Sunday, September 18, 2011

The longest netball game

Once again I learn the limits of what I know. A few days ago I had never even heard of Netball. Not even heard of it as a game, let alone anything about it. Quick, how many of you know about it?

Some of you will remember that last year Martin Parnell ran 250 marathons in one year. Yes, you read that right, he ran 250 marathons within 12 months. That averages out to a marathon every day and a half, and still boggles my mind. Now he's part of a group that is trying for the longest Netball game. Barefoot Neil put a volunteer request notice up on his Facebook page, and I thought, what the heck?

So this morning at 5am I was at the South Fish Creek something or other to act as an official witness. I got a T shirt and everything. My job was to record player substitutions. Normally Netball is a pretty fast paced game, since it lasts only an hour, and there are breaks between the quarters. This particular one was not what you'd call fast paced. They play for several hours without a break, though there are periodic substitutions. Several of the players were limping, with one girl not sure which leg should be the favoured one. Almost all the players had the Kona shuffle going.

But then, they had already been at it for 37 hours already. There were two rallying cries during my shift. One was "Only 24 hours to go!", and the other was, "Let's get rolling, we're only 800 points behind!" The whole thing was more fun than I thought it would be. There's an interesting dynamic to the game. Mostly they were chugging along, but there were a few bursts of higher energy. They were doing pretty good. My fellow witness was Julia S, who used to play Netball, and she explained the finer points to me.

Two, two kinds of video for you here. This is the live internet feed. This will be good only until Monday morning sometime. They've got a good video camera dumping the footage to a hard drive, but they couldn't hook up the internet feet do that. So the feed is actually from a web cam. And some footage I shot. Any jitter can be attributed to the whole thermos of coffee I drank during my shift. And yes, you can see Martin during the video.

Now, what should I do for the rest of the day? It's still a bit cool for a bike ride, and I'm not feeling the running love after all that coffee. Decisions, decisions.


  1. I don't get it. It looks like basketball, but isn't. Sort of looks like handball too, but not. I guess that's why it's netball.

    Funny bit about the coffee.

  2. I should have assumed this was some whacky Kanadian version of "real" basketball. Remind me again what the point of netball is? Exactly...

  3. That's so cool you are involved in this!!


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