Q. Red Goal Attack (GA) is positioned in front of the Blue Goal Defence (GD) to contest a rebound after a missed shot for goal. Red GA jumps straight up to catch the ball. While the Red GA is in the air, Blue GD moves forward into the space. Red GA catches the ball and lands, contacting Blue GD. What is the umpire’s decision, if any?
A. The umpire should penalize the Blue GD for causing contact and award a Penalty Pass or Shot to the Red team in the Goal Circle where the Blue GD was standing. The Blue GD must stand out of play. [Rule 17.2(i)]
The contact rule (Rule 17) states that “In an effort to attack or defend or to play the ball a player shall not: (i) move into the path of an opponent who is committed to a particular landing space”. (Rule 17.2)
In this case, the Red GA has jumped vertically into the air and is therefore committed to the landing space directly below her. The player must be permitted to land within the space of her jump. By moving into this space while the Red GA is airborne, the Blue GD has caused the Red GA to contact her, specifically violating Rule 17.2(i).
For major infringements, such as contact, the umpire awards a “Penalty Pass” or a “Penalty Pass or Shot”. Since this infringement occurred in the Goal Circle, the area of the court in which the attacking team (the team awarded the penalty in this case) is permitted to shoot for goal, the penalty is a “Penalty Pass or Shot”, meaning that the team to whom the penalty has been awarded may pass the ball or shoot for goal.
To learn what it means for the offending player to be “Out of Play”, tune in to next month’s Q&A!