Indoor Netball Rules



  • Players must be at least 14 yrs of age

  • Twelve players maximum registered per team

  • Ten players maximum per game, four substitutes are allowed each game

  • Six players on the court at one time, two Attackers, two Defenders, two Centers

  • A minimum of five players may take the court

  • Up to three male players on court, with no more than one male per position

  • Teams may field all women players

  • Players from a higher division may not play in a lower division. i.e. division one players may not play in division two, but division two players may fill in division one. Teams using players from higher divisions will default their game points

  • Players may register with more than one team. These players are required to play in the grading rounds, to ensure fair grading, or will not be eligible to play in more than one team

  • Players must play a minimum of 3 games for their team over the current league to be eligible to play in the finals.


  • ONLY four substitutions may be made at quarter/half times, and in the event of injury, illness or blood bin, only the injured, ill or blood binned player(s) may be substituted and positions cannot be changed (on the line is offside/out of court).

Player Areas

  • Attackers and Defenders are allowed anywhere on their side of halfway. Centers are allowed throughout the court but may not enter the goal area at each end of the court (on the line is offside/out of court).

Positioning Players for the Start of Play

  • The team positioned on the court first and ready to play has the choice of goal end; otherwise ends will be decided by the umpire.

  • Teams will change ends at the end of each quarter.

  • Both Link/Centre players from each team must be positioned in their defense halves when the toss-up is taken. All other players must be in their correct positions.

Late Arrivals

Late arriving players may not enter the court while the game is in progress, but after notifying the Umpire may take the court:

  • After a goal has been scored. In this case they must play in the position left vacant in the team

  • Immediately following an interval

  • After a stoppage for injury or illness

If a late arriving player takes the court without notifying the Umpire, a free pass will be awarded to the opposing team where the infringer was standing.

Any team not ready to go on court by the end of the first quarter of play will record an automatic default.

Any team that arrives later but takes the court and is ready to play prior to the end of the first quarter of play will be penalized one (1) penalty goal for every complete thirty (30) seconds that the non-offending team was on the court and ready to play after the official game clock had been started.

Please make sure you let management know at least 24 hours before your scheduled game time if you are unable to make your game, this enables us to find a replacement team to fill in.


  • One point for goals by attackers inside their goal area

  • Two points for goals outside the area by attackers or centers

  • If a player catches the ball in the goal area and steps outside the line on the ungrounded foot two points must be awarded.

  • If the player catches the ball outside the goal area and steps into the goal area on the ungrounded foot only one point is awarded.

The Game


The game is played in 8 minute quarters with 30sec change over between quarters.  There is a 1min half time break.

Game Play

  • A toss up is taken at centre court between two centre players to start the game, if teams are not ready after 30 seconds the toss up will proceed. Toss up must be caught cleanly.

  • A player may defend another player with the ball but must be 0.9m (3 feet) from that player’s first grounded foot.

  • After a goal is scored a defence player must go to the top of the goal area and pass the ball off leaving one foot grounded as they release the ball. This pass must be touched before it goes over halfway. The attacks and centres of the opposing team must be 3 feet away from the passers first grounded foot. The other defence player can be anywhere in the defensive half.



  • To defend a player with the ball you must be 3 feet (0.9 metres) away from the player’s first grounded foot.

  • By standing too close to a player with possession of the ball therefore obstructing their vision or ability to shoot the ball.

  • If a player steps back or to the side, you must still be 3 feet from the player’s first grounded foot.

  • A player will be penalized for obstructing an opposing player that is not in possession of the ball if they are within the 3 feet distance of that player and they employ any movements which take their arms away from their body. Within this distance a player is not obstructing if their arms are outstretched to:

  • Catch, deflect or intercept a pass or feint pass.

  • Obtain a rebound from an unsuccessful shot at goal.

  • Momentarily signal for a pass or to indicate their intended direction of movement.

Personal Contact

No player may come into contact with an opponent in order to interfere with the opponent’s play either accidentally or deliberately.

Professional Foul

Infringements taken at the umpire’s discretion, as a penalty pass or a shot at goal undefended.

A deliberate delay of play anytime during the duration of the game may result in the Umpire awarding the non-offending team with a five meter forward gain in court position and/or a penalty pass or shot.

Foot Foul

No deliberate kicking or stopping of the ball with any part of the leg/foot.


A player may block 3 feet outside the goal area and in the goal area only provided their legs are no wider than the width of their shoulders and within 3 feet distance of the player the defending players hands remain by their side. No blocking through the court.

Contact with the Ball

  • A player in possession of the ball may not contact a player defending who is 3 feet away from his/her ungrounded foot.

  • All players who go out of their natural body stance i.e. straight up and down while defending or attacking the ball in play must not infringe the contact rule or obstruction rule.

Simultaneous Contact

If an umpire decides that two players have infringed simultaneously a toss-up will be held between those two players.


A player in possession of the ball cannot slide or drag the grounded foot, hop onto the other foot or re-ground the landing foot before releasing the ball.

Out of Court

If the ball goes out of the court area, the opposing team must throw in the ball as close to where the ball went out.  If a foot is placed on the line while throwing in the ball, the other team is awarded the throw in.  Players do not have to wait for the umpire’s whistle.


  • If a player enters an area of the court they are not allowed in, a free pass will be given to the opposition.

  • Your foot on the line is offside.

  • Players can’t go offside to retrieve a ball at any time.

Replayed Ball

A player who has had control of the ball; stopped it, bounced it forward intentionally, had possession in the palm of the hand and caught it cleanly may not re-gather it unless it is touched by another player.

When having an attempt at goal the ball must touch the goal ring (not net or post) before the ball can be caught by the same player again.


A player may not protect the ball with any part of their body in order to prevent the opposition gaining possession, whether it is intentional or unintentional. A free pass will be awarded to the non-opposing team.

Short Pass

A short pass between two players occurs when there is insufficient room for another player to come through/between the hands of the receiver and the passer.

Held Ball

A player who has either caught or held the ball must pass or shoot for a goal within three seconds of having received it.

Striking the Ball

  • No striking the ball with the fist is allowed

  • No diving on the ball to gain possession

Played on the Ground

The ball cannot be passed from a player lying, kneeling or sitting on the ground.


  • The Umpire(s) shall have sole control of the game.

  • The decision of the Umpire shall be final and shall be given without appeal.

  • The ball shall be played live if it comes into contact with an Umpire during play, but if such contact interferes with the course of the game, the Umpire may decide to have a toss ball between two opposing players in that area of play.

The Umpires whistle shall:

  • Start and re-start the game at the beginning of each quarter and end each period of play.

  • Indicate when a goal has been scored.

  • Indicate when an infringement of the rules has been made.

The Umpire shall:

  • Refrain from penalizing an infringement of the rules when by doing so the non-offending team would be placed, at a disadvantage. In this instance the Umpire may call ‘ADVANTAGE’ or use hand signals to indicate an infringement has been observed but not penalized. Having blown the whistle for an infringement, the Umpire must award the penalty.

  • Not criticize or coach any team while a game is in progress.

  • State the infringement and penalty and may use hand signals to clarify decisions.

  • Answer questions regarding clarification of rules from team Captains only and only at quarter breaks or at the conclusion of the game.

  • Advise each team of the correct score at each quarter break.

  • Adjudicate the rules contained in this book both consistently and without bias.

Pass Off

A pass off from within the restart area shall be taken by a defense player to restart play after every goal has been scored.

The player taking the pass off must:

  • Keep one foot grounded within the pass off area until the ball is released.

  • Throw the ball within 3 seconds from taking their position within the pass off area.

  • Apply the footwork, replay and held ball rules from the moment of taking the grounded position within the pass off area.

At the time of the pass off all opposing players must be 0.9m from player’s grounded foot.


A penalty pass or shot will be awarded when the following infringements occur (players must be beside and away from the player in possession of the ball);

  • Obstruction

  • Personal contact

  • Blocking a player through court

  • Blocking a player within 0.9m of the circle with legs wider than the shoulders and arms away from their side

  • Contact with the ball or on the ball

  • Interfering with the goal post

  • Guarding the ball

Free Pass

A free pass will be awarded when the following infringements occur (players do not have to stand down when a free pass is given);

  • Stepping

  • Offside

  • Replayed ball

  • Short pass

  • Rolling, kicking, punching or playing the ball while on the ground

Toss Up

Players will stand 0.9 meters apart, upright with arms down by your sides.  The umpire will toss the ball and blow the whistle.  Only when the whistle blows can the players move.  An attempt to catch the ball must be made.  A player must not bat the ball nor move their hands before the whistle is blown.  If this happens a pass is awarded to the other team.


Interceptions must be taken cleanly.

Landing Space

  • Players in possession of the ball must be given landing space by players from the opposition.

  • Players without the ball cannot move into a person’s landing space causing inevitable contact.

  • A penalty pass or shot is awarded in these situations

Goal Tending

When a player is shooting for goal, defending players cannot hit the ball on its downward motion.  When a defending player strikes any part of the goal hoop (including net). This is goal tending, and the goal will count.

Unsportsmanlike Play

  • Calling to an opposition player to pass the ball is not permitted and initially a free pass will be awarded. If a player continues to call for the ball they may be asked to leave the court.

  • Players may not call out or distract a shooter. This will be classed as intimidation and a penalty pass will be awarded.  If a player continues to intimidate a shooter he may be asked to leave the court.

Nails and Jewelry

  • Nails may not be showing over fingers when held up straight and must be trimmed. Gloves may be worn by players which have protection like a gardening glove but these will not be supplied by BVL.

  • Flat wedding bands and medical alert bracelets may be worn but must be fully concealed by tape. Watches, power bands and bracelets must be removed. Taonga and crosses may be worn provided they are kept under the players top or taped down.

  • All earrings and other piercings of the body are to be removed, only inner center earrings may be worn but must be taped up.

Food and Drink

Consumption of foodstuffs and drink on court is not permitted (only water).

Blood Bin

Any players with bleeding wounds must leave the court. At the time the player is blood binned, the Umpire will ensure any equipment that is blood marked is replaced IMMEDIATELY and let play continue. A substitute can ONLY take up the vacant position. If no substitution is made, the injured player may return to the court only after the Umpire has been notified and a goal has been scored.  Up to two minutes blood bin time can be taken.

Competition Scoring

  • 5 Points for a win

  • 3 Points for a draw

  • 1 Point for a loss

  • -4 points if a game is defaulted

  • In the event of a draw in the finals, the team who won the round robin game will win.

Should this be a draw the team with the highest score in the round robin will win the game.

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