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Jamaican Netball
It's History, Background & Current Ranking

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jamaican netball

Jamaican Netball by Shermaine Anderson-Gayle

Jamaica, no stranger in international sport circles, continues to reap great sporting success, perhaps making bigger and richer countries envious of our achievements.


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And this, our number one female sport, is a testament to that. Jamaica's netball team has consistently rank in the top 5 countries in the world!

The national team is known appropriately called the Sunshine Girls. We have 4 squads; the under 13, under 16, under 21 and the senior squad.

History Of Netball In Jamaica

Netball was introduced to Jamaica by English women who came to teach in our girls secondary schools. The game became apart of the physical education programme since 1909. 

Netball’s popularity among Jamaicans began to grow as it was introduced to various clubs, schools, churches and businesses island wide.

The Jamaica Netball Association became affiliated to the West Indies Netball Board in 1959.

The first Jamaican netball team was founded in 1959 and was invited to play in the West Indies Tournament in Montserrat in August 1959.

Jamaica's Current Netball Ranking

Based on matches up to June 30, 2019 2018, Jamaica's netball team is presently ranked 2nd 4th in the world and has held the 1st position 10 times since 1988 in the Caribbean!

The recent achievement of second place in the world, is testament to the hard work over the last two years, according to Sports Minister, Babsy Grange.

The top five (5) world ranking reads.

  1. Australia
  2. Jamaica
  3. England
  4. New Zealand
  5. South Africa

With that Jamaica has effectively, jumped two places from where it was a  year go (this time), and has taken over the second position from England, with our sights laser focused now on Australia in first place.

To learn more about the Jamaican Netball team, their latest achievements, statistics etc, visit their page on the Jamaica Olympic Association website.

But what is this NETBALL? Who invented it? What are the rules? And how is it played?  Here's a quick background to the sport.

Netball - A Background To The Sport

Netball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education teacher. Dr. Naismith main goal was to keep his students physically occupied indoors during the winter months. Netball is based on running, jumping, throwing and catching.

A team has 12 players but only 7 are played on court on each team in any game. It is played into four 15 minutes segments called quarters with teams changing shooting positions at the end of each quarter.

The game begins with a center pass, and center pass is changed after a goal is scored.

Netball is a non contact sports, which means no player should be in personal contact with an opponent. All attempts to score a goal must be taken inside of the semicircular area around the goal post. This area is called the goal area.

The sport is similar to basketball in many respects, but differs in a few key ways.

For example:

  • The hoop is smaller and there is no backboard.
  • Players must not run or dribble with the ball.
  • Ball is smaller.
  • The possession time for the ball is 3 seconds and this applies to all players.
  • Playing areas are restricted to players and each has their own positions.
  • Only two players are allowed to shoot goals.

Read more about Jamaican sports here.

Pages Related To Jamaican Netball

Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Jamaican netball

First Posted 12/13/2009
Updated July 3 19

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.

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