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Knowing The Different Positions on a Netball Court

The first British women’s basketball game was held in England in 1895. Netball is the most popular women’s team sport in Australia and New Zealand. It is also popular in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. So far, there are approximately 70 countries where more than 20 million people play netball.

The netball match is divided into four quarters. Each quarter is 15 minutes. The goal of the game is the same as in basketball. It is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s basket, but there is no rebound behind the basket.

Each team has seven players on the first field, with different roles in each division. Players will be standing in a specific area on the court and shall not arbitrarily go beyond the area.

Different Positions in Netball

What we have here is a simple yet very self-explanatory netball diagram of the court. Player positions and all the needy greedy details. In this image, you will see the two-goal thirds, the center third, the sidelines, the goal line, the goal circles, and the transverse lines. And, of course, the netball positions.

Netball Court Positions
Netball Court Positions

Roles

Goal Shooter (GS)

As the name suggests, the main task is to score goals. They are only allowed in the third goal. They must execute a bunch of movements and leads to break away from the defense.

Tasks:

  • Play with GA to create the lead in the circle.
  • Play with GA, WA, C on attacking strategies.

Goal Attack (GA)

Same as GS, the GA must score goals and is allowed to move within the circle. But GA must play with WA and C to create strategies to advance in the goal third.

Tasks:

  • Gain the center pass.
  • Play with GS, WA, and C.
  • Feed the circle.

Wing Attack (WA)

The WA must deliver the ball to the GS/GA. WA may inter the goal third but may not cross the goal circle line. If so, there will be a free pass.

Tasks:

  • Win the center pass.
  • Work with C, GA, and GS to form attacking strategies.
  • Feed the circle.

Center (C)

The center is the leading player between the defense and attack. He will link the two sides of the court. They may move around the whole court except the goal circles.

Tasks:

  • Make the center pass.
  • Create strong moves and combinations with WA to deliver the ball to GA and GS.
  • Defend center player.
  • Pressure with WD.

Wing Defense (WD)

The main job of the WD is to defend the defending third from opponents like WA, C GA, GS. WD is essential to support, and they must back up the attackers.

Tasks:

  • Battle against WA.
  • Force errors.
  • Create attacking moves.

Goal Defense (GD)

Pretty much the same role as WD, but now you can enter the goal circle, and your main task is to stop the GS and GA from shooting. But GD must have good attacking skills to deflect the ball from the defensive third.

Tasks:

  • Close defense with GA.
  • Work with GK.
  • Defend the goal.
  • Rebound shots.
  • Create attacking moves.

Goal Keeper (GK)

Like the GD, you may enter the goal circle, and your main task is to stop the GS from scoring a goal!

Tasks:

  • Battle GS.
  • Work with GD.
  • Defend the goal.
  • Rebound.
  • Create attacking strategies.

Illustration On How To Play

I want to show you the core positions on netball, and before that, you need to know that netball is an invasion game. To better understand various positions and how each role plays in the netball game, I will try to illustrate this in the diagram below.

netball court positions

As mentioned in the first diagram beforehand, there are two teams on the court: the black and the purple teams.

Each team will have seven players. Therefore there are 14 players all together on one court.

This is the overview.

I will break down one of the teams as per the diagram above so that I can illustrate to you the team and the different positions the players are playing when they are on the court.

attacking and defensive area

Here we have one team on the court. The left side is the attacking area and on the right side is the defensive area.

Let’s go through who can shoot the ball and who cannot.

The goal shooter and goal attacker can both enter and stay inside the semicircle of the goal area to shoot the ball.

The wing attacker is an attacking player but cannot go inside and must stay behind the semicircle line. He/she can go all the way up to the defensive line.

A goal attacker can go inside and to that defensive line as well.

The goal shooter will stay inside the goal area and go up to the first line at the end of the goal attack area.

The center player is like the engine room. They can go in any third. However, they cannot go inside the goal area for either side.

The goal defender can go inside their goal area where they want to stop the opposition from scoring.

He/she will help the goal keeper to defense. He/she can always go up to the first line. The goal defender can go up to the second line.

The wing attack cannot go to the semicircle line, but they can go inside the center third, and that is all. They cannot go past the line.

If you want to get familiar with each role in the netball game, you may do some exercises yourself. Do remember there are a few tricky positions that you need to know.

What I want you to do is I want you to pick either the attacking area or the defensive area, and I want you to keep in mind which players can go where.

By practice a few times on different positions, you will get a better idea of where these positions can go.

By knowing this simple overview of each position and their role in playing the netball game, you can also look at which role you would love to play when playing a netball game.

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