To: All Team Captains and Players

Hi all,

Below are the rules we will be enforcing during our social nines matches. Our primary focus at this time is the growth of the game in Wellington and critical to that is that new and lesser experienced players get to enjoy the game.

All captains are asked to ensure that they are aware of these points of emphasis and bring them to the attention of their teams.

Number of plays:

  • All players will be limited to a maximum of 3 consecutive plays – legal combinations of bounces and solo’s – in possession before being required to pass or kick. This is to encourage passing play and the involvement of all players. A free will be awarded against a player who exceeds 3 plays.


Standard scoring rules apply. 3 points will be awarded for a goal (below the crossbar) and 1 point will be awarded for a score which goes over the crossbar.


A reminder that if a player uses the open hand that there must be a definite striking action.

  • A player can only use an open hand in an underhand action.


  • Physical contact on female players is not permitted. The women’s game is non-contact.
  • Female players in possession of the ball cannot be dispossessed through slapping the ball from their grasp or similar action (however when in the act of bouncing or soloing the ball, it is permitted to knock the ball away with the use of an open hand). Male players can be dispossessed in this manner.
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder contact only is permitted between male players only, but one player must be in possession of the ball and both players must be in contact with the ground. A player may not be charged while in the act of kicking the ball.

Ball on ground:

All players can pick the ball straight off the ground. We will not be enforcing the men’s football ‘toe-under-the-ball’ rule.

45m Frees:

  • Where the ball goes beyond the end line having been last touched by the defending team benefit of the doubt will apply and a 45m free will not be given. However if the ball is intentionally played beyond the end line a team will be warned in the first instance and a 45m free will awarded for subsequent instances.


  • Acts of dissent will result in the place of the free kick being moved up by 10m.

New and lesser experienced players:

The club is investigating ways by which new players can easily be identified on the field by referees and other players alike. In conjunction with that:

  • Referees will exercise some discretion towards new players in respect of minor laws of the game.
  • As players become more experienced this level of discretion will lessen.
  • Experienced players are asked to co-operate by allowing lesser experienced players the opportunity to play the ball, either a kick or hand pass.

With your co-operation we’ll have a great season, and good luck to all teams.

Scott MacLean
Chief of Referees
Wellington/Hutt Valley GFHA

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