Transform your
team's season with
planned sessions

Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 700+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.

How do I stop face marking..?

Help... I am new to coaching netball albeit have played for years. My experience in playing comes from being an attacker so trying to work with my defence, is proving tricky. The issue I have is that both my GD and GK face mark. I have tried numerous drills in training however as soon as they get in to a match, they revert back to face marking. When the ball is coming down the court, I encourage them to stay on their toes, side marking and moving in front and round the back however when the GA or the GS moves out, the face marking starts. We have had balls bounce of the backs of heads and all sorts.

Does anyone have any tips?  Di

ask the umpire to have words to them before the game and say that face marking will not be tolerated.  

you can also take them off the court when they do it and tell them if they continue to face mark that you will ontinue to take them off the court during the game.  

it sounds like its just a habit they have gotten into, so keep playing games in training where its about defending and the moment one of them facemarks turn the ball over (even though that is what will happen in a game if you have a good umpire).  the more consistant in training you are with it and giving them alternates, jumping defence, held, front on or side lean, defend then block, the more likely they will get out of the habit.  just keep at it and they will change.


Diane I take it you mean your defenders turn and face their players rather than having eyes up to the ball. I would be making it clear t that as a defender their primary goal is to intercept the ball and they can't intercept what they can't see. It sounds like lots of practice on defensive stance, shadowing and developing peripheral vision might be needed. Bad habits are hard to change and insisting on using correct technique at training and games is the only way.  If your players are resistant to change, ask them to watch high level defenders and work out how they get their intercepts.  

Lee-anne has referred to face marking as a potential umpiring issue which refers to a player staring into the face of an opposing player and can be penalised as "Intimidation".   

Janet you're right…i read it as marking the face with the hand over the face while defending the ball.

face to face marking or defending is harder to untrain.  its so much easier to see the defence player while facing them.  try and give incentives for them to do it properly. (they get to pick the warm up drill, or if you have a weekly trophy or acknowledgement,,,and if non of this works, then go old school and the team does a certain exercise xtimes for each quarter they refuse to face the ball it may take some time but keep practicing and reminding them on court during game play.  persistance.

what is face marking please?


Thanks guys. I was referring to my defenders face marking a player and chasing them around the court, rather than looking at where the ball is... Rather than marking the face with the hand.

will endeavour to keep on working on this... Knew it wouldn't be easy to turn around!! 

diane try have training matches against other teams in your club, and then you will be able to pull her up for it during the game.  i also have a tendancy to sit near one of the goal ends, and remind my kids what to do.  everytime she has her back to the ball tell her to turn around.  i find having that reminder while on court is a huge help for kids, as they tend to get lost in the moment and revert to what they know most.

oh and natalie,

there are 2 type of face marking.  the one that diane was asking about which is also known as zoning, but it is when the defence faces her player face to face and has her back to the play or ball.

the one i referred to in my first post is when the defender is pretending to defend the ball for a shot or pass, but instead is trying to make it difficult for the shooter to see as she is actually defending the face.  if an umpire catches a player doing this, it is considered intimidation and they will be penalised for it.

thanks for your information

So facing your opponent side on is a much more efficient way to defend is this not allowable?

Join now for free

  • search our library of 700+ netball drills
  • create professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans
Join now for free
  • search our library of 700+ netball drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans