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7.1 Types of sanctions

Every time a player violates one of the rules of the game, the referee must take one of the following actions according to the criteria described:

a) Play-on

Used with the aim to maintain the speed of the game, when the non-offending team has possession of the ball after an infringement that would result in a re-start (i.e. the infringement is non-intentional and without uncontrolled contact).

b) Whistle for a re-start

After any infringement of the rules done unintentionally and without uncontrolled contact, when the offending team has possession of the ball.

After an infringement committed by an attacker in his attack zone.

c) Whistle for a free pass

After any infringement of the rules done by a defender (a player in his defence zone), intentionally or with uncontrolled contact, regardless of the team that has ball possession.

An infringement committed by an attacker player (a player in his attack zone) cannot be punished by a free pass.

d) Whistle for a penalty

After any infringement which results in the loss of a scoring chance or infringements which repeatedly hinder the attack unfairly.

Examples where a penalty should be awarded:

  • a player prevents an opponent in a free position from shooting, for example, by pushing or running down (see 6.12);
  • incorrect or excessive hindering (see 6.11) or hitting the ball out of an attacker hands thus preventing him from passing the ball to an attacker who has a free scoring chance;
  • holding off, clinging to or running against an attacker thus preventing him from running into a free position (see 6.12);
  • a defender influences the shot unfavourably by moving the post (see 6.8);
  • a player hinders an opponent of the opposite sex who has a free scoring chance (see 6.6);
  • the defending team makes an infringement for the second time at the same free pass (see 7.4 e)), including the 4 seconds preparation time and the taken of the free pass.

When the non-offending team immediately obtains a goal-scoring chance and the referee blows his whistle after the ball has left the player’s hands and is on its way to the korf, then provided the conditions of 5.4 (goals) are fulfilled, the goal will count and no penalty is awarded.

A penalty should also be awarded if an infringement which results in the loss of a scoring chance is committed by a player, or players, in the other zone.

Being a controlled contact sport means that during play contact between players of both teams is allowed but the referee has to react when the controlled or uncontrolled contact between players leads to one player gaining an unfair advantage. In this case, he should punish the player making the contact in accordance with the infringed playing rule. When the match is stopped for any reason, it can only re-start after a whistle from the referee.