Safety Tips For Netball Players –
With the netball season underway thousands of netballers are stepping onto the court for the first time in many months.
Netball is a fabulous sport to both play and watch but for who participate will know that it places many demands on one’s technical and physical skills. As a result netball injuries are relatively common, predominantly to the lower leg, wrist, hand and fingers.
The major causes of these injuries can be awkward landings, slips/falls, player contact/collision, over-exertion, overuse and being hit directly by the ball.
For information injuries for basketball players, please see here.
To help prevent these injuries, Smartplay, Sports Medicine Australia’s sports injury prevention program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, offers the following advice:
Safety Tips For Netballers
- Undertake good preparation
- Undertake training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play
- Always warm up, stretch and cool down. (A recent netball study found that not warming up before a game increases the risk of injury by 48%)
- Undergo fitness programs to develop aerobic fitness, strength, balance, coordination and flexibility
- Learn good technique and practices
- Participate in training programs to improve body balance (using wobble boards or balance mats).
- Learn correct passing, catching and landing techniques
- Wear the right protective equipment
- Seek professional advice on footwear
- Consider preventive ankle taping or bracing to reduce injury risks
- Other Safety Tips
- Drink water before, during and after play
- Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and a hat when playing outdoors
Safety tips for netball clubs
- Check the netball enviroment for hazards
- Check the netball environment for hazards
- Use Netball Australia’s Game Day Checklist (available at www.netball.asn.au) to ensure a safe playing environment
- Check and maintain the playing surface to remove hazards eg. loose gravel
- Provide adequate run-off area around the court
- Goal posts should be padded and secured firmly to the ground with no part posing a tripping risk
- Remove courtside hazards.
- Modify rules and equipment for children
- Encourage children to participate in a Net Set GO! Program to develop good skills and techniques
- Use lower goal rings for relevant age groups
- Discourage play in extreme hot, wet or slippery conditions
- Qualified first aid personnel, first aid kits, ice packs and a stretcher should be available at all times
- Enforce and adhere to a strict blood rule.
These safety tips will not only decrease your chances of being sidelined with an injury but will increase your chances of playing a better game.
For further advice on how to prevent netball injuries, download a copy of the Smartplay Netball Injuries Fact Sheet.
For advice on exercises to help you get fit for netball read our article here.