How Long is a Netball Game in NZ?

ANZ Championship: A Comprehensive Guide to Netball in NZ​

If you’re new to netball in NZ, you might be wondering, “how long is a netball game in NZ?” Well, the answer is that it depends on the level of play. Today, we’ll go over the various game lengths for different levels of netball in NZ.

Were you strolling around and noticed some folks playing netball? Did it tickle your fancy to play along? You may have never played the sport, but it looked like everyone was having fun, so you would like to give it a try sometime. Well, one of the most important things that you probably should know about the sport is its rules regarding time.

How Long Is a Netball Game? Knowing the Minutes for Each Level in NZ

How Long is a Netball Game in NZ?

There are different types of netball, each with a unique duration per fixture. So, the right answer to the question “how long is a netball game?” requires knowing the various kinds of the game. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we’ve looked at below: 

Junior Netball

For junior netball players in NZ, the game length varies based on age group. For players aged 5-6, games are typically 4 minutes long with a 2-minute halftime break. For players aged 7-8, games are 8 minutes long with a 2-minute halftime break. And for players aged 9-10, games are 12 minutes long with a 3-minute halftime break.

Senior Club Netball

How Long is a Netball Game in NZ?

Senior club netball games in NZ typically last for four quarters of 15 minutes each, with a 3-minute break between the first and second quarters and a 5-minute halftime break between the second and third quarters. This means that the total game time is 60 minutes.

Elite Netball

For elite netball in NZ, such as ANZ Premiership games, the game length is four quarters of 15 minutes each, with a 5-minute halftime break. However, there are also stoppages in play for things like injury timeouts and video reviews, which can extend the length of the game.

Fast5 Netball

Fast5 netball is a modified version of traditional netball that is played in a shorter amount of time. Games are 12 minutes long, with only five players on each team and multiple point zones on the court. This type of netball is often played in a tournament format, with teams competing in multiple games in a single day.

Unraveling Netball Game Durations in New Zealand

How Long is a Netball Game

The length of a netball game depends entirely on the level of play, which may sound unusual for most sport enthusiasts. The length of play tends to be universal in most sports, but netball is one of the few examples in which time can vary depending on several factors.

Game Time in New Zealand Netball

A standard netball game consists of four quarters, each lasting for 15 minutes, making the total duration of the game 60 minutes. However, there is a possibility of overtime in elimination games, and these consist of two periods of seven minutes. These are the standard times on the court, but there are also times off the court that can affect a game.

There is usually a short break of three minutes between the first and second quarters, as well as the third and fourth quarters, with a longer halftime break of five minutes between the second and third quarters.

There is also time stopping during a game. The time is usually managed by the official timekeepers, who are responsible for starting, stopping, and tracking the game clock. The on-court umpires are also involved in managing the game time, as they signal the start and stop of play based on the rules and signals of the game.

Players and coaches do not have the authority to stop the game clock themselves. However, teams are often allowed to request time-outs during the game. A time-out involves stopping play temporarily to allow the team to regroup, receive instructions, and make necessary substitutions, and these can be done during the breaks as well.

It’s important to note that while players and coaches can request time-outs, the actual stopping and starting of the game clock is typically under the control of the officials and timekeepers.

The Tempo of Netball Games in New Zealand

As stated earlier, the duration of games and rules of time-outs vary depending on the specific competition or league. The tempo can thereby vary on the level of play.

Game Lengths

Netball is popular in schools and colleges, and the timing rules for these competitions can vary based on age groups and local regulations. Younger age groups might have shorter quarters and breaks to accommodate their energy levels and attention spans.

Community netball leagues or social leagues might have flexibility in their timing rules to suit the preferences and availability of the participants. This can lead to variations in quarter lengths, breaks, and overall game duration.

Some netball competitions use modified formats for shorter games, especially in grassroots and development levels. These formats might have fewer quarters, shorter quarters, or other adaptations to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for beginners.

Fierce Competitions and the Passage of Time

How Long is a Netball Game

Needless to say, playing netball at a professional level also affects a game’s time. International competitions like the Netball World Cup and regional championships may have specific timing rules set by the International Netball Federation. These rules are based on the tournament format.

Different countries have their own domestic netball leagues with varying timing rules. Examples include the Suncorp Super Netball in Australia, the Netball Superleague in Great Britain, and the ANZ Premiership in New Zealand. These leagues often have their own regulations regarding quarter lengths, halftime breaks, and time-outs.

The Impact of Game Durations on Netball Playstyle

Netball’s time duration and breaks have a significant impact on the style of play in a game. The specific timing rules can influence the strategies, pacing, and overall dynamics of how teams approach and execute their gameplay.

The 15-minute quarters and limited total game duration create a sense of urgency for teams. They need to make the most of their time on the court to score points and defend against the opposition. The short quarters encourage a higher intensity of play, as there is less time available to recover from mistakes or deficits.

The availability of time-outs allows teams to strategically regroup, discuss tactics, and address any issues that arise during the game. Coaches can provide instructions, make substitutions due to injuries or fatigue, and adjust strategies during time-outs. This can lead to shifts in momentum and provide opportunities for teams to adapt their approach.

The structured timing of the game, including quarter lengths and breaks, can influence momentum swings. A team that finishes a quarter strongly might carry that momentum into the next quarter, affecting the flow of the game.

The Evolution of Netball Game Durations

In the early days of netball, the game duration was often played in halves, rather than quarters. The halves typically lasted for 20 to 30 minutes each. The total game duration was shorter compared to modern standards.

The move from playing in halves to playing in quarters happened by the 1960s and 1970s. Many netball competitions had already adopted the four-quarter format.


As you’ve seen, answering “how long is a netball game?” needs you to know about the different types of games. Junior netball games are shorter, while senior club netball and elite netball games last for 60 minutes, with standard quarters of 15 minutes each. Fast5 netball is a modified version of the sport that is played in a shorter amount of time with smaller team size. Whatever level of netball you’re playing or watching, enjoy the game!


How are netball game durations determined in New Zealand?

Timing rules for netball in New Zealand are generally determined by Netball New Zealand, the national governing body for netball in the country.

Are there any variations in netball game durations for regional competitions?

There can be variations in netball game durations for regional competitions based on factors such as the level of play, tournament format, and specific regulations set by the organising bodies. Regional netball competitions often have some flexibility in determining game durations to suit the needs and preferences of participants.

How does netball’s game duration impact player fitness and performance?

The relatively short quarters and fast-paced nature of the game require players to possess a combination of physical fitness, mental acuity, and tactical awareness. Cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, recovery during breaks, and making decisions under pressure are some of the many aspects that can impact a player’s fitness and performance in a game.

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