13 Mar, 2019 Last updated: 02 Jul, 2020

Award-winning Rock Up Netball shows how gaps in the product offering can inspire the creation of an inviting and inclusive sport environment for women.

Award-winning Rock Up Netball shows how gaps in the product offering can inspire the creation of an inviting and inclusive sport environment for women, and how participation pathways can encourage and challenge players. It is also a good example of a successful license model.


Key learnings

  • Design the program with your potential participants
  • Identify and respond to gaps in the market
  • Create a fun, relaxed environment
  • Have pathways to help participants grow
  • Expand your network of people who deliver the sport
  • Develop a sustainable business model for both the site and sports organisation


What is Rock Up Netball?

Rock Up Netball is a sport program designed to give women aged 15 years and older, with different fitness and skill levels a sociable, fun and relaxed environment in which to learn and play netball. It has three levels that suit different abilities and motivations:

  • Train – for players with basic skills
  • Play – relaxed, social games over two-hour sessions, with team or individual registrations
  • Social competition – mixed and ladies’ competitions in a more traditional, structured environment.

Netball Victoria (NV) developed this program to answer a gap in the participation pathway, where there were no opportunities for less active or less sporty women to learn or play netball socially. It also provides an avenue for people who may have played competitive netball in the past to return to the sport.

Rock Up Netball is more flexible and casual than traditional netball, because players pay per game, don’t need a membership or to commit to a full season, and don’t wear uniforms.

The program is delivered via a licence model. Associations, councils or private providers buy a licence from NV to deliver the program, and NV provides resources and support to run it as well as training for deliverers1. Accredited netball umpires facilitate games, and instruct and mentor players.

The 2015 pilot program attracted 300 participants. By 2018, there were more than 2000 Rock Up Netball participants across 12 Victorian locations. 

VicHealth initially funded Rock Up Netball through its Changing the Game program, which encourages less active women to move more.


What are Rock Up Netball benefits?

Rock Up Netball offers women a variety of physical, social and mental health benefits, including increasing fitness, making friends and building confidence. Women can also further their skills via social competition.

Rock Up Netball is helping NV increase netball participation through social programs, and its licences allows NV and the licensee to create a sustainable revenue stream.


Why is Rock Up Netball successful?

Rock Up Netball addresses several barriers to women participating in the sport, including its perceived physical, competitive nature; memberships and commitment to a season; and wanting to play for health and fun rather than in a serious competition. It also addresses the lack of a participation pathway.

The program is suitable for a variety of motivations, goals and skill levels, and offers a relaxed, welcoming sport environment.

Anyone who has the right motivation and social skills, and NV training, can deliver the program.



Visit the Rock Up Netball website