Important netball rules for new players

Netball can be a lot of fun, but like most sports there’s a lot of rules to remember. Here’s 6 important netball rules to give you a good understanding of how to play netball.

1. Don’t step

When catching the ball, land with one foot first, followed by the other. The first foot to hit the ground is your landing foot, which becomes your pivot foot. If you lift the landing foot whilst still holding the ball, pass it before putting your landing foot back down. You will be called for stepping if you don't, and the opposing team will gain possession.

2. You have 3 seconds

You have 3 seconds to pass or shoot when you have the ball, depending upon your position and placement on court. If you take longer than 3 seconds, a held ball will be called and the penalty is a free pass to the opposing team.

3. Stay 3 feet away

Keep your distance! Before you raise your arms to defend, make sure you are 3 feet (90cm) away from your opposing player who is in possession of the ball. This distance is measured from the first landed foot of the attacking player to the nearest foot of the defending player. Failure to keep your distance will result in an obstruction call. You will have to stand still beside your player until after they have thrown the ball. Once they pass the ball, you can get amongst the action again.

4. No contact

You must not interfere with another person’s play on the court. You can not hold, rest your elbows against, push, charge or trip another player, or use the ball to push against an opponent. If this happens—either accidentally or deliberately—a penalty will be called. You will again have stand still beside your player until after they throw or pass the ball.

5. Don’t replay the play

You must not bounce the ball into your own hand on the court, or throw the ball in the air and catch it without the opposition touching it. A replay will be called if this happens, which results in a turnover and free pass to the other team.

6. Stay within the boundaries

Players must not step outside of the playing area for their position, with or without the ball. Should this occur, offside will be called and a free pass awarded to the opposition. The more you play, the easier these rules will be to remember. Good luck with your game!