“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.”

Therefore players are not able to:

  • Move into the path of an opponent who’s committed to a particular landing space
  • Position so closely to an opponent that the player is unable to move without contacting (this refers to when a player is being double marked, usually a shooter).
  • Push, trip, hold or lean on an opponent or use other forms of physical contact.
  • Place a hand or hands on a ball held by an opponent or knock or remove the ball from possession of an opponent
  • While holding the ball, push it into the hands of an opponent.


The umpire’s role is to watch the game and determine which player is “causing contact to occur”. The umpire is there to judge whether it’s the attacker or defender who is committed to a particular space on court and therefore which player is causing contact to occur.

The umpire will inform the teams who the penalty was against and that a penalty pass/shot has been awarded.

The umpire swill stand at the position at the side of the court where they want the penalty to be taken from. If you’re ever unsure where to take the penalty from, you need to look at the positioning of the umpire for guidance. Failure to set the penalty correctly in this way will result in a reversal of the penalty and a free pass to the opposing team.

A lot of contact disrupts the flow of the game. It also puts your team at a tactical disadvantage because when a player is taken out of play on a penalty, they are not able to contribute to the team’s defence, either physically or verbally. It’s far better to pull out of a challenge if you think you’re going to contact the player and concentrate on defending the next pass instead.