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    Local, national and global histories of netball: an overview

    MacLean, Malcolm, Oldfield, Samantha-Jayne and Hess, Rob (2023) Local, national and global histories of netball: an overview. The International Journal of the History of Sport. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0952-3367

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    Despite its notable global presence as one of the most popular sports for women, netball has almost no profile within sports history and only a very limited body of scholarly work exploring its historical and socio-cultural presence. The game, developed in the 1890s as an off-shoot of basketball consistent with prevailing gender ideologies of the era, took hold in British Physical Training Colleges before being taken up as a team sport suitable for girls and women across much of the British world. Yet, as a sport coded suitable for women, developed, organized, led and institutionalized by women, it remains comparatively marginal in both the wider sports world and in sport-related scholarship. This introductory essay sketches the nature of that marginalization, considers the limited body of scholarly work exploring netball’s history, and provides a frame for understanding this first collection of scholarly analyses of netball history.

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