Netball World Youth Cup 2017 – Recap and Highlights

In 2017, the Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) headed to Gaborone, Botswana for the 8th staging of the tournament. The 2017 tournament was held from the 8th – 16th July at the University of Botswana Indoor Stadium and Ditshupo Hall. It was the first International Netball Federation (INF) event to be held on the African continent.

20 teams qualified across the 5 INF regions. The host nation, Botswana automatically qualified, along with the next four highest-ranked teams from the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships; New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica and England. The remaining fifteen teams were determined by regional qualifying events, with three teams selected from the five INF regions. The draw for the tournament was held on 20th October 2016 in Botswana to determine the pools for the tournament. It was also an opportunity for the former INF President, Molly Rhone, OJ CD to unveil to the new Netball World Youth Cup trophy and brand.

Over 200 athletes and 100 team officials attended the event to create Netball World Youth Cup history over 9 days of competition and 70 games of netball. After the first five days, there had been 40 matches and over 4,000 goals, and the preliminary rounds were complete, with the teams headed to the qualification stage of the tournament. Placings took place from day 7 with the semi-final and finals taking place on Sunday 16th July 2017. The final placings were as follows:

1 – New Zealand

2 – Australia

3 – England

4 – Fiji

5 – Jamaica

6 – South Africa

7 – Uganda

8 – Scotland

9 – Zimbabwe

10 – Botswana

11 – Samoa

12 – Cook Islands

13 – Wales

14 – Trinidad & Tobago

15 – Barbados

16 – Northern Ireland

17 – Malaysia

18 – Singapore

19 – Sri Lanka

20 – Grenada

New Zealand created history by winning back-to-back titles for the first time, defending their championship title won in Scotland in 2013 whilst adding to their 1992 and 2005 editions.

In the build-up to the event, the INF announced that netball fans the world over would be able to watch matches live, with every match available for catch up via the Netball World Youth Cup YouTube channel. This was part of an innovative partnership

between the INF and Botswana online community portal Tsena, supported by Botswana TV and UK-based digital media specialists QTV Sports. In addition to offering live and features content on the NWYC and INF channels, the participating nations also had the opportunity to live-stream matches on their own channels. This was the first time the INF took a mobile-first approach to a global tournament.

Over 3 million people in 20 countries around the world watched the live streams provided by the INF for the event, with over 100,000 tuning into the live final. To re-watch all the matches including the regional qualifiers, visit the YouTube channel here.

At the closing ceremony, President of the Botswana Netball Association, Tebogo Lebotse Sebogo handed over the flag and wished success to Wainikiti Bogidrau, former President of the Fiji Netball Association and current INF Board Member for Netball Oceania, hosts of the next Netball World Youth Cup. The event is set to take place from the 10th – 19th June 2021 in Suva, Fiji.