What are the similarities and differences between netball and basketball?


Basketball and netball are two of today’s most popular ball sports. Both sports can be played on the same court because they are related, but they have different rules and game types, aside from the fact that netball is usually played by women.

The primary difference between netball and basketball are the general rules and a significant gender divide. In netball, no physical contact is permitted during general play, and dribbling is also prohibited. The International Netball Federation recognises only women’s netball.

One of the similarities between Netball and Basketball is the use of the same court. Both games can be played on the same court. Aside from that and a few other things, I believe there are numerous differences between the two games.

Ball and Hoop

Now let’s look into both the games.


Basketball is a team sport in which two opposing teams of five players each compete. The goal is to shoot the basketball through the hoop of your opponent. Scoring within the 3-point line earns you 2 points, while shooting outside the line earns you 3 points.


Netball is similar in that two opposing teams compete to shoot a ball through the opponent’s hoop. In netball, however, there are always seven players on the court at any given time, each with their own position. In netball, the court is divided into three sections, with each section requiring a member of each team to be present. A goalkeeper, goal defence, centre, goal attack, goal shooter, wing attack, and wing defence are the positions in netball.

Now let’s discuss other aspects of both the games.

Similarities and differences between Netball and Basketball


The positions are possibly the most significant distinction between basketball and netball. There are five positions in basketball that have general assignments but can move freely around the court. In netball, there are seven positions with specific duties that are restricted to specific areas of the court. In netball, for example, the “centre” may run on either side of the court but not in the shooting circle. The player known as the “wing defence” can play on the defending side of the court as well as the middle region, but not on the attacking side. When compared to basketball’s much more lax positioning rules, this may appear quite perplexing.


In basketball, you can pass from as far away as you want or as close as you want. You can also keep the ball for as long as you want (as long as you don’t run out of time). Netball is a very different sport. In netball, your pass must be longer than three feet (0.9 metres), but not so long that it passes from the defensive end to the attacking end of the court. Finally, in netball, you are not allowed to hold the ball for more than three seconds without passing.


Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, for example, has reinvented basketball with his extremely long-range shots. This is not permitted in netball. Unlike basketball, where any player on the court can shoot from anywhere on the court, netball players are confined to a shooting circle, and only two players on the team are allowed to shoot the ball – the “goal attack” and the “goal shooter.”

Player attacking

Ball carrying

Basketball fans around the world have become enthralled by how far the game has progressed in terms of ball-handling. Dribble moves like “the shamgod” and “the crossover,” as well as behind-the-back dribbles and between-the-leg dribbles, have taken over the game. This isn’t something you’ll see in netball. There is no dribbling, and once you have possession of the ball, you cannot move – you must pass.

Netball is a fast-paced and enjoyable sport that is far safer than basketball. Netball does not permit contact. Perhaps in the future it will achieve the level of fame that basketball has, and you will have a head start on all of your friends in terms of knowing how to play!

Gender Separation

It is a term used to describe the separation of men and women.Men dominate professional basketball. In netball, however, the opposite is true.

The reason for this could be that netball is a non-contact sport, allowing for more rational thinking and strategizing as opposed to simply being the fastest and toughest person on the court.Given women’s dominance in the sport, the INF only recognises women’s netball, while men’s netball teams are far less appealing and receive little attention.

Women Holding Ball

So, in conclusion, the major differences between netball and basketball are gender separation, no-contact, dribbling “banning,” and the number of players on the court. Netball is a more strategic game with many quick passes, whereas basketball relies more on stamina and physique.

Netball Variations

In comparison to basketball, netball has a variety of game variants. Indoor netball, fast5 netball, and children’s netball are the three types of netball.

  1. Netball indoors

Played entirely indoors (which is amusing) and frequently surrounded by a net. This net keeps the ball from leaving the court, which speeds up the game and reduces downtime.

There are various types of indoor netball, one of which involves 7 people at a time and is known as “action netball.”

The difference between this game and regular netball is that it is divided into 15-minute halves with a 3-minute break in between. This version is most popular in South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia.

  1. Fast5

Fast5 is the more commercial netball variant, with a focus on television and fast-paced play. The game is much shorter, with each quarter lasting only six minutes and a two-minute break in between.

Substitutions are not prohibited, and coaches may freely give tactics or instructions from the sidelines during playtime.

A fun twist on this type is that each team can declare a “power play” quarter in which the entire 6-minute period is worth double points for each goal scored.


The main distinction between these sports is that in basketball, players can move around the court, whereas in netball, players must stay within a specific area based on their position. 

Netball is a non-contact sport, whereas basketball is a contact sport. This is due to the fact that in netball, the opposing player should be about 0.9 metres away from the player with the ball, which is not the case in basketball. 

In basketball, a player must dribble the ball in order to move around; otherwise, a violation may be called against him; in netball, a player should not dribble but should immediately pass the ball to the next player.

Whatever sport you choose, remember to have fun and to keep it clean.