Domestic Competition

From the earliest days, the Association has been responsible for organising competition at National level for various age groups, initially between the Territories and then, as Counties became more organised, between them. Today the Association offers national competition for Area, club and school teams, provides training opportunities for Umpires, Coaches and Bench Officials and disseminates information.

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International Competition

In 1949, the first Welsh team, selected from players in the two territorial teams, played England and Scotland in Wembley, losing to both countries in matches that were then only 30 minutes long.

The first home international match in Wales was played outdoors at Cathays High School in Cardiff, in 1951, as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Wales, wearing green shorts borrowed from Wales Ladies Lacrosse, lost again to England. Dark green shorts (now provided by the WNA), white Aertex polo shirts, white socks and tennis shoes remained the Welsh team kit until 1954 when skirts replaced shorts and it was not until 1970 that the colour of the skirts was changed to scarlet.

Regular international matches have been played since 1953, but it was not until 1957 that the first indoor match was played at the Sophia Gardens Pavilion in Cardiff, when Wales lost to both England and Scotland, and not until 1959 that the first Honorary Open Coach, Edith Parry, was appointed.

In 1957, Elsie Kettley represented the Association at a meeting in London with England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S.A with a view to agreeing a common set of playing Rules as the U.K, Australia and New Zealand all had their own variations. The immediate outcome of this was that the length of the game was extended to two halves of twenty minutes each and that other rules were to be trialled for a three year period. Then, in 1960, the IFWBNA was formed and an international set of playing rules agreed with, amongst other things, a playing format of four quarters of fifteen minutes each.

The First World Netball Tournament was held outdoors at Chelsea College of P.E. in Eastbourne in 1963, with Wales sending a team of 10 (the maximum then allowed), but with no team Coach or Team Manager and without having had any formal training sessions. The two Delegates and Umpire were responsible for all the teams needs. Players paid all their own accommodation costs (£20) and made their own way to the venue. Unsurprisingly, Wales came 10th out of the 11 teams.

During this period, in the 1960’s, national trials took place over one week end in January and were held at The National Recreation Centre in Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire. Coaches were brought in from England to help and advise, with further training sessions few and far between. It was not until 1973, with the opening of The National Sports Centre, in Cardiff, that trials were held in Wales. The opening of the NSC also provided the Association with a suitable indoor venue for future international matches and domestic competition.

In 1971, Wales competed abroad for the first time, travelling to Kingston, Jamaica, (via Newfoundland) for the 3rd World Netball Tournament and this time they were accompanied by both a Coach and a Team Manager as well as two Delegates and an Umpire.

This decade also proved a good one for Welsh teams with the U21 team beating the English U21 in 1972, the Open team first drawing twice with and then beating the full England Open team and the Open team achieving its best ever placing at the 5th World Netball Tournament.

To date, and with the exception of the 1967 event, when the WNA were unable to afford the costs of travel to Australia, the Welsh Open team has competed in all World Championships, with a best result in 1979 of equal 6th out of the 19 competing countries. Since 1991 all World Championships have been played indoors and from 2007 entries have been restricted to 16 with prior qualification rounds. The Association has also sent an U21 team to compete in all World Youth Cup competitions since the first was held in Canberra, Australia in 1988.

As well as INF competition, Wales also played in the now defunct World Games in 1993 and with the exception of 2010, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games since the inclusion of Netball in 1998.

also provided the Association with a suitable indoor venue for future international matches and domestic competition.

In 1971, Wales competed abroad for the first time, travelling to Kingston, Jamaica, (via Newfoundland) for the 3rd World Netball Tournament and this time they were accompanied by both a Coach and a Team Manager as well as two Delegates and an Umpire. This decade also proved a good one for Welsh teams with the U21 team beating the English U21 in 1972, the Open team first drawing twice with and then beating the full England Open team and the Open team achieving its best ever placing at the 5th World Netball Tournament.

To date, and with the exception of the 1967 event, when the WNA were unable to afford the costs of travel to Australia, the Welsh Open team has competed in all World Championships, with a best result in 1979 of equal 6th out of the 19 competing countries. Since 1991 all World Championships have been played indoors and from 2007 entries have been restricted to 16 with prior qualification rounds. The Association has also sent an U21 team to compete in all World Youth Cup competitions since the first was held in Canberra, Australia in 1988.

As well as INF competition, Wales also played in the now defunct World Games in 1993 and with the exception of 2010, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games since the inclusion of Netball in 1998.

The Association currently supports teams at Open, U21 and U17 levels along with the Celtic Dragons team which has competed in the National Super League since its formation in 2005.

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Timeline

1940
The Mary Datchelor School, from London, was evacuated to Llanelli
1944
The first County team, Carmarthen, was formed
1945
The Welsh Netball Association was founded
1949
The first International matches were played against England and Scotland.
The first International matches were played against England and Scotland, outdoors, at Wembley. Wales lost to England by 3 goals to 25 but beat Scotland by 14 goals 13.
1951
The first Wales home international match was played
The first home international match was played outdoors, at Cathays High School, Cardiff, as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Wales lost to England by 7 goals to 26.
1957
The first indoor international matches took place in Cardiff at the Sophia Gardens Pavilion.
Wales lost to both England and Scotland, by 5 goals to 34 and 9 goals to 16 respectively. Elsie Kettley represented Wales at the first international meeting to discuss a common set of playing rules.
1959
Edith Parry was appointed first Welsh Open team coach
1960
The WNA becomes one of the eight founding members of the INF
The WNA was one of the eight founder members of the International Federation of Women’s Netball and Basketball Associations (now the International Netball Federation).
1962
Home international matches were transferred to the more suitable facility at R.A.F. St. Athan
1963
Wales competed in the First World Netball Tournament
Held in Eastbourne and finished 10th out of 11 teams. Mid Wales N.A was formed, into which the Counties of Cardigan, Brecon, Merioneth and Montgomery were transferred.
1968
The first AGM to be held in Wales was held in Newtown
1969
The U18 national team was formed (discontinued in 1997)
1970
The Welsh team played in scarlet skirts for the first time
1970
The U21 team was formed
1970
The first Newsletter was produced
1971
Wales competed in the 3rd World Netball Championshps
Held in Kingston Jamaica, finishing 7th out of 9
1972
Wales U21 Beat England
The Welsh U21 team, coached by Carol Roberts, beat England U21 by 25 goals to 24
1972
First Rule Book Printed
With the permission of the INF, the Association printed the Rules Book.
1973
Welsh team trials were held in Wales at the National Sports Centre, Cardiff
1974
The three Welsh Territories were replaced by eight Area Associations
1975
The inaugural National Clubs Championships is held
Held with Newport Athletic Club, becoming the first National Champions
1977
Wales, coached by Wendy White, drew 41 all with England in Coventry.
1978
Wales Draw with England
Wales, coached by Wendy White, drew 24 all with England in Stoke. The first Life Members, Margaret Lewis and Jean Roderick, were appointed.
1979
Wales compete in the 5th World Tournament
At the 5th World Tournament in Trinidad, Wales, coached by Wendy White, achieved their best ever result, finishing equal 6th out of 19 competing countries and drawing 34 with Jamaica
1980
Wales Beat England
Wales, coached by Wendy White, beat England by 33 goals to 29 in Plymouth
1982
Wales U18 Beat England
Wales U18, coached by Carol Roberts, beat England U18 by 23 goals to 20
1983
The U16 national team was formed (discontinued in 1996)
1984
Wales U21 Beat England... again!
Wales U21, coached by Wendy White, beat England U21 by 23 goals to 21
1988
Wales U21 competed in the 1st World Youth Netball Cup
Wales U21 competed in the 1st World Youth Netball Cup in Canberra, Australia, finishing 5th out of 9
1989
The WNA employed its first member of staff and rented its first office
1991
The WNA employed its first Technical Director
1992
The WNA became a Limited Company and the first Board of Directors was formed
1993
Wales competed in the World Games in The Hague, finishing last of six
1995
Wales U21 Finish 7th
At the 3rd WYNC in Toronto, Canada, Wales U21, coached by Sheila Cooksley, achieved their best finishing position of 7th out of 18
1997
Wales U21 Draw with England
Wales U21, coached by Sheila Cooksley, drew 21 all with England U21
1998
Wales first appearance in the Commonwealth Games
1998
The U17 and U19 national teams were formed
1999
WNA employed its first National Performance Director
2000
Wales Finish 7th
The fourth WYNC was held in Cardiff, with Wales finishing 7th out of 12
2001
Wales Record Historic Away Win
Wales, coached by Raewyn Henry, beat England by 59 goals to 58 in Canterbury
2002
Helen Weston became Wales most capped player with 111 caps
2005
The Celtic Dragons team was formed to compete in the National Super league
2009
The WNA offices moved to the Sport Wales National Centre, Cardiff
2010
WNA employed its first professional High Performance Coach
2012
Leanne Thomas becomes Wales' Youngest Player
Leanne Thomas, aged 16 years, 4 months and 21 days, became the youngest player to play for Wales.
2013
Welsh Teams Fire on All Cylinders
Wales, coached by Melissa Hyndman, beat England by 37 goals to 33 in Aberdeen. The Celtic Dragons, coached by Melissa Hyndman, achieved second place in the NSL
2015
Chelsea Lewis is the Youngest to 50
Chelsea Lewis, aged 21 years, 7 months and 23 days, became the youngest Welsh player to gain 50 caps