Netball is a fast, skillful team game based on running, jumping, throwing and catching. Teams may include up to 12 players but only 7 may take the court at any one time. Each player has a playing position determined by the areas on the court where they may move. The playing positions are shown by identification letters worn above the waist positioned on both the front and the back of the player. Those netball player positions are commonly known as GS, GA, WA, C, WD, GD and GK.
The major aim of the game is to score as many goals as is possible from within an area called the Goal Circle, which is a semi-circle centred on the goal line and measuring 4.9 metres in radius. Only two players from each team may score goals, these being the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter.
The omnipotent Match Officials are the two umpires, two scorers and two timekeepers.
The Ball is made of rubber, leather or similar material, weighs 400 – 450g, and measures 690 – 710mm in circumference.
The Court is 30.5 metres long and 15.25 metres wide; it is divided into thirds. The Center circle has a diameter of 0.9 metres and the two goal circles are both semi-circles measuring 4.9 metres in radius.
All lines are part of the court (i.e. a bounce on the line is “in”) and measure 50mm in width.
The Goal Posts are placed mid point of each goal line and measure 3.05 metres (10 feet) in height. The goal rings have an internal diameter of 380mm (15 inches). The goal ring projects horizontally from the post on a single attachment measuring 150mm (6 inches) in length.
A game consists of 4 x 15 minute quarters with an interval of 3 minutes between the first and second, and the third and fourth quarters and a 5 minute half time interval. Up to 2 minutes of additional time are allowed for each injury.
The Rules of Play
The Rules may be placed into two generic groups, those which infringe only a rule of play and are called minor rules. Those which infringe the rights of an opponent are called major rules.
The minor rules, such as “stepping”, “breaking”, “over a third”, “held ball” and “offside” are all penalised with a free pass to the opposing team. The major rules, consisting mainly of intimidation, contact, obstruction and discipline are all penalised with a penalty pass or penalty pass or shot to the opposing team. On infringing a major rule, the guilty offender must stand out of play until the ball has left the thrower’s hands.