10 netball rules we really wish existed.

‘But I didn’t mean to contact her.’

If I had a dollar for every time I thought that in a netball game, I’d have… well, probably about $6 a game. Not enough to retire on, but enough for me to wish I could invent some new netball rules.

I’m not a contact-er. I’m not one of those pushy players who beat the crap out of their opponent because their happiness depends on whether their social netball team wins the B-Grade-Tuesday-Night-Winter-Eastern-Suburbs-Netball-Div-2 trophy or whatever.

But I am clumsy. And accidents happen. And by ‘accidents’, I mean me running into my opponent at full pace because I was looking the other way, or thinking about food, or just couldn’t stop my legs from running. I genuinely didn’t mean to contact her.


Me? Never.


So can we make that a rule, umpires? That if you contacted your player ACCIDENTALLY, you don’t have to stand out? Also, while we’re at it…

Netball rules we wish existed.

1. The ‘My opponent is a giant‘ rule.

If a player is dwarfed by their opponent by at least 0.51 metres, player may have one free pass per quarter, lest they will give up and go home.

SYDNEY - JULY 25: Liz Ellis of Australia tries to block a shot for goal from Irene van Dyk of New Zealand during the second netball test between Australia and New Zealand held at the Acer Arena, Sydney Olympic Park on July 25, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Liz Ellis knows how to get it done. Source: Getty Images

2. The ‘I am naturally tall, I can’t help it that my arms are long enough to clear 3 feet and sit right in front of the shooter’s face’ rule.

Similar to the ‘But I didn’t mean to contact her rule’, but to be played in conjunction with Rule 1. Penalties should be split between the tall player and the short player, or a fight may break out. And the short one will probably lose when the tall one holds her by the head while her little arms flail.

Listen to Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo put forth the argument for kids’ sport being organised by size, rather than age. Post continues after audio…


3. The ‘Your team is losing horribly, I’ll let that step go’ rule.

We’re obvi not going to win, umpys. Give us a goal. For the love of God, give us a goal.

4. The ‘I didn’t re-play the ball, I dropped it then picked it up again‘ rule.

If the player has uncontested possession of the ball, and then crumples under the pressure and fumbles the ball but manages to regain control, said player should be congratulated for fixing their own f-up.
Unless they continue to do so, or have confused the game for basketball.

Sharon Strzelecki would understand.

5. The ‘Sorry, she’s new’ rule.

Specifically in reference to being offside, stepping, and/or throwing over a third. It’s her first game, she’s just a fill-in, she’s not really assisting the team in any way, etc. Just let her step a little bit, and if you could organise a ‘participation award’ for her, that’d be great too.

6. The ‘I’m only offside because we’ve JUST changed ends‘ rule.

I know that I’m the WA and I’m not supposed to go into the opposition’s goal third, but ninety seconds ago I was dominating that third and I forgot we’re in a new quarter. CONDITION: This rule should have a two-minute time limit.

7. The ‘My opponent is pushing me when you’re not looking, so me contacting her is totally kosher‘ rule.

We’re both contacting. She’s just better at it.

Can we start wearing this stuff?


8. The ‘Umpire obviously has it in for me’ rule.

If player has managed to piss of umpire by questioning a call, umpire and player should be allowed to throw filthy glances at each other whilst umpire calls as many penalties against player for ONE QUARTER ONLY, at which point umpire and player should be forced to hug it out.

Read more:11 reasons why netball changes your life and makes you a better human.

9. The ‘My opponent didn’t say ‘hello’ back, and gave me a crappy handshake‘ rule.

If a friendly greeting is extended by a player to her opponent upon the commencement of the game, the friendliness should be returned, or the player will receive a free pass. In addition, if the opposing team do not make eye contact when shaking hands at the end of the game, they may be publicly shamed in the town square for being sore losers/winners.

She could be an umpire.

10. Extra reasons for a time-out.

‘I have a mega wedgie’, ‘I just ate dinner, I need five minutes or I’ll vomit’ and ‘We need to have a quick huddle to bitch about the other team’s Centre player’ are all legit.


Please do what you can do, umpires. I have a game tonight. To all the netball players out there, sorry if I accidentally contact you a bit. I’ll try and get these new rules organised ASAP. I got your back. I’m here… ‘if you need’.