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HISTORY

International Competition

 

In 1949, the first Welsh team, selected from players in the two territorial teams,  played England and Scotland in Wembley, losing to both countries in matches that were then only 30 minutes long.

 

The first home international match in Wales was played outdoors at Cathays High School in Cardiff, in 1951, as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Wales, wearing green shorts borrowed from Wales Ladies Lacrosse, lost again to England. Dark green shorts (now provided by the WNA), white Aertex polo shirts, white socks and tennis shoes remained the Welsh team kit until 1954 when skirts replaced shorts and it was not until 1970 that the colour of the skirts was changed to scarlet.

 

Regular international matches have been played since 1953, but it was not until 1957 that the first indoor match was played at the Sophia Gardens Pavilion in Cardiff, when Wales lost to both England and Scotland, and not until 1959 that the first Honorary Open Coach, Edith Parry, was appointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1957, Elsie Kettley represented the Association at a meeting in London with England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S.A with a view to agreeing a common set of  playing Rules as the U.K, Australia and New Zealand all had their own variations. The immediate outcome of this was that the length of the game was  extended to two halves of twenty minutes each and that other rules were to be trialled for a three year period. Then, in 1960, the IFWBNA was formed and an international set of playing rules agreed with, amongst other things, a playing format of four quarters of fifteen minutes each.

 

The First World Netball Tournament was held outdoors at Chelsea College of P.E. in Eastbourne in 1963, with Wales sending a team of 10 (the maximum then allowed), but with no team Coach or Team Manager and without having had any formal training sessions. The two Delegates and Umpire were responsible for all the teams needs. Players paid all their own accommodation costs (£20) and made their own way to the venue. Unsurprisingly, Wales came 10th out of the 11 teams.

 

 

During this period, in the 1960's, national trials took place over one week end in January and were held at The National Recreation Centre in Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire. Coaches were brought in from England to help and advise, with further training sessions few and far between. It was not until 1973, with the opening of The National Sports Centre, in Cardiff, that trials were held in Wales. The opening of the NSC also provided the Association with a suitable indoor venue for future international matches and domestic competition.

 

In 1971, Wales competed abroad for the first time, travelling to Kingston, Jamaica, (via Newfoundland) for the 3rd World Netball Tournament and this time they were accompanied by both a Coach and a Team Manager as well as two Delegates and an Umpire.

 

This decade also proved a good one for Welsh teams with the U21 team beating the English U21 in 1972, the Open team first drawing twice with and then beating the full England Open team and the Open team achieving its best ever placing at the 5th World Netball Tournament.

 

To date, and with the exception of the 1967 event, when the WNA were unable to afford the costs of travel to Australia, the Welsh Open team has competed in all  World Championships, with a best  result in 1979 of equal 6th out of the 19 competing countries. Since 1991 all World Championships have been played indoors and from 2007 entries have been restricted to 16 with prior qualification rounds. The Association has also sent an U21 team to compete in all World Youth Cup competitions since the first was held in Canberra, Australia in 1988.

 

As well as INF competition, Wales also played in the now defunct World Games in 1993 and with the exception of 2010, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games since the inclusion of Netball in 1998.

 

also provided the Association with a suitable indoor venue for future international matches and domestic competition.

 

In 1971, Wales competed abroad for the first time, travelling to Kingston, Jamaica, (via Newfoundland) for the 3rd World Netball Tournament and this time they were accompanied by both a Coach and a Team Manager as well as two Delegates and an Umpire. This decade also proved a good one for Welsh teams with the U21 team beating the English U21 in 1972, the Open team first drawing twice with and then beating the full England Open team and the Open team achieving its best ever placing at the 5th World Netball Tournament.

 

To date, and with the exception of the 1967 event, when the WNA were unable to afford the costs of travel to Australia, the Welsh Open team has competed in all  World Championships, with a best  result in 1979 of equal 6th out of the 19 competing countries. Since 1991 all World Championships have been played indoors and from 2007 entries have been restricted to 16 with prior qualification rounds. The Association has also sent an U21 team to compete in all World Youth Cup competitions since the first was held in Canberra, Australia in 1988.

 

As well as INF competition, Wales also played in the now defunct World Games in 1993 and with the exception of 2010, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games since the inclusion of Netball in 1998.

 

The Association currently supports teams at Open, U21 and U17 levels along with the Celtic Dragons team which has competed in the National Super League since its formation in 2005.

Domestic Competition

 

From the earliest days, the Association has been responsible for organising competition at National level for various age groups, initially between the Territories and then, as Counties became more organised, between them. Today the Association offers national competition for Area, club and school teams, provides training opportunities for Umpires, Coaches and Bench Officials and disseminates information.

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