Friday, September 22, 2023

Netball Rules

The International Netball Federation has issued a 2020 edition of the Official Rules Book and they came into effect on 1 January 2020.

Click here to view the 2020 Official Netball Rule Book online.

Click here to view a summary of the amendments that have been made since the 2018 edition. 

The 2020 Official Netball Rule Book has been translated into Hebrew and can be found here.

The Hebrew summary of amendments that have been made since the 2018 edition can be found here.

These are some of the basic netball rules:

Three Seconds

Players have only three seconds between catching the ball and releasing it.


If a player catches the ball with only one foot on the ground, that foot is referred to as the landing foot. The player can then choose to step with the other foot, lift the landing foot and throw the ball before the landing foot returns to the ground. Alternatively, they can pivot on the landing foot and move the other foot any number of times. But they are NOT allowed to move or hop on the landing foot until they have released the ball.

If a player has both feet on the ground when catching the ball they can choose their landing foot and follow the rules as above.

3 feet

Defenders have to stand 3 feet (0.9m) away from the player with the ball. From this distance a player can try and win the ball back, but ONLY when it has been thrown into the air.

Players can defend a member of the other team who does not have the ball but they cannot touch them or snatch the ball away from them.

If a player makes physical contact and disrupts play, a penalty pass is awarded.

Short Pass

When a player passes the ball there must be sufficient space for an opposing player to be able to intercept the ball with a hand as it moves from the hands of the thrower to those of the receiver.

Centre Passes and Passes on Court

A centre pass must be touched or caught in the centre third. This means that at least two passes have to be made before a player can attempt to shoot a goal.

The ball must be handled in each third of the court, for example, a player cannot throw the ball from the defensive third to the attacking third.


Each player is only allowed in certain areas of the court and if they stray out of position then they are offside. A player is considered to be offside even if they don't have the ball.