Are you looking to join a social netball league? What qualities should you look for to ensure that the social netball competitions you play in give you all the benefits you’re after and none of the headaches that organised sports sometimes bring?

Social netball competitions may be casual and primarily for fun, but they should boast as much sportsmanship as official netball leagues do. If you want a truly enjoyable game experience, you have to look at the culture that the organisers of the competition promote.

Basically, it all boils down to organisers and participants championing sportsmanship over gamesmanship. How are these two different from each other? To begin with, gamesmanship is all about winning, no matter how Machiavellian the manner in which this goal is achieved. You can cheat as long as you don’t get caught. It’s the umpire’s job to implement the rules so players and their coaches have no real responsibility to follow them. They don’t mind committing foul play and getting away with it, thanks to crooked, weak, or oblivious game officials.

You wouldn’t want to play in these conditions, right? If you want an organisation that upholds sportsmanship, Melbourne Social Netball is your best bet.

It’s all about ethics and, while social netball is supposed to be fun, the organisers and the officials they appoint for games should be serious about promoting ethics in the competition. This actually ensures that the games do remain fun.

Where gamesmen are bent on gaining victory at all costs, sportsmen pursue it with honour. If you want to see this in action, go to any of the games held by Melbourne Social Netball. The usual venues are the netball courts at Melbourne High School, Ryan’s Reserve, Richmond Recreation Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, and Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre.

Watch out for the following qualities:

  • Fairness – Does everybody adhere to the rules and guidelines of social netball? When somebody commits a violation, be it deliberate or unintentional, is the suitable penalty meted out? Do the calls made by the umpire demonstrate lack bias? Is everybody welcome? Are various races, genders, skill levels, ages, etc. represented in the games?
  • Integrity – Social netball would definitely be even more fun to play when players and coaches refuse to enjoy any unfair advantage, umpires don’t make bad calls, and nobody fakes anything – not injury or their strength, although it’s not likely that any social netball player would go to the extreme of getting pumped up with steroids.
  • Responsibility – Everybody should definitely be aware of the rules. Each is also responsible for their actions and reactions. Netball is a contact sport, so in case of painful contact, it’s good for those involved to exercise control over emotions and for the officials to be on top of things to stop an unpleasant situation from escalating.
  • Respect – There are those who believe that talking smack is all part of the game, but it shouldn’t be tolerated in healthy and friendly competition. Respect should be demonstrated by everyone, from the officials to the players, to the coaches, to the spectators.

All these qualities work together to make social netball games enjoyable, fair, and safe.

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