Netball on the rise across the UK: But what about the rest of the world?

England Netball team is on the rise, with big thanks to their run to the World final. Are the rest of the world helping the momentum of the sport, though?

Kiara Wilson
25th October 2023
Image: Twitter @SkyNetball
Netball has always been a sport that is loved across the UK. From dodging and shooting as a goal attack, to marking and intercepting as a goal defence, most ladies will remember playing it during their school years. Though many of us stop playing after school, we don’t stop enjoying the sport. Professional netball is increasingly popular and watched across the UK. But is it receiving this respect in all global competitions? 

The England Netball team made history this summer, securing a spot in the World Cup Final for the first time ever. The Vitality Roses defeated defending champions New Zealand in a close 46-40 win, beaming their way into the final against the Australian Diamonds. Although unable to beat the Australian national team, the squad’s historic victory throughout the tournament generated excitement and inspiration across the UK. Currently third in the World Netball Rankings, the rising success of England Netball is encouraging interest and passion across the nation. With this year's tournament having the largest broadcast reach than any Netball World Cup before, it seems like netball is beginning to receive the global visibility it deserves! 

The Netball Super League, an elite level netball competition featuring ten teams from the United Kingdom, has also confirmed relaunch in 2025. This is a new step in England Netball’s plan to make the domestic game in the UK a more globally competitive, exhilarating and acknowledged sport within the professional netball league. 

However, despite the beginnings of increased global popularity, many netball fans are wondering why the Olympic Games are still to include netball as a competitive event. Netball is the most popular women’s sport in New Zealand and the second largest female team sport in both England and Australia. So why is it not being considered an Olympic sport? Hockey, football, beach volleyball and badminton are all female team events at the games, yet netball is not. Considering its popularity and high participation, surely this is restricting netball’s global potential? 

The 2032 Olympic Games are set to take place in Brisbane, Australia. World Netball is working alongside Netball Australia to fight for Netball’s inclusion in these Olympic Games. But why do we have to wait almost a decade for this inclusion to happen? 

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