A number of updates to the game of netball have been announced by its governing body, the International Netball Federation or INF.
The changes will be effective from 1 January 2018 and were ratified in July of this year at the INF Congress, which took place in Botswana. The amendments were made to the 2016 guidelines.
The process to endorse the modifications were originally based on queries presented by INF members with amendments to the previous rules put forward at the July event, following consultation with member countries. Importantly, the revisions are just that: minor changes rather than entirely different procedures.
All of the amendments have been endorsed by organisations such as https://www.sportplan.net and other coaching bodies who offer planned training sessions in sports like netball, including, for example, a netball drill training video and a collection of training plans and ideas.
The set of amendments have also been welcomed by England Netball, who have stated that they should be followed in all netball games in England. They should also be used together with the England Netball Domestic Guidance.
Beneficial Modifications for the Sport
The INF has subsequently created an additional insert that will work alongside the 2016 rule book as well as a complete new set of instructions which incorporate the modifications. All members of the INF have access to these. They include :
Breaking, pivot and set have new definitions – for both a free and penalty pass;
New agreements for free or penalty passes taken in a wrong position;
Tighter rules surrounding a player in the right position taking a penalty pass;
Clarification regarding the time allowed and the signals used by an umpire giving both a caution and a new caution;
A change in terminology from ‘official warning’ to ‘warning’;
Confirmation of a playing time of two minutes for a suspension;
Verification of exactly when a player can be in the court surround;
The rules have also been organised to avoid duplication and enhance general clarity. As part of the modifications, the governing body will provide further help surrounding INF Match Protocols, INF Technical Officials Manuals and a number of other procedures.
The reason for the amendments to the rules is to make various definitions clearer. This means that the rules will be better understood by the many participants in the game.