What is Malling and Maidstone Netball League?
Malling & Maidstone Netball League (MMNL) is a local netball league that has been established since 1967 (when it was known as the ‘Maidstone and District Netball League’ and based at the Y Centre in Loose) and is managed by the League Committee.
In 2002, we moved to Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club and with the help of lottery funding from Sport England, we built 5 outdoor courts with floodlights – making us the only purpose build netball centre in Kent!
We currently have over 80 teams, spanning 8 divisions with 700+ members playing four nights a week in our summer and winter leagues. We attract all levels of netballers; from the first time player to the more seasoned one.
All players and umpires are affiliated to England Netball, whose playing rules we adhere to.
The 2017 Winter Season sees us celebrating our 50th Year Anniversary. Look out for the various events and activities coming up throughout the year to celebrate this milestone in our Calendar of Events!
Where is MMNL based?
MMNL is based at Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club (ABRFC) where we have 5 purpose built outdoor netball courts. All League matches are played here.
The full address is: Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club, Hall Road, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7DS but if locating us via Sat Nav, please use postcode ME20 7QZ otherwise you will be directed to the motorway!
When are the matches played?
MMNL runs a Winter League and a Summer League, four nights a week (Monday to Thursday). Matches last for one hour and are made up of four quarter hour periods. The early match starts at 19:10 and the late match starts at 20:35.
Currently, the League can accommodate up to 87 teams, spanning 8 divisions.
The divisions are played on the following nights:
- Monday – Division 2 & 3
- Tuesday – Division 4 & 5
- Wednesday – Division 6 & 7
- Thursday – Premier & Division 1
Matches go ahead regardless of the weather. The only exceptions are when the courts are too dangerous to play on, i.e. ice, snow or water logged. Please refer to the Inclement Weather Policy for further information.
Are there any differences between the Winter and Summer League’s?
The Winter League runs from September to March. This is referred to as our ‘competitive’ league. All teams play each other twice and final placing’s will determine which teams are promoted/relegated.
The Summer League is our friendly league, which runs from May to July. Teams play each other once, followed by semi-finals and a final’s night for all divisions.
How do I enter a team into MMNL?
Applications for MMNL’s Winter League are emailed to all existing teams by email in May. If you wish to enter, a representative from your club/team must attend the AGM in June, where forms will be collected at the end of the meeting. Fixtures will be made available to all teams at the end of August and published on the website.
If any new teams wish to enter, they can email the League Secretary for an application form prior to the AGM or download a copy of the form from the website. New teams must also attend the AGM to ensure their application is considered for entry to the League.
Applications for MMNL’s Summer League are emailed to all existing teams in March. If any new teams wish to enter, they may do so by emailing the League Secretary for an application form prior to 31 March.
Application forms for the Summer League will be sent to all teams who played in the Winter League at the beginning of March (again, by email) and these fixtures be made available to all teams mid-April and published on the website.
Our rules state that a new team entering the League shall enter in the lowest division. However, you may request a preferred division and if there is a vacancy, you may be placed here at the discretion of the League Committee. (Rule 10.6 of League Rules)
How do I join a team?
New to Netball
If you are new to netball or haven’t played in a long time, we recommend that you attend a local Back to Netball session prior to joining a team. Back to Netball will provide you with a gentle re-introduction to the game for women over 16 and is run by passionate and enthusiastic coaches. You can just turn up as sessions are pay and play and you can expect to cover basics of the game including passing, footwork and shooting. Sessions finish with a friendly game to put the skills you have learnt into practice. Click here to find a session in your area.
If you are an experienced player looking for a team please contact the League’s New Player Co-ordinator, providing your
- Full name
- Preferred division/night
- Email address
- Phone number
- Any extra details
Alternatively, click here to be taken to our Facebook Group and see if any teams are already on the lookout.
What costs are involved?
There are several annual fees that teams are required to pay. It is up to the Team Treasurer to decide how to re-coup this money from their players, however the League Committee recommends this is collected up-front.
Annual fees are as follows:
MMNL Team Registration & ABRFC Membership
All players are charged an annual subscription to the League. This fee covers social membership of the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club (ABRFC) and will entitle that person to use the facilities of the clubhouse.
The annual subscription is set by the League Committee and agreed annually and adopted at the League’s AGM.
The fee per player is currently charged as follows:
- £15.00 per adult player
- £10.00 per junior player (under 18)
Players joining the League part way through the winter season will be invoiced one third of the MMNL Team Registration & ABRFC Membership fee per unaffiliated and affiliated session(s) played by their new player, until they have played 3 times. (Rule 6.2.2 of League Rules)
England Netball Affiliation
All teams and players must be affiliated to All England Netball whose affiliation runs from 01 September to 31 August of the following year. This is an annual subscription to the national governing body and includes regular issues of Netball Magazine, insurance cover and discount codes. Click here for more information.
As a guideline, affiliation for the playing season 2017/2018 costs £42.50 per person. It is broken down as follows:
- AENA – £36.00
- Region (London & SE) – £1.00
- County (Kent Netball) – £5.50
AENA affiliation numbers must be submitted on the team’s Player Registration Form for both the Winter League and the Summer League. If you are not affiliated, you will not be able to play in the League as you will not be insured.
Junior clubs are able to affiliate at a reduced rate.
Match Day Fees
Most of the League teams ask their players to pay a weekly subscription (subs) to their Team Treasurer to cover the below fees and items such as a new ball, first aid top up etc. This is usually in the region of £5.00 – £6.00 per match.
Teams are charged £15.00 per league match for use of the courts.
The League Treasurer will email an invoice for match fees to the Team Secretary for payment. This can be paid via electronic bank transfer or post-dated cheques, as stated on the invoice. Any adjustments made throughout the year, i.e. cancelled matches and new players, will be re-invoiced at a later date.
Umpires requirement payment on the night of the match. This fee should be agreed with your umpire prior to the match.
The League Committee recommends the following as a minimum payment:
- A Award – £20.00
- B Award – £17.50
- C Award – £15.00
- Beginner/Into Officiating Award – £12.50
Please refer to the Recommended Umpire Fees document for more information.
Summer League Fee
To enter the Summer League, a one-off entry fee is due. This is currently £40.00 per team.
To enter any League tournaments, a non-refundable entry fee per team is due upon registration. This is currently £35.00 per team.
Are the courts available to hire?
The courts are available to hire for training sessions and friendly matches. There is plenty of availability out of season (between the Winter and Summer Leagues) but availability is restricted during ‘league time’ due to league matches.
During the week, the courts are available to hire at the following times:
- 19:00 – 20:30
- 20:30 – 22:00
Weekend sessions are also available subject to availability.
League members are charged £20.00 per session. Non-League members are charged £25.00 per session.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Hiring the Courts document for more information.
Do you run any training sessions?
As a League, we don’t run coach led training sessions as teams/clubs manage their own training. However, we do run initiatives such as Netball Now at intervals throughout the year, and during the breaks between the Winter and Summer League’s (April and August), we hold a boot camp on a Wednesday evening for 4 weeks.
Please refer to the Calendar of Events for upcoming sessions.
Is there a minimum age to play in MMNL?
The minimum age to play in the League is 14.
Players under 14 years of age are eligible to play at the discretion of the League Committee. The player must have either:
- attended satellite academies or league coaching sessions; and
- be deemed able to compete in adult netball by the named, qualified and affiliated league coaches
All players under 18 must complete a Young Player Registration Form in full, including an original parent/carer/guardian signature/date and forward it to the Safeguarding Officer prior to taking to court. However, players under 14 can only play if the Coaching Support/Age Banding Section of the form has also been completed and the Safeguarding Officer has granted permission that the player may play. (Rule 6.6 – 6.7 of League Rules)
What opportunities are there for players under 14 years old who have not attended satellite academies/league coaching sessions or are not deemed able to compete in adult netball by their coaches?
MMNL run youth netball training sessions on a Sunday morning at our courts.
The sessions run from 10:00 – 11:30 and consist of a warm-up followed by drills covering the basics of the games including passing, footwork and shooting. Sessions finish with a friendly game to put the skills learnt into practice.
The recommended age limit is 9 to 16 years (school years 5 to 11), although we do have some younger girls at our training sessions, we just ask that they can throw and catch a netball and have some basic understanding of the game. Everyone is welcome so we have a wide range of abilities.
There is no need to pre-book a place, please just turn up on a Sunday morning and speak to one of our 3 qualified coaches; Tess, Alison and Rachael. The sessions cost just £2.00 and you pay on the day. It is non-committal.
Please ensure you/your child wear(s) suitable sportswear and footwear (not fashion trainers) and brings a drink and a waterproof coat if it’s raining.
Players able to play adult level netball are filtered into league teams where possible.
Please refer to the Youth Netball page on the website for further information.
What equipment will I need?
As a minimum, your team should have one size 5 match ball, ball pump, a set of bibs and a first aid kit that includes an ice pack. The League Committee also recommend that each team carries an up to date rule book in their kit bag for reference. Rule books are available to purchase from England Netball for £9.99 or the MMNL Shop for £5.00.
What should I wear?
Team Captains should ensure that their team are wearing the correct kit, bibs or position patches and team colours in accordance to Club, League and EN rules.
Playing uniform can include: polo/t-shirts with netball skirt or a netball dress. Tracksuit trousers, leggings, cycle shorts or shorts may be worn under a netball skirt or netball dress. Sweatshirts in team colours may also be worn, but hoods must be tucked in. Appropriate footwear must be worn by all players and umpires to ensure health and safety of all. Leisure trainers are deemed unacceptable footwear.
Nails must be cut short and hair tied back appropriately and players must also remove any jewellery, body piercings and hair adornments (with the exception of a plain wedding ring that should be taped) including fitness bracelets, prior to taking to court.
If anyone is found to be wearing inappropriate uniform they may be asked to leave the court. (Rule 5.1 – 5.6 of League Rules)
New players who are playing for a team for the first time should, if possible, wear a spare team kit. If this is not possible, the player should try to wear team colours or stick to one neutral colour, i.e. black.
Can I play for more than one team?
A player can only play for one club/team during a season, except under transfer. (Rule 6.3 of League Rules)
What happens if I join a team, but wish to transfer to another?
A player can only transfer once during a season.
If a player wishes to transfer to a new team, a Transfer Card must be completed in full, signed by the current Team Captain and countersigned by the new Team Captain. The card must be submitted to the League Divisional Representative by placing it in the result tray of the team they are transferring to. This must be done at least seven days before transfer can take place.
The Divisional Representative will confirm the receipt of the transfer card before the transferring player can play for the new team.
No player may transfer after 31 December of that playing year unless there are unusual circumstances, which are agreed by the League Committee. (Rule 6.3.1 of League Rules)
Captains should hold Transfer Cards, however spares are available by the results box in the Clubhouse.
How do I register a new player once the season has started?
If the season has already started, Team Captains may register a new player to a team/club by completing a MMNL New Player Registration Card. This should be completed in full and countersigned by the opposing Team Captain prior to the player taking to the court.
If this player is not affiliated, a temporary MMNL number should be obtained from the register in the clubhouse. The card shall be placed in the result tray with the relevant match card. (Rule 6.2 of League Rules)
It is the responsibility of the team to ensure that the player has not previously registered with another team in the current season. This can be checked by the League’s Divisional Representative Co-ordinator. Any player found to be already registered will be treated as an illegal player and League Rule 6.4 will apply.
The team will be invoiced one third of the MMNL Team Registration & ABRFC Membership fee per unaffiliated and affiliated session(s) played by their new player, as stipulated on the League Registration & Membership document. (Rule 6.2.2 of League Rules)
Captains should hold MMNL New Player Registration Cards, however spares are available by the results box in the Clubhouse.
What happens if I play an unregistered, illegal player or a player who is registered to another team?
When signing up a new player, it is the responsibility of the team to ensure that the player has not previously registered with another team in the current season. The League Divisional Representative Co-ordinator can check this.
Any team found to have played an unregistered player, illegal player or a player who is registered with another team within the League shall incur a 2 point penalty deduction. They will also forfeit any points gained during the match. 3 points will be awarded to the opposition. All goals will be null and void. (Rule 6.4 of League Rules)
I have a player that wants to try out for netball, can she play without being affiliated?
Unaffiliated players may play under League Rule 6.1 for a maximum of 3 sessions before they are affiliated with England Netball. When that player has played three times, they will not be permitted to participate further in the League until they are affiliated to EN.
Players must be registered as a new player using the MMNL New Player Registration Card and a temporary MMNL number should be obtained from the register in the clubhouse. The card shall be placed in the result tray with the relevant match card.
Please be aware that League Rule 6.3 applies here; “A player can only play for one club/team during a season, except under transfer.”
Who arranges the umpires?
Each team is responsible for organising an appropriately qualified, affiliated, MMNL registered umpire for all matches. If an umpire not registered with MMNL wishes to umpire at MMNL, they must contact the League Umpiring Secretary and complete an Umpire Registration Form prior to umpiring. (Rule 9.2 of League Rules)
Any team found to have provided an unaffiliated, unqualified or unregistered umpire will incur a 2 point penalty deduction. They will also forfeit any points gained during the match. 3 points will be awarded to the opposition. All goals will be null and void. (Rule 8.4 of League Rules)
The League Committee recommends that team’s confirm with their umpires 24-48 hours prior to their match that the umpire is still available to fulfil their fixture.
Payment should be agreed with your umpire prior to the fixture.
How do I become an umpire?
The first step to becoming an umpire is to book yourself onto an Into Officiating course via Kent Netball. The courses are in high demand, so if you are unable to get booked onto them, please register your details on the ‘Umpiring Course Contact List’ and you will be kept informed of upcoming courses by the Kent Netball Secretary.
Once you have attended an Into Officiating course, please get in contact with the MMNL Mentoring Team who will invite you to attend youth netball training on a Sunday morning 10:00 – 11:30. This will give you the opportunity to practice with the juniors and is a great way to build your confidence. You will then be assessed to ensure that you are ready to umpire in the League, starting in Division 7 on a Wednesday evening, progressing towards your test.
All Mentee Umpires will be allocated a Mentor who will support, nurture and guide them. Mentors are there to assist with your development and ensure that you are ready for your Umpiring Test. They will guide you throughout the process from start to finish.
The Mentoring Team are always available to support you, even after your test.
MMNL Into Officiating Pathway
Please refer to the Mentoring page for more information.
I already hold the Beginner/Into Officiating Award, how do I progress?
Once you have achieved your Into Officiating (IO) Award, or if you currently hold a Beginner Award and would like to take the next step to becoming a C Award umpire, please get in touch with a member of the Mentoring Team and they will do their best to accommodate you.
Who scores the match?
Two Scorers are required to score a match. If the Umpire does not wish to score the match, they should inform the team at the time of booking to allow the team to arrange for a non-playing team member or spectator to score on their behalf. Alternatively, the Umpire can bring their own Scorer. If one team has a Scorer and the other team does not, then either the lone Scorer must stand alongside the scoring Umpire or both Umpires must score.
Please refer to the Scorer’s Responsibilities document for more information.
How do we submit the results?
Prior to the match, each team must provide their umpire with a Results Card that is completed with the following information (Rule 8.19 of League Rules):
- Team names
- Date of match
- Player names
The reverse of the card is the Score Card and is to be completed by the Umpire/Scorer.
At the end of the match, the Team Captain must ensure that the score for each quarter has been entered, player of the match selected and that both Umpires and Captains have signed the card to agree the score.
Just inside the door to the Clubhouse, on the left, there is a results box. After the match, the Results Card should be placed in the tray numbered with the team’s division for the Divisional Representative to collect at the end of the night. (Rule 8.20 of League Rules)
Captains should hold Results Cards, however spares are available by the results box in the Clubhouse.
When are the results updated on the website?
Results are uploaded on to the website as soon as possible by the League’s Divisional Representative Co-ordinator, however there is a process to be followed by each Divisional Representative beforehand.
At the end of the evening, the Results Cards are collected by each Divisional Representative for their division. In the following days, each Divisional Representative will check each Results Card for the following:
- Unregistered players, illegal players or players who are registered with another team, deducting points/goals where necessary
- Unaffiliated, unqualified or unregistered umpires, deducting points/goals where necessary
- The scores are the same per match, updating the results table as appropriate
- Player of the match
If there are any discrepancies, the Divisional Representative will contact the relevant Team Captain/Secretary and/or Umpire for clarification. The results will then be sent to the Divisional Representative Co-ordinator to upload on to the website.
What happens if I need to cancel a match?
If you need to cancel a match you should do so in plenty of time to avoid unnecessary travel and inform the following people:
- Divisional Representative
- Opposing Team Captain/Secretary
The offending team will incur a 2 point penalty deduction for the match and shall be responsible for paying both match fees. 3 points will be awarded to the opposition. (Rule 8.7 of League Rules)
If our opposition cancels a match, how do we collect our court fees?
All reimbursements relating to court fees will be made at the end of the season by the League Treasurer.
Where do I go to seek first aid?
Each team is responsible for providing and administering first aid to its players and officials and must carry a well-equipped, netball focused first aid kit, including an ice pack. (Rule 6.8 of League Rules)
There is a defibrillator available in the Clubhouse if required. It is located in the bar area on the right hand side wall between the windows.