Cricket, Rugby, and Netball are popular ball sports
Rugby, cricket, and Netball are three popular ball sports in some countries, but they are not well-known in European countries. We want to give you a rough explanation of the rules so that you can form your own opinion.
We won't surprise cricket bettors or rugby fans today, but you'll be interested in learning about Netball and other facts.
Rugby has about the same status as soccer in Europe. Two teams play against each other on a field of 100 m long and 70 m wide, with a scoring area at each end. A goal consists of three poles. Two are stuck vertically into the ground, and one is crossed, giving the goal an "H" shape.
How are the points scored?
The game aims to carry or kick an oblong rugby ball past the opposing team to score points. First, each team tries to place the ball behind the opposing team's goal line in the "in-goal area. If this succeeds, it is called a "try," and five points are awarded to the team. After a successful "try," the attacking team is allowed to try to kick the ball through the opponent's posts and win two bonus points.
It is also allowed to kick the ball, which must first touch the ground, between opposite posts from a jump kick ("jump kick" = "dropkick"). After a severe infringement of the rules, a free kick may be awarded over the crossbar.
Pass and tackle
In general, the ball can only be passed backward, so players always move around the pitch behind each other. Kicks to the ball are allowed in all directions. Only the player carrying the ball may be tackled by the opposing team and knocked down by a tackle. Once a player goes down, he must let go of the ball and is not allowed to grab it again. Other players on both teams then try to win the ball.
As in soccer, players' clothing consists of a jersey, shorts, knee-length socks, and cleat shoes. Wearing a mouth guard is mandatory, but intricate protective clothing, as in American soccer, is prohibited.
Union rugby, also known as fifteen-sided rugby, is the world's most common form. It involves two teams of 15 players playing against each other for 80 minutes. The game of rugby union is more fluid than rugby league because the game continues without stopping if the player carrying the ball goes down.
In the Rugby League version, two teams of 13 players play against each other for 80 minutes. In Rugby League, play stops when the player carrying the ball goes down. Play begins again when the player being tackled passes the ball with his foot to a teammate behind him.
If the ball goes out of bounds, play is restarted by a scrum. In a scrum, players three rows behind each other try to push each other aside to win possession of the ball.
Cricket is very popular in the world, especially during the summer. However, Central Europeans usually need to understand the rules of the game of cricket. It is mainly because cricket differs from team sports such as soccer or handball.
A game divided into phases
Whereas in other team sports, attack and defense alternate during the same turn, in cricket, these phases are separated: each team consists of eleven players.
Two batsmen from the attacking team face each other on the pitch. Behind each is a so-called "wicket": three wooden sticks on which two small posts are placed crosswise. The ten players on the defending team stand on the oval-shaped pitch around the wicket. The eleventh player in the defending team is the thrower (called the 'bowler').
The bowler tries to hit the wicket with the ball and a unique throwing technique or provoke a technical fault by the batsman in front of him. If this happens, the batsman is dismissed from the game, and his team must replace him with a new player. The batsman, in turn, tries to deflect or bat the ball away. If this succeeds, the batsman attempts to switch positions with his teammate on the opposite wicket (who then becomes the "runner") as many times as necessary until the defending team players can get the ball back (a similar principle to baseball). The batsmen's "runs" between the two wickets score points for the attacking team.
If all members of the attacking team were batsmen and they are out again, leaving only one batsman without a partner, the play phase ends. The two teams change roles. The team with the most runs scored during the attack phase wins the game.
Netball was developed in the 1890s and is based on early forms of basketball. Netball is also played with two baskets; points are scored by throwing the ball into the opposing team's basket. The basket does not have a rim but is loosely suspended 3.05 meters high at both ends of the court. The game is played seven vs. seven on a court 30 meters long and 15 meters wide.
To score points on offense, the attacking team tries to get as close to the opponent's basket as possible. Unlike basketball, they always try to get right under the basket and rarely take long shots. The ball is only passed to reach space since dribbling is forbidden. However, each contact with the ball can only last for 3 seconds. If no pass or throw is attempted within those 3 seconds, possession goes to the other player.
The defending team may only approach the opposing player in possession of the ball within 90 centimeters. Once the ball is under the basket, there is no block, and the offensive player can put the ball in the basket. It often makes the game seem less than athletic. However, this impression is deceptive. Netball is an incredibly intense sport because you are constantly on the move, and the game as a whole is high-speed.