Last Saturday saw another stunning summer NetRugby campaign come to a conclusion as the world cup finals tournament took place on Clapham Common in London. The sun blazed and the crowd sizzled with excitement as the imperious Taverners defeated the resilient Satyrs in a closely fought final…
…you would be forgiven for wondering what on earth this article is on about and that the only rugby of note over the weekend was the match between the All Chokers of New Zealand and the Wallabies but there is a little known sport that has been going for 101 years and is one of the best ways to keep fit for rugby over the summer months. That sport is NetRugby.
The sport was established in 1907 with the name “rugby-netball” and is played on uniquely marked pitches on Clapham Common with specially designed oversized netball nets at either end. The players are completely amateur and the majority play rugby for clubs in the South-East over the winter in preparation for getting fit for the NetRugby season – from April to July.
Players can pass the ball in any direction (including forward) and can run with the ball. There are 10 players per team plus substitutes, it is full contact and all tackles must be made above the knee (but below the neck!) and cannot involve any shirt-grabbing whatsoever. This creates a very fast and skilful game which has essences of hockey and football incorporated in the teams’ tactics.
Before rugby went professional you would find representatives from the main London clubs playing over the summer, even some full internationals. Since the professional era dawned, the numbers of teams participating in the league has dwindled and it is now contested between 6 clubs. All the clubs are keen for new members but what the sport is really looking for is other rugby teams in London and the South East to put together a squad for next season and look to try the sport out. With the basics of passing, tackling and running all the same as the sport we all know and love it is relatively easy to pick up.
Go to www.rugbynetball.com for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to form a team or join an existing one next season.