Netball-All you need to know

Netball is a sport similar to Basketball, although the rules, ball and no. of players are different. Netball is originated in England in the 1890s and it was derived from Basketball. Now there are 60+ teams playing in five regions around the world.



In this game 2 teams of 7 players each strive to keep or gain possession of ball. The players attempt to move the ball (by running, throwing and catching) into its goal, while opposing team defends the goal. Players have specified areas in which they can move.

The main objective of netball is to score more points than your opponent and save as many goals as you can. The duration of a game is 1 hour and this is split into four quarters of 15 minutes each. There’s an interval of three minutes between the first and second quarter and the third and fourth quarter. A half time of 5 minutes between the second and third quarter.


The size of Netball court is 30.5 metres (100 ft) long and 15.25 metres (50 ft) wide. The court is rectangular in shape with generally wooden surface. The netball court is divided into three sections where players are allowed to move and play. Players should wear their uniform with sports footwear (preferably rubber soles). The players and their positions are:

  • Goal Shooter    (GS)      {Ara: A,B}
  • Goal Attack      (GA)      {Area: A,B,C}
  • Goal Defence   (GD)      {Area: C,D,E}
  • Goal Keeper     (GK)      {Area: D,E}
  • Wing Attack     (WA)     {Area: B,C}
  • Wing Defence  (WD)    {Area: C,D}
  • Centre                 (C)       {Area: B,C,D}


Role of UMPIRES:

  • They control the match according to the rules of the game and give their decisions without appeal and umpires decision is the final decision.
  • Umpire whistles for:
  1. Start/End of Quarter/Half
  2. Restart play after goal
  3. Signals when timekeeper hold time and when to restart the play
  4. When there is any foul conducted by player

Penalties given by umpire: netball umpire

  • Free Pass
  • Penalty Pass

A Reserve Umpire is the one who comes into play when on-field umpire is ill/injured. It is seated at the umpires bench during a match.

Technical Officials:

The team of technical officials consists of:

  • 2 Scorers
  • 2 Timekeepers
  • Any other official for event

Only the scorers and timekeepers are seated at the official bench.

Role of CAPTAIN:

  • Both the captains of teams toss for choice of goal end or 1st centre pass.
  • The umpire asks the captain to speak to player whose behavior is causing concern.
  • Captain can enquire to umpire for any clarification during an interval.


Rules of the Game:

  • The duration of a match is of 60 mins. (4 quarters of 15 minutes each)
  • Each team can have a maximum of 7 players and a minimum of 5.
  • The court is divided into 3 parts with each player can move in specific part of court.
  • Players cannot hold the ball for more than three seconds.
  • A player cannot :
  1. Kick the ball
  2. Snatch the ball
  3. Strike the ball with fist
  4. Roll the ball to pass
  • A player who accidentally falls on the ground while holding the ball must stand on his position again and release the ball within 3 sec.
  • Player who receives the ball in air and land on one foot can step with second foot in any direction, lift the landing foot and throw the ball before the landing foot is on the ground again.
  • Player who receives the ball while both feet are on ground or catches the ball in air and land on both feet simultaneously can step with one foot in any direction, lift the second foot and throw the ball before the foot is on the ground again.
  • Offside penalty is when a player enters in area that is not designated for that player.
  • Opposing player who intercepts the ball or try to defend the ball should maintain the distance of 3ft. from other player.



Umpire Hand Signals:

  • Start/Restart: Arm held high, angled towards the goal end of team with pass
  • Hold: Facing Timekeeper, one hand vertical and other horizontal to form “T”
  • Pass: for centre pass, throw in arm outstretched to side pointing to goal end of team with pass
  • Toss Up: Hand and palm up with upward flicking movement netball umpire
  • Advantage: Arm sweeping towards goal end of team with advantage
  • Goal Scored: Arm held vertically upward
  • Goal not Scored: Crossed arms below waist
  • Offside/Breaking: Small arc movement with hand
  • Held Ball: Upward arm with 3 fingers up
  • Obstruction of player with ball: Elbow downward with a right angle and palms inwards
  • Obstruction of player without ball: arms angled out below waist
  • Warning: Arms crossed over the head
  • Suspension: arms vertically upwards with 2 fingers up


Preyanshu Bisht

Founder and Author of Times of Reality. Undergraduate student at IP University with Computer Science as major.

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