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Netball World Cup 2019: Here come the girls!

ON THE BALL: Teams from around the world will compete in Liverpool at the Netball World Cup

NETBALL WAS first played in England in 1895 at Madame Osterburg’s College.

In the first half of the 20th century, netball’s popularity continued to grow, with the game being played in many British Commonwealth countries. There were no standard rules at that time, with both nine-a-side and five-a-side versions of the game.

RULES

During an Australian tour of England in 1957, discussions took place concerning standardising the rules of the sport, and this led to representatives from England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies meeting in Sri Lanka in 1960 to establish the International Federation of Women’s Basketball and Netball.

Formal rules were established at the inaugural meeting and it was decided to hold World Championship tournaments every four years, beginning in Eastbourne, East Sussex in 1963.

Liverpool will complete the hat-trick for England in terms of Netball World Cups, following the tournaments hosted in Eastbourne in 1963 and Birmingham in 1995. On both previous occasions in which the competition was hosted by England, it was the Australian Diamonds who came out on top and the reigning world champions will be hoping to complete a hat trick of their own in 2019.

Netball history was made in 1963 as the seaside town of Eastbourne welcomed the world for the first ever World Netball Championships, as it was then known. Eleven teams took to the court for the tournament, compared with the 16 who will arrive in the north west for the 2019 edition.

From then on, the championships were held every four years and travelled around the globe, taking in the Caribbean, Oceania, Singapore and Scotland, before returning to England 32 years later.

On this occasion, an incredible 27 teams were pitted against each other at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, as the Australian Diamonds secured a seventh triumph, defeating a South African side who had only recently returned to international action following the abolition of apartheid.

With a history of notable shocks and incredible performances, it would come as no surprise if the Liverpool 2019 competition has plenty of the same to offer.

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