The 32 panel, hand stitched leather netball made in China was well known in it's time. This ball was great when it was new and the weather was dry however if it became wet it would get slippery and loose its shape easily. The leather netballs were kept in good condition with dubbin.
In the late 1960's a more waterproof netball was sort as the frequency of netball being played as a winter sport had become more popular. Rubber basketballs and hexagon panelled waterproof soccer balls were among those that were trialed for usage. The colour of ball has gone from a orange-brown or black & white ball to its current white version.
The ball used in a game of netball is to be a netball or size 5 Association Football. The ball should be 690 - 710mm in circumference and 400 - 450 grams in weight.
Netball Australia's official ball supplier is Gilbert.
Visit the Gilbert website at www.gnsports.com for detailed information on Gilbert netballs.
This information is courtesy of Netball Victoria publication (1994) "The Awakening Giant", Netball Australia "Official Rulebook" and the Netball Australia archives.