Netball Game

  • Author: Ian Knapp
  • Age Group: U7 to U17+
  • Time: 15 minutes

Netball style games can be incredibly useful for getting players thinking about their movement off the ball. Because they naturally play netball with their "heads up" then they get used to noticing the movement of their teammates and where the best passing option is. When you then introduce the ball on the floor and play with your feet (i.e. football!) you can keep referencing how they played with their heads up in the netball game.

  • A small pitch sized to suit the number of players you have, with 2 “end zones” marked out with cones.
  • Try and keep team sizes small (3v3 to 5v5 if possible = lots of touches)
  • Balls at the side of the pitch with the coach so a new one can be thrown in quickly to keep the game flowing.

Basic Rules:

  • Players must throw the ball to a team mate, who is not allowed to run with the ball - just like regular netball rules.
  • Players can move freely off the ball and throw in any way they see fit (underarm, overarm, bounce pass etc.)
  • Scoring is either by either completing a certain number of successful passes or by throwing the ball to a team mate, who catches it in the “end zone” (American football style)

Progressions and Variations:
  • Introduce goals (see below) and allow the players to “score” by passing the ball into the goal instead of over an end line.
  • Give double points if a player can throw a ball to a team mate who volleys it into the goal (older players only)
  • Allow each team one player who is allowed to take 4 paces with the ball
  • Put the ball on the floor and play regular football with the same scoring system

An example of the game with goals introduced:

Coaching Points (FA's 4 Corners):
  • Movement off the ball to find space and "lose" your marker.
  • As a team, can you get a player free in space to score.
  • Accuracy, speed and direction of pass.
  • Looking up so you know where your team mates are (should happen naturally with netball games)
  • Communication (tell the player with the ball what to do with it)
  • Decision making - when to pass, when to try and score.
  • Confidence to try again if a mistake is made
  • Confidence to try things - different types of pass or “shot”.
  • Allow players to decide tactics etc. Ownership of their learning.
  • Strength to hold off opposition players when receiving the ball
  • Agility to jump or bend to get the ball.
  • Balance
  • Speed - can we play quickly to get our opponent off balance
  • Encouraging others and not being negative
  • Communication
  • Have fun!