Handy Hints for Coaches and Managers from HNA Umpire Committee

Handy Hints for Coaches and Managers – Brought to you by the HNA Umpire Committee

Here are some basic netball rules that everyone should understand:

Contact

  • Not all contacts are “contact”. Some contact will occur between players while contesting for the ball. The umpire may only deem a contact to require a penalty if it INTERFERES with the player’s ability to play.
  • A contact which interferes is still a contact, even if it is accidental.

Obstruction

  • 3-feet is considerably larger than most spectators and players think it is
  • The perception of the distance of 3-feet will change, depending on the viewer’s angle
  • Any player holding their arms across an opponent’s body, so that it interferes with that player’s ability to move or gain possession of the ball is obstructing (Obstruction of a player not in possession of the ball)
  • A player who is standing less than 3-feet from their opponent’s grounded foot with their arms up is obstructing (Obstruction of a player in possession of the ball).
  • If the player lifts their grounded foot, the 3-feet is still measured from the spot on the ground where that foot was
  • A player who lifts their arms BEFORE moving back 3-feet is obstructing.
  • A player with their arms down, standing within 3-feet of the player with the ball, can also be obstructing, if their position impedes the player with the ball.

Footwork

  • Previously known as “Stepping”
  • “Footwork” occurs when the player in possession of the ball lifts and re-grounds their “grounded foot”
  • The grounded foot is defined as the first foot to hit the ground after possession of the ball is gained. If the player has two feet on the ground when they catch the ball, or lands with two feet simultaneously, the foot which is not moved is deemed to be the grounded foot.
  • Players who do a split landing (particularly shooters) sometimes misjudge and think they have landed with two feet simultaneously, but have actually landed one foot first. If they lift that foot and reground it, that is Footwork.
  • Dragging the grounded foot is deemed to be Footwork.
  • A player who thinks they are airborne when they catch the ball, but actually had one foot still in contact with the ground, then jumps and lands with both feet (either simultaneously or one after the other) will be called for Footwork (Carry-Step).
  • A movement of the grounded foot whereby the player pivots on the heel (or ball) followed immediately by a pivot on the ball (or heel) is an example of Double-Pivot Footwork.

Short Pass

  • A short pass has occurred when there is insufficient space between the hands of the thrower and receiver, when the ball is released, for another player to intercept.
  • In spite of the rumours, THIS IS STILL A RULE.

Toss Up

  • In spite of another rumour, Toss Up is in the rule book AND HAS NEVER LEFT.
  • There are 6 different occasions upon which an umpire may use the Toss Up (see Page 43 of your rule book for the details).

Scoring a Goal

  • Goals can only be scored by GS or GA. If the ball goes through the ring because of something strange done the GD or GK, no goal is scored and it is simply “play on”.
  • The player shooting for goal must not have made contact with the court area outside the goal circle while in possession of the ball, ie. losing balance and stepping outside with the non-grounded foot
  • The player shooting for goal must be grounded in the circle prior to receipt of the ball
  • A player may not shoot for goal on a Footwork, Off-side, Replay free pass. If a penalty is awarded and someone is standing out of play, then the GA or GS may shoot for goal. (If in doubt, ask your friendly umpire!)

Setting Penalties

  • Penalties are set where the umpire sets them, which is where the infringement occurred, unless this penalises the non-infringing team (ie. directly under the net)
  • The offending player must make an attempt to stand out, but the player taking the penalty does not have to wait for them. If this happens, you may hear the umpire saying “Taken. Play on.”

Replay

  • The WORST UNDERSTOOD RULE IN NETBALL
  • No longer called “Replay”. Now it is “Incorrectly playing the ball” (but will be called Replay here, for simplicity)
  • This is a control sandwich. The player has control, the player loses control, the player regains control.
  • “Control” is defined as having sufficient possession of the ball to direct it to another player
  • A player who has not had possession may bat or bounce the ball once in a controlled manner to gain possession Gazing longingly at the ball before gaining possession does not constitute Replay.

Throw-In/Off-Side

  • The line constitutes part of the court. A player standing on the line bounding the court or that player’s area is NOT off-side or out-of-court.
  • A Throw-In must be taken from off the court, within 15 cm of the line (but NOT on the line because that is part of the court)
  • A player who sets their foot up to the line to conduct the Throw-In, then moves that foot has “Footworked”
  • A player who sets up to take a Throw-In in their off-side area is Off-Side
  • If a Throw-In is taken incorrectly, the other team is awarded a Throw-In.

Stoppages

  • Any on-court player may call a stoppage for themselves or another player, for injury or illness
  • The player for whom time is called must leave the court. If the position is filled by another player, the player who left the court may return at another stoppage (ie. another injury or quarter break)
  • Stoppage time is a maximum of 30 seconds, which allows BOTH teams to re-arrange positions (unless the injury is such that more time is required to safely remove the player from the court)
  • The team may choose to leave the affected player’s position vacant, in which case the player may return to the court after receiving treatment, after the next goal. Players may not be treated on court The umpire may call a stoppage if blood is noticed. All uniforms, bibs and balls must be free of blood.

Discipline

  • Umpires have the discretion to give players disciplinary sanctions for persistent rule breaches, or for serious events such as Umpire Dissent or Dangerous Play.
  • A CAUTION is awarded for the initial breach, and if this behaviour persists, may progress to WARNING, 2-MINUTE SUSPENSION and ORDERING OFF.
  • Coaches, the Bench and disrespectful spectators can also be given a CAUTION for Umpire Dissent, with the on-court captain being the on-court recipient.
  • Such disciplinary breaches will be recorded on the official score card.

YOUR UMPIRES ARE VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE OUT ON COURT IN THE WIND AND RAIN SO THAT MATCHES CAN GO AHEAD. WE DO OUR BEST, AND KNOW THE RULES MORE THOROUGHLY THAN MOST OF THE COACHES AND SPECTATORS. PLEASE HELP US OUT BY LEARNING THE RULES AND BEING RESPECTFUL.

With a strong and united community, the HNA is committed to provide an inclusive and positive environment through netball.

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