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  • 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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