Rules of Netball
Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players.
1. Length of the Game
Netball is played over four, 15 minute quarters. There is a three minute break between the first and second quarter and the third and fourth quarters. The half time break is five minutes. Injury time is up to two minutes.
2. Starting the Game
The game commences with the first centre pass taken at the umpires whistle. After each goal is scored, a new centre pass is taken alternatively by the two centre players, irrespective of who scores the goal. The umpires whistle indicates the beginning and end of each quarter. The first centre pass is decided between the two captains by the toss of a coin. The centre passes then alternate between the teams, regardless of which team has scored.Before the whistle, all players must start in the goal thirds except the two Centres. The Centre with the ball must be wholly within the Centre Circle a+C10nd 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.After the whistle the Centre pass must be caught or touched by a player standing in or landing wholly within the Centre third.A player must not break at the centre pass, which is moving into the Centre third before the whistle is blown for the Centre pass.Players must get onside quickly at the centre pass. The Centre with the ball must hurry back to the centre circle and step straight in. If she waits for her players to get back onside, this is called delaying play.A free pass would be awarded to the opposing team in any of these instances above.
3. Scoring a Goal
A goal is scored when a Goal Shooter or Goal Attack within the goal circle throws the ball completely through the goal ring. The umpires whistle signals the goal is scored.
4. Team Changes and Substitutions
A team may make any number of substitutions at the quarter, half or three-quarter time break as well as during a stoppage due to injury or illness. If a substitution or team change is made due to injury or illness, the injured or ill player must be involved in the substitution or positional change. The opposing team is free to make substitutions or positional changes, regardless if the team who called for the time out makes no changes.A player cannot accidentally or deliberately come into contact with another player in a way which impedes their play. For example, pushing, charging, tripping, throwing the body against an opponent or using the ball to push or contact an opponent. Players must not hold an opponent, nor keep their elbows against another player.
A player with arms extended cannot defend a player with the ball closer than 0.9m (3 feet). This distance is measured from the first landed foot of the attacking player to the nearer foot of the defending player. A player may stand closer to an opponent without the ball provided their arms are not extended, but a player may not use intimidating actions against an opponent with or without the ball. If the attacking player lessens the distance in their throwing or shooting action, then the defending player is not considered to be obstructing because it was the attacking player and not the defending player who shortened the distance.
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