1. Governing body

The Heritage Netball League is responsible at all time to the Bedfordshire County Committee and therefore governed by the Constitution of the Bedfordshire County Netball Association. Teams in the Heritage League will be governed by the England Netball (EN) / International Netball Federation (INF) Rules as stated in the official Rules Book.

2. The league

a) The League shall be called the Heritage Netball League (HNL) and confined to members of England Netball (EN) except as allowed in Section 5 for Guest Players.
b) The League Committee shall consist of elected representatives from the HNL. In the event of a committee member resigning throughout the season, the committee members reserve the right to co-opt members to fill the vacancies until the next AGM.
c) T
he structure of the League is decided by the League Committee and will include some or all of the following and is dependent on the number of teams joining the league: -  

i    League positions from the previous season are reviewed (Cup positions maybe  considered in exceptional circumstances, e.g.in the case of similar league results).

ii.  Allocation of a similar number of teams to each division.

iii  Place teams in an appropriate division based on the standard of the team.

iv  Every effort is made to place all teams, including new and any teams re-joining the 

            league within the appropriate division. 

v   Review of player changes within teams via team sheets. 

vi  The Committee may ask others outside the league for advice on the level of play of 

            new teams joining.

d) The League Committee reserves the right to amend or incorporate a new rule during that time if it benefits the game and members of the league. If this does happen, then all teams will be notified in writing of the reason and decision taken by the Committee.

e) All teams will have the opportunity to submit proposals for League Rules/Amendments at the Annual General Meeting. Any proposal will have to be seconded by another team

3. Teams

a) All teams must be affiliated to EN except as allowed in Rule 5 (Guest Players). A team must not consist completely of young players, there must be at least one adult affiliated to play - the minimum age to play is 14 years. Any team may apply to enter the League, but their Home Court must be in an area accepted by the Committee.
b) Players may only play for one club participating in the HNL. Any players wishing to transfer from one club to another within the League must notify the HNL Affiliation Secretary and the Match Secretary as well as her former club, in writing, at least seven days before playing for her new club, in order to obtain Committee approval.
c) Any Team Secretary affiliating a player from another team must advise the League Affiliation Secretary and Match Secretary in writing seven days before the first date of play of the intention to affiliate a player.
d) A team must play at least 75% of their games per season. If this is not done a team wishing to re-affiliate the following season will start in an appropriate division at the discretion of the committee.
e) All teams entering the League should have two names, email addresses and telephone numbers for points of contact. The Chair, Affiliations Secretary and Match Secretary must be notified of any changes during the season. 
f) At the end of the season teams are promoted and relegated as appropriate. See rule 2c.
g) If a team withdraws from the league during the season, players may play for an alternative team as a guest – see rule 5.
h)Team sheets to be sent in with the Winter Application Form.  Any amendments to Team Players must be updated with the Affiliations Secretary as soon as changes are made on Engage.


4. Multi-team clubs

a) All clubs on affiliation must indicate on their Team Sheets which team members are affiliated to.  Teams must rank each team within their clubs.  Team Sheets to be sent in with the Winter Application Form.
b) A player may play two matches for a higher placed team rule 5 will apply.  If she plays an additional time , she will be re-registered as a member of the team she will have played twice for.  This will be for the remainder of the season and includes all League and Cup matches.  Players names must be clearly marked on the Match Result Scorecard with “UP” by their name.  Players playing up will be regarded as guest players – please refer to rule 5).  If not indicated on the scorecard, it will be taken as an incorrect scorecard and 1 point will be deducted.
c) No player may play for a lower rated team of their Club, unless she permanently transfers to this team, in which case the HNL Affiliation Secretary and Match Secretary must be informed seven days prior to her playing a match for that team.  She may not play up during the remainder of the season. If any player plays down without informing the necessary people, she will be classed as an illegal player and points will be deducted (6 for league / 8 for cup).

5. Guest players
At All times guest players have to be affiliated to EN.

a) Guest players can only be used in exceptional circumstances such as where needed to field a full team.
b) In any one game up to two guest players playing up may be used.
c)  A player, not playing/affiliated to the Heritage League may only guest 4 times for the same team within the league. If she plays for a 5th time she will be classed as an illegal player. A player may guest for more than 1 team.

d)    A player playing in the Heritage League may guest for another team in the Heritage league if the team is from the same division or in a higher division. She may only guest twice for the same team. If she plays a third time she will be classed as an illegal player.

e) To affiliate to EN, affiliations are to be completed on-line and monies sent to EN as requested and you must notify the HNL Affiliations Secretary and Match Secretary.
f) Teams who affiliate new players through the season must notify the HNL Affiliations Secretary in writing – email will be accepted.  Seven days before she plays.  Please note if affiliations are paid via BACS or cheque, this may be longer.  If playing prior to confirmed affiliation, player must be shown on scorecard as GP.  Failure to do so will class them as an illegal player.
g) Newly affiliated players names must be clearly marked on the Match Result Scorecard with “NA” by their name, only for the first match they play.  Failure to do so will result in a 1 point deduction per player.

h)    A team using a guest player must ensure that she is eligible to play i.e. has not played as a guest player in the HNL in relation to 5c & 5d.  Guest Players names must be clearly marked on the Match Result Scorecard with a “GP” by their name.  Failure to do so will result in a 1 point deduction per player.


6. Illegal players


Where a team has used illegal player/players, the result of the game will stand, but 6 points per game will be deducted from the offending team’s league total.


Where a team has used an illegal player, the result of the game will stand, but 8 points will be deducted from the offending team’s cup total. See Rule 14.

7. dress

a) Club colours and bibs must be worn. If there are two teams from the same club playing against each other in the same division, the team classed as the away team must change colour of kit and bibs. If the umpires do not accept the colours, they can deem the game null and void. 
b) Bib colours should be checked in the Handbook before travelling to a game as it is the responsibility of the AWAY team to change bibs if necessary.
c) Players shall be dressed in appropriate and functional clothing and footwear. 

8. umpires

a)    Established teams must have a minimum of two qualified umpires registered within their team by 1 October each year, exceptions at the discretion of the HNL Committee.
b)    New teams/multi-team clubs entering the league will be given one season in which to establish themselves.  Thereafter, 8a and 8c apply.
c)    Current teams that do not have the required number of umpires will be deducted 6 league points per umpire.
d)    IO umpires should umpire at least 10 matches within the HNL each winter season, a minimum of 4 games are to be umpired in the games are to be umpired in the cup games and a minimum of 6 games are to be umpired in the league games.  Failure to carry out this ruling may result in that person not being able to umpire in the HNL and will result in that umpire’s affiliated team being deducted 6 league points.
e)    All C Award (and all awards above C) umpires affiliated to HNL will be monitored to ensure they are active (minimum of 8 matches within HNL).  Failure to carry out this ruling will result in that umpire’s affiliated team being deducted 6 league points.
f)    No person may play and umpire at the same time.
g)    Any team using an EN qualified umpire from outside the HNL must provide a copy of the umpire’s current award pass certificate to the Umpiring Secretary 7 days prior to the scheduled match.  Failure to do so will result in the Umpire being classed as illegal, the score will stand but the offending team will be deducted 6 league or 8 cup points.
h)    Both teams must provide a qualified umpire for League and Cup matches.  If either team cannot fulfil these obligations, the match will be classed as a conceded match and rule 12g) will apply.
i)    Once an umpire has commenced to umpire a match, they must umpire the complete match.  An umpire is not permitted to be reserve for a team under any circumstances. They must not replace any injured players, nor be replaced by an umpire who arrives late at a match.  If this arises in any match, the game will be classed as conceded by the offending team. 

j)    If an umpire is injured/ill during the course of a match, a team may (if they wish) drop a player in order that she may umpire providing she holds a recognised umpiring award.  If available, a reserve may take her place.
k)    Umpires should be given a flat rate of £12 per match as a contribution towards expenses.  If transport is provided the fee still stands.
l)    No player is allowed to argue with the umpires or question their decisions at any time.  Only the Captains and the player who want a rule clarification have the right to approach an umpire during an interval. THE UMPIRE’S WORD IS FINAL.
m)    Each team must contact their umpire to confirm the match AT LEAST 24 HOURS prior to the match taking place.  If no contact is received the umpire can class the match as cancelled.
n)    Umpire Assessments – 
i.    Regular umpire assessments will be completed on all HNL umpires to ensure continuous standard of umpiring.  Any umpire not successfully completing the assessment and follow up review (if required) may prevent them from umpiring in the HNL in the future until an assessment has been completed.
ii.    All C/B Award umpires, umpiring in the HNL must attend a C/B Award refresher course run by Bedfordshire County Netball at least once every 2 years.
iii.    All umpires, umpiring in the HNL must attend a game management course run by Bedfordshire County Netball at least once every 2 years.
o)    All umpires umpiring in HNL must be 18 years and over.
p)    Each umpire can only umpire a maximum of 8 games for any one team per season; this will also include their own team.
q)    IO umpires can hold their award for 4 years then must be retested or progress to C Award.  If retested, the award will only be valid for a further 2 years. Failure to carry out this ruling may result in that person not being able to umpire in the HNL.
r)    Umpires shall be smartly dressed in clothing that differentiates the umpire from the teams, and will preferably be white. However, there is an understanding that occasionally this may not be practical. Umpires shall appear on court in appropriate clothing and footwear that will project an image of professionalism, cleanliness and functional efficiency.
s)    In the first year after qualifying IO umpires are only to umpire 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th division games. This also applies to IO umpires in their first year from other leagues.
t)    In the second year after qualifying IO umpires are only to umpire 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th division games. This also applies to IO umpires in their second year from other leagues.
u)    In line with Bedfordshire County Netball: -
IO Award – If an IO passes their practical assessment and does not umpire at all for a season, then they must start the IO pathway from the beginning. Extenuating circumstances will be considered.
C Award – C award umpires that have not umpired within the Bedfordshire Leagues for 2 continuous years cannot umpire in the Bedfordshire Leagues until they have firstly undertaken a refresher course and then be re-assessed by a qualified assessor using the current C award criteria. Such assessment can be undertaken at any friendly match. Extenuating circumstances will be considered.
B Award - C award umpires wishing to progress to B award must umpire at least 6  high standard prem matches and umpire in at least 2 county events. They need then to be observed by a B assessor to ensure readiness for a B course. These course applications must be endorsed by the County Umpiring Secretary.

9. scorers / timekeepers

a) In both Premier and First Division of the HNL each team will provide a scorer/timekeeper (S/T) for each game.  The same two will work together and must score the whole of the game.
b) Teams are to provide their own S/T for matches.  Each team must contact their S/T to confirm the match at least 24 hours prior to the matcmh taking place. If no contact is received the S/T can class the match as cancelled.
c) S/T must be an EN umpire (IO/C/B/A/Int Award) or have attended a County Scorer’s Workshop and be affiliated to EN.
d) If a scorer is used that has not attended a scorers workshop or is a qualified umpire 2 points will be deducted from the offending team.

e)All S/T in HNL must be 16 years and over.
f) S/T must not be involved with their Team Bench throughout the game.
g) S/T must neither coach nor encourage their team during the game.
h) Both S/T’s will stand and work together at a place designated by the Umpires dependent upon health and safety for everybody courtside.
i) Both S/T’s will record each goal scored as they occur and keep time and injury time for the whole of the match.
j) One S/T will “call” the score after each goal; this should be agreed prior to the commencement of the game.
k) The S/T shall keep note of the Centre Pass and shall call it if appealed to by an Umpire.
l) S/T to notify team captains of final score and sign score card.
m) In the event that a team is unable to supply an S/T, the appointed umpire for that team will be allowed to umpire and score for the match – this will only be allowed for a maximum of 2 games per season per team.
n) If no scorer is provided for a third or subsequent games, 3 points will be deducted from the offending team.
o) A team is permitted to drop a player of the required level to act as S/T for the whole match.
p) £5 is to be given to the scorer for expenses.  If transport is provided the fee still stands.
q) S/T should have the proper equipment – timer (not phone) pencil, score pad.
r) S/T should approach umpires during intervals to confirm scores and centre pass.
s) Scorers have to score in the Heritage Winter League within two years of attending a scorers forum. If they do not score within the season, they will be removed from the Heritage League scorers list and not be permitted to score unless they attend another forum.

10. games

a) Matches must be played on hard courts. These courts shall be within the County limits or as agreed by the League Committee.
b) All League games consist of 4 x 15 minutes with breaks of four minutes, eight minutes and four minutes.
c) Both teams must provide a fully qualified umpire for League and Cup matches.  If either team cannot provide an umpire the match will be classed as a conceded match and Rule 12e) will apply.
d) Matches may only be postponed in the following circumstances:
i) Ice, snow or fog. It is the responsibility of a member (preferably captain) of the home team to inspect the court to confirm that it is playable. Failure to inspect the court will result in the game being classed as conceded by the home team.
ii) All changes to published fixtures must be made within 7 days of the Fixtures meeting and the Match Secretary notified by both teams. No games are to be re-scheduled to be played during the cup and plate finals week. Teams that are approached to re-arrange games must accommodate 70% of the requests. If more than 25% of matches are conceded, rule 3e applies. If no mutual dates are agreed, the team trying to re-arrange the fixture must concede the match.
iii) At all times postponement must be with the agreement of both teams and/or the umpires. The HNL Match Secretary must be notified of these postponed matches and proposed dates for the re-arranged matches. A team unable to play a match for any other reason will forfeit the points.  Postponed matches should be played within three playing weeks of the original fixture, on a date to be mutually agreed. This period may include the playing of the match on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday, but only when both teams are in agreement.
iv) In the case of matches being conceded/postponed, notification of cancellation must be made 1.5 hours prior to the start of the game.
e) The home team is responsible for the re-arrangement of the postponed match and must give at least three dates within three playing weeks of the original fixture.  The three dates offered must not include any dates on which the other team already has a fixture.  Where this proves impossible, because either the team is already playing two matches in each of the three playing weeks, the matter should be referred to the Match Secretary who in turn may consult the League Committee.
f) Matches may only be abandoned in exceptional circumstances. Score at the time of abandonment stands, unless an appeal is made to the HNL Match Secretary in writing within the 48 hour period of the original fixture date. If one team disagrees with an appeal, then that team must also contact the HNL Match Secretary within the 48 hour period to state their reasons why an appeal should not be granted.
g) Any player arriving after the game has started may only enter the game with the umpire’s permission after nail and jewellery check, after a goal has been scored, during an interval or stoppage, into that vacant position.  The team may change at the next interval.
h) If a team has less than 5 players after the allotted start time, the opposition/complete team shall wait a maximum of 5 minutes from the original start time before claiming the match.
i) In the event of one or both teams having a minimum of 5 players, they must take the court at the allotted start time. If one team has insufficient players they must concede.
j) In the event of an umpire arriving late and the match unable to commence at the correct start time, the match may, with the agreement of both teams, be played at the later time when the umpire arrives.  If the team with the umpire refuses to play at the later time or court time is unavailable, 6 (league) or 8 (cup) points will be awarded to the team with the umpire. The League Committee will adjudicate if there are extenuating circumstances.
k) A completed result card must be sent to the HNL Match Secretary informing him/her of any postponed/abandoned or conceded match by both teams (see also Rule 12 Results). It is the responsibility of both captains to ensure that this is done to guarantee no additional deduction of total league points.  The card must be emailed to the HNL Match Secretary within 48 hours of the original fixture date.  
l) The League cannot be held responsible for teams booking the same home night.  It is the team’s responsibility to re-arrange these fixtures.  If no agreement can be made by both teams the match will be declared as null and void.


11. fees

a)  League entry fees must be paid by the date given by HNL Committee.
b) Affiliation fees due to EN must be paid on affiliation to EN and must be paid before commencement of the season.
c) Additional affiliation fees must be paid on line to EN.  A copy of this request stating the full name of the player must also be sent to the HNL Affiliations Secretary.
d) No games must be played prior to affiliation.
e) The Committee is empowered to decide any alterations in fees arising from any resolution at the Annual General Meetings of EN and the Bedfordshire County Netball Associations Ltd and Eastern region.

12. results

a) An electronic copy of a blank score card will be sent to captains prior to the start of the season. It is the captain’s responsibility to print a copy to take to games to be fully completed. (No electronic signatures will be accepted)
b) At the end of the game the teams swap the completed cards.
c) Both teams must email the results card to the HNL Match Secretary to arrive no later than 48 hours after the game has been played. Failure to do so will result in a 2 point deduction.
d) Scorecards not received within four days will result in a deduction of 6 points from the offending team’s total league/cup points. 
e) Scorecards should be emailed to the match secretary even when a game is postponed/conceded and the postponed/conceding team must be named.  In the case of an abandoned match the reason for abandonment must also be stated.
f) Both cards should be fully completed. In addition to rules 5 & 12 if the card is incomplete or incorrectly completed in any way, 1 point will be deducted from the team’s total league/cup points. If no card is received from either team, the game will be considered null and void, other than in exceptional circumstances at the League Committee’s discretion.
g) Points awarded as follows:


h) Teams conceding matches will be deemed to have lost that game and awarded no points.  6 points and 30 goals will be awarded to the non-offending team.  The conceding team will be awarded 0 goals.
i) If an away team concedes a League/Cup match less than 48 hours prior to the fixture, they will become liable to pay any cost of the Home Team’s court fee for that evening.
j) It is the responsibility of both teams to inform their umpire/scorer that the game is not taking place.  If an umpire is not informed and travels to the fixture the offending team must give the umpire £10 contribution towards their expenses.


13. cup matches

a) Each team will play all of the teams in the division.
b) All league rules apply as stated below. They will also be played to the Rules of EN except as laid out in these regulations.
c) Matches shall be of four 15 minute periods, each period will be known as a quarter.
d) The team captain winning the toss shall decide and tell the umpires, and the opposing team, that out of the four (4) quarters to be played, her team shall have the choice of Centre Pass or Goal Ends in any two of the four quarters.  This will mean that the umpires will mark on their scorecards at the beginning of the cup match, who will be taking the first Centre Pass in each of the four (4) quarters, irrespective of the score.
e) The score at the end of each quarter must be recorded in the Cup Round Section of the result card. Teams will start the next quarter with zero score.
f) Points will be awarded as follows:
              2 points for a winning quarter
              1 point for a drawing quarter
              0 point for losing a quarter
              Should a team concede a match; points will be awarded 8-0 per quarter, totalling 32-0.
g) The Cup Finals will be played at venues to be decided by the HNL. The cost of the court fees will be met by HNL. (unless rule 13k applies)  Umpire fees will be met by the teams taking place in the Finals and HNL.
h) A points system will be used to determine the positions of teams within the Group. The two top teams will play for the cup and the bottom teams will play for the plate.
i) Should there be a tie on points to determine the top team of a group, goal difference will be used.
j) All players taking part in the finals must have been affiliated and played for their affiliated teams in the cup prior to taking part in the finals. At least 14 days prior to the final, the HNL Match Secretary will send a list of eligible players to each team.
k) If a team cannot field a team for the cup/plate final they must notify their match secretary by 6pm the day before the final is due to take place. Failure to do this will result in costs being charged.  The 3rd placed team will be offered their place.
l) Due to unforeseen circumstances of only one team being available, they will be deemed the winner.
m) If at the end of the Final both points and goals are even, extra time will be played.  This will consist of 2 halves of 5 minutes each.  There shall be a four (4) minute interval at the end of full time, during which substitutions/team changes are permitted.
n) In the event of a tie remaining at the end of extra time, a visual signal shall be used to indicate that play shall continue until one team has a two (2) goal advantage.
o) Illegal Players: where a team uses an illegal player during the cup or plate finals, they will be disqualified and the opposing team will be deemed the winner.
p) Teams are responsible for checking the kit colour of the opposition. The two teams must decide between them who will be changing kit/bits. If the umpires do not accept the colours they can deem the game null and void. 


At the Committee’s discretion, breaking of League and Cup Rules will result in loss of points from the League/Cup Tables. For any matters pertaining to discipline, please see Rule 19.


a)  No jewellery, dangerous clothing, adornments, any body piercings, gloves or medical aids may be worn which in the opinion of the umpire consists of a danger to other players, see EN Rules.
b) Fingernails shall be cut short, see EN Rule 5iv.  Tape shall NOT be worn to cover long fingernails.
c) Pregnant players must not take part in match play beyond the 12th week of pregnancy.
d) Pregnant umpires must not take charge of a match beyond the 12th week of pregnancy.  
e) Hair must be suitably tied back.
f) All teams entering the league MUST have their own First Aid Kit.
g) Hats may be worn but must be non-fibrous and not made of wool.
h) Gloves can only be worn due to medical circumstances. A doctor’s note is to be shown to the umpire prior to the match giving the reason gloves are needed. Doctor’s notes older than 4 years from the date of the game to be played will not be accepted.



All committee members, and representative from each team (clubs must send a representative from each of their teams) must be present at the HNL AGM and fixtures meeting (if a physical meeting is held).  One representative from each team must also attend the County AGM.
Failure for a team representative to attend any meeting will result in a penalty of 6 points being deducted at the beginning of the next winter season from the team’s league score for each meeting missed.

Voting: in accordance with the EN constitution and the Bedfordshire County constitution, each club will have one vote.  Each officer will have one vote.


a) All players and teams must be affiliated to EN except as allowed in Rule 5.  
b) Players can play for any team in the summer league.
c) The Summer League is run in accordance with EN and HNL rules.
d) Games will consist of 4 x 9 minutes and may be run on a handicap basis.  Handicaps will be determined by the League Committee.
e) Points will be awarded as follows:
              Win    =    6 points
              Draw    =    3 points
              Lose    =    1 point
f) Conceded games.  Due to the nature of the Summer League, games cannot be re-arranged and must be played on the date and time given. 6 points will be awarded to the non-offending team.


a)  Player or team violation of any rule pertaining to discipline will be referred in writing to the HNL Committee and if necessary a County Disciplinary Committee.  
b) Players/Teams in breach of discipline on the Court will be subject to the game management procedure.
c) If possible any complaint or grievance should be mentioned at the end of the match to both umpires and captains.  A completed Complaints/Grievance Form (Annex A) should be sent to the Match Secretary within 5 working days.
d) The Match Secretary will write to all parties asking for their comments on the Complaint/Grievance within 5 working days.
e) They are requested to complete the Comments on Complaint/Grievance Form (Annex B) and return within 5 working days.
f) Once all forms are received the HNL will discuss and judge the Complaint/Grievance within 10 working days.
g) The decision will be promulgated to both Team Captains and the relevant parties.
h)  Any appeals must be made in writing to the League Chairperson within 5 working days of receipt of the decision.
i) HNL reserve the right to appoint an independent appeals panel.
j) Any expenses occurred as a result of the appeal will be charged to those making the appeal. 
k) The HNL evokes the right to involve Bedfordshire County Netball and EN where applicable. In such instances time scales quoted above are subject to change.

Download Annex A form

Download Annex B form


Heritage Rules V22.1 JAn 2022