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News and Announcements
  • 9/22/2021

    Please click the link to view NCAA Water Polo Rule Interpretations (9/22/2021).

  • 8/6/2021

    It is my sincere hope that this posting finds you and your loved ones doing well. As we embark upon this fall men’s season, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being NCAA officials. You all play an important role in our sport and your dedication through very challenging times has not gone unnoticed by myself, the men’s and women’s sub-committees or the coaches and teams.

    Please be sure to register for Arbiter as an NCAA referee at your earliest convenience. Take this opportunity to re-watch the videos posted on the Advantage website from the referee school in December in preparation for the official NCAA rules test which will be available the week of August 18. In addition to those videos, modules explaining even further the rules as well as other important concepts, will start to be made available in mid to late August. It is important to note that there have been no additional rules changes since the referee school.

    For many of you, the summer has been filled with water polo once again. As we all watch the Olympics and the water polo games being played there, please make sure to re-engage the NCAA part of your referee brain in preparation for the start of the men’s season.

    I know we are all hopeful that we will have a “back to normal” season this fall, and I sincerely hope that we do. Please stay in touch with your conference assignors and supervisors of officials for all the different conference competition related information, updates and Covid-19/vaccine protocols you might need. All educational updates will continue to be made via the Advantage website and Arbiter.

    As always, more to follow…

    Amber Drury
    NCAA National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 6/30/2021

    Please click the link to view Update on Uniform Patches.

  • 2/24/2021

    Please click the link to view NCAA Officials Health Dashboard.

  • 1/25/2021

    Please click the link to view 2020-21 Referee School - Recap.

  • 1/15/2021

    Please click the link to view NCAA Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Rules Updates and Preseason Reminders, from Brian Streeter, secretary-rules editor, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Rules Subcommittee.

  • 1/7/2021

    Officials and referees may operate in proximity to student-athletes and school personnel during or as part of competition events. As a result, they may create risk for these individuals and may also be at risk for contracting COVID-19 from student-athletes. Beginning on page 26 of the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standard for Practice and Competition, the NCAA provides examples of testing and masking strategies for officials and information about officials’ proximity to competitors. Please review this information as you officiate NCAA competition this season.

    NOTE - The CDC guidelines related to gaiters have been updated. When wearing a one-layer gaiter, like the one officials may have received as part of the welcome packet process, it should be folded over to make two layers to be compliant with CDC guidelines. Other masks or face coverings that are in compliance with CDC recommendations also may be worn.

  • 12/4/2020

    We are looking forward to a great NCAA Referee School Saturday, December 5. There has been as slight change to the presenter order from the schedule that had been distributed in earlier posts. The schedule for tomorrow’s referee school is listed below.

    December 5th  - 9-11am
    9-9:15          NCAA Referee School Overview & Welcome
    9:15-9:45     New Rules & New Officiating Procedures
    9:45-11        Advantage/Hierarchy of Fouls – Jim Cullingham

    1-1:15          Schedule Review & Introduction
    1:15-1:45     Coach/Referee Relationship & Interaction – Heather Moody
    1:45-2:15     Coach/Referee Relationship & Interaction – Adam Krikorian
    2:15-2:45     Referee/Coach & Referee/Referee Relationship & Interaction – Mitch Carty

    4-4:30           Schedule Review, New Rules Part Two & Introduction
    4:30-5           Covid-19 Officiating – Dr. Omar Amr
    5-5:30           Referee History & Legacy – Tom Hermstad
    5:30-6           Remaining Topics

    (all times are PST)

  • 11/24/2020

    We are excited to provide you with the opportunity to register for the 2020 NCAA Water Polo Referee School. The school will take place Saturday, December 5 (noon-9 p.m. Eastern/9 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time). This link serves as the registration for all sessions of the school. There will be a break between sessions, as noted in the schedule below.

    The 2020 NCAA Water Polo Referee School
    Noon-2 p.m. EST/9-11 a.m. PST

    NCAA Referee School Overview
    Covid-19 Officiating
    New Officiating Procedures
    New Rules – Part One

    4-6 p.m. EST/1-3 p.m. PST
    Coach/Referee Relationship & Interaction – Heather Moody & Adam Krikorian
    Referee/Coach & Referee/Referee Relationship & Interaction – Mitch Carty
    Advantage/Hierarchy of Fouls – Jim Cullingham

    7-9 p.m. EST/4-6 p.m. PST
    Referee History & Legacy
    New Rules – Part Two
    Remaining Topics

    All segments will be made available on the Advantage website about a week after the school for those who cannot attend or those that just want to take another listen to the materials presented.

    Amber Drury
    NCAA National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 10/28/2020

    Please click the link to view Final Few New Rules.

  • 10/21/2020

    Please click the link to view Two More - New Rules.

  • 10/1/2020

    Please click the link to view New Rule Part 2.

  • 9/22/2020

    It is my sincere hope that this finds you and your loved ones healthy and happy. While I am not certain what exactly the New Year will hold, I do know that when we all are able to get back on deck, there will be plenty of water polo to keep us all busy. Please ensure that you are game ready, both physically and mentally.

    The winter brings its own unique challenges to our sport, with the addition of Covid-19, it will not be a season for the unprepared.  Click here to read the full article.

  • 8/17/2020

    I am hoping this update finds all of you and your loved ones healthy and safe. During these unprecedented times, our referee family has endured multiple loses. The most recent being Greg Hallisey from Virginia. Please join me in sending positive energy to his family. Greg whistled from coast to coast, any and all games that needed a whistle. He will be missed as a referee, but even more as a genuine and caring soul. Click here to read the full article.

  • 7/30/2020

    During its July 22 videoconference, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel acted on several items.  Please click here to read the memorandum from Jeff Hurd, NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.

  • 7/15/2020

    It is my sincere hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe, and that this forced break from water polo has given you time to rejuvenate and has refueled your passion for officiating. Here we are in the middle of July, wondering if a fall water polo season is going to happen. I wish I had definitive answers for you, but I do not. What I do know is that we are in unprecedented times and things can change in the tweet of a whistle.  Click here to read the full article.

  • 5/27/2020

    In this time of social distancing and concerns for the health of ourselves and loved ones, it is my hope that you all are following the guidelines necessary so that you are happy and healthy when water polo eventually resumes.  As our country begins to re-open, I wanted to share with you what I can.  Click here to read the full article.

  • 4/13/2020

    Dear NCAA Official,

    The NCAA has engaged The PICTOR Group to conduct a National Review of the State of Collegiate Officiating. As an NCAA official, your voice is central to this review. Below is a link to a confidential survey designed to help identify general as well as divisional issues across 15 sports in NCAA Divisions I, II and III. The survey is estimated to take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will remain open for three weeks. Since there is no central location to connect with all NCAA officials, you may receive more than one request to participate. Please complete only one survey for each sport that you officiate.

    Officials who complete the survey and provide contact information, will be entered to win an NCAA Gift Pack to include items such as free Arbiter Central Hub registration, NCAA apparel or gift cards to purchase sport-specific officiating equipment and apparel. Please complete the survey at your earliest convenience.

    Click here to access the NCAA Officials Survey.

    The over-arching goal of the National Review is two-fold: a) identify general and divisional issues that are affecting NCAA sports as a result of the decline in the officiating pool, and b) to present strategic recommendations to meet the officiating needs of the membership. Click here should you wish to learn more about the project scope:  National Review of Collegiate Officiating

    Thank you in advance for your participation and thoughtful contribution. Should you have any questions about or problems accessing the survey, please contact Mary Struckhoff at


    Anthony Holman

    Anthony Holman
    Managing Director, NCAA Championships & Alliances

  • 3/13/2020



    As referees, we always keep in mind the safety of those involved in the competitions we whistle.  Now, we need to focus on our loved ones and ourselves.

    You have probably seen the statement from the NCAA that all remaining winter and spring championships have been canceled due to COVID-19. If not, the link is below:

    At this point, almost all conferences have canceled or indefinitely suspended their remaining competitions. Please stay in touch with the supervisor of officials in the conferences you work for the latest information. 

    The work you have all done this season has been superb. There is no stopping the passion we all share for the game we all love – referees, coaches, players and administrators alike.  Please take this opportunity to appreciate all you have outside the game. Keep your loved ones safe and healthy, as well as yourselves. The fall season will be upon us before we even know it.

    Amber Drury
    NCAA Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 2/19/2020

    What a great start this women’s season is off to! Already many great hard fought games that went down to the wire. Please ensure your game preparation is the same for each and every game. All games deserve your very best. Strive to be consistent and correct at all times in your application of the rules. Enjoy your work and competitive atmosphere of this season.  Click here to read the full article.
  • 2/11/2020

    Coaches and Officials:

    Once a Yellow/red card is issued to the head coach of one team in a game, it is the only yellow/red card that will be issued to that team for the remainder of the game.

    If the Head coach then earns a red card, they must leave the bench area and may sit in the spectator stands for the remainder of the game and their replacement inherits the rights and privileges of the Head coach but also the restrictions of the yellow/red card previously issued and should know the next occurrence of disruptive behavior could lead to another red card and possible suspension of the game.

    The intent of the yellow/red card was to give the official the ability to warn the head coach a second time.  This second warning is not to be used to abuse an official.

    If you have any questions, please contact Brian Streeter, NCAA Water Polo Rules Secretary, 814-392-7995.

  • 1/23/2020

    I hope you all had fun and festive holidays and are ready to get back into the swing of the college game. With the season underway, I wanted to make certain that we remind ourselves of areas that are specific to the women’s game.   Please click the link to read Welcome to the 2020 Women's College Season.

  • 1/8/2020

    The NCAA has engaged The PICTOR Group to lead a comprehensive review of the state of collegiate officiating for 15 NCAA sports across all three divisions. A national review is underway and involves significant data collection, with commissioners representing Divisions I, II, and III comprising an Officiating Review Steering Committee. The final report will be submitted to the NCAA in August 2020. 

    Please click the following link for an overview of the NCAA Officiating Review Project.

  • 12/10/2019

    Congratulations to all the referees that were selected to whistle the 2019 Men’s NCAA Championship, but most of all thank you to each and every referee that worked games this season.  Your commitment and dedication to our craft and the game we all love is greatly appreciated.  Please click here to read the recap.

  • 11/13/2019

    Our sport is extremely fortunate to have an outstanding and diverse group of experienced evaluators giving of their time and expertise to assist the referees in their pursuit of correct and consistent application of the rules as written.

    The evaluator is present to watch the game and take notes about the performance of the referees. At the conclusion of the game, the evaluator will share those notes and thoughts with the referees regarding their performance. The evaluator is not a third referee on the game and has no standing to make decisions regarding the application of rules.

    Evaluators are to be treated with respect, but not engaged with during the game by coaches or team officials. Failure to follow this directive will be considered disruptive behavior and may result in the appropriate card being issued per Rule 3 Section 6. Referees – Control Over Conduct - Art. 3. Should a coach believe there has been a misapplication of the rules, they should protest at the next possible time according to Rule 3 Section 12. Protests.

    Constructive conversations are encouraged and will be welcomed provided these conversations take place after the conclusion of the game, in private, with professionalism and without emotion.

  • 11/7/2019

    Please click the link to view Referee Reminders.

  • 10/31/2019

    Click the link below to be directed to this year’s sports wagering educational video for officials.  The video is approximately 20 minutes in length and includes sports wagering information with which you should be familiar. 

    2019 NCAA Integrity Education Video


    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances


  • 10/16/2019


    Wisdom of a Wednesday

    After watching six weeks of the 2019 Men’s NCAA Water Polo season, I can’t wait to see more!

    In the simplest of terms, my main concern is player safety.  Are we all doing what we can to create and foster an athletic environment where athletes can reach and possibly exceed their potential when they compete? There are rules in place that govern conduct and play. When adhered to, when a clear standard it set and when best judgement is used by the referees and all involved, the athletes will have the opportunity to excel in competition.

    The referee role is critical. As the rules state:

    Rule 3/Officials Section 3. Referees

    Art. 2. The referees shall be in absolute control of the game. The jurisdiction of the referees begins 30 minutes before the game and ends five minutes after the conclusion of the game or when any protest procedure has been completed (see Rule 3-12 for protest procedure). During this time, referees have authority over the players, coaches, team officials, goal judges and desk officials while within the precincts of the pool. There should be no interaction between officials and coaches before or after a game or during a tournament other than for pregame instructions or when a protest is filed immediately after a game (Rule 3-12).

    Not only are we responsible for knowing and applying the rules of the game with our best judgement, we are also responsible for maintaining positive deck decorum by all involved, including ourselves, as well as maintaining the integrity and spirit of the game.  I strongly urge all referees to embrace this responsibility and administer it consistently and judiciously as the rules dictate:

    Rule 3/Officials Section 6. Referees—Control Over Conduct

    Art. 2. After the pregame meeting, the head coach and captain are the only individuals authorized to address the referees. The head coach and captain may address the referees at intervals between periods and during timeouts, or with the permission of the referee or, in the case of the head coach, when filing a protest. The time after a goal is scored is not intended as an opportunity for the head coach to address the referee unless the referee expressly grants permission. Failing to follow this restriction may result in the appropriate card being issued to the head coach. The head coach and captain may discuss rule clarifications and misapplications of rules with the officials at these times, but may not comment to or address the referee during the actual play of the game. Judgment calls are not an appropriate topic of discussion at any time. The referees shall have the authority to order any player from the water in accordance with the appropriate rule and to abandon the game should a player refuse to leave the water when so ordered (see Rule 7-13-1).

    Player safety and the creation of a safe playing field for athletes to reach and exceed their potential is also inherent in the fouls we call as referees, but also in the fouls we don’t call or downgrade.  Referees must always be mindful of the rules we have and enforce them. I strongly encourage all referees to take this opportunity to review the rule book and read, really read the rules especially regarding fouls of simulation, exclusion fouls, misconduct fouls, penalty fouls and flagrant misconduct fouls.

    Bear in mind that the Advantage rule permits a referee to withhold the whistle when it would be to the advantage of the team committing the foul.  It is also important for referees to be aware of the potential advantage away from the point of attack or where the ball is. Referees must expand their vision and thinking as they watch and anticipate the game unfolding in the water. Intervene when needed and as often as needed. When warranted, ordinary fouls at center are part of the game. When needed, exclusions off ball at center or on the perimeter are calls that should be made. Referees must put to use all the tools at their disposal to ensure that a safe, correct and consistent game is called.

    Everything that we all do, whether it be coaching, refereeing, administrating or playing the game of water polo, player safety, without a doubt, must be our priority. So I am asking all of us, especially referees, to embrace and take active roles in ensuring that the players are safe and able to push themselves to their fullest athletic potential when competing, to set the best example so that the integrity of the game is protected and that the spirit of our game remains positive. Through control of decorum by all and consistently applying the rules with the best judgement, this can and will be accomplished.

    Amber Drury
    NCAA National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 10/9/2019

    Referee and coach interaction prior to a game should be limited to polite greetings and game logistics only.  Referees should not engage coaches and coaches should not engage referees regarding past games or the game about to happen. In addition, should a referee evaluator be present, coaches should interact with the evaluator in the same manner.

    Questions or concerns about games or situations should be addressed to the appropriate conference supervisor of officials or myself.

    Amber Drury
    NCAA National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 10/3/2019


    NCAA Officials: 

    This document was developed as part of the NCAA’s continued review of its risk management program.  Please note that this document summarizes information that may render an official ineligible to officiate any rounds of any of the NCAA championships.    

    Also, please note that one or more of the components of the “Notifications and Determinations” section may not be in place until the 2020-21 academic year. 

    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances

  • 8/14/2019

    Welcome to the 2019-2020 Water Polo season!  My name is Amber Drury and I am excited to be joining you as the new National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials.

    I am looking forward to working with referees, coaches and the National Evaluator Group (NEG) as we continue in the direction set forth last season of “Applying the Rules as Written.”  The points of emphasis remain the same and the videos and training materials can be accessed on the Advantage website. Please take a moment to review so you are ready for the Rules Test and the start of the men’s season. The test will be available on Wednesday, August 14 and must be completed and passed BEFORE you whistle any NCAA game.

    Any questions or concerns, I can be reached via email at or via cell at 510.734.3759. Please check the Advantage website for updates throughout the season and please use it for any reporting you may need to do.

    Have a great season!

    Amber Drury
    NCAA National Coordinator of Water Polo Officials

  • 7/23/2019

    Please click the REGISTRATION Tab to register for the 2019-20 season.

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