The seven netball positions explained
There are seven individual netball positions on a court and each of these positions plays a specific roll in the function of any netball team. There are three defensive positions, three attacking positions and one player occupies the centre of the court. Understanding the role and purpose of these positions will lead to a better grasp on how to play netball.
The seven netball positions are as follows:
- Goalkeeper (GK)
- Goal Defence (GD)
- Wing Defence (WD)
- Wing Attack (WA)
- Goal Attack (GA)
- Goal Shooter (GS)
Goalkeeper: the last defensive line in any netball team.
- The goalkeeper’s job is to guard the goal circle and defensive third of the court and deny the goal shooter opportunities to shoot and score
- A big part of a goalkeeper’s job is to pick up rebounds off the post and intercept passes so staying alert is crucial
- They are also responsible for taking throw-ins from the goal-line
- A goalkeeper’s job is to protect the goal at all costs. More often than not they are tall and physical players
Goal Defence: main function is to patrol and guard the goal circle, defensive third and centre third.
- Main priority of a goal defence player is to prevent the opposing team from scoring and getting the ball out of the scoring zones as quick as possible
- An important job is to keep tabs on the opposition’s goal attack
- Needs to have good anticipation skills to intercept and block passes and get the ball up to their attacking players
Wing Defence: main job is to prevent the ball from reaching the opposition’s goal circle.
- The wing defence can move around the defensive third and into the centre third but is not allowed enter the attacking third or goal circle
- They are required to intercept passes and provide possession for the attacking players
- Must also mark the opposing wing attack
- This position requires good ball control and concentration
Centre: centres are the fulcrum of any netball team as they are the main link between defence and attack.
- They can move around any part of the court apart from the goal circles
- Main job is to move the ball from defence to the attack as quickly and accurately as possible
- They are required to be agile and quick which generally means they are the smallest players on a netball team
- Centres restart the game after every goal has been scored by passing the ball from the centre of the court
Wing Attack: their main job is to create goal scoring chances by supplying the ball to the shooters.
- Generally seen as the most important playmaker on the court
- They can operate in the attacking and centre third but are not allowed enter the goal circle or defensive third
- Good passing and handling skills are a must
- Wing attacks need to be agile and have good footwork to create space
Goal Attack: a goal attack’s job is to set up the goal shooter and also to score goals.
- Can play in the attacking third, centre third and goal circle but not in the defensive third
- If the goal shooters are not in space or being marked, a goal attacker may often shoot from the edge of the goal circle
- Needs to have very good passing and shooting skills
Goal Shooter: the goal shooter’s primary aim is to score as many goals as they can.
- They can only operate in the attacking third and nowhere else on the court
- Along with accurate shooting skills, they need quick reactions to deal with passes and rebounds
- Players in these positions are generally among the tallest on any team