Skip to main content

Pre-game protocol

A netball team consists of 7 players in different positions.  No more than 7 players from a team may be on court at a time, and at least 5 players must be on court for play to commence with at least one of the players being C.

All positions have designated areas on court as below:
GS – allowed in their attacking goal third and shooting circle
GA – allowed in the centre third, attacking goal third and the shooting circle
WA – allowed in the centre third and attacking goal third, but not the shooting circle
C – allowed in all thirds but neither shooting circle
WD – allowed in the centre third and defensive goal third, but not the shooting circle
GD – allowed in the centre third, defensive goal third and the shooting circle
GK – allowed in their defensive goal third and shooting circle

Games are played in 4 equal quarters of 8 minutes with a 1 min break between each quarter.

Before play starts the captains shall toss for the choice of first centre pass or choice of shooting end. Pease notify the umpire of the outcome of the toss.

Before taking the court, umpires will check players for jewellery and nails, and notify players if they do not meet the requirements to play.

Sanctions and advantage

There are 2 types of sanction in netball:
Free pass – When a rule is broken that does not directly affect another player eg footwork.
                – A free pass is set where the umpire indicates, and any player allowed in that area may take the pass.  No players are out of play. If a free pass is set within a shooting circle to the attacking team a shot MAY NOT be taken.

Penalty pass – When a rule is broken that directly affects another player eg contact
                – A penalty pass is set where the umpire indicates, and any player allowed in that area may take the pass.  The infringing player must stand next to the player taking the penalty and remain out of play until the penalty has been taken.  If the penalty is set within a shooting circle to the attacking team then a shot may be attempted.

The player taking either type of sanction must still obey all netball rules.

Advantage – An umpire will play advantage if they have noticed an infringement has taken place but feel calling for a sanction will disadvantage the attacking team.  They will not blow their whistle but will call “advantage plus the infringement”.  Play does not stop for an advantage and is only played in that moment against that infringement.

Start of play

The controlling umpire will blow their whistle for the start of play when the attacking C is in possession of the ball and with at least one foot wholly within the centre circle.  At the point of the whistle being blown all players must be in their respective thirds.  The defending C must be in the centre third and all others in their respective attacking/defensive thirds.  Any players not in the correct area will be deemed to be offside.

It is up to the individual players to make sure they are correctly positioned before the whistle is blown.  A C should step straight into the circle, not wait for players to be onside.

Sanction – Free pass where the incorrectly positioned player was

The centre pass must be caught within the centre third.  A player can jump from a goal third, catch the ball and land within the centre third.

Sanction – Free pass where the ball crossed the transverse line

Out of Court

A ball is deemed to be out of court if it makes contact with the ground or any object/person in contact with the ground outside the court.

Sanction – Throw-in awarded to the team who did not touch the ball on court last

A Throw-in is set where the umpire indicates.  A players landing foot must be within 6 inches of the line, but not touching.  The player must obey all other rules and release the ball before making contact with the court.  All other players must be on court when the throw-in is taken, and the ball must enter the court.  

Sanction – Throw-in to opposing team from same position

Scoring a goal

Only GA and GS can score a goal.  They must have made no contact with the court outside the shooting circle whilst in possession of the ball, when intentionally making a shot at goal.  The ball must pass through the ring from above, and must have passed through the ring before time ends for the goal to count

Sanction – A free pass to the opposing team outside the circle

If the ball passes through the ring after being deflected by a defender, then the goal will stand.  If the ball passes through the ring thrown by any player other than the GA/GS then the ball is still in play and no goal is scored.

Offside

A player is deemed offside if any part of their body makes contact with the ground in an area that they are not allowed to enter.  A player may lean on the ball in an offside area.

Sanction – Free pass to the opposing team where the player went offside

Footwork

A player may not re-ground their landing foot whilst in possession of the ball.  The landing foot is deemed to be the first foot to make contact with the ground.  If a player already has one foot in contact with the ground when catching the ball this is their landing foot.  If the player lands simultaneously with both feet, then whichever foot is not moved is their landing foot. A player may not drag or slide their landing foot, or hop on either foot.

Sanction – Free pass to the opposing team where the player caught the ball

Held Ball

Once gaining possession of a ball a player must release the ball within 3 seconds

Sanction – Free pass to the opposing team where the player caught the ball

Playing the ball

A player may gain possession of the ball by catching the ball either from another player or rebounding of the goalpost or rolling the ball to oneself.

A player in possession of the ball may NOT throw it deliberately at another player or roll it to another player.  A player who falls whilst in possession of the ball must regain their footing before passing the ball.   After releasing the ball, a player may not regain possession of the ball until it has been touched by another player, or rebounds of the goal post.  A player may not deliberately kick the ball, fall on the ball to gain possession or strike the ball with a fist.

A player not in possession of the ball may bat or bounce the ball once before either catching it or batting/bouncing it to another player. Tip the ball in an uncontrolled manner more than once, before catching the ball, or batting it to another player.

Sanction – Free pass to the opposing team where the player caught the ball

Over a Third

The ball must be caught or touched by a player in each third of the court.

Sanction – Free pass to the opposing team by the transverse line in the third where the ball entered incorrectly

Obstruction – Of a player with the ball

An opposing player may not attempt to defend a player in possession of the ball if they are within 3 feet of the landing foot of the player with the ball.

Sanction – Penalty Pass where the infringer was stood

An opposing player who is the correct distance from the player in possession of the ball may attempt to defend the ball by jumping upwards, provided that if they land closer than 3 feet they do not interfere with the shooting or passing action.

If the player with the ball chooses to shorten the distance between themselves and the opposing player, the opposing player does not have to move.

A defending player may be within 3 feet of the player with the ball providing they do not interfere with the players shooting or passing action.

Obstruction – Of a player without the ball

A player who is within 3 feet of an opponent, whether attacking or defending, may not use movements that take the arms away from the body so as to limit the possible movements of an opponent.

Sanction – Penalty Pass where the infringer was stood

Contact

Netball is no longer considered a non-contact sport.  It is now referred to is a contact-contest sport.   When playing netball players may come into contact with other players.  Provided this contact does not interfere with each other’s play an umpire will deem this as contest and allow play to carry on.

Should the contact between players interfere in any way with another player, either accidentally or deliberately, then a contact infringement will be called.

Contact can occur from physical contact using any part of the body to limit an opponent’s ability to move freely, knocking or hitting a player, making contact with the ball held by an opponent or whilst holding the ball, pushing it into opponent.

Contact can also occur if a player lands in a place already occupied by an opponent or moving into the path of an opponent who is committed to a particular landing spot.  Players may also not position so closely to an opponent such that they are unable to move without contacting.

Sanction – Penalty Pass where the infringement took place

Leaving the court

A player may choose to leave the court to reposition themselves.  Provided a defender does not also leave the court, contact or obstruct that player, they may attempt to stop them from re-entering the court.

Sanction – Penalty Pass on court where infringer was stood

A player who has left the court may not defend another player whether they are on or off the court.

Sanction – Penalty Pass on court next to where infringer was stood off court

A player who has left the court to retrieve the ball or take a throw-in must be allowed to re-enter the court where they left it or took the throw-in from.

Foul Play

Foul Play is anything a player does within the field of play that is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Rules of the Game.  This includes dangerous play, unfair play, and dissent with the umpire.  An umpire will decide what level of sanction is required from within the Game Management spectrum of sanctions, Cautions, Warnings or Suspensions.

Play Netball supports all of the umpires in its’ leagues and will not tolerate any disrespect shown towards an umpire either on or off the court.

Leagues

Our leagues run anything from 7-14 week seasons throughout the year depending on how many teams are in your league. After a season is finished we will have 1-2 week break before going into a new season. If you league has multiple divisions then there will be promotions and relegation’s (top & bottom two teams) before the new season starts.