Netball Rules

The Basics/Positions
Essentially, the goal of a game of Netball is to score more points than the opposing team. Each team consists of seven team members who occupy seven separate roles. The game is split into four quarters, 15-minutes each, and played on a rectangular court with a hoop each end. Points are scored every time a player passes a ball through the opposing team’s hoop. Rules of Netball dictate that the game is started by the Centre of each team and in the centre circle. Both teams take alternate turns at starting the game. The court is segmented into singular areas; only players with a certain position are allowed to be within their permitted section. For example, the GS (Goal Shooter) is only allowed in the attacking third of the court, whilst the GK (Goal Keeper) can only move within the defensive third. The only members of the team allowed to score are the GS and GA (Goal Attack) and must be within the opposition’s goal circle.

Footwork and Contact
The footwork is perhaps the most complex and delicate part of the rules. If a player is in possession of the ball and they have caught the ball with one foot off the ground, that foot can step in any direction, any number of times. The other foot is used to balance and then pivot on the spot, searching for the next pass and can only leave the ground if the ball is then passed elsewhere. If a player catches the ball with both feet, they may step with either foot but the stepping foot then becomes the landing foot.

There is also a three-second rule claiming that no player must hold on to the ball for longer than the given time limit. This makes for a crisp, fast-flowing match dominated through succinct touches and movement. Netball rules also say contact is prohibited if it interferes or impedes on those who currently have possession of the netball.

Additionally, the rules of Netball claim that the defending player must remain three feet away (judged from the players’ feet) from the player in possession of the ball and cannot come closer without committing a foul.

Passing
Netball rules state that when committing to a short pass, the players must ensure that the space between them is enough for a third player to run through, giving a width of another person as they pass the ball to another player. In terms of distance, players are able to throw the ball across the width of the court but are not permitted to throw it down the court, therefore letting it travel across two different court sectors.