9 players - 4 girls off half a game each week or 2?

9 players - 4 girls off half a game each week or 2?

9 players - 4 girls off half a game each week or 2 players off per quarter? I coach a 10 yrs team in a very close A grade competition. There are 9 players therefore 2 reserves are needed each quarter. Is it best to have 4 girls off for half a game each week, less disruption to team but best players are then off for half a game - girls are off every second week, or 2 girls off each quarter, more disruption but best players are only off for quarter of a game, girls are off every week. I am required to give all players equal time on the court throughout the season. Thank you.

Netball CoachCoach
McCafferty LeaCoach, Australia

Hi Anne, I have exactly the same dilemma! I have trialled the girls in positions that best suit their ability and then worked on a rotation based on that. Surprisingly, by doing it this way it does challenge them into trying out at other postions that they normally would not want.

I have tried everything that you have suggested and it causes such disruption to the team and is quite unsettling.

I also practice them into a position each week at training and rotate again based on what I think is best for the players.

Hope this helps you!

HelenCoach, New Zealand

I have had this same dilemma two years in a row - and asked the girls. Last year, they wanted to have one child on a bye each week and one reserve. And that worked well. This year they all want to rotate - and it's working well too. (Funnily enough, it's the same team!).


Netball CoachCoach

Hi Helen, Thank you for your response. How do you rotate them - do the girls have a quarter off each week or do you have 2 off for half a game?

Netball CoachCoach

I have one player every week who is the captain for that week and she gets a full game and then i everyone else gets a quarter off. It works really well and fair.

Leesa MatierCoach, Australia

I've also had the same dilemma for a few years now. Up until this year, I played one player for a full game and 8 players off for 1/4. They are turning 11 this year, so playing full Netball rules in 1st division and we play finals. I am now playing 4 players for 1/2 game each and 5 players for a full game. With one player each week getting to play two full games in a row. I find this less disruptive to the team, I work the rotations so that my strongest players are on the court for a full game against the hardest games, and I usually ensure that I don't have two strong players off at the same time.

Netball CoachCoach

Hi I have had the same issues for the past 2 years, I have tried all the above and do find it hard when changing the girls around frequently.

So with that been said I have a differerent captain each week who get a full game then have 4 girls play half a game%3A

EG%3A GK on 1st - 2nd qtr - (Swap over with Sub 1) off for 3rd - 4th

GA on 1st - 2nd qtr - (Swap over with Sub 2) off for 3rd -4th

The rest of the girls generally stay in the same position for the whole game depending on how they are travelling.

Positions above are just an example, I tend to make sure that they are suited for positions that they are required to play.

At training I make sure they know what is happening so it no shock/surprise and they get a handle on what to expect. And give them all different training drills to work on at home.

Hope this helps cheers

Netball CoachCoach


I to and like most teams are always with 9 players some even 10. I have learnt to balance the team with 2 on and 2 off each quater. This is throughout the season, to give equal court time as it should be and come finals it is best on. But, every team does have their best players, but with them only being off for a quater has its benefits and makes the team NOT RELY on certain players. Its also allows and forces players to have to play and LEARN more than one position to make rotations work...Its never easy but they are KIDS and it is sport I believe while they are learning 1/2 a game is not long enough. I play myself and to drive and commit to a team and sit on the side is a waste of time. Even a quater off is too long, they all want to be out there, so 3/4 is better than 1/2... Cheers

Eddie JanmaatCoach, Australia

We have the same issues, I have an U13s squad and I had 9 players but the week one girls was injured (broken arm) I had another player join. While I had 9 we rotated 8 players off for one quarter and usually left one of two  of the strongest players on for the extra quarter. Last year we had 11 and rorated them as well. We make trianing compulsory as each player has to know what we're doing whether they are on or not. Finals is best combo on at the time. We advise parents of our policy up front.

RachelCoach, Australia

I am a HUGE fan of quarters off, not halves. But you should ask the girls if you are undecided. If they are split then it is your call. I find with my 8 that I always have to find fill ins, 9 is so much easier, even if you do have to have two girls off at the same time!

Netball CoachCoach

I have the same situation.  Firstly my girls are 14 to 15 yrs old.  I try to give them games of 3 quarters on the court.   This allows them a settling in time then they get on with it.  The rotation is mainly throughout the centre court with one change per circle = 8 quarters.  My girls are taught to listen and learn all positions, however they are played mainly in their preferred 2 main positions and sometimes they will have a quarter out of position.  This encourages the girls to also think about how they should be playing and using their best skills to greatest advantage.

Rose Coach, Australia

Argh! I had the same dilema. I have a 13's team but i have 12 girls and at the beginning of the season they all came and played half a game each. It just seemed unfair to make them drive all the way in for 20 minuets of netball so we did a roster. 2 people have a bye each week and i have 2 subs, everyone plays 3 quaters each bar one person who gets a whole game, this person is also rotated each week.

Janet Coach, Australia

With my Inter(15to17yo) teams of 9 I have found that it depends on the skill level and motivation of your players as to what works best.  Last season I substituted 2 players each quarter and it worked very well with players happy to be challenged by all the moves.  Also I had a good organised group of players to work with.  This season with some less experienced/skilled players coming up into the team it didn't work at all and we all decided together that we would go to substituting two at half time only (4 girls only play 1/2 game) which didn't seem to confuse them anywhere near as much. 

Netball CoachCoach

I also have done the captain full game everyone else 3/4 through the season. Some people love it, others hate it. I have also tried to move players around to give them exposure to other positions in real competition not just as training.  We lost some games by only slim margins and it was obvious why - people not in combos or in wrong sports. But we have made the semis, so it can't have been all bad! So, now the hard part comes. Best 7 or equal time? I am leaning towards best seven with minor changes so all get some court time.

Netball CoachCoach

being a netta team  the girls must be rotated to play a different postion each week.  trying to rotate 9 players every quartelr is an absolute nightmare.   so if  i could roster each player to playhalf a game in the one position and then change them to another for the remaider half at least there wont be too much comfusion.  needless to say 4 players will have to have half a game off .  this is also a non competitve age group.  As long as every player is not playing the same position or area each week and gets to play in different positions each week that will keep the officials happy.

Netball CoachCoach

HI Shona I have coached nettas a few times and hate that rotation requirement!  understand the rationale that all girls get experience in all positions BUT they all find it so confusing to keep changing every quarter. HOWEVER I worked out a rotation plan for myself where each girl would move around the court in a logical progression, and therefore stay in the same part of the court for half a game rather than swapping all over the place with no logic to it. I also factored in a reserve spot which would come inbetween a move from attacks to defence and vice versa. that way it was a clear progression around the court and after a few weeks the girls knew what to expect. we also wrote their positions on the back of their hands before the game so they knew ahead of time what positions they were playing for the whole game. EG. GA moves to GS, moves to WA, moves to C, then OFF (reserve1), then back on court as GD, then to GK, then WD, then reserve2 (off)and back on court next quarter as GA and so on... wherever the girls are they follow the same order each week. Note reserves go inbetween the attack positions and defence, so if you only have one I would put it between WD and GA. Anyway I used that religiously & it worked a treat. 

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