November 23, 2011

Fast Net vs regular netball!

Fast Net is a modified version of netball intented to generate a more spectator, sponsorship and tv-friendly game. According to Wikipedia it was primarily developed for the new international competition, the World Netball Series. Fast Net features modified rules that are outlined below (modified from the Wikipedia article). Outside of these, the standard rules of netball apply.

Substitutions: Teams are allowed to use rolling substitutions, with no stoppages in play per substitution and with unlimited substitutions per quarter. Standard international rules only allow substitutions either between quarters or when a player is injured.

Two-point shots: Similar to three-point field goals in basketball, the goal shooter (GS) and goal attack (GA) may shoot goals from outside the shooting circle. These goals count for two points; in a power-play quarter, they would count for four points. Umpires raise one arm for a single-point goal and two arms for a two-point goal. In standard netball rules, goals can only be shot from within the shooting circle and count for one point only.

Centre passes: After each goal, the team that conceded the goal takes the next centre pass; teams alternate taking the first centre pass of each quarter. Under normal rules, a coin toss determines the first centre pass of the match, after which centre passes alternate between the two teams.

November 22, 2011

Helpful notes on speeding up the restart of play (centre passes)!

It is the responsibility of all players in a team to take the centre passes! Sure, it is the centre that steps into the circle with the ball, but she/he can only do this when everyone else in her/his team is on the right side of the transverse lines. Otherwise the team may be penalised.

When a goal is scored, immediately sprint back to your starting position. You only have to be behind your transverse line. A foot on the line is ok since the line is considered to be part of your playing area. For tactical reasons there are some positions that are better than other and which you would seek depending on the opponents and your own team, but for now focus on speeding up the game.

Check the umpire’s arm to see the direction of the centre pass. It is common that the umpires during a high level game put down their arms when reaching the centre third.

Correct centre pass?

Some players, especially beginners, seem to have difficulties with conducting a basic centre pass so I thought it would be good to write something about it.

When you, as a centre, get the ball - step directly into and "wholly within" the circle. This means that no part of the feet should touch the court outside the circle (the line is part of the circle). Many players step or jump into the circle with both feet. This is normal and ok, but according to the rule book grounding only one foot is ok as well. That means that one foot can be in the air when the whistle is blown. 

However, being "wholly within" the circle is not necessary after the whistle has been blown. After the umpire signals the centre can take a step outside the circle if she/he wants. Pivoting with one foot outside the circle is also ok, as long as the footwork rule is obeyed. 

November 18, 2011

Is a goal scored when the whistle for "time" is blown at the same time?

This is an attemt to clarify four (4) common questions about scoring a goal at the end of a quarter or a half.

1. If a shooter takes a successful shot at the same time as the umpire blows the whistle for time – is a goal scored?

Normally the answer depends on the following, stated as per Rule 15.1.iv.
"If the whistle for an interval or "time" is blown before the ball has passed completely through the ring, no goal is scored."
So only if the ball has passed completely through the ring when the whistle is blown, a goal is scored. If a part of the ball is still above the ring when the whistle is blown, then no goal is scored. Simple as that.

November 16, 2011

Leaning on the ball in an offside area

Many players are unaware of the fact that they may lean on the ball in an offside area (for example the circle if you are WA). A player is not allowed to touch an offside area with his/her body, but the ball is not considered to be a part of the body. So one can prevent going offside by leaning on the ball. Rule 13.1.ix says:
"A player may lean on the ball to prevent going offside."
Sometimes this comes in handy - watch at 01:45!

Umpiring is more than just the rules

Well, we already knew that. But it's still worth reading this article.

Hand signals!

The use of hand signals in umpiring is by itself not a basic necessity. One can by whistle and voice only control the game. However, using hand signals clarifies the reason for a penalty and makes it visible for people who cannot hear the umpire's decision. Mastering the hand signals also gives an umpire more authority and helps to speed up the game.

Although the official rules book shows pictures of the most common signals, some are missing. I have been trying to find a good source for hand signals. This video is the best I have come across so far.