History Of Netball
* Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. The sport shares many similarities with basketball, having been derived from early versions of women's basketball. It developed as a distinct sport in the 1890s in England, from where it spread to other countries. Netball is popular in Commonwealth nations and is predominantly played by women.
* Games are played on a rectangular court divided into thirds, with a raised goal at each short end. The object of the game is for teams to score goals, by passing a ball and shooting it into the opposing team's goal. Players are assigned "positions" that define their role within the team and restrict their movement on court. During general play, a player with the ball can take no more than one step before passing it, and must pass the ball or shoot for goal within three seconds. Goals can only be scored by the assigned shooting players. Netball games are 60 minutes long, divided into 15-minute quarters, at the end of which the team with the most goals scored wins.
Court and its dimensions
* Like basketball, netball is played on either a hard or soft court with scoring hoops or "rings" at both ends. The court is slightly larger than a basketball court, being 30.5 m long and 15.25 m wide. The longer sides are called "side lines" and the shorter sides are called "goal lines"or "back lines". Court markings are no more than 50 mm wide. The court is divided into thirds which regulate where individuals of each position are allowed to move. A 90 cm-diameter "centre circle" is located in the centre of the court. At each end of the court there is a 4.9 m-radius semi-circular "shooting circle" or "goal circle" from within which all scoring shots must be taken. The goal posts are 3.05 m high from the top of the ring to the ground and have no backboards. The rings have an internal diameter of 380 mm and are located 150 mm forward from the post and are made of 15 mm diameter steel. The height is the same as a basketball hoop, but in netball the diameter of the rings is 3 inches smaller. It is possible to play netball using a basketball hoop but if there is any contact between the ball and the backboard, the ball is considered out of play. If a goal is scored off the backboard it does not count. Some versions of the rules allow a goal to be scored from a backboard rebound if a player who can catch the ball throws the ball in without touching the ground.
* By the combination of the above, only the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter are able to score goals directly, and this may only be done from the inside of the circle. The job of the Goal Defence and Goal Keeper is to block the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter from shooting; however, they must be three feet or more away from the landing foot of the shooter, otherwise it is called an obstruction. In this, the Goal Keeper or Goal Defence must stand by the shooter's side for a penalty pass or shot and are now not allowed to block. A ball that passes through the hoop, but has been thrown either from outside the circle or by a player not the GA or GS, is deemed a "no goal". Furthermore, a shooter (GA or GS) may not shoot for a goal if a "free pass" has been awarded for an infringement such as stepping, offside, or using the post.
* If a player misses and the ball does not touch the rim or any part of the post, the player cannot catch it otherwise it is called replay. This results in a free pass to the other team.
Starting and restarting play
* At the beginning of every quarter or after a goal is scored, play starts from the centre of the court with a "centre pass". These passes alternate between the teams, regardless of which team scored the last goal. A centre pass is made by a player in the "centre" position who must have one foot grounded within the centre circle. As the game restarts, only the player in the 'Centre' position from each team are allowed in the centre third of the court. When the umpire blows the whistle to restart play, players in the positions "Goal Attack", "Goal Defence", "Wing Attack" and "Wing Defence" can move into the centre third, where the centre pass must be caught.
* If the ball touches the ground outside the court boundaries, then a member of the team that was not the last to touch the ball before it went out is able to throw the ball back into the court to restart play.
Stepping, footwork, and passing
* Netball rules do not permit players to let their landing foot touch the ground again if it is lifted at all while in possession of the ball, so players can take 1.5 steps while holding the ball. Players are entitled to balance on the other foot if the landing foot is lifted. Consequently, the only way to move the ball towards the goal is to throw the ball to a team-mate. The ball can be held by a player for less than three seconds at any time. A player may tap (deflect) the ball let it bounce and then take possession and throw it. The player cannot catch the ball (with both hands), drop it and pick it up again; this is called a replayed ball. The duration before it is called a drop is determined by the umpire. These rules, combined with the restrictions on where one player of a particular position can move, ensure that everyone on the team is regularly involved in play.
Contact and obstruction
* Contact is only permitted provided it does not impede with an opponent or the general play and players must be at least three feet (90 centimetres) away from a player with the ball while attempting to defend. If impeding contact is made, a penalty is given to the team of the player who was contacted, and the player who contacted must stand "out of play", meaning they cannot participate in play until the player taking the penalty has passed the ball.
* A game is played in four quarters, each one lasting fifteen minutes, with intervals of three minutes between the first and second quarters, and between the third and fourth quarters. There is also an interval of five minutes at half time. If a player/umpire calls time, and the time keeper pauses the timer. When the game starts and the player has swapped places with another player, or is healthy, play is resumed and the timer is restarted.