Plan The Perfect Netball Surface

Taking the leap: how to plan the perfect netball surface and accessories

Netball has come a long way to reach the 21st game of speed and excitement we enjoy today. Put bad memories of frost bitten games lessons in the middle of winter to one side. Today netball is a highly recognised and respected sport at every level – from a mainstay of school PE programmes to a recognised sport at the Commonwealth Games. In 1996 the International Olympic Committee  recognised netball as a professional sport – confirming its status as a key feature of any multi user games area, school, club or professional facility. With the game now played by more than 20 million people worldwide it’s easy to see the sense in integrating a superb netball surface into your sports pitch construction.

Basic court requirements to complement your netball surface

Whether you are incorporating a netball court into a MUGA or building a stand alone court, you should consider more than just your netball surface. Ensuring every feature meets standard requirements will improve the quality of your court and your player’s enjoyment of their facility.

The All England Netball Association recognises 5 categories of court for different levels of play. A category 1 court features an outdoor netball surface for school or community use. Categories 4 and 5 denote professional indoor facilities – often combining multiple courts within the same sports pitch construction. Your choice of netball surface can therefore be determined  through the level of play you will be accommodating.

The Official Rules of Netball will guide you as to netball surface specifications, but there are some basic issues to bear in mind. Height adjustable goalposts should be fitted to your netball surface  to accommodate young players and wheelchair netball. There is no stipulation for the orientation of netball courts. If, however, you intend to double up your netball surface as a synthetic tennis court a north/south orientation is desirable. For more tips on installing a new tennis court as part of a multi-sport area consult our sales team for more advice.

Choosing the right netball surface for your court

Netball is a game of speed and skill – hence the properties of your netball surface are vitally important. There are a number of options available to ensure that your court delivers the goods whilst fitting your budget and matching the intended level of play.

The standard outdoor netball surface is a porous asphalt surface. This cost effective all-weather surface is perfect for all-year-round play. The porous asphalt base combined with a non-slip sports surface  renders outdoor netball surfaces playable shortly after heavy rain. Porous Asphalt Surfaces are also ideal for outdoor tennis court constructions – creating the perfect opportunity to double up facilities in an external MUGA.

Needle punch carpets provide an extremely durable netball surface for heavy use. But for professional play a polymeric netball surface is a must. This surface is favoured by the England Netball Association due to its softened impact which reduces injury risks, as well as its speed accommodating characteristics. The initial investment will be greater – however if you are looking to attract semi-professional and professional  players a polymeric netball surface will meet their expectations and bring them back to your court again and again.

Add extras to make your netball surface fully functioning

The requirements of a netball court are relatively basic – you need a properly marked netball surface, adjustable goalposts and ideally chainlink sports fencing surrounding the venue. However, if your netball court is aimed at commercial success you might consider investing in extra facilities during your sports pitch construction. Spectator seating will allow extra visitors to your court and increase revenue. For outdoor courts floodlighting will maximise your court’s use during the dark winter months and generate more footfall for your facility.

Consider enhancing your sports fencing as well. Upgrading to a PA fencing system will generate valuable advertising revenue for your facility. For more detailed advice read our guide to enhancing your sports pitch construction through technology.

Finally, of course, it’s essential to ensure that your court offers full disability access and – especially if the court is frequently used by youngsters – adequate security.  Our advice on achieving disability access in your venue and protecting your sports pitch construction with the correct fencing will tell you all you need to know. Now get started with our court design tool and you’re on your way to your brand new netball court!