Sports bring out an animal instinct in many. When people are involved in physical competition, encounters may end up inflicting pain, albeit unintentionally. The knee-jerk reaction is anger, of course. At the same time, there is the matter of pride in one’s skills. A strike against one’s ego may very well cause a more intense fury than a physical one might, and before anybody can say “sportsmanship,” the game officials already have a full-blown, low down fight on their hands.
Netball is certainly no roller derby. It is even tame compared to sports like hockey or football, but the competitive spirit is still there and rage will rear its ugly head when something untoward happens. Thankfully, there are codes of conduct that everybody involved has to abide by, and hotheads are not allowed to prevail.
The Aberfeldie Netball Club, for one, is very clear on the behaviour with which it expects its members to comport themselves during games, whether they serve as actual players or mere spectators. Such exemplary conduct is especially underlined for games run by Melbourne Social Netball, which prioritises the building of a strong community of netball lovers along with promoting enthusiasm for the sport.
Based in the City of Moonee Valley, the club often participates in games held at the Ascot Vale Melbourne Social Netball venue. The new netball courts at the Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre are certainly getting a lot of use as Melbourne Social Netball regularly schedules multiple weekly games there. During competition, the Aberfeldie Netball Club
is able to foster camaraderie within the team and with other teams by translating its ideals into on-court behaviour.
Teams, individual players, coaches, as well as parents and other supporters are reminded to observe the club’s own code of conduct, which largely echoes those of Netball Australia and Netball Victoria. First and foremost, mastery of game rules is important in order for players to follow them and to keep the game not only fair but safe as well. Respect is emphasised, and when truly upheld will reflect in everything from the acceptance of decisions from game officials to the manner of addressing umpires, to the treatment of opposing players, etc. There will be no trash talk, and dirty game play is not to be tolerated. Members are also encouraged to appreciate and applaud all good play by their own team and their opponents alike.
It is important for netball clubs and teams to have very clear expectations regarding member behaviour. This way, they can ensure that games remain friendly and that everybody ends up having a great time.