web analytics

About The Game of Netball

If you want to know how to play netball, then here’s a rough guide to the game, with a bit of history thrown in for good measure.

Netball is a game played by two teams, each consisting of 7 players.

Games are played on a netball court, 100 ft by 50 ft in dimension, consisting of 3 equal thirds, with 2 raised “goals” at each end. The idea is to score the opposition’s goal. A single goal or point is awarded for each goal scored, except in some short-play tournaments when you can score extra points depending on where the goal is scored on the court.


The matches are 60 minutes in length and are played in four equal quarters of 15 minutes.

Teams consist of 7 players, with the following position:

  • Goal Keeper – The Goal Keeper will work with Goad’s Defense and prevent the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter from scoring goals.
  • Goal Defence – Goal Defense has to win the ball and try to stop the Goal Attack.
  • Wing Defence – Wing Defense will look for interceptions and prevent the Wing Attack from helping the circle.
  • Centre – The Centre must link the defense and attack.
  • Wing Attack – Moving the ball up the court and setting up scoring opportunities for the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack.
  • Goal Attack – The Goal Attack Must feed and work with the Goal Shooter.
  • Goal Shooter – Goal Shooters must score goals and work around the circle with a Goal Attack.

Each player can switch positions during the game while still wearing a bib that highlights their position. The player in “Goal Attack” at the end of each quarter could switch to “Goal Defense” because positions are changeable during the game.

Only players in the “goal-attack” and “goal-shooter” positions are permitted to access the opposing team’s goal area since players are restricted in where they can go on the court.

Brief History

Netball is a sport that originated in England in the late 19th century. It was originally known as “women’s basketball” and was played by women’s teams at colleges and schools. The first official netball rules were established in 1895, and the sport quickly gained popularity in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) was formed in 1960 and was based in Manchester, England. The first World Netball Championships were held in 1963. Today, netball is played in over 80 countries and is particularly popular in Commonwealth nations. It is governed by the International Netball Federation (INF) which was formed in 1983, and it is still a women-only sport.

It is recognized by the IOC as an Olympic sport. It is estimated that it is played by 20m people in 80 different countries worldwide. The Netball World Championships are played every 4 years, with a Netball World Series held every year, and is also played during the Commonwealth Games.

The English Netball league is called the Netball Superleague, with the ANZ Championship played in Australia and New Zealand.

Rules of Netball

Like in any sport, Netball has its own unique set of netball rules. Easy to follow, yet sometimes mistakes are made. In this short post, I will try to accommodate you with these simple rules that anyone can learn and execute!

Attention! It will be impossible to fit all the rules of netball in a single post. That Is why I will tell you about the basics and the most important rules there are! In time the more you practice, the more you will learn, but for now, there are a few rules you need to know so that you can play netball.

Let’s look at the team!

Teams are formed out of seven players. At least 5 players must be present on the field, one of which will play center.


The substitution can only be made when a player is injured, or it is half-time. It is surprising, but there is no limit to the number of substitutions that can be made in a single game!

rules of netball
rules of netball

For example, if the match started with five or six players and the rest of the team arrived late, they must wait until the next center pass before joining the game!


How to Start the Game

Like in many sports, the two captains will decide the center pass by tossing a coin. But rather something more specific to netball, the center passes will alternate between the teams no matter what team scores.

Before the referee blows the whistle, players must stand in the goal thirds except for the Centers. The Center with the ball must stand in a circle and obey footwork. The opposing player stands anywhere within the circle and can move.

After the whistle, the Center must pass, and the ball is caught or touched within the Center Third.

The Center player must hurry back to the center circle and step in.

Center Circle Footwork

The footwork rule applies in the center circle.

Offside Rule

Any player without the ball can’t move into any area except theirs.


Receiving the ball.

With both feet on the floor or a jumping catch with the landing on both feet simultaneously.

You can take a step and then pass or pivot on one foot. After you take a step, the foot that remains on the floor is considered the landing foot.

The same thing goes with the catch or landing on one foot. The landing foot may not move, but you can still pivot with the other one.


A player must not contact an opponent deliberately or accidentally in a way that will interfere with the opponent’s play or cause contact to occur.


Only The Goal Shooter and the Goal Attacker can score goals. They must stand inside the goals circle so that they can shoot.

The ball is being replayed.

The player can’t replay the ball.

These are the most important rules of netball. Although there are many more for the novice, this is enough to start playing this fantastic game. The more you play, the more you learn and the better you will become. The most important thing is that all of them are pretty much the same and you need to learn the basics.

Only by learning the most simple regulations can you move on to the more advanced ones, and you need practice also! So don’t think about how many principles there are, play and you will learn everything you need to know in time!

Indoor Netball

Compared to the outdoor version, indoor netball is relatively new to the sporting scene. While outdoor netball has been around for decades, the popularity of indoor netball has increased substantially in recent times, with the sport now among the fastest-growing in many countries.

This growth in popularity can be attributed to the fast-paced nature and high intensity of the sport, making it an exciting, end-to-end game with non-stop action, which becomes an appealing alternative to more physical sports such as basketball, soccer, and football.

The indoor version has also gained popularity due to the courts being indoors, which is favorable due to its protection from the elements, better lighting, and better spectatorship, which all enhance and provide an overall better playing experience.

The Sport Become More and More Popular

Indoor netball has grown substantially across Oceania and the world. In many countries, in alignment with the sport’s growth, there have been a growing number of high-caliber players whose abilities and skills have been recognized, earning them the selection to represent their countries respectively in recent years for world tournaments.

In summary, indoor netball is a highly competitive and dynamic sport that provides an opportunity for people to have fun while getting fit. It is a non-contact sport that men, women, and children can participate in and enjoy on a social and competitive level worldwide.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top