Netball Rules

Know the rules before your team go for glory!

Updated over a week ago

Knowledge of the Rules 

1.1  The rules of Social Sport Netball leagues are based on that of the International Netball Federation Rules of Netball. You can view the rules HERE!

See the specific rules update posted May 10th 2024

1.2  The rules in this document take precedence in the event of any discrepancy.

1.3  It is the responsibility of each player to be familiar with these rules.

Team Registration

2.1  Team Registration Fee must be paid prior to Round 2.

2.2  All players must be registered online before participating.

2.3  The playing of unregistered players is not permitted and may result in loss of match points.

Match Format

3.1  Matches shall consist of 4 X 9 minute quarters. Teams are to change ends at the end of each quarter.

3.2  There will be a one-minute half-time break.

3.3  A match is started and finished by the umpire's whistle. 

Before the Match

4.1 Teams must submit their player lineup on League Up prior to match commencement.

4.2 All outstanding payments must be made prior to match commencement. Games will not start if your fees have not been paid.

4.3 The Venue Manager must receive match payment before your game can commence.

Time of Match

5.1 Teams are to be on the court at the scheduled game time.

5.2 The umpire will start the clock at the scheduled match time to ensure that all teams have a full match.

5.3 The clock will not be stopped, except in the case of injury.

5.4 Teams are to have a minimum of 4 players on court before a match can commence.

5.5 The following penalties apply for lateness:

If a team is late they are to be penalised 1 goal for every minute they're not on court. For example, a team is 5-minutes late, they will be penalised 5 goals at the start of play.

5.6  A forfeit will result in a 20-0 win awarded to the opposition. All forfeits are charged at the full match rate of $89. The forfeit fee is to be paid prior to a team's next match. 

5.7  A forfeit without notification may result in removal from the league.


6.1  A maximum of 7 players are permitted on court at any one time.

6.2 A team is permitted to have an unlimited number of players on the interchange bench.

6.3  Senior Mixed teams may only have a maximum of 3 males on the court at any one time.

6.4  If requested, team contacts must notify the umpire of player names.

6.5 Players are permitted to play across multiple teams per night in the following situations:

A team can borrow players from another team as long as they start the game with a minimum of their own 4 registered players.

Individual players can play for another team as long as they are in the same or lower division. Eg. Division 1 players cannot play in a division 2 league.

6.6  Teams playing ineligible players, relating to rule 6.5, may lose match points.

6.7 There can only be one male permitted in each third of the court. This means one shooter either GS or GA, one mid-court player C, WA and WD and one defender GK or GD. There cannot be one in goals and two mid-court positions or two males in goals or defence.

6.8 For all Social Sport senior competitions, players must be a minimum of 15 years of age to participate. It is the responsibility of each team to ensure this rule is enforced at all times.

Team Uniforms

7.1  All team tops must be the same or similar in colour.

7.2  All players must wear sporting attire and footwear. 

7.3  All players must remove all jewellery. External body piercings can be taped down.

7.4  Teams must provide their own bibs, these can be purchased at the venue.


8.1  Teams can make substitutions at quarter intervals. Should a player leave the court for injury or illness, a substitution can be made. Substitutions or team changes made during an injury or illness break must involve the injured or ill player.

8.2  There is no limit on the number of substitutions a team is permitted to make during a match.


9.1  In the case of an injury occurring, the clock will be stopped up to a maximum of 5 minutes.

9.2  An injured player must leave the court as soon as reasonably possible.  
9.3  Once an injured player leaves the court, their position may be filled by another player.

9.4  If a player is bleeding he or she must vacate the court immediately and cannot return until the bleeding has stopped.

9.5  An injury that causes a stoppage of over 15 minutes will result in the abandonment of the game. A 20-20 result will be recorded.  

9.6  Any injury that might require further medical treatment must be reported to the Venue Manager.

Points system

10.1  Teams shall be awarded 4 points for a win.

10.2  Teams shall be awarded 2 points for a draw.

10.3  In the case of a forfeit, a team shall receive 4 points and a 20-0 result.

10.4  In the case of the game being abandoned, the game will be decided on a fault basis.

The following outlines possible outcomes:

- One team at fault: Opposition is awarded a 20-0 win

- Both teams at fault: No result (no points awarded)

10.5 In the case of a game cancellation due to weather or venue issues, the result will stand if more than 50% of the game has been played. If less than 50%, the result will be a 10-10 draw. 


11.1  All finals fixtures will be advised to participating teams and posted online.

11.2  Participating teams must ensure they are available for all possible match times.

11.3  Finals formats are dependent on the make-up of divisions.

11.4  In the case of divisions with uneven bye allocation, points will be averaged to determine final ladder positions. Eg. A team with 1 bye and 30 points from 15 matches (2 points per match) will finish higher than a team with 2 byes and 31 points from 16 matches (1.94 points per match). Please note: Average points per game system does not apply to teams who have entered the competition after Round 3. They are only able to qualify for finals on total points.

11.5 In the case of teams having equal points and equal points per match, higher goal differences will take precedence. If still equal, higher goals will take precedence.

11.6  If teams are tied at full-time of a finals match, extra time will consist of 2 x 3-minute halves. In the event that scores remain tied, the game continues until a team obtains a 2 goal lead.

11.7  Players must have played a minimum of 3 games in the regular season to be eligible to play in finals matches. 


12.1  There will be two umpires assigned to each court.

12.2  The umpire’s decision is final. 

Wet Weather 

13.1  It is assumed games will go ahead in all weather conditions unless decided otherwise by the Venue Manager on the night. 

13.2  In the event of a full night cancellation due to weather, all games will be recorded as a 10-10 draw.    

13.3  In the case of an in-game cancellation, a result will stand if more than 50% of the game has been played. If less than 50% of the game is played, a 10-10 draw will be recorded.  

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is in place to ensure that all participants are able to be involved in an enjoyable and safe environment. As a condition of participation, all teams must agree to the following standards.

- Players must demonstrate respect for referees, other players, spectators and staff. 

- The team contact is responsible for the actions of their team.

- The team contact is responsible for communicating all matters regarding participation.

Any breach of the above standards will result in an official warning or immediate dismissal from the competition. Anti-social behaviour, both on and off-court, will not be tolerated. 

Please note that banned players are not permitted to play for any team or enter the stadium during the competition.

Two or more players from any one team involved in a breach of the Code of Conduct will result in the team and all individual players facing removal from the competition.

Social Sport has the right to take any action deemed necessary in the best interests of all participants.

Suspension of Players 

The following information relates to the suspension of players:

  • If a player is removed from the court, they must remain off-court for a minimum of 5 minutes. An umpire will indicate when the player is able to return to play. 

  • If a player is removed for a second time, they must stay off court for the remainder of the game. A minimum of a 1-match ban will be handed out. Suspension length will be notified to the team contact prior to a team's next game.  

  • In the case of a serious incident, a player may be removed from the court for the remainder of the game. A player may receive a longer suspension or be banned from the competition.  

  • The League Manager will confirm suspension (including additional weeks) to the team contact prior to the next round of the competition.

Rules Update | posted May 10th 2024

On the back of rule updates from World Netball, Social Sport will be implementing the following:

Tactical Changes

Teams will now be able to make one tactical change per quarter. This will be known as the 'rolling sub'. This is in addition to the ability to change/substitute players at intervals and when an injury occurs (no limits). A tactical change can be requested after a goal is scored and this can be either a positional change between two players on court or by making a substitution with a player off-court.

Only two players can be involved in each tactical change. The swapping of bibs must happen quickly so as not to delay the game. The opposing team to the team making the tactical change cannot make a tactical change at the same time. They must wait for another goal to be scored before requesting their tactical change.

Goal Permitted After Whistle

A goal will now be deemed scored after the umpire’s whistle to end time if the ball has left the hand of the shooter prior to the whistle sounding and successfully goes through the ring.

Toss-Up Removal

There will now be no ability for umpires to call a 'toss-up'. If a situation arises where a 'toss-up' would have previously been called, the team who had possession last will now be awarded possession. This will be a 'pass' as opposed to a 'penalty' meaning there is no ability to shoot for goal if awarded in the goal ring. Any player permitted in the area that the pass is awarded is able to take the pass.

Short Pass

Previously the definition of a short pass was that there must be room between the passer’s hands and the receiver’s hands for an opposition player to 'intercept by hand'. This wording has now been changed to “deflect or intercept.” This means the umpire must consider whether the opposing player can make a genuine attempt to deflect or intercept.

Further information on short passing can be found HERE.

Foul Play & Game Management

There is now an emphasis on foul play, split into 'unfair play', 'unsupportive behaviour' and 'dangerous play'. All result in a penalty pass to the opposing team. Cautions that were previously used by the umpire to the offending player before a warning was issued, have now been removed.

The umpire will consider the seriousness of the offending action and determine whether a further penalty is necessary (above awarding a penalty pass/shot). This can include a warning to the offending player/team, advancing the penalty further down the court (towards the goal end of the team receiving the penalty pass) or ordering the offending player/s from the court for the remainder of the game. An umpire may send a player off for a two minute period or for the remaining duration of the game, dependant on the seriousness of the offending action.

All players must take responsibility to use good judgement in making decisions whilst playing and understand that they will be held accountable for actions that may result in an injury to another player.

Further information on foul play can be found HERE.

Further information on game management can be found HERE.


Some players have been unclear on the contact rule under the causing, for a player’s natural landing space. To clarify, when a player jumps in the air to contest the ball, the player who gains possession has 'the right of way' and must be given space to land, relative to where the ball was travelling.

A player who does not allow the space will be penalised. This is not a new rule, it is just better clarified in the rules now.

Further information on contact can be found HERE.

Player Safety

Changes and clarifications to rules have been made regarding player safety to ensure injury incidents (particularly head and neck injuries and suspected concussions) are taken seriously.

Following a verifiable request by a player on court or if an obvious injury has occurred, the game will be stopped to allow the injury to be assessed.

There has been an amendment to the blood rule, being that if a player has dried blood on them, it is not necessary they be substituted from the game. The player will be requested to quickly clean the dried blood and be able to resume playing (the game will stop while cleaning occurs).

However, players who are bleeding, have an open wound or bloodstained clothing are required to be substituted from the game.

Replayed Ball

This has been refreshed to better clarify understanding of what constitutes “playing the ball”. It clarifies how a player may gain possession of the ball, and what one can do while in possession.

To gain possession, a player may:

  • Catch the ball with one or both hands

  • Roll the ball to oneself

  • Catch the ball if it rebounds from the goalpost

  • Bat the ball once, then catch it

  • Bounce the ball once, then catch it

  • Touch the ball in an uncontrolled manner once or more than once, then catch it

Without possession, a player may:

  • Bat or bounce the ball to another player

  • Bat the ball once, and then either bat or bounce the ball to another player

  • Bounce the ball once, and then either bat or bounce the ball to another player

  • Touch the ball in an uncontrolled manner once or more than once, and either bat or bounce the ball to another player

It is confusing to some players as to what constitutes 'replayed ball' and it advised that the below video is viewed to assist in clarification.

Further information on this rule can be HERE.


The new rules now make it unnecessary for the player taking the throw-in to wait for all players to be on the court. However, under Social Sport rules, it will still be necessary to wait for the player retrieving the ball to be back on the court before the throw-in commences.

The player retrieving the ball must retrieve the ball in a reasonable time and must not deliberately delay the game. If the player does take the throw-in before the player retrieving the ball has re-entered the court, the player taking the throw-in will be requested to take the throw-in again (it will not be a free pass against that player as happened previously).

A reminder to all players that the player taking a throw in must have both feet behind the line and that their landed foot must be within 15cm of the line and their foot not touching the line.

The entire Rules of Netball 2024 can be found HERE.

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