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Contact ruling and short passes.

Now please correct me if Im wrong, but I played a game of netball today, and there was so much contact and obstruction that was not being picked up. Both teams were complaining about it, and when we asked the umpire why none of it was being picked up, she replied, that its only contact if you have complete possession of the ball. So basically if you do not have the ball you can push your player out the way and that isn't contact (by this state umpire....apparently) we were absolutely floored and were having a huge laugh at this. Is this what netball is coming to? I have never heard this before and would love for some opinions if i have completely got contact and obstruction wrong.

Secondly, I have recently taught my U11s shooters to pass around the goal post for a back line throw in. My question is, what constitutes a short pass in this instance, as they apparently (I was on the opposite side of the court) didn't have much between their hands when they passed, but didn't get called and the umpire was right there. GF is this weekend and would hate for them to do it and get called, so just wanted to get some clarification from some of the umpiring gurus on here.

Modern umpring guidelines are that contact/obstruction penalties are only to be applied if it is clear that interference has occurred to the opposing player's actions.  If contact/obstruction occurs and there is no clear interference then the advantage rule is to be applied but the umpire should still indicate the advantage has been applied.  As contact can and does occur off the ball and can be penalised, I'm not sure what the "complete possession of the ball" statement means at all.  With inexperienced teams still learning the rules, penalties are applied more frequently for safety reasons and with a bit more explanation if required as you can't umpire learners in quite the same way as an A1 senior team. Umpires have to wear two hats at times - one for the learner games and another for the experienced players who enjoy the contest.

Short pass anywhere, including around the back of the post during a throw in, is only penalised if there is insufficient room for a third player to move between the hands of the thrower and receiver. This is not a lot of distance and much less than the 3 feet that a lot of folks incorrectly think is the required distance.

Good Luck!

thanks Janet.  the game with the contact was rife was a game of adults in div2 that i play in, so there was no reason for her to follow anything but the rules.  we literally had players being pushed out of the way and no contact being called.  I even pretty much took the ball out of someones hands while shooting and got away with it.  although was very funny, even i know that i was in the wrong, and my opponents knew that when they contacted me and got the ball they had contacted me.  both teams were actually complaining as it could have been a very dangerous situation if the wrong 2 teams were on court.  we just laughed at it, but was appalled at this interpretation of the rule.  her exact words were "its only contact if you have possession of the ball".  was funny though and gave us all something to unitedly giggle over.

thanks for the confirmation of the short pass ruling.

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