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8 insanely popular sports that are rarely played in the U.S.

By: Josh Lew on July 2, 2014, 10:35 a.m.

Photo: Rae Slater/Flickr

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Netball evolved in England from an earlier version of the game that we now know as basketball. The sport is unique in that it is played primarily by women. In fact, the sport's governing body, the International Netball Federation, recognizes only women's teams in official competition, though both genders play at the recreational level.

At first glance, netball looks a lot like basketball, but without a backboard. The goal, like basketball, is 10 feet high and consists of a circular hoop. Game play is quite different from basketball, however. Each side has seven players. Each player is assigned a specific position, with rules limiting their movements around the court. After a goal is scored, play restarts from the center of the playing court, as in soccer or hockey. Netball is popular in the former British colonies. A women's tournament is held at the Commonwealth Games, and there is also an international championship.