Does sport always have to be taken seriously?

I’ve been playing social netball for about 10 weeks now and next week it is the finals. Last night our team drew in our match, a game in which we nearly won. Even though it’s supposedly ‘social’ netball (with both men and women playing) each week, I am shocked by how seriously people take the activity.

Take last night, for example. The opposing team’s captain very nearly had a hissy fit and stormed off the court because he thought that we weren’t getting called up enough for obstruction. He kept yelling ‘come on!!’ and stamping his feet, not unlike the actions of a three-year-old.

 

At one point in the match, a fellow team member brushed passed his defender and caught her arm in the process. She proceeded to screech, “My wrist is broken!” to which we all turned around to see what the fuss was about. Someone from her team approached her and asked if she wanted to go off the court. “Hmph,” was her reply, before running off – and may I add – taking the ball from us in this devious distraction technique.

Halfway through the game the umpire gave us a talking to about our behaviour and told us to shut up and stop whinging. I had to agree with her. I did not sign up for social netball to deal with bad sportsmanship and tantrums. I thought that’s what soccer was about, not netball.

Nonetheless, we’ve finished somewhere in the middle of the ladder and I believe we may be playing the same team next week in the finals. Perhaps the team – ‘Ben’s pawn collection’ – can get back some of the silliness they had in them when they named their team, and loosen up a little before then.

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