At SkillSkin we are regularly asked to clarify whether players are allowed to wear gloves because they are told by umpires they can't unless they have a doctors note. That is not the case, so we thought it might help if we set out what the rules actually say.
In the first place our rules are set by the International Netball Federation and then England Netball adapt the rules for domestic leagues and competitions. The Guidance is provided for all involved in netball and everyone has a collectively responsibility to apply and adhere to the rules. The rules can be found on the England Netball website and the information in question is found under Rule 5.1.1: PLAYERS
Question 1: Are gloves allowed?
Answer – YES!
Question 2: Do I need a medical certificate?
What the rules say:
Gloves: No form of glove should normally be worn when playing Netball. However, EN recognises its responsibility for duty of care to all players playing Netball, particularly outside and within school and junior competition. In extreme weather or climatic conditions, or with a medical condition, gloves may be worn. If for medical reasons gloves are required, then on production of an appropriate medical certificate/letter, a local league, County, Region or EN should allow gloves to be worn. The player should ensure that the gloves do not endanger other players’ safety and the player must ensure that they have appropriate personal liability insurance.
SS says: We have added the emphasis here to bring attention to the following:
- EN recognises an additional duty of care apply to young people and people playing outside.
- In extreme weather conditions gloves can be worn.
- Where someone has a medical condition gloves can be worn.
SS says: What we take this to mean is that if someone wishes to wear gloves all the time for medical reasons, they will need a medical certificate, but young people and players that play outside may wear gloves when the conditions are extreme.
Our many efforts to clarify the ‘personal liability insurance’ requirement with England Netball have unfortunately failed. However, SS understand that all affiliated and official Back to Netball players are covered for injury caused during training, competition or matches.
Question 3: Do your gloves meet the requirements set out by EN?
What the rules say
Gloves should be plain, soft leather or micro fibre (e.g. Neoprene) which are manufactured without seams (or with internally sewn seams) and have no abrasive materials including but not limited to zippers, Velcro, metallic or plastic fasteners. Umpires are reminded that they still need to be satisfied that any gloves worn do not present an obvious hazard to other players. Umpires must also check fingernails conform to Rule 5.1.1 (v) (c) Fingernails must be short and smooth.
SS says: We have meticulously made our gloves so that they will fit the requirements set out in the EN rules. Our gloves have no external seams are made from soft fleece, and cotton with silicon palms. There are no abrasive materials used to manufacture our gloves.
We hope this helps.