Netball Rules

PNA (via Netball Australia) follow the World Netball Rules. These rules were updated in December 2023, launching the Rules of Netball 2024 Edition which came into effect for all international matches from 1st January 2024.

All players, coaches and umpires should familiarise themselves with these changes (in addition to being familiar with the entire 'Rules of Netball').

The Netball Rules apply to all competitions from Year 5 through to Open (Senior). NetSetGO (NSG - Years 2 to 4) use modified rules - please see links below.

New Rules 2024

PNA (via Netball Australia) have implemented the new netball rules to align with the World Netball Rules. 


The following rules have changed, with a focus on player safety and game management. They only apply to the Year 5 through to Open competitions (NSG have modified rules, see links above).

>> Rolling Substitutions
PNA are implementing all of the new rules as per the World Netball rule book, with the exception of Tactical Changes. As this requires that time be held and could impact the scheduling of games, this rule will be replaced with Rolling Substitutions.
A ‘rolling sub‘ is the substitution of an on-court player with an off-court player during the game. There is no stoppage, and the substitution must be immediate. There are specific guidelines for the process, please review the Info Sheet.

>> Goal After Whistle
If the whistle to end play or to hold time is blown after the ball has left the hands of the shooter and the shot is successful, the goal will be scored.

>> Centre Pass Checks
ONLY an on-court player can appeal the centre pass if they think the umpire is calling the direction of the next pass incorrectly (the scorer can no longer appeal). Appeal must be made before the centre pass. Once the pass is taken, it’s too late.

>> Toss Up Removal
Not that we have seen these much at PNA, but the Toss Up for simultaneous infringements has been removed. Now the umpire awards possession to the team that was last in possession of the ball, where the ball was when the play stopped.

>> Short Pass
Slightly updated - an opposing player must be able to deflect or intercept the ball as it moves from the hands of the passer to those of the receiver. The umpire must consider whether the defending player can make a genuine attempt, considering not just a hand, but a hand connected to an arm and body.

>> Player Safety
INJURY- The new rule clarifies that as well as umpires holding time for injury or illness following a verifiable request by an on-court player, they may also hold time without a request being made if there is an obvious or serious injury which would include an injury to the head or neck and/or suspected concussion.
BLOOD - Players who are bleeding, have an open wound or fresh blood stained clothes must leave the court, but dried blood does not need to be substituted. Dried blood should be cleaned up quickly. Blood-stained clothing must be replaced before returning to the court.
CONCUSSION - If there is a suspected concussion, the player should be sent to the First Aid tent for assessment. If concussion is diagnosed there (or via other medical assessment on or after the date of the incident), the earliest a player can return to play will be 21 days after their injury, provided they get medical clearance. 

>> Foul Play
Foul play is split into 3 categories, all of which have different levels of penalties:
  • Unfair Play - Penalty Pass which is advanced up to half a third
  • Unsporting Behaviour - Penalty Pass plus warning or suspension
  • Dangerous Play - Penalty Pass plus suspension or ordering off

>> Game Management
Cautions have been removed and umpires can now advance or escalate a sanction.
  • Proactive advice
  • Advance/Escalate
  • Warning
  • Suspension (2 minutes)
  • Ordering Off (4 minutes)

>> Advantage
More of a refresh of the rule - a team should not be disadvantaged when an opponent infringes. If an infringement occurs and the non-infringing team would be disadvantaged by the umpire blowing their whistle, they will refrain and instead call advantage, allowing play to continue.

>> Contact
There are many pages in the rule book relating to Contact and should be reviewed. The contact rule deals with situations where players use physical contact improperly to prevent the ability of players to compete fairly for playing position and possession of the ball. This info discusses the two types of contact: Interference and Causing.

>> Playing the Ball (Replay)
This is not a rule change but a ‘refresh’ of the existing rule to make it clear to everyone how you can gain possession of the ball and what you can do while in possession.

>> Throw-In
If you’re ready to take a throw-in, you don’t have to wait for everyone to be on court. Just like any other sanction, the player taking the throw-in can play the ball as soon as they are in position without waiting, even if not everyone is on the court!

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