Welwyn Hatfield Netball League By-Laws – May 2018
The rules governing play in the Welwyn Hatfield Netball League (WHNL) shall be according to the current rules adopted by England Netball (EN) and By-Laws.
1. ENTRY TO THE WHNL LEAGUE
A. New teams must enter the lowest division- see Rule 6. The following exception may apply:
i) After consultation with the second division, the WHNL Executive Committee may decide to expand the league by entering the teams who are considered to be of an acceptable standard to the first division.
ii) After consultation with the second and third divisions, the WHNL Executive Committee may decide to expand the league by entering the teams who are considered to be of an acceptable standard to the second division and third division.
B. At the discretion of the WHNL Executive Committee, any recently demoted Herts League teams may be considered for a place in the WHNL first division. If a Herts League team is accepted into the WHNL, the lowest placed team in the first division (after the demoted teams) from the previous season will be moved into the second division, the lowest placed team in the second division (after the demoted teams) from the previous season will be moved into the third division.
C. At the discretion of the WHNL Executive Committee, any Herts League teams who voluntarily leave the Herts League may be considered for a place in any WHNL division.
D. Any local league team who wants to play in the WHNL will be placed in the third division.
E. The league fees shall be determined by the WHNL Treasurer and ratified by the WHNL Executive Committee. EN and Herts County Committee sets affiliation fees.
F. All fees must be paid before the first league fixtures.
G. Priority for the WHNL Summer league is given to those teams who entered the preceding Winter league. Entrance is then done on a waiting list basis.
A. Players must be 14 years or over to be eligible to play in the WHNL.
B. Players must be affiliated to a team that is entered into the WHNL. Players may only affiliate to one team at a time in the WHNL. Players may change teams in any one season but they may not re-join any of their previous teams in that season. All team movements must be notified to the WHNL Registration & Welfare Secretary and proof of affiliation to the new team must be provided to the WHNL Executive Committee prior to the player being allowed to take the court for the new team.
C. All players must be fully affiliated to EN and registered with WHNL.
D. All affiliations need to be paid directly to EN. Each team must supply the WHNL Registration & Welfare Secretary with a list of affiliated players (and their relevant consent forms if required) who will be playing for that team in the WHNL for the forthcoming season prior to the day of the first fixture (usually the beginning of season tournament); this will form the list of registered players for that team.
E. Players must be registered in their usual playing position and teams must register at least one player in every playing position (unless there are not enough players in which case any new players registering with that team during any one season must register into the vacant playing position(s)).
F. If registrations are not received prior to the day of the first fixture, the penalties as per rule 2H will be applied.
G. See rule 2T for details regarding registration of new players to the league during the season.
H. Teams playing unaffiliated or unregistered to WHNL players are deemed to have fielded an illegal player. The offending team will lose 8 points for each game where an illegal player is fielded, the score will be superseded by a goal difference of 30-0 to the other team for each game in which an illegal player is fielded and will incur a fine for each game where an unaffiliated player is fielded. The fine for playing an unaffiliated player will be equivalent to the current affiliation fee according to the rates supplied by EN. There is no fine for playing a player who is unregistered to WHNL but is otherwise affiliated to England Netball.
J. First division players may play as guest players for other teams in the first division. However, they must play at least two places out of position. They may not play more than three times for any one team in a Winter Season. The offending team will be fined £5.00 and that team will also lose 8 points.
The order of position is GS GA WA C WD GD GK eg a WA may not play GA or C, a GK may not play GD or GS. NOTE: First division players may not play as guest players for any second or third division team in the WHNL.
K. Second division players may play as guest players for other teams in the second division. However, they must play at least two places out of position. They may not play more than three times for any one team in a Winter Season. The offending team will be fined £5.00 and that team will also lose 8 points.
The order of position is GS GA WA C WD GD GK eg a WA may not play GA or C, a GK may not play GD or GS. NOTE: Second division players may not play as guest players for any third division team in the WHNL.
L. Third division players may play as guest players for other teams in the third division. However, they must play at least two places out of position. They may not play more than three times for any one team in a Winter Season. The offending team will be fined £5.00 and that team will also lose 8 points.
The order of position is GS GA WA C WD GD GK eg a WA may not play GA or C, a GK may not play GD or GS.
M. A second division player may play as a guest player in any position for a first division team. However, they may not play more than three times for that team in any one Winter Season. The offending team will be fined £5.00 and that team will also lose 8 points.
N. A third division player may play as a guest player in any position for a first or second division team. However, they may not play more than three times for that team in any one Winter Season. The offending team will be fined £5.00 and that team will also lose 8 points.
O. Only two guest players are permitted per team per match. The guest player’s name, the team they are affiliated to and the position(s) played each quarter as a guest player for the home team must be listed on the back of the scorecard. If the information is not recorded on the back of the scorecard the home team will have one point deducted from that season’s league tables. Friendly games do not count; it is only during a Winter league fixture that all rules apply. If a team fields more than two guest players per team per match, the offending team is deemed to have fielded an illegal player and the penalties as rule 2H will apply.
P. Herts League players or players from a higher league or players who intend to play in the Herts League or a higher league for the immediate and forthcoming Winter Season may not play in the WHNL. Players who affiliate to EN as a 1st Claim to a Herts League or higher league team may not play in the WHNL. The exception to the rule will be where one player in the Herts League is affiliated to two teams and one team (not WHNL team) is promoted to the Herts League. This is conditional upon the player having played continuously for two whole seasons prior to the promotion for each of the teams concerned. Following the first season in the Herts League for the promoted team, the player will not be permitted to play in the WHNL and Herts League. The player will only be allowed to play for one of the teams.
Q. During any one Winter Season, a WHNL player may play in the Herts League for 12 quarters for one club only as a guest player (WHNL is aware that the Herts League rules require a guest player to affiliate to the club for which she is guesting but this can only be as a 2nd claim affiliation – see Rule 2P above). For the avoidance of doubt, a Winter Season commences with the first fixture of that season and finishes at the end of the last fixture of that Winter Season or the AGM for that season, whichever is the later.
i) The player (or their registered team or club) must notify the WHNL Executive Committee, by email, that they played for a Herts League Club within 48 hours of playing the Herts League game. They must confirm which team they have played for and the number of quarters they have played in the Herts League game. A penalty of 1 point will be deducted against the player’s registered team for non or late notification to the WHNL.
ii) The player (or their registered team or club) must inform the WHNL Executive Committee, by email, within 48 hours after playing a 13th quarter for a Herts League Club and they will no longer be eligible to play in the WHNL and will be struck off from the WHNL Registered Players’ List. Offending players and the WHNL Registered team will be fined £5.00 each and the offending WHNL team will lose 8 points. The player will also not be permitted to play in the WHNL for the remainder of that Winter Season.
R. There is no limit to the numbers of substitutions which can be made by a team per match, provided that the number of players used in that match does not exceed twelve.
i) Captains must inform umpires, by filling in the back of the scorecard before the start of the fixture, how many players they are intending to take part in the game including substitutions. The starting seven players’ initial positions must also be marked on the scorecard and the scorecard must be fully completed. Guest players’ names and positions for the whole match must be added to the back of the scorecard along with the teams they are affiliated to in the WHNL. Non-compliance will lead to a deduction of 1 point from that season’s league tables.
ii) Captains must inform umpires of late arrivals.
S. A new player may be affiliated to a team at any point in the season. The newly registered player to a team must be affiliated to EN and registered with the WHNL Registration & Welfare Secretary by the Friday before the first match they play. Any consent forms must also be received prior to the player taking the court. If the new player is not registered on the Friday before the first match they play, rule 2H will apply.
T. Rules 2J, K, L, M and N do not apply for the WHNL summer league.
A. All games must be played on the date arrange or agreed by the Fixtures Secretary at a venue agreed by the Executive Committee.
B. A central hooter will signify the start and finish of the each timeslot per match; however, the match will start and finish on the umpire’s whistle.
C. A team may not commence and/or continue to play with less than five league registered players to their team and without a suitably qualified umpire. If it is not possible to fulfil either of these requirements, the offending team will forfeit the fixture. The result will be entered as a 30-0 score and points awarded accordingly. If this event occurs, it is the responsibility of both teams to contact the WHNL Fixtures Secretary, by email, and notify them of the failure of a fixture to take place. If the teams are at the courts when the game is cancelled, both scorecards should be placed in the score box suitably marked and signed by the respective Captains.
D. All first division teams must either provide a qualified umpire (C award or higher) or on the agreement of all first division teams playing that match slot and all the qualified umpires involved in the match, a non-qualified umpire who has passed their umpiring assessment and has been recommended for testing. The agreement between all team captains to allow an umpire assessed for test to officiate a game must be in place by the preceding Wednesday of the match. At least one of the teams must have a qualified umpire.
E. All first division matches will be neutrally umpired. The neutral umpiring rules are as follows:
i) Team A vs. Team B playing on Court 1
ii) Team C vs. Team D playing on Court 2
a) The umpires for Team A & B will umpire on Court 2
b) The umpires for Team C & D will umpire on Court 1
iii) If a match is cancelled by a team, the teams who should have been playing that match are still responsible for providing an umpire for the other match that is still going ahead; this is to ensure that neutral umpiring is still upheld. Failure of a team to provide a suitably qualified umpire who is included on the players’/umpires’ list will result in a 5 point deduction.
If a team does not provide an umpire the following will apply:
iv) Team A vs. Team B playing on Court 1 – Teams A and B are ready to play but Team A does not have a suitably qualified umpire
v) Team C vs. Team D playing on Court 2 – Both teams are ready to play and have suitably qualified umpires
vi) If Team A has a suitably qualified umpire in their team, they must drop this player to umpire on Court 2
vii) If Team A does not have a suitably qualified umpire in their team, Team A will forfeit the game to Team B and the two most neutral umpires will umpire the game on Court 2. The forfeited game on Court 1 can be played as a friendly if the remaining umpire is willing to umpire the whole court.
F. Half time match intervals will be 5 minutes. The interval between 1st and 2nd quarters and 3rd and 4th quarters will be 2 minutes. The umpires must use their discretion as to whether there is enough time to permit the full breaks.
G. It is a requirement of the EN insurance that all non-qualified umpires must attend an EN recognised umpiring course every two years in order to remain insured.
H. Second division games should only be officiated by an umpire who has attended an EN recognised umpiring course and has a reasonable level of experience.
J. Should any team fail to provide a suitably qualified and affiliated umpire, the offending team will forfeit the match and 5 points will be awarded to the opposition along with a goal difference of 30-0.
K. Should an umpire’s affiliation number and evidence of valid certificate of attendance or C or above award not be available, the team will have been deemed to have failed to provide a suitably qualified and affiliated umpire and the above penalties will apply.
L. Match points will be awarded as follows:
i) 5 points will be awarded for a win
ii) 3 points will be awarded for a draw
iii) 2 points will be awarded to the losing team if their final score is within 6 goals or less of the winning team’s goal score eg 2 points will be awarded if the final score is 44-50
iv) 1 point will be awarded to the losing team if their final score is more than 50% of the winning team’s goal score e.g. 1 point will be awarded if the final score is 26-50; no points will be awarded if the final score is 25-50
M. The scorecard must be placed in the scorecard box at the end of the match and if this is not possible, then it should scanned or photographed and the image should be sent to the Fixtures Secretary by email. The scorecard should then be placed in the scorecard box at the next opportunity. If the scorecard is not placed in the scorecard box at the earliest opportunity after a match and no later than 28 days after the match in question, the offending team will have one point deducted from that season’s league tables.
N. A team may claim winning points if their opponents are not on court, with a suitably qualified umpire, within 5 minutes of the fixture start time starting from the Central Hooter, or if no hooter has been sounded, then 5 minutes of the scheduled start time. In the event of a late start, the umpires will be responsible for dividing the remaining time between the last two quarters to be played ensuring the match finishes on time.
O. Any stoppages for illness or injury of players or umpires are subject to the EN rules or official guidance in operation at that time.
P. Any team that fails to play a fixture on the arranged date in a Winter Season will have the match awarded to their opposition and will incur a minus thirty (-30) goal difference. Any team that fails to play a fixture for the second time in that Winter Season, will have the match awarded to their opposition and will incur a minus thirty (-30) goal difference. Any team that fails to play a fixture for the third or more time in that Winter Season will have each match awarded to their opposition and will incur a minus thirty (-30) goal difference and will be deducted 1 point for each match.
Q. If both teams notify the Executive Committee that they are unable to field a team, then the score will be included as a 0-0 draw but rule 3N still applies.
A. There will be one tournament per year. This tournament can be either at the beginning of the season or the end of the season and will be a fundraising tournament.
B. Unless there is an acceptable volunteer, the tournament organiser will be drawn annually from the affiliated teams at the AGM. The team chosen at the AGM will be excluded from the next season’s draw. If the team chosen at the AGM subsequently leaves the WHNL or is otherwise unable to fulfil their commitment, the Executive Committee will choose an alternative team or individual(s) to organise the tournament with their consent.
C. The tournament is a COMPULSORY league fixture and all teams will be entered. EN and league rules will apply. Points and fines will be deducted (see Tournament Penalties – Rule 4F below) Umpires do not need to be C award qualified or above but must have attended an England Netball recognised course within the previous two years. C-qualified umpires or above will umpire the semi-finals and final. Five registered players for each team are required. If 5 registered players cannot be fielded, the rule for failure to play a fixture will be applied, except for the goal-difference award. Teams may borrow players from other teams and Rules 2J to 2N will apply except:
i) any guest players will NOT be recorded towards the three times that a player can guest for a team;
ii) in the case of the tournament being organised as a versatility tournament.
D. The tournament organisers will govern the theme of the the tournament (i.e. versatility, fancy dress, handicapped by league position).
E. There is a non-refundable compulsory fee for the tournament of £30.00 per team which will be included in the league entry fee. The team organising the tournament will determine which charity/charities the money raised will be donated to.
F. If a team does not participate in the tournament, then a penalty of £35.00 fine and 8 points deducted from league results will be imposed on the offending team. The 8 points will be deducted from the current season.
G. All or some of the Tournament rules can be waived for a specific tournament at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
A. General League/Tournament Postponements
WHNL does not allow the postponement of any league or tournament fixtures unless specifically expressed below.
B. Inclement Weather
i) The WHNL will make provision for dates at the end of the season to be set aside for postponed fixtures due to inclement weather. Inclement weather is defined as weather that hinders play or is deemed to be dangerous and which could cause injury ie frost, ice, snow, lightning, heavy and persistent rain, etc
ii) Decisions on the postponement of fixtures due to inclement weather will be made by the members of the Executive Committee in conjunction with umpires at the time the fixtures are due to be played or by the Executive Committee alone prior to the day if it is likely that inclement weather looks likely to persist (ie if snow is laying on the ground and it is unlikely to thaw). It is the responsibility of the team captains to contact Committee members to check if fixtures are to be postponed. Unless notification has been received prior to the start of a game, all teams must present themselves at the playing courts in time for the game to progress at the date and time stated.
iii) No team or group of teams has authority to cancel a fixture due to inclement weather.
iv) If the committee decides to postpone or cancel any fixtures due to inclement weather, then any fixtures which had previously been cancelled by any team for whatever reason shall still be deemed to have been cancelled by that team and will not be re-scheduled when the other fixtures for that particular day are re-scheduled.
C. Postponements due to Injury or Illness or Inclement Weather
i) If a game commences and needs to be stopped due to injury or illness or inclement weather during either the 1st, 2nd or first seven and a half minutes (7½) of the 3rd Quarters, then rules 5C(iii) and 5C(iv) will apply.
ii) If a game is stopped due to injury or illness or inclement weather after the first seven and a half minutes (7½) of the 3rd Quarter or in the 4th Quarter, the score remains as stands.
iii) Both teams can agree to apply to the Fixtures Secretary for the game to be replayed within 4 weeks from the date of the original fixture.
iv) If both teams do not agree on a resolution of the outcome of the fixture, it is the responsibility of both teams to advise the WHNL Executive Committee who will consider the circumstances.
A. At the end of the season, the first two teams in the Second Division will be promoted to the First Division. The lowest two teams in the First Division will be demoted to the Second Division. If a space is available in the First Division, then the second from bottom team will stay in the First Division. If two spaces are available, then the bottom team also stays up.
B. At the end of the season, the first two teams in the Third Division will be promoted to the Second Division. The lowest two teams in the Second Division will be demoted to the Third Division. If a space is available in the Second Division, then the second from bottom team will stay in the Second Division. If two spaces are available, then the bottom team also stays up.
C. For all Divisions – in the event of a tie on points, promotion and demotion will be decided by goal difference. This will be calculated by subtracting the total number of goals against from the total number of goals for. In the event of a tie on goal difference, promotion and demotion will be decided on the total number of goals for.
D. Occasionally, circumstances may arise which call for special decisions to be made, for example, disruption to the playing season due to exceptionally bad weather or other circumstances or a club consisting of several teams leaves WHNL; in those circumstances the Executive Committee may use its discretion to arrange the teams in the Divisions to bring about the fairest and most practical solution.
A. Penalties Meetings
i) A £35.00 fine and a 4 point deduction will be imposed for those teams not represented for the entire meeting by one team member at a League meeting or at the AGM or EGM. Representation will be determined by the presence of one team signature prior to the close of a League Meeting or the AGM or EGM. The team member is required to attend for the whole meeting, however, if a team member is late or has to leave early for a good reason, the Executive Committee may decide to waive the penalty. If there is only one team member present at any meeting, they must not leave before the close of the meeting. If a team member is not present for the entire meeting the team will be deemed to have had no representation at that meeting and the penalties for missing meetings will be applied.
ii) If two meetings are missed, then 7A(i) above will apply for each meeting missed. The penalties imposed will be accompanied by a written letter warning teams of future conduct.
iii) Disqualification from WHNL for the following season will occur for teams that miss both league meetings and the AGM. Rule 7A(i) will also be applied.
B. Penalties General
i) All points deducted after the final game of a Winter Season will be carried forward and imposed at the commencement of the following Winter Season.
8. LEAGUE MEETINGS
A. There shall be a minimum of two League Meetings and one AGM within one playing season. The WHNL Executive Committee can meet as many times as required within one playing season. A WHNL Executive Committee member is allowed to represent her team at the meetings.
B. WHNL Executive Committee members do not have a right to vote except a casting vote by the Chairperson unless they are also in attendance as a representative of their team.
C. See Rule 7A(i)
D. See Rule 7A(ii)
E. See Rule 7A(iii)
A. All communications and publications in paper and electronic formats must be submitted to the WHNL Secretary prior to publication or distribution.
B. Any grievances must be submitted to the WHNL Secretary and will automatically be forwarded on to the captains of the concerned team(s). The Executive Committee must receive all grievances within two weeks of any incident or complaint arising.
C. The WHNL Executive Committee will deal with all correspondence within 8 weeks of receipt.
D. If a grievance occurs during a game, it must be dealt with immediately by the captain and the umpires during the game. In the event that the grievance is not settled, the game must be stopped and an explanation letter must be sent to the WHNL Secretary from the umpires and the teams. The WHNL Executive Committee will have the final decision.
E. A Disciplinary Committee will be convened, as necessary, to discuss reported unsportsmanlike conduct or behaviour by any individual player, team, umpire, coach, bench players or team members or spectators that is likely to bring disrepute upon WHNL players and/or spectators toward other participants and/or WHNL Executive Committee members. The Disciplinary Committee will include members from the WHNL Executive Committee and two independent members from the WHNL league.
F. The Disciplinary Committee can suspend a player, team, umpire, coach, bench players or team members or spectators from the WHNL for a specific length of time or for the rest of the Season and/or disqualify a team from the WHNL for as long as it deems necessary.
G. The Executive Committee may appoint an independent Appeals Committee to consist of a Chairman plus two members to adjudicate on any appeal received against a decision taken by the Disciplinary Committee. Any appeal must be addressed to the WHNL Secretary and received within 28 days of the Disciplinary Committee’s decision. The Appeals Committee may affirm, vary or rescind any decision taken by the Disciplinary Committee The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final and binding on all parties.
A. England Netball (EN) recommends that individuals (player, coach and umpire) if pregnant, should only participate with approval from their doctor and in accordance with any guidelines issued by EN.
Neither EN, nor the club or WHNL or any of its representatives and officers will be held liable for any pregnant individual participating in recognised and authorised activity should the expectant mother suffer a miscarriage or permanent damage to herself and/or unborn child as a result of participating.
The EN Personal Accident cover will not provide any benefit for injury, loss or expense due to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage or any consequence thereof.
11. PLAYING UNIFORM AND JEWELLERY
A. Registered playing uniforms, which shall include playing position initials, shall be worn at all times during match time. Playing position initials shall be worn above the waist both front and back and shall be 150 mm (6 inches) high. All players must wear either a skirt or a dress as part of their playing uniform.
B. Any team wishing to change their playing uniform during any one season or between seasons, must write to the WHNL Secretary and obtain permission to do so. The WHNL Secretary will consult with the WHNL Executive Committee, who will discuss the request and reach a decision collectively and will inform the team or club of the decision made in writing.
C. Fingernails shall be short and smooth before taking the court for a match.
D. No item of jewellery, except a wedding ring or medical bracelet, shall be worn. Each shall be taped (or sweatbands can be worn for medical bracelets). Sub-dermal piercings need not be removed but MUST be adequately covered with soft tape.
No other adornments or jewellery will be permitted to be taped or covered and must be removed before the player takes to the court.
E. For medical bracelet holders – risk players should notify the WHNL Executive Committee in advance at the registration period and should consider additional insurance privately.
F. Umpires and players should be advised of games if a risk player is taking part, either as an umpire or player.
G. No adornment that may endanger players’ safety shall be worn (ie peaked cap, bobble hat). Hats may not be worn but headbands and soft wrist bands are permitted at the discretion of the umpires. Hooded tops may only be worn if the hood is tucked on the inside of the top or inside an overhead bib.
H. Gloves are not permitted unless supported by a private insurance and a doctor’s certificate, which must be presented in advance of playing to the WHNL Executive Committee. Notification will be provided to team contacts who should inform their umpires. However, the individual must carry a copy of this paperwork with her at all games to verify the use of gloves if challenged.
12. INSURANCE COVER
Teams are automatically covered through their EN affiliation.
13. STOPPAGES (INJURY OR ILLNESS)
The decision to stop play and when to stop play will be at the discretion of the umpires. An on-court player can call time to stop the game if a player is injured or ill in accordance with the EN rules and guidance.
14. FIRST AID EQUIPMENT
All teams must supply a properly equipped and up-to-date first aid box at every match.
15. OFFICIALS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
i) All umpires must be affiliated to EN and registered to the WHNL. Proof of affiliation is required by the WHNL before an umpire is permitted to officiate.
ii) Umpires must be aged 16 or over to umpire in the WHNL.
iii) There shall be two umpires who shall have control of the game and give decisions.
iv) The umpires shall umpire according to the rules and decide on any matter not covered by the rules.
v) The decision of the umpires shall be final and shall be given without appeal.
vi) The captains have the right to approach an umpire during an interval or after the game for clarification of any rule.
The WHNL does not provide scorers for any matches. Umpires may only use scorers in any division if they are able to meet all of the below:
i) Scorers must have attended either an umpiring course or a scoring course and be at least 16 years old
ii) If scorers are used, there must always be two scorers per match
iii) Scorers must stand together and close to one of the umpires
iv) Scorers must check the score with each other and call out the scores after every goal and at the beginning of each quarter
v) Scorers must ensure that the umpires are calling the correct centre pass
vi) If the scorers are timing, they must ensure that they have an adequate timing device and that they give the nearest umpire 30 seconds, 15 seconds and 5 seconds warning that the quarter is coming to an end (this may entail staying close to the nearest umpire as the umpire moves along the side-line and the goal-line)
vii) Scorers and umpires must ensure that they have completed the scorecard correctly
viii) Umpires must PRINT (not sign) their names on both scorecards to indicate that the scorecard is correct
ix) Scorers must not play the role of another official such as coach or primary care and must not participate in the match by coaching or indulging in inappropriate comments and remarks.
C. Team Officials, spectators and bench players may not indulge in inappropriate comments and behaviour, including moving up and down the side lines or along the goal lines during play.
D. Breaking the rules and/or the employment of any action not covered by the wording of the rules, in a manner contrary to the spirit of the game is not permitted.
E. Game management and discipline will be managed in accordance with EN rules.
16. ENGLAND NETBALL RULES
From time to time, EN or Herts County Netball introduce new rules or official guidance. All new rules and guidance which have an effect on the WHNL shall be deemed to be introduced into the WHNL By-Laws at the time indicated for their commencement by EN or Herts County Netball without the requirement for an EGM. The Executive Committee will subsequently draft the new By-Law(s) to be adopted at the next AGM.