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SSN Statement


Netball Australia has reviewed the circumstances that led to an error in the fourth quarter of the Round 2 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Vixens, where the Vixens were awarded two consecutive centre passes.

The review found an error in the adjudication of the second centre pass to the Vixens by the on-court umpires and the reserve umpire.
Under World Netball’s Rules of Netball, any notification of error and correction must be made before the centre pass has been taken. Due to the speed at which the subsequent centre pass proceeded alerts to the on-court umpires, through various mechanisms including the reserve umpire, the score bench and the umpire alert unit, did not take place prior to the centre pass being taken.

The review also found there was confusion when the Magpies requested a second tactical timeout late in the fourth quarter, which resulted in the players returning to their positions and the match proceeding. Under the SSN Rules of the Game, teams can request two 90 second time outs per half. The Magpies had a second time out available when it was requested.

Under World Netball’s Rules of Netball and the SSN Rules of the Game there is no avenue to appeal an umpire’s decision within a match or to appeal the final score.

The result of the Round 2 match between the Magpies and the Vixens stands.

Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said the league acknowledged errors were made in respect of both the consecutive centre passes and the tactical time out.

“Human error is a feature of all sport, and while this is the case, we apologise to the Magpies and acknowledge the need to identify and apply mechanisms to better support our umpires, officials and teams,” Ryan said.

In acknowledging the increasing speed and professionalism of the competition, the league has today clarified with the eight teams:
• If the score bench identifies there may be an error in the centre pass, they must make every attempt to sound an alert before the next centre pass is taken.
• Any on-court player may appeal to an on-court umpire of a potential error in centre pass.
• The reserve umpire may refer to the scoreboard to clarify next centre pass. The reserve umpire must notify the on-court umpires immediately and before the next centre pass if an error is identified.
• Only on-court players are permitted to call a tactical time out. Head coaches or any other person on the team bench are not permitted to call a tactical time out.
• If there is confusion or ambiguity as to whether the time out has been called, the officiating umpire will take steps to clarify with the player that called time.
• All Suncorp Super Netball umpires receive individualised coaching and development plans after each match and their performance is analysed and assessed by Netball Australia’s umpire coaching panel.
• During the 2023 season, Netball Australia is trialling a new data analysis system to provide umpires with analytical information to support their coaching and development plans.
• All umpires, match delegates, workforce managers and bench managers will participate in an online session this week following the review.

The next meeting of the SSN Rules of the Game Committee is scheduled to take place in May, where any rule amendments will be considered for the 2024 season. The league will table each of these rules for discussion as part of the SSN Rules of the Game review process.

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