A netball court is divided into thirds consisting of two goal thirds and a centre third.

There are seven positions on a netball court. Each player is required to wear a bib which shows their position.

  • Goal Keeper (GK) – The main task of the Goal Keeper is to defend the goal third to prevent the ball from making it to the goal circle and to stop a goal being scored. Their opponent is the Goal Shooter.
  • Goal Defence (GD) – The main task of the Goal Defence is to defend the attacking moves of their opponent, the Goal Attack and to prevent a goal being scored. The Goal Defence also needs to have good attacking skills, which are important for getting the ball out of the defence third and assisting the team in attack.
  • Wing Defence (WD) – The main task of the Wing Defence is to defend the attacking moves of their opponent, the Wing Attack, at the centre pass, around the goal circle and throughout the centre and goal thirds. They should be ready at all times to pick up any tips or deflections created by the circle defenders and they also need to play a supporting backup role for the attackers down court.
  • Centre (C) – The centre is the link player from the defence third to the goal third and plays an important role in both attack and defence. They are allowed to move over the whole court, except in the goal circles.
  • Wing Attack (WA) – The main task of the Wing Attack is to deliver the ball to the Goal Shooter/Attack using a variety of attacking moves. They are allowed to move in the attacking goal third and the centre third, but not in the goal circle.
  • Goal Attack (GA) – The Goal Attack shares the goal shooting responsibilities with the Goal Shooter, and is allowed to move within the goal third and centre third. The Goal Attack must also work closely with the Wing Attack on the centre pass to gain possession and feed the ball to the Goal Shooter.
  • Goal Shooter (GS) – The main task of the Goal Shooter is to score goals. They are allowed within the goal third only and they must have good space awareness when working in confined areas with the Goal Attack. They must also be able to execute a variety of leads and movements in order to break away from the defenders.

Length of the Game
Netball is played over 15-minute quarters. There is a three-minute break between the first and second quarter and the third and fourth quarters. There is a five-minute break at half-time.

Starting the Game
The game commences with the first centre pass taken from the centre circle at the umpire’s whistle. After each goal is scored, a new centre pass is taken alternatively by the opposing centre players, irrespective of who scores the goal. The umpire’s whistle indicates the beginning and end of each quarter.

Scoring a Goal
A goal is scored when a Goal Shooter or Goal Attack within the goal circle throws the ball completely through the goal ring. The umpire’s whistle signals the goal is scored.

If you would like to know more about “how to play netball” please contact the Netball NSW Game Development Team on 02 9951 5000 or email coaching@netballnsw.com.

For all your coaching resource/books needs including rule books and coaching DVDs and manuals visit the Netball NSW Online Store.


Credit: Netball Australia