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Which position do you play?


Goal defenders are netball’s great chameleons, required to be fast-moving, canny and adaptable to change. They may have to fly for every contest with an aerial specialist or execute a quiet, grinding game in the shadow of more a dazzling defensive partner, who picks off loose balls generated by their tireless work.

As a defender in netball, the goal is to gain possession of the ball from the opposing team. This can be achieved by interception or even blocking the opposing team players. Positioning is critical as you need to be able to read the play and stay ready for any opportunity to intercept the ball. The ball should be the centre of your attention as a defender and you should always stay alert for any opportunities to take possession of the ball from the opposing team.

Reading the play

A good defender should have the ability to predict where the ball is going and judge the best times to try and intercept the ball as well as which players need to be marked from the attacking team. Remember that the long and high passes by the attacking team are easier to intercept than the shorter, lower/chest passes. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and make the most of your intercepts. 

Stay alert

This sounds very simple but it is often harder than it sounds. Paying attention to the movements of other players on both your team and other opposing team is very important if you are defending. If the attacking team goes for a shot at goal then you need to stay alert and ready for any rebounds that will enable your team to take up possession of the ball.

Be confident

Defending in netball is really all about being confident on the court and asserting yourself. Don’t be afraid to hassle the attacker to put them off their game and hopefully get them to make a mistake that you can capitalize on by taking possession of the ball for your team.

Height doesn’t matter

A lot of the great netball defenders are slightly shorter as this allows them to be slightly agiler and means that they can move very quickly. They should also be able to hassle for the ball and have a good vertical jump. Being tall isn’t as important as a defender but your confidence and jump are!

Fast Feet

Being able to move around the court at speed will always help you to be a better defender. Moving quickly will not only help to give you more opportunities but also help to tire out the players on the opposing team. When these players become worn out they will tend to make more mistakes which, as a defender means that you will have more opportunities to gain possession.


Size doesn’t matter!

It’s the attitude that count’s.


8.1 (ii) Start of Play

The game of netball can only be played it there are at least 5 players on court, one of whom  must play centre.

8.1.1 Failure to Take the Court

If the team is not able to take the court within 30 seconds: the umpires will award the match to the opposing team.

See the source image

Throwing the ball against the post – net!!

This is both legal!!

The GOALPOST consists of the pole and the net.

The post is placed so that the back of the pole is at the outside edge of the goal line.  The line is 5cm wide but the pole is between 6,5 and 10 cm.  The part sticking over is to the inside of the court, BECAUSE you can throw the ball against the pole and catch it again and you can throw the ball against the net and catch it again.

  1. Throwing against the pole as in the video.  Totally legal, just make sure there is no footwork infringement by the shooter.
  2. Throwing against the net as in the video. This takes place from a Throw In.  Totally legal, just make sure that the player first make contact with the court, before catching the ball from the net.

Teach this to your shooters and defenders.

Also:  nothing prevents the defender when she need to make a pass and the clock is ticking to throw the ball against the pole while standing on court and catching it again if she is not closely marked.


Positioned Incorrectly
Previously umpires called this ” Not Wholly Within”

Copy this link to your browser to see a centre pass where the player was pulled for an infringement?

The centre circle is white – meaning the circle include the line of 5cm. If a player steps on a line bounding the area they are in that area – it is no infringement as long as the foot is not OVER the line.

The rule for a centre pass. (8.2.2) – Only one foot must be wholly within the centre circle. The umpire will blow the whistle as soon as the player grounds the foot. If the player then pivots – the centre pass is finished – NOW it can either be footwork if you look closely at the clip.

On Pivot it states…..A movement where the player with the ball swivels either on the heel or on the ball of the landing foot while this maintains contact with the ground.

(It looks like the centre pivots on the heel and the toe – gaining unfair ground.) Footwork!

Injury time – Position left vacant of the centre?

THE RULES STATE:  If the position has been left vacant the player concerned or a  substitute may subsequently, after advising the umpire, take  the court immediately after one of the following:

  • A goal has been scored (in this case the player or a substitute must play in the position left vacant).
  • A stoppage for injury/illness or blood.
  • An interval.

If no substitution is made for the injured/ill player, or for a player who is bleeding, play may resume with the position left vacant. If the player is the Centre and no substitution is made,  one player must move to play as Centre to allow the match to continue.

If the position has been left vacant the player concerned or a substitute may not enter the match while play is in progress.

Sanction: The player is sent from the court until the correct time for     entry.

Penalty pass where ball was when play was stopped and a player   from the infringing team allowed in the area stands out of   play for the penalty.

The player who enters at the correct time goes in the VACANT position on court after the 3 bullets as indicated above.


Do you know which area is the court surround??


Stoppages for Blood – CLOTHING?

At the Quad Series in January there were some confusion if a player can come back onto court after cleaning the blood off their body or clothing if the umpire stops play for blood.

  • This will definitely be a discussion after the World Cup 2023 to specify this more clearly.  After each World Cup World Netball revises rules/change some/or give more detailed explanation of rules.

Some umpires let the players clean and come back on – then restart play.  Some send them off to be substituted.


The umpires hold time for injury/illness upon appeal from an on-court player.

The player concerned must leave the court within 30  seconds and receive any treatment off the court. The  timekeepers advise the umpires when 10 seconds remain

Any other players with blood on them and/or their clothing must leave the court and have the bloodstained clothing  replaced and blood cleaned off their body, before play restarts.

During the stoppage both teams may make substitutions and/or team changes, provided these are completed within the time allowed for the stoppage by the umpires.

Any blood on the ball or the court must be cleaned before play restarts.

Use your common sense on this matter.  The “best” route is to let the team make substitutions or team changes and the player/s concerned must leave the court.

If the position has been left vacant the player concerned or a  substitute may subsequently, after advising the umpire, take  the court immediately after one of the following:

  • A goal has been scored (in this case the player or a substitute must play in the position left vacant).
  • A stoppage for injury/illness or blood.
  • An interval.


2022 International Women’s Day Poem

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

You too can join the movement, by posting a picture of yourself with your arms crossed on social media as a sign of solidarity (please see below) and using the hashtags #IWD2022 and #BreakTheBias.


Netball Umpire’s Course – Stellenbosch

For all Beginner Umpire’s who wants to write Level 1+2

Also a great touch up opportunity for rusty Umpires and Graders.

Send your coaches and players. (Those who need to write Level 3 and has a Provincial C or C+ grading are welcome to attend.)

Date:  5 April (Theory from 16:30) + 12 April (Practical and Exams from 16:30)

Place:  Stellenbosch High School

Grading opportunity in April/May

Please complete the google document.