Useful Info

Referee Guidelines


  1. Referees should officiate games in an unbiased and impartial
  2. Referees should respect without question all decisions given by the Referees controlling the game. They should set an example of good sportsmanship for other players to follow.
  3. Referees should not publicly criticise the performance and decisions of a Referee officiating a game.

Referee Restraint

  1. Keep any verbal instructions to a minimum. If a player requests an explanation of a foul, simply maintain the signal. Do not allow yourself to enter arguments with players, either during or after the game.
  2. If players dispute a decision, in general stick with the decision unless the opposite Referee also disagrees. (See section on Send-Off’s in reference to continuous/ repeated disputation of decisions).
  3. If a goal or goal-penalty decision is in doubt the Referees should consult. When consulting in a doubtful situation they should be cautious about being influenced by players reactions as these may be feigns to sway the Referees.

Duties of Referees

  1. During the game the Referee shall have full control of the game, from the entry of teams onto the Playing Area until they leave the Playing Area after completion of the game. In this regard, they shall enforce the Game Regulations, and ensure the Competition and Players Personal Equipment are maintained during the game, and shall ensure the competition rules are upheld as they apply to the game.
  2. The Referees controlling a game are empowered to order spectators, coaches and other persons not actually playing in the game to leave the competition area.
  3. The Referees controlling a game are empowered to bring charges before the BCU Canoe Polo Committee or other appropriate competition committee against persons not actually playing in the game.
  4. The First Referee for a game shall ensure the game report sheet is correctly completed including any Send Off Forms.

Referee Co-ordination

  1. The Referee calling an infringement should blow the whistle loudly and immediately the infringement occurs (after deciding whether to play advantage or not – see below). The hand signal should be indicated quickly and clearly after the whistle. The signal must be clear and held until play has restarted.
  2. Both Referees should check that the other Referee agrees with their decision. If the two Referees give different decisions each should be prepared to change their call if they are not totally certain of the call. Defer to the other Referee if they are indicating a more serious offence.
  3. If one Referee has called an infringement that has not been seen by the other, then the other should indicate the same signal.
  4. Where either Referee changes the direction of their signals after giving a positive signal to which the players have responded, a triple blast on the whistle should be used to gain every bodies attention (including the Time Keeper’s), indicating a Time-Out, Signal 7 and the new Signal. Both Referees must ensure the teams have time to correct their consequent positioning before the restart occurs. The whistle is then blown to restart the game again.
  5. If at any time the two Referees continue to disagree they shall stop the game to consult and if still in disagreement, the First Referee shall make the necessary decision.
  6. The Referees should, at the completion of the game, discuss any disputed or contentious decisions.

Controlling the field of play using the leading & training method

See Diagram L&T 1

  1. The First Referee shall take that side of the Playing area from which they can ensure the score is correctly recorded. The will usually be the same side as the Time/Score Keepers Table.
  2. Each Referee is normally mainly responsible for that half of the field to their right (when facing the centre) and should move along the side of the field so as to be able to closely observe play in that area.
  3. In general, the Referee should move no further to his/her left than 2/3rds of the way from their right hand end line. The aim should be to achieve a “leading” and “trailing” system of controlling the game. The “Leading” Referee should keep up with the play and closely watch the main action in front of the goal. The “Trailing” Referee should be able to view all players on the Playing Area.
  4. Either Referee may call an infringement anywhere on the field, but in most situations should defer to the nearer Referee unless an obvious infringement has not been pulled-up.
  5. Each Referee shall make decisions relating to the side-line nearest to them.
  6. The Referee should quickly move directly to the goal-line on their right, when play is in that vicinity, to be in a position to give decisions on corners and goal-line throws at that end.
  7. The Referees shall normally control the corner and side-line restarts on their side of the Playing Area, and goal-line restarts to their right.
  8. The Referee controlling that side-line should have control over the 1 metre restart condition.
  9. “T” shaped pools (see Diagram L&T 2). In some pools it is necessary to have three referees, where there is a diving pit or similar. In this instance the first referee should take the long side line, that runs the length of the playing area. The two second referees take the short sides, each covering the appropriate goal line. This means that the first referee switches from being the leading to trailing referee in the middle area of the pitch. Each referee should be prepared to call fouls at any point on the playing area.
  10. Controlling Goal Penalty Shots or a Tie-Breaker Shot (see Diagram L&T 3a/b)
    • The Leading Referee should move to the 6 metre (for Goal Penalty Shot) or 4.5 metre (for Tiebreaker Shot) mark and be responsible for controlling the taking of the shot.
    • The Trailing Referee should take up a position to control the other players.
    • When all the other players are correctly positioned, the Trailing Referee will raise their Hand.
    • If the Leading Referee has the ball, it should be thrown to the shooter when all the other players are in the correct position as directed by the Trailing Referee.
    • Leading Referee can then blow the whistle (so long as the shooter is correctly positioned) for the shot to be taken.
    • In the case of a Tiebreaker Shoot-Out, the Leading Referee also controls the position of the goal keeper and signals the result of the shot. Signals 3 or 4 apply.

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