Netball Rules

Basic Netball Rules
The court is divided into thirds and are separated by transverse lines with goal lines at each end of the court.

Playing Positions:
Each playing position has a specific area of the court in which to play:

Starting Positions

Starting Positions

Player Positions

GK (Goal Keeper)

Works with the Goal Defense to prevent the opposition Goal Attack and Goal Shooter from scoring.  Allowed in areas 4 & 5 only.

GD (Goal Defense)

Defends the Goal Attack, looking for intercepts, trying to prevent the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter from scoring.  Allowed in areas 3, 4 & 5.

WD (Wing Defense)

Looks for intercepts and prevents the Wing Attack from feeding the ball into the goal circle.  Allowed in areas 3 & 4.

C (Center)

Takes the center pass and controls game flow betweeen attack and defense.  Allowed in areas 2, 3 & 4.

GA (Goal Attack)

Feeds and works with the Goal Shooter to score.  Allowed in areas 1, 2 & 3.

GS (Goal Shooter)

Scores goals and works in and around the goal circle with the Goal Attack.  Allowed in areas 1 & 2.

Basic Rules & Equipment


A player cannot take two steps with the ball.  A player cannot drag or hop on the landing foot (the first foot to hit the ground while in possession of the ball).


No player may contact an opponent, either accidentally or deliberately.


A player must stand 3 feet from the player with the ball.


Player moving out of own  area, with or without ball (on a line counts as within either area).


Ball must be touched in each third and may not be thrown over two transverse lines without being touched.  Ball thrown in from either goal line, must be touched in that third.


The ball is out of court when it contacts anything outside the court area (not the goal post).  The ball is returned into play by a throw-in taken from a point outside the line where the ball left the court.  The player stands with foot close to the line, and the ball must be thrown onto court within 3 seconds.


A player must not hold the ball for longer than 3 seconds.


Each goal is worth one point only and must be shot within the goal circle.

The game is started (and restarted after each goal) with a center pass from the center circle.

The center pass, must be received or touched within the center third.


  • Netballs (size 5 for over 8 years old)
  • Bibs/pinnies (7 positions per team, indicated on bib)
  • Goal posts – free standing, no backboard
  • Can mark up a Netball court on an existing basketball or tennis court.
  • USA Netball teaching curriculum

If Netball America is conducting a clinic in your area, the necessary equipment will be supplied by Netball America for the duration of the clinic.


Please contact us if you would like us to present at your teachers conference or host a Netball clinic in your area.

You can download our ‘Quick Guide to Netball’ brochure here.

A rulebook is available for purchase in our store.

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