Netball, then known as 'basketball', was introduced to Tasmania in the 1890s, becoming a popular winter sport in schools, mainly for girls, though some boys played. After the First World War it became popular among adult women, and in the 1930s the Tasmanian Women's Basketball Association sent teams to compete in Australian championships, with Nancy Reardon selected for the national team in 1940. The game declined during the Second World War, but afterwards became the most popular women's sport in Tasmania. New courts were built, state premierships were held, and many Tasmanians played for the national team, notably Shirley James and Margaret Jackson.
Tasmania's premier outdoor venue, the Tasmanian Netball Centre, was built in Launceston in 1987, though by then many teams played indoors. In 2003 Natasha Chokljat was selected for the Australian team, and in 2004 there were 14,500 players in Tasmania, with a Men's Netball Association in Hobart.
Further reading: D Young, Sporting Island, Hobart, 2005.
Alison Alexander and David Young