Boys jump­ing into net­ball ac­tion

The Advertiser - - NEWS - ROX­ANNE WIL­SON LIFE­STYLE RE­PORTER

BOYS just wanna have fun … on the net­ball court.

And now they can, fol­low­ing the launch of a league for boys aged 12 to 16.

Net­ball SA CEO Ben Scales said the Ju­nior M League com­pe­ti­tion was the first of its kind for the state, and would help keep boys in the sport who were formerly side­lined.

Boys are not al­lowed to play com­pet­i­tive net­ball with girls af­ter they turn 12. Be­fore the in­cep­tion of the boys’ ju­nior com- pe­ti­tion, they had to wait un­til they were 16 for the M League, SA’s com­pe­ti­tion for men.

“We don’t want them to miss out so that’s why it’s im­por­tant to have a pro­gram that over­comes that gap,” Mr Scales said.

“Males have been in­volved in net­ball for 100 years – coach­ing, um­pir­ing, cook­ing the bar­be­cue or play­ing at an adult age – so this is just an­other step in them get­ting out on the court.”

The new league of four teams will play in a com­pe­ti­tion com­pris­ing five rounds and two fi­nals at Price­line Sta­dium, Mile End.

South Aus­tralian Men’s and Mixed Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Steve McInnes said it was “great” the 12 to 16-yearold gap was fi­nally be­ing filled.

“There def­i­nitely shouldn’t be any bar­rier now in 2018,” he said. “Es­pe­cially with the rise of women’s cricket, women’s soc­cer, women’s AFL – all those tra­di­tion­ally male sports now don’t re­ally have bar­ri­ers, so why should net­ball?”

Ju­nior M League player Lachie Richards, 13, said the sport was “re­ally fun”. Reg­is­tra­tions are still open at de­vel­op­ment@sammna.com.au

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