Ever since James Naismith’s rules were adapted and formed the astonishingly unique game in 1892, netball events have been filled with dramatic moments, heartbreak, triumph and controversy that weave the rich tapestry that is netball.
With the combination of centuries of tradition combined with a brand new spotlight and awareness on the game since 2020, Netball is filled with some truly unique stores that highlight from the grassroots to the top of the tree what an amazing sport it is.
Here are some of the most memorable moments in netball history.
England Make History At The Last Second
There are two major international events on the Netball calendar, with the Netball World Cup and the Commonwealth Games determining the best teams in the world.
In all but one of those cases, that team has been either the Silver Ferns of New Zealand or the Diamonds of Australia (the odd three-way tie between them and Trinidad and Tobago notwithstanding), highlighting their utter dominance of the game.
That was, at least, until the very last second of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, when England, the very first team to even make the Gold Medal game that was not either New Zealand or Australia, beat Australia on their home court thanks to Helen Housby’s iconic final shot.
The Harrison Hoist
The ANZ Championship was a fiercely competitive and very popular Netball league featuring the best of the New Zealand and Australia domestic game, and in 2012 featured one of the most incredible and controversial defensive moves ever seen in the game.
Karyn Howarth, GS for the Melbourne Vixens was in a prime position to take what seemed to be an easy shot, only for it to be deflected by Northern Mystics GD Anna Harrison, with a bit of a lift from Jessica Moulds.
Whilst the fans booed the move loudly, it turned out that there wasn’t a rule against it, and the ‘Harrison Hoist’ became legendary.
Malawi Shock The World
The 2018 Commonwealth Games was a huge event for World Netball, with shocks, controversies and incredible play from the first shot to Helen Housby’s final championship sealing shot.
However, New Zealand was part of two stunning upsets in the tournament, the first and by far the biggest being at the hands of Malawi, a country that has never placed higher than fifth in World Netball competition.
Led by Mwai Kumwenda, they would not be denied this time, maintaining a four-goal lead and stunning the Silver Ferns, celebrating like it was the gold medal match.
New Zealand did reach the Bronze Medal match but were shocked once again by Jamaica, who bounced quickly back from a close defeat at the hands of Gold Medallists England to win 60-55.