One of the most common questions asked by people interested in playing netball is “How long does a netball game go for?”

According to official netball rules, a match is comprised of four quarters. Each quarter will have a playing duration of 15 minutes each. Between the first and second quarter and the third and fourth quarter, there will be four-minute intervals. Should there be emergencies, the umpires can extend the intervals.

A halftime break between the second and third quarter will last for 12 minutes. However, that halftime break can be shortened to just eight minutes if the teams and organisers agree.

Matches should not exceed the prescribed period. However, if one team is awarded a penalty pass in its attacking goal circle before the clock runs out, that penalty pass should be taken before the match concludes.

If the score is tied at the end of the match, the teams will play for an agreed upon extra time in order to determine the winner. This extra time is determined before the beginning of the match and the organisers need to inform the teams and umpires. The length of the extra time should also be indicated.

Before the teams start playing to determine the match winner, they will be given an interval of four minutes. The extra time consists of two halves and each half should not be longer than seven minutes. In between each half, the teams will have an interval of one minute.

If the teams are still tied after the extra time has elapsed, the match will continue after a team leads by two goals.

Take note that these rules on match length and time only apply to official matches and international play. If you are still an amateur playing a recreational game, the match length can be changed extensively.

Typically, the length of the game is determined by the organiser of the competition. When playing with friends, you can agree upon modifications related to match length.

For example, instead of playing four quarters, you and other game participants can agree to play the game for 20 minutes divided into two halves. You may even choose to play for four quarters with each quarter shortened. Players can also extend or shorten the interval time.

You can better understand the above rules by watching a game — or even participating in one yourself. See what goes on for yourself by attending a Melbourne Social Netball match, usually held at one of the following venues: Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Melbourne High School, Richmond Recreation Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, and Ryan’s Reserve.

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