Netball is a ball-goal game, played by 2 teams of 7 players. It is played chiefly in English-speaking countries, traditionally by girls and women; however, in recent years, men and boys have begun playing netball, with Australia and New Zealand the leading countries. As in basketball, the aim is to score goals by throwing the ball into a ring attached to a 10-foot (3.05 m) pole. Players may not run with the ball, and are restricted to prescribed areas of the court. After the early form of basketball was introduced into England in 1895, it was modified as a sport for girls.
Netball spread throughout the Commonwealth and was introduced into Canada in the early 1960s, the first games being played in Montréal in 1962. Netball is played mainly in Québec, Ontario, Alberta and BC. Originally a Commonwealth immigrant sport, this sport has gradually been introduced in to school programs resulting in increased junior participation by both girls and boys. The Canadian Amateur Netball Association was formed in 1973 and the first national championship was held in 1975.
Women's World tournaments are held every 4 years; Canada placed 11th out of 22 countries in 1979, 12th in 1983 and 10th in 1987. Then, in 1991, the Canadian team placed 6th, thus qualifying for the World Games in 1993, and placing 5th. Netball became a Commonwealth Games sport in 1998, for which Canada qualified. Canada will field a team for the planned first men's World Championships.