In addition to popular football, basketball and baseball games, Massachusetts sports bettors also have the option to bet on other niche sports. One such sports is netball.
While its roots are US-based, netball is more popular overseas, especially in countries that are former British territories. Legal sportsbooks in those countries also provide betting options for the sport.
And now that Massachusetts sports betting is legal, fans can also place wagers on netball, as it is included in the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog.
But what exactly is netball, and how do you bet on it? Here’s a primer.
What is netball?
Netball originated in 1891 as an alternative to basketball to be played by women. It spread rapidly in British Commonwealth countries, with the first game in England in 1895.
Globally, the sports is overseen by the World Netball Organization. According to World Netball, over 20 million people play the sport in nearly 120 countries.
A netball court has similarities to a basketball court with two baskets. However, it is a non-contact sport, and the court is split into thirds, with players assigned to zones.
There is no dribbling, as ball movement from one player to another is done via passing. The area with the goalposts is in a semi-circle called the shooting circle. Players can only hold the ball for three seconds before passing or shooting.
Approved competitions for netball betting
While World Netball is the umbrella for dozens of country-based federations, betting on netball in Massachusetts is only allowed on games in Australia and New Zealand.
The US has a netball federation, but games in North American leagues are not fair game for legal wagers in Massachusetts.
Australia and New Zealand are the dominant countries in the World Netball rankings.
Netball is the most popular sport in New Zealand among girls and women. Massachusetts residents can bet on competitions that fall under the jurisdiction of Netball New Zealand. This includes the matches of the six teams in the top pro league, the ANZ Premiership, and the national team.
ANZ Premiership teams are:
- Northern Mystics
- Northern Stars
- Central Pulse
- Mainland Tactix
- Waikato BOP Magic
- Southern Steel
You can view the league’s games via live streams on NetballPass. The season runs from March to June.
New Zealand’s netball national team, the Silver Ferns, is ranked second in the world behind Australia. The calendar of Silver Ferns competitions is listed on the Netball New Zealand website.
Home to the world’s best national team, Australia is the biggest hub of netball in the world, with over 530,000 women participating in the sport per year, according to a study commissioned by the Australian government.
The elite pro league is Suncorp Super Netball, and it includes eight teams:
- New South Wales Swifts
- Giants Netball
- Sunshine Coast Lightning
- West Coast Fever
- Melbourne Vixens
- Queensland Firebirds
- Adelaide Thunderbirds
- Collingwood Magpies
Like in New Zealand, the pro netball season runs from March to June. You can view live streams of the games via Netball Australia TV.
The national team, the Australian Diamonds, tops the world rankings and is the most recent winner of the Quad Series, an international competition that also includes New Zealand, England and South Africa.
Betting on netball in Massachusetts
If you are looking for a new sport to watch, netball could be a fun sport to tune into. You can also bet on the action, and many betting options are available:
While Oceania is on the other side of the world, you can view the highest levels of netball competition via the streaming options listed above to help you make educated wagers when you want to bet on your favorite Aussie or Kiwi team.
- Futures: Bet on what team will win the league championship.
- Moneyline: Select the team you believe will win.
- Spreads: Predict the margin of victory — the number of points separating the winner from the loser in the final score.
- Over/Under: Place a wager on the combined points of both teams.
- Live betting: Wager on events that happen during the game.
- Race to Score: Bet on what team will score first.
If you are looking for more information on netball betting, here is a comprehensive guide on types of bets and how to bet online.
Massachusetts sports fans can bet online using six MA sportsbooks: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET and Barstool Sportsbook.
More will be added to the mix soon, and 10 sportsbook apps will be up and running by January 2024.If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7