Guidelines for coaches

  • Teams are formed each season according to age, skill level, team balance and where possible, player preference, using the team formation policy for Highvale Netball Club.
  • Teams will generally have a maximum of 9 players (unless the coach has determined that a greater number are required to successfully field a full team each week). While it is not the Club’s preference, occasionally a tenth player will be accommodated in the interest of forward-planning.
  • Once formed, it is important that all members of the team are treated fairly and able to participate fully in the success of the team. These guidelines are provided to assist coaches in managing team participation throughout the season.

Time on Court


  • Where there are more than seven players available for a match, it is necessary to rotate the players on court so that each team member has the opportunity to participate in the match
  • It is expected that each team member will play three quarters and that different team members will rotate off to allow this to happen.
  • In the case of 10 players in the team, two players each week will be limited to half a game, though this will be tracked by the coach and their best attempt will be made to even this rotation out over the course of the season.
  • Rotations can be awkward to organize on match day, so it is best to plan rotations ahead of the game and record them. This avoids negotiating with players just before the game, allows you to set up positions to keep the team balanced and also allows you to review previous games to ensure all players are being rotated fairly and receiving good court time.


  • Where there are more than seven players available for a finals match, it is also necessary to rotate the players. It is understood that finals can be very different in intensity and atmosphere to home-and-away games and that team stability is an important factor. However, it is still very important that all of the players who have contributed to the team’s success are able to participate at this time.
  • It is expected that each team member will play at least a half of a finals game. Again, it is best to organize the rotations ahead of the match to manage time on court and team balance .

Playing Positions

Under 11’s

Highvale Netball Club participates in the Saturday competition run by Waverley City Netball Association. For the Under 11 sections there are no season finals although ladders are kept for the season matches. A Round Robin is played at the end of the season.

This is done for a number of reasons:

  • Children starting out with netball have the opportunity to develop their skills without the pressure of finals.
  • It encourages clubs and coaches to rotate players around all court positions to allow for solid skill development in each area.
  • It allows the players to experience the range of positions on court and understand how the game flows and the rules that apply in different situations.
  • It allows for the differing pace of skill development that occurs at this age without “pigeon holing” players into positions. Children that show some strength at the beginning of the season may develop very different strengths as they and their game matures.

Highvale Netball Club fully supports this approach to junior age netball. It is expected that players in all sections of the Under 11 competition have the opportunity throughout the season to rotate in all court positions.

To avoid “haggling” on match day, it is best to have your position rotations worked out for each game beforehand, including rotating additional players on and off the court. You should discuss this with your team at training so that they expect to be rotated. As the coach, you will need to work out the most effective way to rotate your players – changing positions every quarter can be very confusing, particularly with children very new to the game and unsure of court positions. It is ideal to keep a record of the positions played by each player to ensure they all have an opportunity to try different positions throughout the season.

Under 13’s

The players in the Under 13 teams will experience finals for the first time. This places additional pressure on coaches to play a “winning” team combination to qualify for finals participation.

Although it is exciting to qualify for finals, it is still very important at this age to give all players the opportunity to continue with their skill development and experience in different positions on the court. You need to determine the best mix of skills and rotations to keep the team balanced and competitive, but offer players the opportunity to play in different positions. This is also important to develop team depth, so that player absences or rotating players on and off court won’t affect the overall balance of the team.

By late Under 13’s, it is expected that players will be consolidating into “preferred” court positions that match their skills and abilities.

Older Age Groupings

The teams for the older age sections (U15’s, U17’s and Open) are chosen at the start of each season with skill level and team balance in mind. By this stage, the players and coaches have a much better understanding of strengths on-court and players tend to settle into more defined positions or position rotations e.g. defence, attack, mid-court.

It is still important to encourage a breadth of skills across the team and the ability to move between positions so that player absences and rotating on and off court do not impact on the balance of the team.

Fair Participation

For all age groups, participation, enjoyment and skill development for the benefit of the player and the team are very important. While it is great to win and performing to the best of their ability should always be encouraged, a win should never be at the expense of fair participation for all players in the team.