The Gap Netball Club has a dual community and competitive focus, and teams of about 9 players are formed in different ways for different age grades.

How many teams and players?

Netball teams have 7 positions, and 5 players must be present for a team to take the court for a match. The Club aims for 9 players per team for Winter Season, but some teams end up with 8 or 10 players due to overall numbers and late registrations. We try not to exceed 10 players per team to ensure that all players get adequate court time during the season.

How are teams organised?

The Club organises players into teams in three different ways depending on age: 5s to 10s on preferences, 11s and older through grading, with Opens also having an option to self-select.

Teams for Downey Park Netball Association (DPNA) Winter Season Modified Rules/NetSetGO(7 years to 10 years) are organised on the basis of personal details and preferences stated on the online registration form: age, friends, school and (for Modified Rules players only) training availability.

Modified Rules players are asked at registration to indicate their priority for team allocation: friends, skills improvement or training times.

Winter Season Competitive teams (11 years and older) are organised into teams on the basis of grading trials during the first weeks of Term 1. The Gap has a fair and transparent approach to grading, it is done independently by a panel and is done every year. This means that players may play in different teams each year. See the Grading section to learn more about the process.

Groups of Winter Season Opens players can ask to register as self-selected teams. A self-selected team plays as a team in grading trials to enable the graders to rank them in relation to other Club teams, and must provide their own coach.

It is a requirement of Downey Park Netball Association that all players and teams are graded before competition begins.

Can I be in a team with friends?

7 years to 10 years players can be in a team with friends but 11s and older players are graded on experience and ability.

Modified Rules 7 – 9 years are not usually registered in teams with 10 years, and 10 years cannot be registered in an 8 years and 9 years team.

It is possible but very uncommon for a Competitive player to ask to play in a lower division with friends and we can only accommodate this if it does not pose a safety risk.

What is grading?

Grading is the process of ranking competitive players (11 years and older) on the basis of experience and ability for their two preferred positions nominated at registration. The graders however may ask you to try in a position that is not nominated.

Trials are held during the first weeks of Term 1, and they involve a series of short games with players swapping on and off continuously.

Competitive players attend two or three trials, one on each weekend for players in all age grades with an additional trial for players in larger age grades (typically 11 years, 12 years and Cadets) during the week.

Competitive players are expected to attend all trials for their age grade, and should notify the Grading Convenor if unable to attend a trial.

The Club’s Calendar has details of grading dates and times.

Additional information about grading is available for Winter Season Competitive players (11 years and older) on the Grading page.

What should I wear? What if it’s raining?

Players should wear comfortable clothing suitable for games and physical activity to grading.

Grading trials are held in early February and it can be quite hot so it’s important to wear sunscreen and bring a hat (if outside) and full water bottle. Players in Downey Park Netball Association (DPNA) and
Queensland Catholic Netball Association (QCNA) representative teams should not wear their rep gear to grading, and they will be asked to change if they do.

We post to the Club’s Facebook if grading trials are postponed due circumstances beyond our control.

When are teams announced?

Team announcement dates are provided in the calendar. We post to the Club’s Facebook with updates.

Can I appeal grading?

Grading reviews can be requested up to two weeks after squads and teams are announced.

Downey Park Netball Association (DPNA) Winter Season Competitive players can request a review of their grading up to two weeks after squads and teams are announced by emailing the Grading Convenor.
Graders may observe training and advise the review outcome. Please keep in mind that a player’s position in a team has already been carefully considered on at least two or three occasions by the graders.