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National Referee School

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1 National Referee School
USA Water Polo Referee’s Association National Referee School New Referee / Rookie – Level I Certification Tutorial

2 What Is a Referee? Integral part of a water polo game
Controls the action when control is needed Allows the action to proceed when control is not needed Makes sure that both the letter as well as the intent and spirit of the rules are followed Is an impartial observer and mediator Does not care which team wins But does care that the players play within the limits of the rules This combination separates the referee from all the participants and most observers Applies the rules to ensure the proper outcome to a game Were superior plays allowed to be superior? Were superior players allowed to be superior? Did the team playing better actually win? Ensures the safety of the players during the game!

3 Consistency The more consistent the referee the better the referee
There are many levels of consistency: Season to season As referees learn, they will improve An improving referee will NOT be the same season to season Game to game within a tournament An improving referee should try to learn at all times After learning, an improving referee may NOT be the same throughout the games of a tournament End to end within a game For a given referee: What is a foul called against one team is a foul called against the other team What is a foul in the first minute of the game is a foul in the last minute of the game For a pair of referees: They will be identical to the extent they have learned the same amount They will not be identical to the extent they have not The goal for an individual referee is to improve and not alter his/her game merely because his/her partner is not making identical calls

4 Arriving On Site Are you on time? (Be early! Game time is late!)
How do you look? Are you ready to whistle? Introduce yourself to the host and to both teams Introduce yourself to the other referees Check out the facilities, including markings Talk with your partner Before the game During the game After the game Be considerate Be on time Be ready and prepared

5 Working with the Table When you arrive, introduce yourself and find out: What are the various signals and sounds? How, and by whom, are players going to be waved in? How will the table notify the referees if a player has a third foul? Score sheet management Make sure the correct information is being entered during the game and that complete rosters are entered before the game starts At the end of the game: Reconcile the Progress of the Game with the individual tallies Blank spaces in the Progress of the Game equals fouls + time outs If there are more blank spaces than there should be it must be due to: YC and RC Errors Filled spaces equals total number of goals scored Tally scores in the goal area for each team Do more detailed analysis as necessary Sign the score sheet when you are confident it is correct Always help and support the desk!!

6 Starting the Game Each team must have seven players in the water:
One goalkeeper Six field players Line up On the goal line On the wall, or On the 2 meter line Decision is based on the limitations of the facility Both referees at mid-field opposite each other or at 5 meter line if conditions allow Referee on far side is responsible for lining up both teams If referees start from 5 meter each is responsible for the team at their end Referee on table side starts the game

7 At the Start Referee not dropping ball (opposite table on center-pull start) Holds right arm horizontal until both teams are ready Raises right arm to signify that both teams are ready As the start of the sprint, watches for an early (false) start As the sprint happens, looks right for anyone helping a teammate Referee dropping the ball (table side on center-pull start) Signifies readiness by holding right arm in vertical position Watches partner Once partner raises right arm: Immediately blow the whistle and drops right arm When sprinters are several strokes from the center, drop ball Continue to watch for pulling on lane line, wall, etc…

8 Rule Regarding Caps Teams are to wear caps of contrasting colors
Both teams MAY wear colored caps as long as the caps are sufficiently different that they can be easily differentiated Patterned caps are permitted Goaltenders wear red caps One goaltender wears #1 The other wears #13 Colors must be clearly visibly different when wet and when dry If the caps are insufficiently different, the referees may require them to wear white and/or blue caps Teams The first team listed Normally wears white caps Starts to the left of the table The second team listed Normally wears dark caps Starts to the right of the table

9 Pool Layout Men: 30m x 20m Women: 25m x 20m G 2 5 H Reentry Area

10 Referee Positioning Normal front court positioning Attack referee
Default position is right foot on the 2m line Move up to see left-handers Move down as 30s clock is running down Principal responsibility for: 5m line 2m line Goal line Backcourt referee Default position is even with the last attacker Perimeter fouls, shots, and drives Help with all shots and end-line violations Field players using two hands to defend shots

11 Referee Positioning R R Action: Front Court O X O X O X O G X G X O X

12 Referee Positioning R O X X O O G X G O O X X O R Extra: Front Court

13 Referee Positioning R O O X X X X G G O O X O O X R Counter Attack

14 Positioning and Mechanics
Body position Stand quartered to the pool At all times, 13 players should be able to see your chest General pattern of hand signals Arm down or horizontal: what is supposed to happen is not ready to happen Raising the arm to vertical: what is supposed to happen may happen Dropping the arm from vertical: what is supposed to happen must happen immediately and without delay

15 Hand Signals Be clear Flat hand pointing in direction of the attack
Arm parallel to the water Point (with index finger of other hand) only to reposition the ball Numbering Signal numbers with two hands Display them so that the players can read them left to right 3 is signaled with right hand 7 is signaled with five on right hand and two on left 13 is signaled with ten on right hand and three on left

16 Whistles and Signals Whistles Communicating Verbally
Speak and communicate with your whistle Only whistle when you have to whistle Standardize your whistles Minor foul [single blast] Contra foul or turnover [double blast] Exclusion foul Ideal is short – short (to get attention of excluded player) then long (as you motion player out of playing area)] If necessary, use more whistle blasts to get the attention of excluded player Penalty foul [short - long] a third sound for exclusion fouls (be creative, but not too!) Goal throw [single blast] because it is really a minor foul for an end-line violation Corner throw [short short] Getting attention [many options for whistles but please be gentle] Communicating Verbally Know when to drop your whistle, it’s really ok!

17 Whistles and Signals Combination of signals Communicating Verbally
Goals Hand signal is right hand pointing (index finger) back across your body to the center of the pool where the teams will line up Then turn to the table and signal the number of the player who scored Personal fouls Hand signal is hand on the side of the defending team pointing (index finger) at excluded player, then after the double whistle blast to get attention, a long single whistle blast as the excluded player is motioned out of the playing area Then signal the water with the number of the excluded player After the excluded player begins to leave the field of play, twist so that the signal is made towards the table as well Communicating Verbally Sometimes the easiest thing is to drop your whistle and explain what needs to happen This is not only ok, it is often the best solution

18 Categories of Fouls There are three general categories of fouls
1 - Minor fouls 2 - Major fouls (including striking and over aggressive fouls) 3 - Fouls of violence (brutality & fighting) and/or misconduct General considerations for all fouls Call fouls as they occur Start at the very beginning of the game The second period (or the second minute of the first period) is too late to start Catch the first foul and not just the retaliation When two players become focused on each other and not the game, be prepared to defuse the situation Verbal warning after a goal is scored or at stoppage of play works! Double exclusion during play if necessary for behavior also works!

19 Category 1 - Minor Fouls of Play
Marking Not a foul Impeding Minor foul Pushing or pushing off Minor or exclusion foul Marking (touching) an opponent is not a foul if the only thing being done is to be aware of position while looking elsewhere Impeding is a foul when it prevents the attacker from being able to play the ball, offense must show intent to continue play. This is when a “grab” becomes a “hold”. Pushing or pushing off Is a minor foul when it is the equivalent of impeding It becomes a major (exclusion) foul when it becomes the equivalent of holding, pulling back, kicking, or striking.

20 Category 2 - Major Fouls Pushing or pushing off Minor or Major foul
Handchecking Major foul Holding Sinking Pulling Back Major foul Hand checking is the equivalent of holding Holding, sinking, and pulling back are the normal actions resulting in a major foul (exclusion foul) It is ok to call these fouls away from the ball! In all cases, the burden of proof is on the defense to prove they are not fouling

21 Exclusion Foul Considerations:
Many goals are scored immediately after calling an exclusion This is the time to be very aware of what is happening, do not turn away from the pool! Watch what is happening even as you are changing your position Watch for: Interference with the free throw Interference by the excluded player Again, do not turn away Signal the table when appropriate: After the signal has been made towards the water Without looking away from the water

22 Interference by an Excluded Player
What is interference by an excluded player? Excluded player must swim to the re-entry area and: Must remain in the water If the player leaves the water it is considered misconduct The player is excluded from the remainder of the game with substitution May not interfere with game Player must go by shortest route unless that route will interfere with the progress of the game Swimming through the 6 on 5 offense is sometimes interfering with the play It is the obligation of the excluded player to NOT interfere The excluded player may not swim through a 6 on 5 merely because it is convenient to do so

23 Kicking or Striking Fouls/ Borderline Category 2 and 3
This is the dividing line between a personal foul of play (Cat 2) and a personal foul of violence (Cat 3) To kick or strike is not defined by making contact No contact has to be made All that is required is the motion of kicking or striking Can be done with the head (a head butt) Can (and should if it effects player safety) be called: Outside the flow of the game Behind the line of attack Can result in a single exclusion or a penalty foul (if it occurs in the penalty area and prevents a probable goal)

24 Category 3 - Fouls of Violence
Game exclusion (w/ sub) Game exclusion (w/sub after 4 minutes) & 1 game suspension Brutality Violent play can include kicking or striking actions but what makes it violence is either It is disproportionately aggressive It is completely outside the flow of the game Violence can be done with hands, feet, elbows, knees, or head All these fouls can (and usually should) be called outside the flow of the game or outside of an advantage situation

25 Category 3 - Fouls of Violence /Brutality and Fighting
Does not have to be intentional Puts a player at risk of injury Very important that this be called: “Advantage” is only a weak excuse “Maintaining flow” is also a weak excuse Results in at least a game exclusion with substitution If foul was committed in the penalty area and also prevented a probable goal, a penalty throw is also awarded

26 Category 3 - Fouls of Violence (Brutality and Fighting)
Brutality is fighting, kicking or striking, or attempting to kick or strike, with malicious intent There is obvious intent to injure an opposing player ALL brutalities MUST be called – no excuses Penalty throw awarded Game exclusion with substitution after 4 minutes Minimum suspension for one additional game If foul was committed in the penalty area and also prevented a probable goal, a penalty throw is also awarded Reporting of brutalities: Must be reported to USA Water Polo National Office via incident report at

27 Avoiding Category 3 Fouls
Watch for these kinds of situations and call over aggressive fouls early! Watch for any pairs of caps that are close: Any sudden change in position is usually due to a pull back or grab. If allowed to continue will escalate. Players looking at each other rather than paying attention to the game often leads to kicking/striking/violence Be aware of retaliation for aggressive defensive pressure. Again, call these fouls early to avoid retaliation and be in position to see these fouls.

28 Category 3 Fouls: Additional Interpretations
If a player commits a foul of misconduct during the time between periods, after a goal, during time out, or any other interval time, that player is excluded for the remainder of the game and play is restarted with the teams at full strength If a player of either team commits a foul of misconduct during play or the time between the calling of a foul and the taking of the free throw, the player is excluded for the remainder of the game, the ball is awarded to the offended team, and play is restarted with a substitute in the re-entry area

29 Introduction to “Advantage”
The “advantage rule” is the single most difficult thing to understand in all of water polo It is even more difficult to apply It is still more difficult to know how to do what with the whistle to maximize it Please remember: Player safety is first and foremost! The rule: (7.3) The referees shall refrain from declaring a foul if, in their opinion, such declaration would be an advantage to the offending player’s team. The referees shall not declare an ordinary foul when there is still a possibility to play the ball.

30 Who Can Have Advantage? The first sentence of the rule is team-neutral. The second sentence of the rule is clearly all about the attacking player and team. What can the attacking player or team do? Possess the ball Move with the ball Pass the ball Shoot the ball Therefore, it is a foul (and takes away advantage) to prevent an attacking player from being able to do any one of these things

31 Initiation of Contact Athlete contact is a fundamental concept in this game…. It is a game of physical contact Contact happens and is part of the game However, this game is not of one of collision and violence. Contact, not collision, is part of the game Who initiates the contact? It is to know this before the Advantage Rule can be applied correctly

32 Why Initiate Contact? Offense Defense
To establish or improve position To move the defender out of the way Defense To move the attacker out of the way Two fundamental concepts to keep in mind: The player initiating the contact with another player May benefit from the contact May not be the recipient of a foul The player receiving the contact with another player May not benefit from the contact May not be charged with committing a foul

33 What Does It All Mean? A player or team should be allowed contact with an opponent but should not be able to benefit from committing a foul against that opponent. Most, but certainly not all, contact is initiated by the defense Therefore most fouls are likely to be called against the defense Thus any foul called, or foul not called, which results in a lessening of likelihood of offense scoring should result from a violation of the advantage rule Although contrary fouls, (those that result in the attacking team committing positioning fouls) is similarly valid, its incidence is much lower, but does occur.

34 What Does It Mean You Should Do?
Physical contact between attacking players and defenders is permitted. Intervene ONLY (unless player safety is at risk) to restore Possessional advantage Positional advantage Probable goal advantage For now, try to be aware of what a team is trying to do with the ball and Do not call a foul if you do not have to When you call a foul, try not to Move the ball away from the goal being attacked Turn a shooter into a passer

35 Other Situations Free throws Timeouts Shootouts Use of cards
Special fouls

36 Free Throws They happen so often that it is important that the mechanics and application are consistent Must be taken without undue delay, but does not have to be immediate Guidelines: Should be given opportunity for a good look for open pass 3 seconds is about right – at the discretion of the referee Legally putting the ball in play includes: Dropping the ball Tossing the ball up Passing the ball Should be visible separation between hand, ball, and water Just retake the pass if it gets confusing !

37 Where To Put The Ball In Play
At the line of the foul Interpretation: anywhere at or behind the line of the foul if the ball has moved forward of the line of the foul At the location of the ball if the ball has moved behind the line of the foul if the ball has moved parallel to the line of the foul At the two meter line for foul on or inside the two meter line

38 Shooting Free Throws If a foul is called for a player with the ball outside the 5 meter line, that player taking the free throw may shoot the ball directly at the goal The shot must be immediate and without delay A player may “recover” and regain bearing, especially after a hard foul Player may not shoot if the ball is coming from outside the field of play Such as after a stoppage to replace a cap May shoot any free throw awarded to a player without the ball outside the 5 meter line if the ball is coming from inside the foul Use the head to define the position of the player

39 Defending Free Throws No obligation to move away
Must demonstrate that he/she is not interfering with the free throw Guidelines: Perimeter: Be about arm’s length away May put up “back” arm Watch for two hands up It is an exclusion if the defender has two hands up attempting to prevent a shot Perimeter/Set: Must not interfere with ability to pass in any direction Be aware of two hands up on 2m shot opportunity

40 Corner and Goal Throws A corner throw is awarded when
A shot goes out-of-bounds behind the goal line and it was last touched by the goalkeeper of the defending team OR A pass goes out-of-bounds behind the goal line last touched by any defensive player A goal throw is awarded when A shot goes out-of-bounds behind the goal line and was last touched by any player other than the goalie OR Any time an illegal shot is taken Any player may take the goal throw anywhere inside 2 meter area Please enforce this rule No cheating - this can provide a huge benefit to a goaltender with a poor arm

41 Neutral Throws Neutral throw
No longer applies to double exclusions during play, unless there is no possession at the time of the fouls. Still applies to overhead obstruction, unfair advantage on sprint, unclear possession issues, etc. How is it taken? Referee shall select the players to participate Goalkeeper shall not be selected The ball is thrown into the air so that both players have an equal opportunity at the ball One of the two selected players must touch the ball first before the ball can be played by another player Remember that at least two players must intentionally play the ball before it can be shot

42 Penalty Throws First position the field players:
The defense has the right of “inside” position (closest to the shooter) No player (except the goalkeeper) may be inside the 5 meter area. The shooter may be anywhere on the 5 meter line No player may be within 2 meters of the shooter. Next position the goalkeeper: Wall mounted goal The goalkeeper must have his/her hips on the goal line. Floating goal No part of the goalkeeper, above the surface of the water, may be in front of the goal line. Finally, simultaneously blow whistle and drop hand from the vertical position

43 Calling for Timeouts Each team is allowed to call three time outs per game, one of which may only be called in extra time May only be called by head coach of team in possession of ball. May be called after a goal by the team about to gain possession without putting the ball in play. Violations: If used up all timeouts – free throw to other team at or behind half If called by team not in possession of the ball – penalty throw to offended team If called when no team in possession of the ball – penalty to offended team.

44 Administering Timeouts
Both teams must separate into their respective defensive halves of the pool After 45 seconds, horn (or whistle) tells the teams to move into position At full time (60 seconds), horn (or whistle) indicates the ball should be put into play by team calling timeout at or behind the half distance line If team calling timeout is late coming out (in order of preference): Can throw the ball in on time and start the possession clock Can award a yellow card to the head coach Can awarded the ball to other team for delay of game

45 Penalty Shootout Referees toss coin in presence of captains to determine who shoots first There will be no change of ends and each team will shoot at their defending goal Second ref acts as goal judge

46 Penalty Shootout The coach of each team will name five shooters and a goalkeeper for the penalty shootout The five shooters must be listed in the order that they will shoot The sequence of shooters may not be changed Players who are not eligible (excluded from the remainder of the game) may not participate All players, with the exception of the players involved in the shootout and the defending goalkeepers, are required to be seated on their respective team benches

47 Penalty Shootout During the shootout, a team may use any eligible player as a goalkeeper, however: If the goalkeeper is excluded during the taking of a penalty throw, only one of the five eligible shooters may take his/her place For that particular shot, the substitute does not have the privileges of a goalkeeper Subsequently, that team may substitute another player as goalkeeper with the normal privileges of a goalkeeper The same player need not serve as goalkeeper for every throw

48 Penalty Shootout The teams will alternate taking five penalty throws each The first team will shoot and then the other team Teams will alternate shooting until all five shooters have taken a throw If, after taking five shots each, the teams are still tied, then alternating shots will be taken until a result is achieved The same five players will shoot in the same order in extra rounds In shallow-deep pools, all shots will be taken at the deep end

49 Yellow Cards If a coach or team official is disruptive, the head coach should be warned The head coach is responsible for the behavior of the entire team If anyone continues to be disruptive, a yellow card is issued to the head coach as a visible warning After yellow card is awarded, the head coach retains all normal privileges: May stand and shout instructions to the team May advance to the 5-meter line when their team is on offense Only one yellow card may be awarded to any one team in any one game Next card must be a red card

50 Yellow Cards Only the head coach can receive a yellow card
Assistant coaches, athletes, and team officials are not issued yellow cards, they automatically receive a red card Ideally, and only when appropriate, this only occurs after a warning has been given to the head coach You may issue a yellow card to the head coach for any disruptive or inappropriate bench behavior if you are not sure of offender(s) If action was severe enough Referee does not have to issue a yellow card May issue a red card immediately

51 Red Cards Person must leave the playing area, but may go to spectator stands May not have any verbal, visual, or electronic communication with the team If there is a continued violation, they should be removed from the facility Person receiving a red card may not participate in that team’s next game Not allowed on the pool deck during warm-ups or have anything to do with the next competition for that team All Red Cards must be reported via the incident reporting form at

52 Special Fouls Situations with women’s suits Ball under Inside 2-meters
Penalty fouls

53 Suit Grabbing Suit grabbing
A special case of holding that is particularly relevant for women’s water polo A very common tactic Can immobilize all but strongest players Makes her completely immobile Shutting down attack Simplest and most expedient strategy? Apply rule as written This is not done because it is considered an oversimplification

54 Suit Grab by Defender Treat this as any other type of hold by defender
If too severe, may actually be a form of violence Suit partially pulled off Trapping arm in strap Exposing a breast Calling this severe a foul can render this tactic ineffective Be careful to see the whole situation: trickery by the attacking player can result in wrong player (the defender) charged when in reality the attacker pulled part of her own suit off

55 Suit Grab by Attacker Consequences of calling this foul in this situation results in a greater punishment than when exact same act is performed by defender Personal foul plus contra attack “Who is holding whom?” Most common outcome is to call this as a contra foul This is the same thing one would do if the center were holding the suit of the defender in a men’s game But if severe enough, approaching what would be considered defensive violence, can call an offensive exclusion foul However, if suit hold is irrelevant to the play but it is merely a simple act of violence Analogous to grabbing a hat string and shaking a player by the head Advantage Rule is irrelevant in context of goal scoring Proper decision is offensive misconduct

56 Ball Under A foul to be avoided if possible
Player with the ball has to be: In control of the ball Making contact with the ball The ball must go completely under water And it must be under water for more than a brief moment Defensive player needs to: Make physical contact with the player holding the ball on their shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, or hand on the side holding the ball

57 Inside 2-Meters ? The Rule: “Offensive players must be outside the 2 meter area or must be behind the line of the ball” Position of any player is determined by the position of the head (in this case relative to the ball) If the player is in control of or holding the ball, the head may be in front of the ball and not be in violation Offense: May not receive ball inside 2 meters May not go inside and stay there to gain position May not affect play by being inside 2 meters without the ball Defense: Pushing or holding an attacking player inside 2 meters is a foul Most likely is an exclusion (for holding or pulling back)

58 Penalty Fouls Some guidelines Empty net fouls
A player has a good opportunity for a shot and defender prevents the shot by a foul (any foul) inside the 5-meter area Counterattack entering the 5-meter area Pulling down of shooting arm of player inside the 5-meter area and inside water from his/her defender The result: The attacking team gets penalty throw Empty net fouls When there is no one defending the goal, then the probability that a ball tossed into the goal will score is very high Therefore, many fouls committed inside the 5-meter area when the goal is empty may be penalty fouls because the foul took away a probable goal Be careful: if there was no probable goal, then there is no penalty foul

59 Major Not So New Rules One line at 5m Fouls for use of two hands out of the water on defense Exclusion foul to use two hands to try to prevent a shot outside 5m Penalty foul to use two hands to try to prevent a shot or a pass inside 5m Time factors modified Eight minute periods of play Two minutes after 1st and 3rd period, five minutes after 2nd period 30 seconds possession clock Double exclusion protocol modified Team last in possession of the ball retains possession Illegal Entry penalty re-defined

60 Major Not So New Rules (cont.)
Goal throw vs corner throw When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball turns over to the team last on defense and a: Goal throw awarded: When the ball went over the end line last touched by anyone other than the goaltender When the ball was intentionally tossed out of bounds by the team playing defense Free throw awarded: When the ball went over the sideline A corner throw is awarded only when the ball goes over the end-line last touched by the goaltender Brutality Penalty throw Substitution after 4 minutes Penalty throw awarded in final minute Team may elect to retain possession with a new 30s clock rather than take the penalty throw

61 Major Points of Emphasis
Promote the action by remembering that most contact is initiated by the defense. Thus, most fouls will be called against the defense. Try to minimize calling offensive fouls This is particularly so away from the ball It is most often correct to delay a second to see if the offensive foul really will affect the game. If not, do not call the offensive foul Please also note that this says try to minimize, not eliminate. If the offense commits a gross foul, it must be called immediately

62 Major Points of Emphasis
Punish lateral movement of the defender that prevents the offensive action of the attacker If a swimming offensive player is hand-checked or impeded by a vertical (hips down) defender, an exclusion foul should be called Even if a drop is coming, a referee may call a minor, or an exclusion, foul against the center defender If the center has an advantage and wants to try to shoot, wait momentarily and then call an exclusion foul if the defender commits a foul to prevent a chance of scoring If the set has no advantage and is just trying to pass to an open teammate, then it is perfectly correct to call a quick minor foul so that the team maintains possession However, if a bad pass is made which is closer to the defense, then the referee may refrain from calling a foul

63 Major Points of Emphasis
Maintain consistency at the center forward position Allow balanced competing for position between the center and the defender This does not mean that either player can commit an exclusion foul to gain a better position or to keep an existing position Excessive force, overly physical play, arms out of water and around an opponent, and suit grabbing to change position must be called as an exclusion or an offensive foul Allow the former center and defender to untangle after a possession change Do not call a foul too quickly However, once they have untangled, a foul can be called on either player for a push off or a pull back

64 Major Points of Emphasis
It is perfectly correct for the referee to call an offensive exclusion foul if the offensive player commits a serious enough foul: Holding, sinking, or pulling back bordering on violence Exit from center to begin a counter attack (the gross and go) Suit grabs Any other fouls more severe than an ordinary contra foul Referees must carefully watch defenders during a 6 on 5 to be sure they are not sinking offensive players (especially those on the post) This can be an exclusion (or even a penalty) foul Be alert for defenders using two hands to prevent passes or shots

65 Major Points of Emphasis
It is important for the referees to keep control of the game Players who commit violent (overly aggressive) fouls that are not part of the game should be charged with misconduct and removed from the remainder of the game rather than just excluded for 20 seconds Also players who show disrespect toward the referee should be similarly removed for the rest of the game

66 Professionalism Appearance Respect Practice your craft
If you want to be treated like a professional referee, you must look like a professional referee Respect If you want respect, respect those around you Practice your craft Study the rule books and interpretations Think about the game At home In the car At scrimmages In and around games Ponder these questions: How much time did the coach put into the game? How much time did the players put into the game? Compared that with how much time did YOU put into the game?

67 Listening, Hearing, and Learning
Referees If they are not at your level, they may challenge you to explain your calls If they are at or above your level, they may give you a different perspective that you may or may not decide to accept You can and should learn from all of this Coaches and Players Try to know what they want to do Remember to understand their perspective Learn by: Watching the game Reading about the game Talking about the game Thinking about the game

68 Legal and Liability Issues
Make sure you have adequate insurance Professional liability insurance Available from: USA Water Polo NASO Make sure that you call all safety-related fouls Make sure you are doing what you are supposed to do Make sure that you report ALL incidents, (red cards, brutality, misconduct, injury, etc.) via the report from at For a complete list of reportable incidents please see

69 What Now? Know the rules!! Take the “Rookie – Level I” Rules Test at Arrange for your “On-Deck” practical evaluation with your Zone Head Referee to complete your “Rookie” Certification as a Referee with USA Water Polo.

70 On-Deck Practical Will Include:
Mechanics Positioning and working with your partner How to best see the players and their positions in order to tell: Who got to the position first? Did the defender hold the attacking player? Did the attacking player swim over the defender? Calling minor fouls Be sure that it is related to play If it is there, call the foul without delay Delay takes time off the possession clock If the attacking team has earned it, give it to them The onus is on the defense to show they are not committing fouls Identifying and correctly handling picks Is it related to the play? Is it or is it not impeding? Holding?


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