We have a lot of queries about the replay rule so we thought we’d have a go at explaining it!
The official rule extracted from the England netball rule book
Rule 9.4 Playing the ball
9.4.1 Methods of playing the ball
(i) To gain possession a player may:
(a) Catch the ball with one or both hands
(b) Roll the ball to oneself
(c) Catch the ball if it rebounds from the goalpost
ii) A player who has possession of the ball may throw or bounce it in any direction to another player with one or both hands. The player with the ball:
(a) May not throw it deliberately at another player
(b) May not roll it to another player
(c) Must release the ball within 3 seconds
(d) After releasing the ball, may not replay the ball until it has been touched by another player or it rebounds from the goalpost
SANCTION: Free Pass
(iii) Without having possession a player may:
(a) Bat or Bounce to another player but may not bat it deliberately at another player
(b) Tip the ball in an uncontrolled manner once or more than once then either catch the ball or bat or bounce it to another player.
(c) Bat the ball once before either catching the ball or batting or bouncing it to another player
(d) Bounce the ball once before either catching the ball or batting or bouncing it to another player
SANCTION: Free Pass
A player may not replay the ball. Specifically you can’t:
– Lose control of the ball and pick it up again if it has not been touched by another player
– Catch a rebound from a shot on goal if the ball has not touched the post or another player
– Toss the ball into the air and catch it again without it being touched by another player.
The key to this rule is deciding if the player has control of the ball or not. This makes it one of the hardest rules to call as it is subjective. The umpire has to assess the skill of the player (some players may have complete control of the ball with only two fingers where as others may not have control with a full hand on the ball). Then the umpire has to decide if they are controlling the ball or not. This decision has to be made in a split second so that the game isn’t delayed.
Umpires won’t always get it 100% correct, (especially on wet days!) but if you do get called for replay incorrectly, take it as a compliment! The umpire obviously believes you are a skillful player!!
If there are any other rules that you would like clarified, please have a chat to your umpire at the courts or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and clear up any confusion.