Five ways in which netball differs from basketball

Netball and basketball may seem similar, but just a quick glance at the games side by side will highlight their glaring differences. We’ve narrowed down the five major differences between the two sports, and we’ll explain them here.

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No Backboard

A netball net has no backboard. Unlike a basketball net, there is nothing for the ball to ricochet from, and this makes scoring a little bit tougher. Netball players have to shoot the ball through the hoop with absolutely no assistance, whereas basketball players have the benefit of a backboard that can take a wayward shot and redirect it into the net. The lack of backboard means that netball shooters need to have better accuracy and skill.

Three-Second Rule

While basketball is a running sport, netball players have to stop and start at a rapid pace, as they may not run with the ball. What makes netball so much tougher is that although there is no running with the ball, players have only three seconds to pass once they come into possession. This makes the game very exciting to watch, and it may be contributing to the fact that the sport is growing.

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More Action

Netball seems to offer more intense action than basketball, as a lot of basketball games only pick up the pace in the last quarter. If you watch netball training drill videos like the ones at, you’ll see just how hard players practice getting up to speed, and this ensures they put on a good show for spectators and provide more action over a shorter period of time.

Restrictive Positions

In netball, players have set sections of the court where they are allowed. These restrictions make teams work extra hard together, and unlike in basketball, there are very seldom star players who grab all the attention as everyone is working as one unit.

A Team Effort

Netball needs every single player to be on the ball, all the time. In basketball, stronger players can compensate for weaker ones, but in netball, every single team member must perform at their optimum to ensure they win the game. One weak link can cause the whole team to crash. The three-second rule means no one can hog the ball, so every player gets a chance to prove themselves in their position.