Netball Positions

A Quick Guide to Netball Positions

Netball positions are important to know if you plan to play this team sport.  Netball was created in America as a spin-off of basketball and Clara Baer created the first rules in 1895.  Netball is played on a hard court and there are scoring rings at each end of the court.  The rings are the same height as basketball rings but they do not have backboards on them like you would find in basketball.  The court is divided into three parts by lines on the court.  These lines will determine where each player is allowed to be during the game.  These lines will also help the umpire determine if a player is offsides during the game.

There are seven players on each team.  Each player is given or nominated for certain netball positions.  Each player will also wear a bib that has the abbreviation of the position they are playing on it.  Each player must remain in a certain place during the game and this location is based on the position that he/she plays.

The goal shooter (GS) is marking the goal keeper and he/she is allowed attacking third and being in the goal circle.  This person needs to be able to move in a quick, sharp way.  He or she must also be able to shoot the ball accurately and have rebounding skills.

Next is the goal attack position (GA).  The player that the goal attack is marking is the goal defense.  This netball position is allowed in the attacking and center thirds as well as in the goal circle.  The goal attack must be able to use space wisely and be able to communicate with the wing attack.

The WA is the wing attack and he/she is in charge of marking the wing defense.  The main job of the wing attack is to be able to deliver the ball to the shooters so they can attempt to score.  This individual is not allowed to be in the goal circle and if they are they are considered to be offsides.  The center position (C) is also not allowed in the goal circle and they are marking other center position players.  The wing defense (WD) is attacking the wing attack (opposite of what was discussed earlier).  This position is in charge of defending the wing areas during the game.  Other positions include the goal defense (GD) and the goal keeper (GK).  The goal keeper needs to be able to anticipate, intercept, rebound and have good one on one defense.

When the game starts, the ball is always in the possession of the center player.  Remember that this player can move into all areas of the court accept for the shooting circles.  It is important to remember that each person who has the ball during the game is only allowed to hold the ball for three seconds at a time.  During the game, only the goal attack and the goal shooter are allowed to score points by throwing the ball into one of the shooting rings.  These players are not allowed to throw the ball if the “free pass” has been awarded due to a penalty such as being offsides.  The job of the goal defense and the goal keeper is to keep the goal attack and the goal shooter from shooting the ball into the hoop.  When the game starts, only the person in the center position is allowed in the center third of the court.  Other players are only allowed to enter into the center third of the court once the umpire blows his whistle.