Netball Rules

If you’re new to netball, the game can be quite confusing. It’s a fast-paced game that requires excellent teamwork and coordination. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over all the netball rules, positions, and strategies you need to know to become a great netball player.

The Basics of Netball

Netball is a team sport that originated in England in the late 19th century. It’s played by two teams of seven players each. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team. The court is divided into thirds, and each team can only score goals from their respective shooting circle. The game is played with a ball that is about the size of a volleyball but slightly heavier.

Netball Positions

Each player on the netball court has a specific role to play. Here are the seven positions in netball:

  1. Goal Shooter (GS): The goal shooter’s primary role is to score goals for their team. They are responsible for shooting the ball into the goal circle and scoring goals. They must have excellent aim and accuracy.
  2. Goal Attack (GA): The goal attack is the other attacking player on the team. They work closely with the goal shooter to create scoring opportunities. They are responsible for feeding the ball into the shooting circle and setting up shots for the goal shooter.
  3. Wing Attack (WA): The wing attack’s primary role is to move the ball up the court and create attacking opportunities for their team. They must have excellent passing skills and be able to read the game well.
  4. Centre (C): The centre is the playmaker on the netball court. They are responsible for controlling the game and linking the attacking and defending players. They must have excellent communication skills and be able to make quick decisions.
  5. Wing Defence (WD): The wing defence’s primary role is to disrupt the opposition’s attacking play. They must be quick and agile and have excellent defensive skills.
  6. Goal Defence (GD): The goal defence is responsible for defending the goal circle and preventing the opposing team from scoring. They must be strong and agile and have excellent defensive skills.
  7. Goal Keeper (GK): The goal keeper is the last line of defence for their team. They are responsible for defending the goal circle and preventing the opposing team from scoring. They must be tall and strong and have excellent defensive skills.

Netball Rules

Now that you know the positions, let’s dive into the rules of netball.

Starting the Game

The game starts with a centre pass. The team that wins the toss gets to choose whether to take the first centre pass or which end of the court they want to start playing from. The player with the ball must stand in the centre third of the court and pass the ball to a teammate. The opposing team must stand outside the centre third until the ball is released.

Scoring Goals

A goal is scored when the ball is thrown through the hoop and lands in the goal circle. Only the goal shooter and goal attack can shoot for goals, and they must shoot from inside the shooting circle. If the ball hits the rim of the hoop and bounces out, it does not count as a goal.

Action Points
Goal 1 point
Penalty shot 1 point

Passing the Ball

Players can only hold onto the ball for three seconds before they must pass it. They can move the ball around the court by passing it to their teammates. Players cannot take more than one step with the ball in their possession, and they must pass or shoot within three seconds. If a player violates these rules, the opposition team is awarded a free pass.


Contact is not allowed in netball. Players must keep a distance of at least 0.9 meters from their opponents and cannot make physical contact with them. If a player violates this rule, the opposition team is awarded a free pass.


Players must also not obstruct their opponents from moving around the court. Obstruction is defined as standing in the path of an opponent or putting a hand or body in front of them to impede their progress. If a player obstructs an opponent, the opposition team is awarded a free pass.

Out of Court

If the ball goes out of court, the team that did not touch the ball last is awarded a throw-in. The player taking the throw-in must stand with one foot on the sideline and can pivot on that foot while throwing the ball back into play.

Fouls and Free Passes

If a player commits a foul, the opposition team is awarded a free pass. The player taking the free pass must stand where the foul occurred and cannot move until the ball is released. If a player violates the three-second rule or moves before the ball is released, the opposition team is awarded another free pass.

Foul Penalty
Contact Free pass
Obstruction Free pass
Footwork Free pass
Held ball (holding onto the ball for longer than three seconds) Free pass
Breaking (taking more than one step before passing or shooting) Free pass
Intimidation Warning, then caution, then send off


Each team is allowed two timeouts per game, each lasting one minute. The timeout can be called by the team captain, coach, or a player on the court.

Extra Time

If the game ends in a tie, extra time is played to determine the winner. Each team gets two additional minutes to score as many goals as possible. If the game is still tied after extra time, the team with the most goals scored during the game is declared the winner.

Strategies and Tips for Netball

Now that you know the rules and positions, here are some strategies and tips to help you improve your netball game.


Passing is an essential skill in netball. It’s important to practice passing accurately and quickly. When passing, make sure you’re using the correct technique, including holding the ball with your fingers and not your palms. Practice passing with both hands, so you can pass the ball accurately and quickly in any situation.


Shooting is also a crucial skill in netball. It’s important to practice shooting from different angles and distances. When shooting, make sure you’re using the correct technique, including holding the ball with your fingers and not your palms. Practice shooting with both hands, so you can shoot accurately from any position.


Defence is an important part of netball. When defending, make sure you’re keeping a distance of at least 0.9 meters from your opponent and not making physical contact with them. It’s also essential to anticipate your opponent’s moves and be quick and agile to intercept their passes and shots.


Communication is key in netball. It’s essential to communicate with your teammates to coordinate your movements and create attacking opportunities. Use hand signals and verbal cues to let your teammates know where you want them to pass the ball.


Netball is a fast-paced game that requires excellent fitness. Make sure you’re practicing regularly to improve your stamina, speed, and agility. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and agility drills into your training routine to help you perform at your best on the court.


Netball is a team sport, and it’s essential to work together with your teammates to achieve success. Make sure you’re supporting each other on the court and playing to each other’s strengths. Be willing to adapt and make changes to your game plan to work together effectively as a team.

Watch and Learn

One of the best ways to improve your netball skills is to watch professional netball players and learn from their techniques and strategies. Watch matches on TV or online, or attend live games to see how the professionals play. You can also find tutorials and drills online to help you practice and improve your skills.

Netball Equipment

To play netball, you’ll need some essential equipment, including:


The netball is a specially designed ball used in netball. It’s slightly smaller and lighter than a basketball, with a circumference of 69-71cm and a weight of 400-450g.

Netball Court

The netball court is rectangular in shape, measuring 30.5 meters long and 15.25 meters wide. The court is divided into thirds, with two shooting circles and a center circle.

Netball Hoop

The netball hoop, also known as the goalpost, is 3.05 meters high and 38cm in diameter. The hoop is attached to a pole or stand and has a net attached to it to catch the ball when it’s scored.

Netball Shoes

Netball shoes are specially designed to provide grip and support on the court. They have a non-marking sole to prevent damage to the court surface and provide excellent traction for quick movements and changes of direction.


Netball is a popular and exciting team sport that requires skill, strategy, and teamwork. Understanding the rules and positions is essential to playing the game effectively, and practicing passing, shooting, defence, communication, fitness, and teamwork can help you improve your game. With the right equipment and dedication, anyone can enjoy playing netball and experiencing the thrill of scoring a goal. So grab a ball, gather some friends, and start playing netball today!

Related Blog Posts
Cheap Netball Shoes
Indoor Netball Shoes
The Best Netball Trainers for Enhanced Performance
8 Must-Have Netball Trainers for Ultimate Performance
Netball Positions
Netball vs Basketball
5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Netball Ball for Beginners
The Top 7 Netball Balls for Competitive Play
Best Netball Shoes for Ankle Support
Best Netball Trainers for Outdoor Courts
Best Netball Shoes for Defenders
5 Netball Hoops for Indoor Play and Training
10 Best Netball Hoops for Outdoor Play

Leave a Comment