The Botswana senior netball national team will end the year among the top 20 ranked teams in the world. They have retained their place among the elite nations in the world according to the latest International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) World Rankings.
Although the position is a drop from their initial 18th spot, they have managed to remain among the best netball teams in the world. Notable competitions for the senior national team include the Africa Netball Championships in Malawi where they were unable to advance to the latter stages of the competition. Their disappointing stint in the continental contest led to their drop from 16th place to 18th.
Last month they took part in the International Netball Festival in Northern Ireland and finished in third place. Prior to the competition they were ranked 18th but their defeat in the first two matches led to a lower ranking. They suffered losses in their first two games against Northern Ireland and Barbados.
Their wins in the last two games of the competition against St Lucia helped the side salvage their pride and claim bronze medals. The wins also helped ensure that Botswana earned enough points that prevented them from being overtaken by other countries in the world rankings. Botswana is the fourth highest raked African team in the world behind the likes of Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania respectively.
In other news, the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) has informed Gazette Sport that they have written a proposal to IFNA to host the African Netball Championships in September instead of the original July date.
Botswana was given the rights to host the continental event earlier this year, which will serve as a qualifying tournament of the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia. BONA requested that the date be moved to September as the July date is closer to the Africa Youth Games that will take place in the country in May.