What Do You Need To Play Netball?
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Netball is an exciting sport that you may have heard of or watched. The game usually involves two teams of seven players and is most commonly played by women. In fact, the sport has reached over 20 million people in over 80 countries, continuing to grow each year. Maybe you’re interested in playing?
What do you need to play netball? On average, most netball leagues require the same basic equipment or versions of this equipment (with Amazon links), including:
The International Netball Federation (INF) Rules of Netball are written for International play and state that the game or netball events are to be played in indoor courts on sprung wooden floors. However, each league can have varying rules that may differ for players, requiring different equipment or facilities.
Read Also: What Do You Wear In Netball?
The Essential Gear and Court for Netball
As mentioned, different leagues can require different equipment or have varying specifications.
However, each game does use the same basic equipment for proper playing.
If you are hoping to begin playing or even want to start your own league, you need to guarantee that you have the proper equipment needed. Luckily, we will discuss everything you need so you can join the millions who are already loving the sport!
The Court and Court Related Areas
First, you’ll need a court that is up to the required specifications:
- Rectangular in shape
- Level and firm
- Wooden surface (most often)
For proper playing, most netball players recommend using sprung wooden floors. This is a shock-absorbent floor, often wood backed by foam or rubber to give it some spring.
Whatever material your court is, it should be safe to play on and large enough to provide adequate play space. The size of your court may differ, but most netball leagues require it to be rectangle made of 100ft and 50 ft sides.
Marking the Court
You will want to mark the court to guarantee that you can signify goal lines, which are two lines that are parallel to the goal lines, dividing your court into three equal areas. You will often hear these lines called transverse lines; the middle area is called the center-third; the two end areas are goal-thirds.
Netball courts also have a three-foot in diameter circle in the middle of the court, referred to as the center circle. The goal circle will be located at the end of the court. This is a semi-circle with a radius of 16 feet. Most courts use white lines to make them most visible for players, and these lines should be around two inches wide.
Terms Used to Identify the Court
- The Surrounding Area – The area around the court is often referred to as the court surround, which is the outer rectangular shape that surrounds the court. The distance between the edge of the court surround, the goal lines, and the sidelines should be about ten feet.
- The Field of Play – You will hear the area that is actually used for play or the court and the court surround referred to as the field of play. It is important to have this area defined as during netball games, only players and umpires can enter the field of play.
The Designated Bench Zones
You will want to have a bench zone located adjacent to the field of play. This should be made up of the official bench where umpires can sit and the team benches. Most often in netball, the umpire and player’s benches are all together making up one bench zone on one side of the court.
There should also be a zone on the other side of the court that is for watchers and any media to sit.
Since the area of play and bench zone are only used for umpires and players, you need to have an area for others who may be present. This basic set up is necessary for your league to play properly.
Ensure Proper Goalposts are in Place
You will want to guarantee that your goalposts are properly placed and ready to use for your netball league. These goalposts are placed at the midpoint of each goal line. You should have goalposts that are made from a vertical metal pole, about 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter and ten feet tall.
Depending on where you are playing, you will either want to insert your goal post into the ground on your court. You can also sleeve the pole beneath the floor, but you want to guarantee there is minimal movement when knocked. Since these poles are pretty large, you want to ensure it remains as stable as possible while playing.
These goalposts have a metal ring that is usually made of a steel rod and is in 15 inches in diameter. Your metal ring should have a net that is clearly visible for players and, of course, open at the top and bottom. Most teams use white nets to guarantee their visibility.
Netball Hoop For Practice
Freestanding Netball Posts Galvanized Steel
Great netball hoop for practice. This hoop is very easy to move around, with adjustable posts. Comes in pink or blue.
The Netball Itself
Of course, you cannot play netball without the netball itself. These are easily purchased from online stores or even local sports shops. Most leagues use a spherical match ball that has a circumference of 27 or 28 inches, weighing between 14 and 16 ounces.
You can find netballs in different materials, but they are usually made of leather, rubber, or other synthetic materials. It is important that you have one match ball that is used throughout the game, but you also want to have a spare ball at the umpire bench. This spare can be used if the original match ball is damaged. Umpires should check the balls before any play begins.
My Pick For Netball
Gilbert APT Training Netball
Great option for practice. A classic.
The Netball Players
We’ve covered the space where you play and the list of items you need to play. But what about gear? Netball players do need some specialized gear.
It is important not to underestimate the physical requirements that come with a game of netball. While each of your teammates should be prepared for the physical strain that is put on the body during the sport, it is also important that they have the proper clothing needed.
You want to ensure that each of your teammates has the uniforms required and proper footwear, that can withstand the jumping and landing during a game. Of course, there are also some requirements that are necessary to make identifying players easy for watchers, players, and umpires.
Players Must be Easily Identifiable
Each game of netball requires your team to have seven players. During the match, the players present must wear a registered paying uniform and suitable footwear, which we will further discuss later on.
However, it is important that each player has their playing position initials clearly visible and worn above the waist in the front and back.
These initials should be about six inches in height and easily seen.
Most uniform regulations state that each player must wear this position marked on a bib.
This should remain on the player’s torso throughout the entirety of the match and during all break times. Depending on where you purchase from and your specific league guidelines, you can usually find these bibs in seven different colors.
These colored bibs help umpires, teammates, and watchers identify the seven individual players. Each player will have a specified area that they must stay in while on the court. The initials for these positions are:
- Goal Shooter – GS
- Goal Attack – GA
- Wing Attack – WA
- Center – C
- Wing Defense – WD
- Goal Defense – GD
- Goalkeeper – GK
Netball Kit Uniforms and Clothing Requirements
Before any teams can begin playing, you need to ensure that your players have the proper uniforms in place.
As mentioned, each player needs to have a netball bib that is easily identifiable and marked with their position. However, you also want to have a top and bottom that represents your team colors.
Most teams opt for brightly colored jersey tops or polos, worn with skirts or shorts.
Some opt for one-piece netball dresses. Netball teams are usually made up of females, but some do have females and males playing together. And there are all-male teams. If you have a mixed-gender team, you may want to choose brightly colors tops and shorts.
When choosing a netball outfit, you want to ensure that it has a quality fit that is comfortable during play.
Check out this complete guide on what to wear to play Netball
These should not be overly loose so that they do not get in your way while playing but should also be comfortable to wear. If you do choose skirts or dresses, you want them to provide adequate coverage.
It is important that whatever fabric you choose for your uniform is breathable so that you can remain cool during play. Some popular choices for netball uniforms are:
High Quality and Supportive Shoes
Since netball is such a demanding sport, it is important that the footwear your team uses is as high quality as possible.
Shoes are actually one of the most important parts of the outfits worn.
You want these shoes to provide the right level of arch support while cushioning the foot to keep players comfortable.
As mentioned, most netball games are played on wooden or sprung wooden floors.
In this post we give you all the details about Netball apparel.
However, you should also wear shoes that work well for whatever type of surface you are playing on. No matter the flooring, you will want to pick shoes that are cushioned enough to reduce impact and have good tread for a quality court grip.
There are many companies that offer quality netball footwear for players that you can shop from. However, it is also great to try these shoes on in person so you can see how they fit and if they feel comfortable. Wearing inappropriate footwear can cause blisters, but those that are not supportive can also lead to bigger injuries like sprained ankles or breaks.
My Pick For Netball Shoes
Mizuno Women's Wave Hurricane
Basic multipurpose shoe at a fair price. One of the best options for the money.
Use Specialty Gear if Needed
In addition to quality footwear, your team should also wear quality socks that lower the risks of getting blisters. Players will want to wear socks that add cushion to the foot, and some companies even offer socks that add support. Regardless, you want your team to have quality socks that work well with the shoes of your choosing.
Going along with this, some players opt to add specialty netball gear so that they can stay as safe as possible while playing.
There are options like knee and ankle guards which can provide extra support and greater stability to players.
Some players also strap their knees and ankles for support, to help avoid getting serious sprains or strain injuries while playing.
Educate Yourself on What Not to Wear
While it is extremely important to know exactly what your team needs, it is also important to know what is not allowed. Depending on the league you choose to play in, you will want to educate yourself and your players on what is allowed or not allowed.
Most do not allow for any jewelry, watches, hats and other accessories.
You will want to have a copy of all guidelines for the league on hand to look over regularly. It is important that all of your players be knowledgeable about these rules.
Best Websites to Purchase From
While you can purchase some netball equipment from a local sports shop, you may also find a lot of quality equipment online. In most cases, you will want to find a court that is already available for you to use but purchasing a quality netball and other gear is critical. Some top websites that offer this equipment are:
Learn More by Watching Others
Following the equipment and outfit requirements listed above will give you a great start when it comes to the world of netball. You will have everything that you need to play the game and even start your own team. As mentioned, you always want to look over any league requirements that may be in place for your equipment and outfits of choice.
To learn even more about the sport and what is required for quality playing, you can visit your local teams and watch a game. While you probably already have a love for the sport, watching others play more often can really teach you a lot. You can see how all of this equipment is used and even learn more about designing a quality netball kit.