An introduction to the rules of netball

In short, netball is an exciting game of skill and tactics for two teams of seven players, and two umpires. The best players are exceptionally fit, able to think quickly, and of course, possess great hand-eye coordination.

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In a nutshell

In its simplest form, the object of the game is to pass the ball among your players from the centre of the court where play starts, and then score a goal in the 10ft high post at the end of the court. It sounds easy, but it can be much harder than that when there is an opposition team determined to win the ball from you and score themselves.

At the end of the game, the team with the highest number of goals scored wins. The 100ft court is divided into thirds; the defending, the centre, and the attacking. Depending on which position you play, you will be allowed in certain areas of the court only. No player may cover the whole court, and each has restrictions. Players pass the ball between their team until there is an interception or infringement.

The goal circles – a semi-circle in each of the end thirds – are where the goal posts are located, and they can only be entered by the Goal Shooter, Goal Attack, and the opposition’s Goal Keeper and Goal Defence. The Centre may go as far as the edge of each circle, and the Wing Attack and Wing Defence may go across either the attacking or defending third, and the centre third. Players may not move their landing foot whilst holding the ball, and there is no ‘dribbling,’ as in basketball.

Get involved

People play netball for lots of reasons, not least the physical fitness and tactics, but also the social side. Many sessions will start with some skills work, perhaps even a netball drill training video, before moving into a game. Whatever the skills level at your club, there are training resources online, from sites like Sport Plan: www.sportplan.net.

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With the Netball World Cup coming to Liverpool in 2019, British audiences are already starting to take an interest and clubs across the country will be looking forward to renewed interest in their sport, which will hopefully translate into growing memberships.

Why not give it a try? Your local club will certainly be pleased to see you.