Netball is a much-loved sport in Australia — and why wouldn’t it be? It’s fast, it’s exciting, and it brings together skillful players from all walks of life. In Melbourne alone, you’re sure to find several teams frequently engaging in competitions at Melbourne Social Netball’s popular venues — you’ll find these at the Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Melbourne High School, Richmond Recreation Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, and Ryan’s Reserve.

Long-time netball players will know the rudiments of the game by heart, but as with any sport, both professional and amateur athletes must be able to practise flexibility and adaptability in order to win. For example, you have to be alert regarding any changes or new additions made to the rules of the game so that your whole team can effectively make the right moves and score the greatest number of goals.

In August 2015, the International Netball Federation updated the official Rules of Netball and these changes were implemented in netball venues across the country from January 1, 2016.

One of the crucial changes made is the number of players allowed in each netball team.

Here are the updates to the rules regarding the members of a netball team.

Some definitions

 

To begin, let’s define the term “team.” In netball, a team is comprised of 10 players (of whom a maximum of seven are on the court at any time) and up to five team officials.

Out of the five team officials, at least one must be a primary care person (a person who is qualified to diagnose and treat injury or illness, like a doctor or physiotherapist).

Team players

  • According to the 2016 netball rules, before the netball match starts, the scorers must be provided with the names of all players and team officials. Each team must name one of their players as captain.
  • A minimum of five and a maximum of seven players from a team may be on the court at any one time during a match. One of these players must play as Centre.
  • There are seven playing positions: Goal Shooter, Goal Attack, Wing Attack, Centre, Wing Defence, Goal Defence, and Goal Keeper.
  • All players have specific areas of the court where they are allowed to play.
  • If a team fields four or less players, five minutes after the netball competition’s official start, the team will automatically forfeit.

For Mixed netball divisions:

  • There must be a maximum of three females and a minimum of two males on the court at any one time.
  • If the mixed team only has five players present, there must be a minimum of three females and two males to get the game started.
  • Male players must be in three different thirds of the court (Centre, Defending and Attacking positions).
  • To elaborate, a male player must be either:
  • 1.Wing Attack, Wing Defence or Centre (Centre Positions)
  • 2.Goal Keeper or Goal Defence (Defending Positions)
  • 3.Goal Attack or Goal Shooter (Attacking Positions)

Team officials

  • Each team may have up to five team officials. These will include one coach as well as at least one primary care person.
  • The primary care person has certain rules to follow as well. They must:
  • -Must wear the necessary identification specified by the event organizer
  • -Must not have any other roles within the team
  • -Be qualified to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses
  • -Advise the umpires that if a player cannot perform because of illness or injury, he or she must be removed from the court within 30 seconds

The primary care person is also permitted on the court in case of a player’s illness or injuries or blood issues.

So, the next time some netball beginners approach you to ask “How many players in a netball team?”, you’ll know the correct answer to provide to help these fresh enthusiasts get a good start on their netball playing experience.

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