What Kind of Netball Equipment Do You Need?
When you start playing a sport like netball you will have to take the time to learn the rules of the game and also how to play. You will take time to study the moves, positions, and list of things you are not allowed to do. You should also think about getting some netball equipment so that you can practice at home or if you are introducing the sport at your school.
Netball is a sport that is similar to basketball and is usually played by women only, although men’s netball is a growing sport.
The differences between netball and basketball are the fact that instead of running with the ball and dribbling, in netball you are not allowed to move when you have the ball. If you are passed the netball you have to stop, keeping the landing foot on the ground at all times whilst you can lift the other foot to pivot in another direction before passing the ball on to another player. Each player is only allowed within certain sections of the court and the netball ring is much higher and smaller than that of a basketball ring and it doesn’t have the backboard to assist players in scoring a goal.
The netball equipment that you need will consist of a regulation size net without a backboard and a netball. A regulation netball post can be free standing so that it can be wheeled away when not in use or it can be socketed, so that it screws into an underground socket. These are available for use on both indoor and outdoor netball courts. The regulation height of the ring is ten feet, but posts will also usually have two lower settings for infant and junior netball. If you don’t have room for a regulation size post in the garden there are garden style sets available with posts which separate into sections and fit into a polythene base, like that used for sun shades or alternatively you can purchase wall mounted netball rings to fix on an existing wall. These are useful for younger players as the wall will act as a backboard to assist them in scoring until their skill and confidence increases.
The netball is not as hard and heavy as a basket ball and is meant to encourage a fast game, even though you are not allowed to run with the ball. Netballs are available for either indoor use, outdoor use or a combination of both. Netballs come in two sizes size 4 is for juniors and size 5 is for senior netball. If buying a netball for home use then a training ball will be sufficient, if buying for a school or club then you will need several training balls and then one or two match quality netballs for use in competitive games.
The netball team is made up of seven players and each player has a position. This is indicated using a netball bib or Velcro patch with the positional letters printed on it. Each position has certain parts of the court which they are allowed to operate within and the rest of the court is out of bounds. Most clubs and schools will have at least two sets of bibs so that they can practice with two teams and also so that they can swap sets if the opponents’ bibs are the same or similar colour when playing away. It is important for both teams to have a set of bibs because the positions and where the players can go are a vital part of the game so the umpire will need to know who is who on the court to rule effectively. It isn’t possible to get away with one team being bibs and one team being non-bibs as it might be in football, they are a vital piece of netball equipment. Bibs are sold in sets of seven for the whole team and some netball dresses come with the positional patches included. Reversible bibs are also available so that teams only need carry one set with them when playing away from home and they can swap the colour they wear if necessary.
Netball uses very specific rules and you have to play within a strict pattern and layout otherwise you get penalised. To practice these positions you will make use of netball training equipment like cones where you will have to stop and start running, weave in and out of them, and practice throwing and catching techniques.
Another important piece of netball equipment is a good pair of netball shoes. These are designed specifically for the strains of netball focusing on the pivot points and on cushioning and grip. Some are designed for outdoor netball, some for indoor and some for both types of game.
The last thing that you will need is netball clothing. For training you will just need tracksuits and possibly baselayers to keep you comfortable and improve your performance. When playing in matches most schools and teams will have a netball kit. This is usually made up of a skirt and a blouse with lycra pants underneath but now skorts and dresses are becoming more popular. A skort is a skirt with a built in pair of undershorts and the netball dresses are all in one top and skirt combined usually with Velcro style fixings to add positional patch bibs to.
These are the only items of netball equipment you will need. The players are not required to wear any head gear or guards, as it is not a full contact sport. In fact contact is prohibited and you can get fouled for pushing, leaning into or obstructing your mark or another opponent unless it was an accidental collision which is very unlikely.
A full range of netball equipment can be found from online specialist suppliers and some good sports shops.