Playing Rules


1.1 Most matches consist of 4 quarters, usually of 9 or 10 minutes, with a max of 2 min for half time.

1.2 Please arrive 10 minutes before your start time so you are ready to start promptly. If any teams are more than 5 minutes late then they may potentially have to forfeit the match.


2.1 Two umpires will be at each match to officiate and ensure the smooth running of the league.

2.2 Umpires will time each game.

2.3 If you have any questions regarding rule interpretations please ask umpires present at half time or at the end of each match, never during play.

2.4 They have complete control of the game and their decision is final.

3.Squad numbers

3.1 The minimum number a team can play with is 5 players.

3.2 There is no maximum squad size number.


4.1 Substitutions can only be made at the end of a quarter.

4.2 An unlimited number of substitutions are allowed during a game.

4.3 If your team are a player short and the player turns up, they need to wait till the next goal is scored before they can step on the court and have to take the available position on the court. The umpire must have checked the player’s nails prior to stepping onto court.

5.Fill-in players

5.1 Teams are allowed to use fill-in players when needed and there is no limit to the number of fill-ins a team can use per game.

5.2 Fill-in players are required to play out of their normal position when filling-in for a different team.

(If your first position is a shooter you cannot play GA or GS and if you are a circle defender you cannot play GD or GK – you are required to play a different position out of fairness to the opposition. If you are flexible with your playing position, then please assume ‘normal’ position to mean the position you predominantly play for your own team.)

5.3. This rule applies to all positions on the court i.e. if your first position is Centre then you must not play that position when filling in.

5.4. This rule applies to ALL players, regardless of whether you play in our leagues regularly or it’s just a one-off match.

Netball Playing Rules

For a full detailed explanation of the rules for the game of netball please check out England Netball website (or please follow this link for a copy of the 2020 International Netball Rules Book).

We do generally follow the same rules as those in the England netball rule book, though we are not affiliated and therefore you may notice some variations on the rules. Netbusters is allowed to alter the rules accordingly to suit our leagues.

1.Start of the game

1.1 Umpires will indicate the start/restart/finish of the games by blowing the whistle.

1.2 The first centre pass is decided by tossing a coin between the two teams.

1.3 Centre passes are taken alternately by the centre after a goal has been scored.

2. Playing the ball

2.1 A player who has caught the ball shall play it or shoot for goal within three seconds.

2.2 Once released, the ball must next be touched by another player.

2.3 There must be room for a third player between hands of thrower and catcher.

2.4.1 A player may: 

2.4.2 catch the ball with one or both hands;

2.4.3 gain or regain control of the ball if it rebounds from the Goalpost;

2.4.4 bat or bounce the ball to another player without first having possession of it;

2.4.5 tip the ball in an uncontrolled manner once or more than once and then; (a) catch the ball; or (b) direct the ball to another player;

2.4. 7 roll the ball to oneself to gain possession;

2.4.7 fall while holding the ball, but must regain footing and throw within 3 seconds of receiving the ball;

2.4.8 lean on the ball to prevent going offside or to gain balance.

2.5 A player may not: 

2.5.1 bounce/toss/drop the ball in a controlled manner and replay it;

2.5.2 strike the ball with a fist;

2.5.3 fall on the ball to gain possession;

2.5.3 attempt to gain possession of the ball while lying, sitting or kneeling on the ground;

2.5.4 throw the ball while lying, sitting or kneeling on the ground;

2.5.5 replay the ball after an unsuccessful shot at goal unless it has touched some part of the Goalpost.

3. Footwork

3.1 One Foot Landing – A player who either receives the ball with one foot on the ground or, who after catching the ball in the air lands on one foot, may:

(i) While pivoting on the landing foot, step with the second foot in any direction one or more

times. The landing foot may be lifted but the player must throw or shoot before regrounding it

3.2 Two Foot Landing – A player who receives the ball while both feet are on the ground, or who catches the ball in the air and lands on both feet simultaneously, may:

(i) Step with one foot in any direction one or more times while pivoting on the second foot.

The second foot may be lifted but the player must throw or shoot before regrounding it

3.3 Other Foot Movements – A player in possession of the ball may not:

(i) Drag or slide the landing foot

4. Scoring a goal 

4.1 One GS or GA can score – they must be completely within the circle when the ball is received in order to shoot for goal.

5. Obstruction

5.1 Player with ball: the nearer foot of the defender must be 0.9m (3ft) feet from the landing foot of the player with the ball, or the spot where the first foot had landed if one has been lifted. The defender may jump to intercept or defend the ball from this 0.9m (3ft) feet distance.

5.2 Player without ball: the defender may be close, but not touching, providing that no effort is made to intercept or defend the ball and there is no interference with the opponents throwing or shooting action. Arms must be in a natural position, not outstretched, and no other part of the body or legs may be used to hamper an opponent.

5.3 Intimidation: of any kind, is classed as obstruction.

5.4 A standing player is not compelled to move to allow an opponent a free run, but dangerous play must be discouraged, e.g. moving into the landing space of a player already in the air or stepping late into the path of a moving player.

6. Contact 

6.1 No player may contact an opponent, either accidentally or deliberately, in such a way that interferes with the play of that opponent or causes contact to occur.

6.2 A Penalty Pass (or Penalty Pass/Penalty Shot if in the shooting circle) is awarded for the above infringements taken from where the infringement occurred. The offending player must stand out of play beside the thrower until the pass or shot has been taken. Any opposing player allowed in that area may take the penalty.

7. Toss Up 

7.1 This is administered for all simultaneous infringements.

7.2 The toss up is taken between the two opposing players concerned at the point where the incident


7.3 The two players stand facing each other at their own shooting ends with hands by their sides and the umpire flicks the ball upwards in the air as the whistle is blown.

8. Free pass

8.1 A FREE PASS is awarded for infringement of any of the preceding rules. It may be taken by any player allowed in that area, as soon as they have taken up a stationary position (a player may not shoot from a free pass in the shooting circle).

For our full Rules and Regulations please click here