Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life Lessons from Netty

Be surprised! This is actually going to be a normal length, if not fairly short post. Well, anything in comparison to my last post short of a novel would be considered short…unless I wrote a 5 or 6 page post I guess. But anyhow, let me stop rambling and get on with the story.

I know some of you are wondering who Netty is, and what kind of name that is. Well, it’s not a name or a person, so now you are probably wondering why I capitalized it, as it’s not even a proper noun. I am actually wondering that as well, but it’s been done now, so I guess we’ll just deal with it. Anyhow, I had my first netball game on yesterday. Like many things in Australia, people shorten words, and netball proves to be no different. Football=footy, netball=netty, sunglasses=sunnies, and Waldo (the guy in the red and white striped shirt that no one can ever find)=Wally. Anyhow, this blog is about my first netball game.

First, I realize that people from America generally don’t know what netball is because we don’t play it in our country. I’d never heard of it, but with the shrink in campus size, I can’t use my walk to class as sufficient exercise, so I thought I’d join a sport, and this one sounded fun. Basically, it’s kind of like basketball minus the dribbling and backboard. Once you have the ball, you have to pass it before you can run again, and there’s less contact than basketball. Now, for you basketball lovers, you’re probably like, that doesn’t sound like much fun, but really it’s a lot of fun…and it’s quite a different game from basketball, that was just the easiest familiar sport to liken it to. It’d be like trying to describe volleyball to someone who only knows how to play badminton. “It’s like badminton, without the racket and you replace the racket with a ball.” That doesn’t do much justice to either game. So, watch this link, and see what netball is. (rules) (part of a game)

As you may or may not be able to tell, it requires a completely different skill set than basketball. It takes a lot of self-control to not contact someone. That was the first of the two lessons that playing my first game taught me. Going from someone who frequently filed other players in basketball where contact is allowed to an extent, not throwing my hands up to block a pass (which was very instinctive) is a hard thing not to do, as you must be 3 feet away from the person that you’re defending before putting your hands up. The other thing that’s quite difficult is catching the ball while running or jumping through the air, and then stopping…? I got called for stepping so many times. Along with some other broken rules, and that brings me to my other life lesson.

It’s quite humbling to play a game where you don’t know all the rules. Half the time the whistle was blown, I had no clue why, what was happening, who was supposed to have the ball, and where I was supposed to be. I was even getting called on stuff I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do. They coach you to hold your opposing player away from where you don’t want them…but apparently, you’re not allowed to physically touch them, even if they don’t have the ball. I found that out when I got called for contact for holding my opponent off with my forearm, as you’d do in basketball when someone’s all up in your space. Old habits die hard, I suppose. It also didn’t help that one of our umpires (same as a referee) was hoarse, the courts were outside next to the train tracks so trains were occasionally passing, there were like 10 other games happening simultaneously, and there were a crap load of corellas (cockatoo-like birds) chirping over head that made it impossible for me to hear a good number of the calls. But it was all good. Although we got slaughtered (56-21 I think?) it was heaps fun, and I’m just thankful that by the time the game started it had stopped raining, cause the courts are outside, and if you know me well enough, you’ll know that I don’t like getting wet in most circumstances.

Well, that’s all for this one. Not short, but reasonable.

May you find ways to grow from life’s random lessons.



  1. Thought I will just leave a note to say that I read your blog ;)
    I used to play netball in high school but never good at it. I think I just never good in any sports. Haha
    Look like you are having a lot of fun though! =D

  2. Haha, yeah. I'm not very good either, but I do wish that we had it in the states. It's quite fun :)