Netball is a sport that is adapted from the game of basketball. Played mostly by females, it is most popular in Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and Great Britain. The game has similar structure to basketball but players in possession of the ball are not allowed to advance it. The rules place a premium on quick and good footwork technique in the sport of netball.
Catch and Step Footwork
When catching a ball in netball, a player should catch with one foot on the ground, this foot is known as the landing foot. A player can then choose to step with the other foot, lift the landing foot and pass the ball before the landing foot hits the ground. If the landing foot hits the ground while the ball is still in possession, the player will be called with a footwork violation. If a player catches the ball with two feet on the ground, they can choose their landing foot and follow the rules above. If the ball is not passed but held, the player must hold after landing on the stepping foot mentioned above. A player is then only allowed to pivot before passing or shooting.
Pivoting is a footwork technique that involves a good deal of balance, the foot you pivot on must not leave the ground during the pivoting action. A player should be on their toes with the weight on the balls of the feet and, in the style of a ballet dancer, quickly pivot the body around in differing directions. A player is allowed to pivot 360 degrees without violation as long as the pivoting foot does not lose contact with the ground. The idea of pivoting is to allow a player to turn and shift away from defensive pressure quickly and to find a passing or shooting lane.
Good footwork while defending in netball is very similar to that of basketball. A defender must have the ability to quickly mirror the movements of the attacking player. It is a good footwork technique to keep feet approximately shoulder width apart and not cross legs when moving to the side. A player that crosses the feet will be vulnerable to a quick change of direction from an attacking player. A player defending must allow the ball carrier three feet of space. A footwork technique used is to tiptoe and extend arms, aiming to cut off passing and shooting lanes of the ball carrier. It is important to retain good footwork and balance when defending, as moving closer than the permitted three feet while defending will lead to a violation.
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