“You can’t sit with us!” A netball mum’s dilemma.



A few years ago I wrote a blog post called Do you ever feel like a fuckwit at the school gate, which was widely read. I now read it back and cringe a little bit. With the benefit of hindsight I can now see that it was ME that had the problem. I was the new chick in town and it was not up to others to make me feel included. I had to actually hustle, put myself out there and push myself out of my comfort zone when it came to making new mates. Years later, that awkwardness paid off and I have a lovely group of “school mum” buddies, which makes life a lot more pleasant.

But I cannot deny that sometimes groups of mums can make you feel awkward, even if it is unintentional. In my own experiences, Dance Mums are lovely and Rugby Mums are hilarious, and somewhat drunk most of the time. I have not had anything to do with Netball Mums, but I have heard some pretty horrible stories, especially of your kid plays in the top grade, or at a representative level. One of my good mate is currently suffering social isolation on the sidelines, and I asked her to tell her story….


“My husband claims I’m a netball fanatic. He says it’s all I ever talk about, think about and watch. I thought his comments were over a third wrong and that he may be put out of play for being obstructive. I just think he should keep to his third and defend his past.”

Boom Tish.

Huh? I am sure that would be funny if it wasn’t so true.

If you don’t get it, you will never be A-grade material. And thus, I am forever relegated to “Z-grade Netball parent.”

When my daughter’s sporting ability matched my sports parent ability, the other mums were on par. But she overtook me, and now I suffer two hours of A Division training with four hours’ rep training, Saturday games and whole Sunday carnivals at far flung locations around Sydney for shits and giggles…with the biggest bunch of passive aggressive schoolyard bullies ever. I am referring to the Mums.

Some played in the under 9s when they were young. Some coached their girls. All dreamed of playing for the Diamonds – a dream they now fervently wish for their daughters. They write player stats, goal scores (and other shit) in little notepads at games, like it’s professional, not under 12s. When they speak to me, it’s to remind me my daughter launched off the wrong foot at a game two weeks ago in the second quarter, fourth minute. Like I noticed.

Let’s be clear – after five years on the sidelines, I still don’t know the rules!

These nettie Mums, the Mummy Mafia, refuse to acknowledge my existence. Completely ignore me. Silence. An interloper whose child got to A-Grade without three generations of netball heritage! Some now reluctantly nod at me, because after spending the equivalent of a day a week together, even they realise it is starting to become obvious, but mostly, if I pull up my “Bunnings Big Sports Mamafucker” chair to sit near them at practise, they move their chair…subtly…five to ten metres away.

At inter-regional carnivals, they trade information about the A division primary school players, but mostly ensure there is not a single square centimetre of space under the gazebo for us first generation, third division parents.There’s only one parental gazebo per team, and so far I have had heat stroke and pneumonia trying to protect myself from the elements.

For the summer season, they arranged a team and despite asking to join, they didn’t even bother to ring and say the team was full. My daughter reluctantly accepted a spot in another team, and tonight I caught two of the Mafia, looking over at the new team and giggling.

These smug mums are A-grade. But not in Netball.

What should my mate do?

I totally told her to ask them to a fictional Amway Presentation….

Are you a NETTIE MOM?