In my search for joining a team sport in Sri Lanka, I’ve finally landed on netball. Forget that it’s traditionally a women’s game and I’m playing on a team at the psychiatric women’s hospital – I am a ringer and a ‘funny’ player (as told to me by various spectators).
I’ve played in two games now and still really don’t know the rules. All I know is that you can’t run with the ball, only certain players can go certain places and you have to stay three feet away from anyone on the other team. The net seems smaller and higher than a basketball hoop and there’s no backboard.
Sounds like a boring game you say? Well, you could be right. But one thing I must say – playing a netball match at Halfway Home Mulleriyawa is the furthest thing from boring that you’ll ever experience. And the same goes for just about anything you do in Sri Lanka.
Here’s a good look at the netball net. Not a net to be found.
As you can see, jeans are acceptable to be worn in netball. You have to look good at all times.
Here’s me fastbreaking up the field. Apparently I was the first ever player to introduce this tactic in the game. I’m a bit of a pioneer, I guess.
The action never stops
The Matron for the hospital is a big netballer from way back. Rumour has it she captained the first professional woman’s netball team – the Sri Lankan Curry Balls.
Here’s a look at the game in progress.
A lot of a netball match is spent in this position. The hands on hips stance is strategic as it helps wick the sweat away from your core, which keeps you cool and ready to spring into action.
In the absence of ice rinks, and ice itself in Sri Lanka, I’ve taken up netball and I’m a natural…
Here’s a group shot at the end of the match, which ended up in a big W for the ladies of Mulleriyawa.