All you need to play netball is a ball and a goal post but if want to play an organised, competitive game, rules over footwork and player positions must be followed. The aim of the game is to pass the ball to the attacking players so they can shoot to score goals while trying to minimise the goals scored by the opposing team by stopping the ball getting to their goal scorers. The team with the most goals at the end wins. There are rules to keep the game flowing and ensure fair play and safety. Below, we have outlined the rules and regulations for the traditional seven-a-side version of the game.
A netball court is divided with marked lines into three zones with a goal semi-circle at both ends and centre circle in the middle (court dimensions are 15.25m (50ft) along the goal line by 30.5m (100ft) along the sideline).There are goal posts at each end of the court with a ring and net. The post must be 3.05 metres (10 feet) high with a diameter of between 2.5 inches and 4 inches. The ring sticks out 6 inches horizontally from the top of the goalpost and the ring must be 15 inches in diameter. At the beginning of the game, teams decide which goal net is the one they must get the ball through to score. The goal at that end of the court is within their goal circle and attacking third and the opponents’ goal at the other end is within their defending third. You can read more about the playing areas in the Game Essentials section and by watching our comprehensive player position video guides .
The ball should be a size five and should measure between 690mm (27 inches) and 710mm (28 inches) in circumference and weigh between 400grams and 450grams. The ball may be made of leather, rubber or similar material and should be bought as a netball. Young players usually use a smaller size four ball until their hands have grown enough to comfortably spread around the larger ball.
Each team has seven players in each of the following roles – Goal Keeper (GK), Goal Defence (GD), Wing Defence (WD), Centre (C), Wing Attack (WA), Goal Attack (GA) and Goal Shooter (GS). Each player is restricted to certain court areas depending on their position:GK: May only move within the defending goal third and the goal circle.GD: May move within the centre third, defending goal third and goal circle. WD: Only permitted in the defending goal third and centre third. C: Can move anywhere around the court except for the goal circles. WA: Is permitted in the attacking goal third and the centre third. GA: Can move within the centre third and attacking third and goal circle. GS: Is only allowed to move within the attacking goal third and goal circle.
A game of netball is split into 4 x 15 minute quarters. There are breaks of three minutes between the 1st & 2nd and the 3rd & 4th quarters, and a half-time break (between the 2nd & 3rd quarters) of five minutes. Up to two minutes can be added for each injury or illness.
A player may receive the ball with:
Player with the ball:
Player without the ball:
No player may contact an opponent either accidentally or deliberately in such a way that interferes with play of that opponent or causes contact to occur. A penalty pass/shot is awarded for the above infringements taken where it has occurred. The offending payer must stand out of play beside the thrower until the pass or shot has been taken. Any opposing player allowed in that area may take the penalty.