Inner Tube Water PoloRules
There are six players on each team and unlimited substitutes. There should be a captain for each team and they are the only player permitted to speak with the officials on matters pertaining to the match. The captain is also responsible for submitting the names of all players to the referee before game time. A minimum of two players and maximum of four players of a gender may be permitted in the pool. A maximum of three club water polo players can play at the same time. Four players may start a game. Players must remain in their tubes or be considered out of play. If a player out of a tube intentionally touches another player or the ball a penalty results. One team, determined at random by the officials, will wear caps to distinguish teams. Players may not wear jewelry, watches, or any other accessories deemed dangerous by the officials. Finger and toe nails should be kept short.
Unlimited substitutions are allowed at any time during play or time outs, but substitutions must physically occur on the defensive half of the pool.
Field of Play: The field of play is a twenty-five yard pool, divided into four quarters lengthwise at the midline and the flags (approx. four yards from the end) on each side. The goal posts are located on the goal lines at the end of the pool. Each goal measures 4’ high by 8’ long.
Length of Game: The game consists of two fifteen minute periods with the last two minutes of each period stop-time (the clock is stopped only when: the ball exits the pool, a penalty is called, a goal is scored). In the event of a tie, one “sudden victory” overtime period no greater than five minutes is played, and if no team wins a tie is awarded. One time out per team per period, including the overtime period.
Possession: Initial possession is determined by a tossed ball. Each team must line-up at its goal line, the ball is thrown into the center of the pool, and players may chase the ball. Possession changes after each score.
Ball Control: A player in control of the ball may advance it by moving along the water or by passing. The ball is controlled by grasping it with one hand, by placing it in the lap or after gaining possession by placing the ball in the water and screening other players from gaining possession. The player controlling the ball may be interfered with by blocking, tube checking, holding, or stealing the ball away (see playerto-player contact, below, for further clarification).
Equipment: If it a captain feels that the other team begins the game with superior tubes whether provided or personal, then, at any time up to the start of the second period, the captain may request and will be granted an exchange of tubes for the second half. Requests may not be made after the official has called for the teams to line-up in preparation for the second period.
Challenging a Call: All other protests involving misinterpretation of the rules must be made at the time of the incident, by the captain of either team. Play must be stopped and may not be continued until the protest is resolved on the spot by the game officials with the aid of the governing rules of the game, and if necessary by final decision of the Intramural Supervisor. Protests made by players other than the captains may be considered at the discretion of the officials, but time will not be stopped. Furthermore, harassing of the officials by players other than the captains may result in a major penalty, at the discretion of the officials. At the discretion of the officials, repeated harassment (three or more offenses) will result in the offending player being ejected from the pool area for the duration of the game. Failure to comply may result in team forfeiture. Protests regarding the judgment of the referees will not be accepted.
If a team can only field fewer than five players, the officials will permit ten minutes to pass after the scheduled starting time until the game starts. Once ten minutes have passed without a fifth arriving, play will start and the offending team will be allowed no timeouts for the duration of the game. If the offending team still cannot field a fifth by the end of the first half, that team forfeits the game.
All undergraduate students and persons associated with a residential college who meet general eligibility requirements are eligible to participate. Club/Varsity water polo is not deemed an associated sport with inner tube water polo because of the addition of comeptitive advantage leveling rules (i.e. the inclusion and necessity of the inner tube). Any instance involving special consideration requires a review by the Athletic Secretaries Ad Hoc Eligibility Committee.
PENALTIES & INFRINGEMENTS
Delay of Game: Intentionally delaying the game by any player or team results in a minor penalty, at the discretion of the official. After a goal, when the officials indicate that play is to start, the goalie will have 10 seconds to pass before delay of game is called..
Ejection: Three major penalties result in an ejection. When an ejection occurs, the offending player is ejected from the pool area for the duration of the game. Failure to comply may result in team forfeiture.
Excessive Penalty on Defense: When an offensive player possessing the ball has a forward positional advantage in the penalty zone, a breach of player-to-player contact rules (against the ball-carrier) by a player behind the ball-carrier results in a major penalty. This violation by definition results in a free shot on goal, as outlined in the “Major Penalty” section. A major penalty will also be called against a defender in breach of holding rules (pulling the tube) from behind the offender in question when that offender is going for a loose ball in the penalty zone.
Holding/Blocking: Hindering the progress of a player not in possession of the ball, especially by grasping of the tube, will result in a minor penalty. Furthermore, similar hindering of a player not in possession of the ball by repeated tube checking may be deemed a minor penalty at the discretion of the officials.
Major Penalty: A major penalty occurring in the middle two zones of play—or by a player on the team possessing the ball in the zone nearest the defending goal—results in a free pass for the opponent, indicated by the officials. Resulting passes must be begun from the location of the foul, or at the location indicated by the officials. A major penalty incurred by the defense in the zones at either end of the pool (penalty zones) results in a free shot on goal. The shot is to be taken from the flags (penalty zone line) directly in front of the cage, as indicated by the officials. Defenders other than the goalie are not to interfere in the shot, and all players other than the goalie and shooter must be behind the flags. The shot may be taken once a signal is given by the official. If the shot is blocked or deflected without the ball going out of bounds, play continues normally and players may move freely. Three major penalties result in an ejection.
Minor Penalty: A minor penalty results in a free pass for an opposing player, indicated by the officials. Resulting passes must be begun from the location of the foul, or at the location indicated by the officials.
Offsides: A violation is called when an offensive player enters the opponents penalty zone ahead of the ball. The violation results in a minor penalty. Once the ball enters the penalty zone, offsides cannot occur until the ball passes back over the midline, or a goal is scored. Once a goal is scored, offensive players must leave the penalty zone nearest the goal in question, and offsides is ‘reset.’
Player-to-Player Contact: When a player has possession of the ball, contact is limited to the tube and the ball. Players may push or lift (but not pull) the tube, up to and including flipping the player. Aggressive and dangerous de-tubing is an infraction that results in a minor penalty. Similarly, the player with the ball is allowed the same freedom to defend themselves. Any contact beyond these guidelines will result in a minor penalty. Contact between players not in possession of the ball will be limited to tube checking (pushing with feet or hands). Any further contact will result in a minor penalty.
Two-hand Violation: If a player holds the ball with both hands simultaneously, while catching or in possession of the ball, a minor penalty results.
Two Line Pass: Passes and shots on goal cannot cross two lines. When this rule is violated a minor penalty is awarded. The resulting free pass is to be taken at the line crossed nearest to where the offending pass or shot was initiated.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Behavior deemed deliberately aggressive, physically harmful, or verbally abusive will result in a major penalty. Three major penalties result in ejection.
Walling: Use of the wall to gain an advantage results in a minor penalty.
Exceptions: when a player is pinned against a wall, they may use the wall to rotate in their tube; the wall may be used by a detubed player, away from the play action, to get back into the tube.
Corner Throw: When a goalkeeper’s contact with the ball, or a defender in possession of the ball, causes the ball to go out of bounds behind the plane of the goal line, the shooting/offensive team is awarded a free pass from the near corner of the pool indicated by the official, to be taken when the signal is given by the official. A shot deflected by a defender that goes out of bounds behind the goal line, without the goalie touching the ball, does NOT result in a corner-throw, but instead results in a free pass for the goalie.
Goalkeeper: A defensive player who attempts to protect the goal from a score. The goalie must remain in the tube and is permitted to handle the ball with both hands simultaneously while in the zone nearest their goal. The goalie may not control the call for more than 10 seconds, or a delay of game penalty results. If the goalie falls out of the tube in an effort to block a shot, they may not handle the ball until they return to their tube. After the goalie gains possession of the ball, any contact with the goalie results in a minor penalty.
Goal Score: When the ball completely passes the plane of the goal-posts one point is awarded. Possession changes after each score.
“In the Tube”: Players must be sitting in a sitting position with their posterior in the tube. Goalies are permitted to straddle the tube. Any intentional contact with the ball or other players while not in the tube results in a minor penalty. In the process of being flipped, a player may pass or shoot the ball while still falling from the tube—once the player has halted initial downward motion, they will be considered not in the tube.
Out of Bounds: If the ball leaves the pool (makes contact with the horizontal surface of the pool deck, or an object or wall above the pool deck), then out of bounds is called and the team who did not cause the ball to go out gets a free pass. Bouncing off of the goal or the edge of the pool does not count as out of bounds, and play continues.
Penalty Zone: The zones nearest the two goals.
Protests involving eligibility may be made by any captain or Athletic Secretary against any team and must be made during or immediately following a contest. Once notified the team captain is required to present that player’s valid photo ID for verification. If no ID is available then the captain must submit a brief statement that includes the name of the person in question and the circumstances of eligibility. If a person is found to be ineligible, all games in which they participated or were suspected of having participated are recorded as losses and any awarded Tyng Cup points are withdrawn.
All other protests involving misinterpretation of the rules must be made at the time of the incident. Play must be stopped and may not continue until the protest is resolved on the spot by the game officials with the aid of the governing rules of the game, or if necessary by final decision of the Intramural Supervisor. Any team that disputes the result and refuses to continue play will default the contests.