Photo by Eric Levin
Lee County will host the USA Netball 2016 National Championship on the weekend of Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, at the Estero Community Park Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd. in Estero. The Opening Ceremony will commence on Saturday with a uniform parade at 8:30 a.m., followed by a showcase of USA member clubs competing for a main prize, junior teams demonstrating their skill levels and an All-Comers competition. Admission for spectators is $5 for general entry each day. Children age 12 and under will be allowed free entry.
Men’s and women’s teams in senior, U-21 and U-16 categories are anticipated to compete in the championships, bringing athletes from around the country to compete in Lee County. This is the first time Lee County has hosted a Netball event and it is expected to attract more than 500 sports visitors to Lee County, resulting in approximately 400 hotel room nights, $3,000 in resort tax and approximately $225,000 in direct economic impact.
Netball is a fast paced team sport that involves running, jumping, throwing and catching. This sport is comparable to basketball with marginal differences to the rules, equipment and the number of players allowed to take the court at a given time, all of which elevate the level of excitement the game brings. A few of the rules include the absences of dunking, dribbling or running with the ball, and the ball must be passed within three seconds to avoid penalization. The ball and basket are slightly smaller than that of basketball and there are no backboards to aid in shooting. Players are restricted to assigned areas of the court and are penalized if the rule is violated.