Types of Passes
Netball throws fall into two categories: two-handed and one-handed passes. Within these categories are high-ball and low-ball passes that can be delivered with speed or floated into the space that a team member has created. Make sure you are proficient with either hand as well as with both hands. The strong defensive pressure on every pass that can be seen at the top levels of the game has resulted in two-handed passes, particularly the overhead pass, being used more frequently by all teams.
Most of the passes that you are introduced to here can be executed with one or two hands. These include the bounce, flick, overhead, side or bullet pass, shoulder and underarm. The lob is the one-handed pass that we cover; and the chest pass, the two-handed.
The passes and their advantages are listed in table 2.1. Mastering these basic techniques will enable you to develop a versatile range of throws that will keep your opponents guessing.
If you are a very young player, you might find it easier to use a smaller ball and try two-handed passes first. You will find that using both hands gives you more control and power initially.
One- or Two-Handed Passes
Passes that can be executed with either one or two hands are the easiest throws to begin with. Your hands sit either behind the ball or on the side of the ball. Your wrists and fingers guide the ball, and your elbows, arms and body weight generate speed and distance on the pass.
For the beginner the two-handed version enables a good long throw, even though the player may not have yet developed much upper-body power.
The more experienced netballer should be able to work the one- or two-handed version of the pass. Really good players can pass with either hand and from both sides of the body. Having a broad range of passes that you can use will be an asset in match play.
Remember: The two-handed pass has a built-in safety device. It can be retrieved quite easily at any point before the final release. The one-handed pass, on the other hand, is often difficult to retrieve once the throwing action has begun.