The Netballuxion 2013, an annual public netball tournament organised by the NUS Netball Club, successfully completed its twelfth year on 7 July.
Held at Novena Velocity, this year’s event had three categories: Under 19, Ladies Open and Mixed Open with a maximum number of four players on the court from each team at the given time of seven minutes, unlike the traditional sport which holds seven players on each side.
Netballuxion was a good example of how street netball can be flexible, depending on how the game is conducted. Similar to street soccer and basketball, street netball is a scaled down version of the original game, with its full stretch of the court being reduced to half a court.
While the beauty of a traditional netball game lies in its many rules which requires the players to have a lot of skill sets and strategic moves, street netball is more relaxed in the area. The latter has a more casual way of introducing the sport to the public, and is a platform for newcomers to play the game. No whistle was blown when any player stepped into the semi-circular “shooting circle” at the tournament.
Netballuxion also brought another dimension to street netball that differs distinctively from the actual game: the gender factor.
“For the traditional netball, there will be more ladies playing, but you realise that there are more guys taking part for street netball,” claimed Tay Shu Huan, one of the organisers for Netballuxion.
Exploring the sport
It is not surprising. Like street basketball, which goes against the formal structure of the actual game itself, street netball welcomes the newcomers into a very relaxed and comfortable environment. As traditional netball has often been dubbed a female sport, the stringency of it may further turn away the interested males. Therefore, street netball allows them to take the first step and explore the sport.
While street netball may not be considered as an actual sport to some, others beg to differ.
“I think it can qualify as a proper sport because the Youth Olympics had the 3-on-3 basketball (a type of street game), so I feel that street netball can also be considered as an actual sport,” Clarice Choo Yu Ling, a netball player for many years, insisted.
As netball continues to gain popularity among more Singaporeans, one cannot exclude the assistance that street netball has given to the sport. With its flexibility, it has introduced the sport to many people and sparked their interest, solidifying its foothold in the local netball scene for a long time to come.