Netball and basketball are two of the most popular recreational sports. If you’re thinking of starting to play a new sport both could make fantastic options whether you’re at university or just looking for something new to try. You may have played both at school but you might not remember the rules or the specifics of each game particularly well, so let’s have a look at both basketball and netball and see which of the two might be best for you.
Is netball just for girls?
Let’s get this one out of the way early. This is a widely held assumption that netball is a sport that is only played by girls and women. While there is a larger proportion of female players than male, netball is a game that can be played by anyone especially at casual and recreational sessions. Equally for those people who believe that netball is only for women, it should be noted that basketball certainly isn’t a sport that is only played by men and there are many women’s basketball teams and training sessions that are only attended by women. So leave the notion that these sports are gendered behind.
What are the similarities?
So let’s look at the similarities between basketball and netball. If you were to watch the sports for a couple of minutes they may look outwardly similar. They are both sports played on a court with a ball using your hands. In both sports, points are scored by throwing the ball through a hoop and in both sports you pass the ball to each other in order to get to around the court.
Theoretically both sports are considered to be ‘non-contact’ sports, however it is worth noting that they are an extremely physical sports where contact is expected in many situations. In netball contact may be less common because there is a rule that states that players defending or attempting to intercept a pass need to stay three feet from the opposition.
What are the differences?
Dribbling is one of the main differences in the sports. In basketball a player who has the ball is allowed to move with it as long as they bounce the ball as they move. In netball a player holding the ball cannot move and must pass the ball to attempt to move it up the court but players without the ball are allowed to move freely.
There are seven players on each netball team and five players on each basketball team. It’s also true that netball is far more prescriptive with the positions of each player. Each member of the team plays a different role and the roles determine where on the court a player is allowed to play and what they are trying to do. In basketball positons are much looser and every player is expected to both attack and defend. There are also more complicated rules around scoring in basketball. Normal shots are worth two points, but outside the three-point line shots are worth three points.
In netball there is also a rule that a player can only hold onto the ball for a maximum of three seconds before it is a violation and the other team gets the ball. In basketball there is a team ‘shot clock’ which allows 24 seconds for the team per offense.
You’ll like netball if:
- You prefer to have a set position where you master a certain aspect of the sport
- You would rather play a sport where you don’t need to run across the whole court
- You like a fast-paced game where you need to think quickly
- You prefer a game where physical size and strength don’t necessarily play such a key role
You’ll like basketball if:
- You want to play a game where you deal with aspects of both attacking and defending
- You are looking for a sport that involves a lot of athleticism, running and physical strength
- You want more flexibility in what you are allowed to do when you are on the court
- You’re looking for a game with fewer players on each team – so more time with the ball
This article was written by Dakota Murphey, independent content writer and marketing graduate. Some of the information in this article was provided by tennis court installation specialists, Sovereign Sports.