Playing the Game

Starting or restarting the game

The players are responsible at the start and restart of play.
Centre passes are taken alternately by the Centre, after a goal has been scored.
All players must start in the goal thirds except the two Centres.
The Centre with the ball starts with either one or both feet in the centre circle (if on one foot then the other must not have contact with the ground outside the centre circle) and must obey the footwork rule after the whistle has been blown.
The opposing Centre stands anywhere within the centre third and is free to move.
The centre pass must be caught or touched by a player in or landing in or jumping from a stance in the centre third.

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Playing the Ball

A player who has caught or the ball shall play it or shoot for goal within three seconds.
A player may bounce or bat the ball once to gain control.
Once released, the ball must next be touched by another player.
There must be room for a third player between hands of thrower and catcher.
A player on the ground must stand up before playing ball.

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Having caught the ball, a player may land or stand on:

  • One foot – while the landing foot remains grounded, the second foot may be moved anywhere any number of times, pivoting on the landing foot if desired. Once the landing foot is lifted, it must not be re-grounded until the ball is released.
  • Two feet (simultaneously) – once one foot is moved, the other is considered to be the landing foot, as above. Hopping or dragging the landing foot is not allowed.
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    Scoring a Goal

    Only GS or GA can score – they must be completely within the circle when the ball is received in order to shoot for goal.


    Toss up

    This is administered for all simultaneous infringements.
    The two players stand facing each other at their own shooting ends with hands by their sides and the umpire flicks the ball upwards not more than 600m (2ft) in the air as the whistle is blown.
    A free pass is awarded for infringement of any of the preceding rules.
    It may be taken by any player allowed in that area, as soon as they have taken up a stationary position. (A player may not shoot from a free pass in the shooting circle).

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  • Player with ball:
    The nearer foot of the defender must be 0.9m (3ft) feet from the landing foot of the player with the ball, or the spot where the first foot had landed if one has been lifted. The defender may jump to intercept or defend the ball from this 0.9m (3ft) feet distance.
  • Player without ball:
    The defender may be close, but not touching, providing that no effort is made to intercept or defend the ball and there is no interference with the opponents throwing or shooting action. Arms must be in a natural position, not outstretched, and no other part of the body or legs may be used to hamper an opponent.
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    Intimidation of any kind, is classed as obstruction.
    A standing player is not compelled to move to allow an opponent a free run, but dangerous play must be discouraged, e.g. moving into the landing space of a player already in the air or stepping late into the path of a moving player.

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    No player may contact an opponent, either accidentally or deliberately, in such a way that interferes with the play of that opponent or causes contact to occur.
    A penalty pass (or penalty pass/shot if in the shooting circle) is awarded for the above infringements taken from where the infringement occurred. The offending player must stand out of play beside the thrower until the pass or shot has been taken.
    Any opposing player allowed in that area may take the penalty.

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    Discipline Rule 19

    Players and team officials must ensure that they are fully conversant with the rules covering "Breaking the Rules" and "Deliberate Delaying of Play" (including setting of Penalties).

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    Source: England Netball website*

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    Starting or restarting Playing the ball Footwork Scoring a goal Toss up Obstruction Intimidation Contact Discipline Rule 19

    Useful Links

  • England Netball website*
  • Surrey County Netball Association (SCNA)*
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Netball*
  • International Federation of Netball Associations*
  • BBC Sport - Netball*
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