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Netballstrology – June 2017

Monday May 22nd, 2017 in Sport | No Comments »

Astrology chart overwritten with netball positions and with an orange in the centre.

Everyone knows that astrology is rubbish, right? Equally however, everyone knows that you can tell a lot about a person based on what netball position they play. I would go further and argue that you can predict a person’s future based their netballstrology chart. Here are my prophecies for June.

Centre

You’re all over the place and June will be no exception. However, there’s still that pesky matter of the goal circles where other people ruin or validate your good work.  You can’t control everything. Let it go. By which I mean, scream instructions. Remember, the ball will always alternate back to you for the centre pass, and then other people will ruin your life again. In June you will come into a lot of citrus fruit. Eat as much as you want, you deserve it.

Wing Defence

If. You. Need. Let’s think about those three little words. Actually, let’s not, it’s too sad. No-one will need you this month either, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there. Actually, I tell you what we do need. Someone to wash the bibs.

Wing Attack

Are you living up to your potential? No? Actually, the answer is yes. The truth is, you’re where you are for a reason. And that reason is probably limited talent. “Keep doing what you’re doing” said the man to the tree as if it needed his advice.

Goal Keeper

You’re tall. This gives you a valuable perspective on your surroundings. It’s like you’re standing on your desk all the time without Mr Keating even telling you to. June will provide new opportunities to utilise your lofty heights. At my house. We have a few light bulbs that need changing. Just stick your arms up, we know you can.

Goal Defence

Do you ever feel like you’re doing twice as much work as someone else standing only a few metres away? Remember, rewards come in many forms and some of them may seem like painful broken bones at first but then you realise it’s a blessed relief granting you a break from all the relentless, unrewarding, unappreciated work that you do. So in June I recommend that you let go of the handrail on the stairs, scatter some banana peel around your bathroom and joyfully anticipate the inevitable splat and eight weeks in a moonboot.

Goal Shooter

I’m seeing a lot of armpits in your life in June. As usual, ignore them. (I’m really talking about relationships.)

Goal Attack

I get that you’re a go-getter, but you didn’t get this far in life without also being quite accurate. So this month, don’t hold back with your opinions. If you see something you don’t agree with in an area you’re not technically allowed in, stand as close as you can and shout encouraging advice. Also, in June you will kill again.

A Personal Glossary of Netball

Wednesday April 19th, 2017 in Knowledge, School, Sport | No Comments »
Early game of netball with text of positions and oranges added. One player says 'If you Need!'

Early netball game

When I was in primary school I was desperate to start my netball career. I was certain that “career” was the right word as I planned to play netball for Australia and therefore become rich and famous. Behold my nesting dolls of delusion.

Joining my first team, Newstead Junior 2, was the start of a very steep netball learning curve. Unfortunately it wasn’t steep enough to lead to international netball, but I still learnt a few things, which I’d like to share.

Indoor Netball

When I was in high school I played a couple of seasons of mid-week indoor netball. This has all the same rules as outdoor netball except you’re allowed to kill people. It was an incredibly rough competition. Luckily the courts were surrounded with nets and there was no bitumen so breaking a pelvis didn’t hurt.

A team from a local low-security prison were also in the competition. One week one of their players threatened to kill Julia. This was clearly unacceptable. So at half-time our captain swapped Julia out of that position. And swapped me in. I was baffled by this decision because I tend to shit people at the best of times.

I kept my distance and the woman only threatened to punch me in the face. I didn’t play my best half of netball ever, but it wasn’t the point. I had discovered something important about myself; people didn’t always want to kill me.

The next week this lady apologised, explaining that she hadn’t been taking her medication. No worries I said. No worries at all.

As a general rule, the prison team were much less frightening than the young mums team who brought their toddlers to the game, smoked next to the court and absolutely hated our university-destined guts, to which I can only say fair enough as I imagine we were pretty annoying.

Losing

For me, netball and losing are intertwined. I have never been a member of a winning netball team. I’ve never played in a final. I probably lost 95% of all netball games I played in. The score for my first ever netball game was 17 – 1. With losing so inevitable I set other goals. I might feel like we’d had a great game because we achieved half the score of the winning team, or because we won one quarter, or because no-one wanted to kill me (see Indoor Netball).

Mixed Netball

Men playing netball may seem shocking but once you accept that not everyone will be classically trained (and you might witness such horrors as a Goal Attack taking a free pass outside the goal circle) mixed netball can be quite fun. I’ve filled in for a few mixed netball teams in Melbourne and have mainly enjoyed it without tsking.

Graph of straight line saying "What people think sucess looks like" next to a photo of a netball trophy Newstead Junior 2 Most ImprovedMost Improved

One of the proudest achievements of my life was winning the Most Improved trophy in my first netball season. I did deserve that trophy. I had started the season playing half games as a Wing Attack. I ended the year getting the occasional quarter as Centre. The lesson is, make sure you start as badly as you can to maximise apparent improvement.

Netball nicks

These are a pair of black underpants worn over your normal underpants so that no-one sees your underpants when your incredibly short skirt flies into the air. Here’s a thought – shorts.

Oranges

Orange quarters are the perfect food for half-time. All athletes like to be sticky and have bits in their teeth.

Ra Ra Ra

When I played classical netball, at the end of each game both teams were required to stand in a circle with our arms around each other and chant:

Three cheers for “Winning Team”, Ra, Ra, Ra.

Three cheers for “Losing Team”, Ra, Ra, Ra.

Three cheers for the umpires, Ra, Ra, Ra.

I presume we were made to do this to prepare us for the for the indignities of giving birth.

Socks

Socks were very controversial on the ’90s netball court. Ankle sports socks were the fashion but were banned. Everyone still wore them (except me because my mum wouldn’t let me) and usually nothing was said. The exception was on the one occasion when my C Grade team Wesley Hill unexpectedly and uniquely won a game. Our opposition team (I say that, but I mean their mums) put in an official complaint about our socks and we didn’t get the match points.

I like to hope that these dark ’90s days of socking shaming teenage girls have passed, but I thought that about Pauline Hanson.

Umpiring

I am always shocked by sports where the players criticise the umpires. This was not allowed when I played netball. I don’t know how they achieved such discipline but I think it involved making examples of people.

I only personally umpired one game of netball. I had aced the written netball umpiring test and felt quietly confident. Then I discovered that in real life it’s  all a lot more confusing than in the book. No-one actually abused me while the game was going on, but after there were a number of official complaints, including from the team who won.

 

Olympic Dreams

Friday April 22nd, 2016 in School, Sport | No Comments »

Amigosparasiempre

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my dream to be an Olympic athlete.

It started when I was in Grade 5 and the Olympics were in Barcelona. It was a great Olympics. The theme song by Andrew Lloyd Weber Amigos Para Siempre was even more moving than Memory, Kieren Perkins smashed his own world record in the 1500m freestyle final, and I became determined to march into an Olympic stadium as an athlete.

I wrote in my Grade 5 diary:

“I have a dream to get to the Olympics not as a spectator but as a competitor. And God Dam it if I don’t. I am turning 11 next week. My days of being ten are numbered.”

The only problem was that I wasn’t at all sure which sport I would excel in. I wasn’t worried though. I assumed it would only be a matter of time before I discovered it.

It hasn’t happened. Instead, one by one I have gotten too old for all the sports. It started with gymnastics. By the age of 13, when I should have been reaching my gymnastical peak I couldn’t touch my toes. Then I realised I couldn’t swim fast, then I realised I couldn’t run fast. Then I realised I was hopelessly uncoordinated, ruling out all ball sports and anything with a stick.

Fortunately, in my primary school diaries I also said I wanted to be an actor, a great debator, travel around the world without using aeroplanes like Michael Palin, and (this was implied) become a nun. So still, lots of options. But oh! The Olympics would have been great.

PS I also used to want to be one of the cats in Cats but that’s not happening either.