Coaches and Hosts

Female playing netball

Welcome to the Member Exclusive Coach and Host Care Package.

Every Coach and Host in the country has a role to play in the safe return of netball. All Coaches and Hosts are responsible for planning sessions in line with the guidance and supporting players to ensure continued adherence.

Coaches and Hosts should read the Restart guidance in full. Your COVID-19 Officer will share further information specific to your organisation and it will be important to work closely with them.

Download the Restart Guidance here.

A large part of netball’s safe return involves using PPE and hygiene supplies effectively and, as an England Netball member, you get a range of discounts on required equipment with Physique. They are offering up to 50% off on the likes of visors, masks and gloves as well as a 10% discount on all other Physique products to ensure that your club’s return to court is safe and cost effective. Access the discount here.

Below is a summary of Stage 4 modified netball activity for Coaches, designed to complement the more detailed Restart Guidance which should be read in full. Walking Netball Hosts can only deliver Stage 3 activity currently. For more information on Walking Netball, read the latest news here.

Personal Liability

The role of a Coach or Host is an important one and carries with it a level of responsibility by the person taking on this role within your organisation.

England Netball’s insurance policy has a reasonable precautions condition and includes public liability for appointed officers of Registered Organisations, including qualified coaches. From a liability perspective, it is essential that netball organisations are following the Government and England Netball’s guidance and that appointed officers and members are acting reasonably to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.


Once you’ve read the guidance and understood how your group are feeling about returning to court, its time to start planning. Warm ups and small sided games should be socially distanced where possible. Match play and competition must be in line with the modified rules set out below. Prompts should be included within your session plan to support player adherence to social distancing off court. Time will also need to be factored in for risk mitigation protocols.

You will find lots of guidance on the England Netball website to support you on your return to court and we will continue to provide additional coaching support over the coming weeks. Hints and tips are available through the Virtual Netball Club. Member Monday emails have details on how to access this content. You can also find some really useful resources, articles and online training on the UK Coaching website.

It is vitally important to consider the condition of the players you are working with. Injury is the number one reason people leave the game and players will be at varying levels of readiness for this season physically and psychologically. Start light and build slowly. The risk of doing too much is far greater than doing too little. Think about how you can gradually increase the physical, technical and cognitive demands of the players over the next 6 to 8 weeks. Starting with predicted movements and move to more unpredicted movements, from a controlled environment to a more chaotic one. Build the intensity of your sessions gradually each week. Remember to consider what other physical activity your players are doing outside of your netball session.


Communication is key, but you may find it will be more challenging. Coaches delivering sessions indoors will be required to wear a mask and shouting is no longer permitted in any environment. Consider sharing your session plan with the players beforehand and any groups they will be working in. This will save time and reduce the number of group interventions you will need. Start of session briefings will be important, particularly early on in the season. During sessions your coaching position will be key here, keep on the move, see all the players and focus on individual feedback and praise. Make what you say really count!

Rule Modifications

Check out our Introduction to Stage 4 Netball video here:

The following rule modifications must now be adhered to at all community levels of the game:

  • 4ft spacing for the start of play – GS and GK are required to start inside their respective goal circles, GA, GD, WA and WD on the transverse line and the centres in the centre third. The modification requires all players to position themselves a minimum of 4ft away from their opposing players and teammates at the start of play. This will be managed by umpires at the start of play.
  • 4ft marking – the defending distance has been increased from 3ft to 4ft. Particular attention must be paid in the goal circle when defending or waiting for a rebound under the goal post. This will be blown as distance.
  • 4ft position of penalised player – penalised players for major infringements are required to position beside the player they infringed but from a distance of 4ft away. This will be managed by umpires when an infringement occurs.
  • Removal of Toss Ups – No toss ups are permitted, the team who had the ball directly before the action that caused the toss up to be awarded will retain possession. The umpire will briefly hold time, instruct the ball to be returned to the relevant team and play will be restarted on the umpire’s whistle.
  • Removal of idle interactions – Players not engaged in play or who are stood still are required to be positioned 4ft away from another player. This frequently happens on the circle edge, on the transverse line, whilst walking back to centre pass and returning to the team bench at the end of a quarter. Managed by umpires and supported by players and coaches.

Despite the changes, the modified games still looks and feels very much like the version we know and love. Contesting for the ball is very much permitted providing players are involved in the phase of play. Over the coming weeks we’ll be providing hot topic videos and hints and tips on playing, coaching and officiating the modified game.

All match play and competition will be played to these rules until social distancing is relaxed. Even in training, it will be important to have two umpires with strong game management capabilities to ensure the modified rules are being adhered to.

Rule modifications should be covered in start of session briefings. It’s important to consider the players that may find this more difficult to implement, particularly circle players at all levels of the game and juniors. Be patient and continue to prompt throughout your session. Continue to practice game realistic scenarios in training and reinforce the modifications to support the transition of this learning into the game.

Risk mitigations protocols

As a Coach or Host, it is important to work with your COVID-19 Officer to understand the risk mitigation protocols that are being put in place and support communication with players.

Personal Risk

All attendees including you as Coaches or Hosts should be made aware of the increased risk of transmission associated in taking part in netball.

If you have underlying health conditions and are considered clinically extremely vulnerable or moderately vulnerable, there is increased risk in taking part in netball activity. If members are 60+, male, lower-socio economic status or from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, they are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus.

Download the personal risk assessment template here.

Pressure should not be placed on players to participate or compete if they are uncomfortable with the risks associated with netball activity. They should have the choice to ‘opt in’ to any modified netball activity prior to attending a session.

Download the ‘opt-in’ statement here.

Pre-Activity Health Screening

All attendees including Coaches and Hosts should check themselves or anyone in their household for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving for netball activity. If members or anyone else in their household has symptoms, they should not attend netball activity.

Kit, Sanitisation and Equipment

Attendees including Coaches and Hosts should come ready for activity. Changing facilities should not be used. Hands and any personal equipment or items should be sanitised before leaving for netball. Any personal items such as water bottles and whistles should be clearly marked.

Face Coverings

Coaches are not required to wear face coverings while coaching indoors however, wearing face coverings is encouraged where possible and practical.

Travel to Venues

Government are continuing to advise on the best way to travel. If attendees are unable to travel independently or must travel with those outside of your support bubble, the latest Government guidance is available here.


Coaches and Hosts will play a vital role supporting players in adhering to social distancing on arrival at your venue and should provide continued prompts.

Coaches and Hosts should be aware of any venue specific arrival protocols and traffic flow systems.

Upon entering the venue, all attendees should be reminded to remain 2m apart at all times from those outside of their social bubble.

When registering, all attendees should be reminded to maintain social distancing.

All attendees including Coaches and Hosts are required to register upon arrival. This will include further health screening for COVID-19 symptoms and completing Test and Trace protocols. The registration desk should be set up to allow for social distancing to be maintained, away from activity.

Sanitisation and Equipment

Coaches and Hosts will play an important role in ensuring sanitisation protocols are adhered to. You may want to set an alarm to ensure this is done regularly. A copy of the sanitisation protocol can be found here.

Balls and the post should be sanitised prior to players arriving.

All attendees are required to sanitise their hands every 15 minutes during activity.

All players should use their own ball wherever possible. Where your netball organisation is providing balls, they should be sanitised every 15 minutes during activity.

If a player makes contact with a post, it must be sanitised prior to play resuming.

Bibs should not be shared. Your netball organisation will let you know what arrangements are being made where not enough sets are not available. Water bottles and whistles should also not be shared

Social distancing should be incorporated into warm up activities and small sided games.

During modified pilots, it was noted that during match play, junior groups sometimes struggled to maintain social distancing during breaks in play, particularly when an umpire blew the whistle and players moved to them for explanation. Junior players will need further prompting and it is recommended parents are recruited to support this. The match analysis also highlighted that circle players came into close contact more regularly than other positions on court so remember to keep an eye on the movements of these players and continually remind them to play to the modified rules.

The following common netball behaviours must not take place during any training sessions or netball matches:

  • Nail checks should take place from 2m
  • There should be no pre-match huddle – players should remain socially distanced for any pre-match team talk
  • No pre-match or pre quarter ‘hands in’
  • No shouting or cheering
  • No quarter or half time huddles
  • No high fiving
  • No post-match hug circles or handshakes
  • Any post-match paperwork should be shared digitally (this could be email or photograph)
  • No post-match team teas
  • Team selfies must be socially distanced

Social Distancing

At the end of activity, ensure all attendees leave the court straight away and leave the venue promptly. Coaches should be aware of any venue specific departure protocols and traffic flow systems. If attendees are U18, a safe collection procedure and point should be pre-organised.

Like any session, it’s important to reflect upon how it went. During Stage 4, we would encourage you to reflect on the session with the rule modifications and social distancing measures in mind. The COVID-19 Officer will constantly be reviewing the risk assessment and management plan and your feedback particularly early on in the season will be critical.

Hygiene and Sanitisation

Changing facilities should not be used and will not be available for attendees wishing to shower. All attendees should be advised to sanitise their hands on leaving the venue and sanitise any personal equipment after every activity.

Test and Trace

At the end of a session, it is important to remind any attendee who develops COVID-19 symptoms up to 48 hours after any netball activity must report to NHS Test and Trace scheme and notify the COVID-19 Officer if they test positive. Any positive cases must follow the information from NHS and must remain at home for the required period of time.

Download the Test and Trace – what might happen guidance here.

Walking Netball hosts

To support all Walking Netball hosts we will be running a Walking Netball Return to Play forum. This session is designed to help you restart your Walking Netball activity in line with England Netball Roadmap, with additional guidance, support, hints and tips provided to help you and your Walking Netball participants return safely. There will be two sessions available taking place on:

Tuesday 6 October, 12.30-13:30pm

Thursday 8 October, 19.30-20.30pm

To book a place on the forums click here.

These forums are available to England Netball member hosts. You will be required to provide your EN ID when you register. If you would like to find out more about membership please click here.

For more information about the status of programmes click here.


Extra Support

We have collated a library of COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions which you can access using the search tool here.

We have collated this month’s forum recordings and registration links which you can download here.

We have also collated a summary of all the links referenced on this page which you can download here.


Thank you, a lot of work will have gone into getting your netball organisation back on court and it wouldn’t be happening without you. We really do appreciate how this may feel very unusual to a typical season, but with your diligence and commitment, we are confident that netball will #RiseAgain.


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