Interested in getting into the sport of netball? If you’re in the Melbourne area, you’ve got plenty of excellent choices for venues to play in — Melbourne Social Netball can be found at the Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Melbourne High School, Richmond Recreation Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, and Ryan’s Reserve.
But before you head over to your chosen venue, you should first prepare for the game by reading about how to play netball properly. Check out this brief guide.
Netball is a fast-paced game wherein two teams (made up of 10 players each, but with only seven players per team on the court at a time) aim to keep or take possession of the ball.
The players of the team with the ball can use a variety of moves (jumping, running, throwing and catching) to move the ball into the goal circle. The opposing team, on the other hand, must use defensive moves to prevent the other team from scoring a goal and to gain possession of the ball.
Each player in a team is assigned a position (they are required to wear bibs indicating their positions). There are specific areas in the court in which each player can move.
The seven positions are as follows:
- The Goal Keeper is tasked with defending the goal third to keep the ball from reaching the goal circle, and to keep the other team from scoring a goal. Their main opponent is the Goal Shooter.
- The Goal Defence must defend against their direct opponent, the Goal Attack, and keep the other team from scoring a goal. The Goal Defence also needs to perform good attacks to assist the team and to get the ball out of the defence third.
- The Wing Defence must fight off the moves of their direct opponent, the Wing Attack. They move at the centre pass, throughout the centre and goal thirds, and around the goal circle. They provide support to the attackers down court and they must be constantly on the alert to pick up any deflections or tips by the circle defenders.
- The Centre plays a crucial role in both attack and defence for the team. They can move throughout the whole court (except for goal circles). The Centre is the link player from the defence third to the goal third.
- The Wing Attack delivers the ball to the Goal Shooter or Goal Attack. They can move in the attacking goal third and centre third; however, the goal circle is off limits.
- The Goal Attack can move within the goal third and centre third and, like the Goal Shooter, is tasked with shooting goals. They also work with the Wing Attack to gain possession of the ball and feed it to the Goal Shooter on the centre pass.
- The Goal Shooter’s responsibility is to score goals and they must do this while operating only within the goal third. Being able to break away from the defenders using a wide range of moves is essential for this position.
In order to score a goal, the Goal Shooter or Goal Attack must throw the ball completely through the goal ring, from within the goal circle. The team with the most number of scored goals wins the match.
The sport is played over four quarters, with each quarter lasting 15 minutes. There is a three-minute break between the first and second quarters, and third and fourth quarters. Halftime lasts five minutes.
Initially developed to be played primarily by girls and women, netball is now also being played by boys and men.
Excited to give the sport a try? Get your family, friends and co-workers together and make plans to play netball as soon as you can.