running for a number of years now, played a big role in growing men’s netball – a fun (yet competitive!) tournament in spring which encourages mixed corporate entries.

In the summer, Suntera Ballasalla Netball Club organise a Summer League tournament, held outdoors at Bemahague School. It’s a fun tournament that allows players to pick a position at rando

For those new to the sport, back to netball sessions encourage individuals to get involved, and walking netball is aimed at those looking for a less impact sport. It is hoped that wheelchair netball will be launched in 2021 ensuring the sport is an inclusive as possible.

With plenty of opportunities, if you’re interested in playing netball, contact Claire Battye, Netball Development Officer via [email protected] or through social media @netballiom Facebook and Instagram and @iomnetball Twitter.


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