Who Does What: A Summary Of Netball Positions And Roles

Posted: 5. 12. 2016

by energetic

Who Does What: A Summary Of Netball Positions And Roles

(Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Netball-edit2.svg)

Netball is an interesting sport in the fact that players are restricted to certain areas of the court, depending on their position. They wear bibs which show the position that they are currently playing, and are penalised for entering the wrong areas of the court. There are seven players from each team on the netball court at any one time, all of which have different zonal restrictions. Each player has their own specified role within the team, which they need to play to the best of their ability to ensure the team functions well as a unit. The positions and their main restrictions and roles include:

Centre (C)

The centre is the freest player on the netball court, and is able to play on any part of the court except for the two goal circles. They act as both attackers and defenders, and therefore must be very aerobically fit and have a good running ability. The centre player’s main roles include:

  • Taking the centre pass after every second restart.
  • Working with the wing attack to create strong attacking plays and move the ball to the shooters.
  • Taking throw ins and free passes in the goal third to ensure that the other attacking players are free to move around.
  • Defending the opposition centre player and trying to limit their influence.
  • Working closely with the WD to pressure the opposition when they are attacking.

Wing Attack (WA)

The wing attack is often touted as the team’s key playmaker due to their role in attack. They are allowed in the two attacking thirds of the court, but can’t enter the goal circle. They work purely to create scoring opportunities for the GS and the GA by working their defender over. It is important for the WA to have good attacking skills and to be able to play smart. The WA’s main roles include:

  • The wing attack is usually on the end of the centre pass.
  • They work closely with the centre to feed the shooters and create as many scoring opportunities as possible.
  • They act as the cornerstone of the attack, as they are the crucial link between the defensive and attacking halves of the ground.
  • Throw ins and free passes in the attacking third are taken by the WA.
  • They also defend the opposition WD to prevent counterattacks.

Goal Shooter (GS)

The goal shooter is only allowed in their attacking third of the court. They are usually one of the tallest players on the team, and are responsible for shooting a majority of the team’s goals. The GS is responsible for:

  • Working closely with the GA to shoot the ball through the hoop. This often involves a burst of short, sharp passes to get the ball in a better position to shoot from.
  • As a tall player, the GS needs to be able to rebound missed shots effectively.
  • They also defend the oppositions GK to ensure a quick counterattack doesn’t occur.

Goal Attack (GA)

The goal attack is required to work closely with the GS to score and set up goals. They are allowed in the two attacking thirds of the court. They share the scoring responsibility, and are one of the only two players on the court allowed to score goals. They need to do the following things to ensure the team runs smoothly:

  • If the GS is free, then they need to feed them with quick, accurate passes to set them up to shoot a goal.
  • However, if the GS is heavily defended, then the GA needs to be able to take long range shots accurately.
  • They must be able to pass very well while also being able to shoot accurately from the outer edge of the circle.
  • As one of the two attackers allowed in the goal circle, the GA must be able to rebound missed shots and prevent the opposition GD from rebounding.

Goal Keeper (GK)

The goal keeper is the primary defender on court, and is responsible for limiting the influence of the opposition GS. They are confined to the defensive third of the court, and will rarely leave the defensive goal circle. Their main roles are:

  • To provide a close defence of the GS and of all shots for goal.
  • Rebound missed shots for goal and launch the counterattack.
  • Take base line and back third throw ins and free passes.
  • To work closely with the GD to limit the attack of the opposition and prevent them from scoring goals.

The goal defence is restricted to the two defensive thirds of the court, and is responsible for limiting the influence of the GA. They are a vital part of the team’s defence, and need to be on the ball at all times to prevent the opposition scoring. They need to:

  • Mark the GA closely and try and prevent them from receiving the ball.
  • Defend any shots on goal that the GA takes.
  • Rebound missed shots on goal and help the GK launch a fast counterattack.
  • Take throw ins and free passes in the defensive and centre thirds when necessary.

Wind Defence (WD)

The last position on the court is the wing defence, but it is by no means the least important. The wing defence is limited to the defensive two thirds of the court, but can’t enter the defensive goal circle. Their main roles in the team include:

  • Defending the WA and limiting their influence wherever possible.
  • Forcing errors on the WA, C, and GA whenever possible.
  • Intercepting or blocking passes.
  • Making attacking moves to move the ball quickly up the court.
  • Taking throw ins and free passes whenever necessary.

Although the positions on a netball court may seem confusing at first, the best way to learn them is to get out and play. Contact your local netball team or club for more information on joining a team and getting your netball life started!