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Innertube Water Polo Rules

  • There will be a coin toss to determine possession of the ball to begin the game.
  • The clock will begin when the referee hands the goalie the ball.
  • After each score, the ball is put into play from the referee by returning it to the goalie just scored upon.
  • No player may leave his/her inner tube and touch or maneuver the ball; otherwise, they will be assessed a personal foul and a free throw or penalty throw is awarded to the nearest opponent.
  • If tipped out of the tube, a player may not touch or control the ball until back in the tube.

Duties of the Goalie

The goalie may not throw the ball more than half the length of the pool at any time. The goalie may not leave his/her inner tube while effectively guarding the goal.

Duties of Other Team Members

  • Players are to pass, catch, and throw the ball to team members or toward the goal in an attempt to score upon the opposing team.
  • Players may use one or both hands at all times.
  • The forward line players should remain on offense and not attempt to drop back more than half the distance to the goal.
  • No part of the offensive players' body may penetrate the two-yard line.
  • The defensive line should keep in mind that they are the main line of defense for the goalie and should not venture more than half way up the goal (this is optional).

General Rules

  • The game will consist of two ten-minute halves with a running clock. There will be 2 minutes between halves (goalies change ends).
  • There are two one-minute timeouts allowed per team. The player in control of the ball is required to call the timeout.
  • Substitutions may only be made during timeouts, after a goal is scored, or between halves.
  • The following are the players' positions: Right, Center and Left Forwards; Right, Center, and Left Backs; Goalie.
  • The Goalie's Area will extend five feet from the end of the pool, or extend two yards and span the entire width of the playing area. No offensive player is permitted in this area.
  • The Penalty Area will extend twelve feet from the end of the pool or fifteen feet from the Goalie's Area line.
  • Points will be awarded by the following scale: one point for each goal scored; one point for each successful penalty shot; zero points for successful shots made from within the Goalie's Area; and zero points for successful shots that a player takes from outside his/her inner tube.
  • A free throw is awarded after a minor infraction.
  • The non-violating team member nearest the spot of the infraction puts the ball into play by passing or advancing the ball. Opponents may not touch, impede, or interfere with his/her attempt to pass the ball. One pass must be made before any attempted goal.
  • A penalty shot is awarded to the offensive team if a player is fouled inside the four-yard line. All players except the goalie must leave the penalty area until the shot is taken. No player may be within one yard of the thrower. Should the shot be missed, the ball is free and continues is play.
  • A free throw is awarded to the opposing team from the same point where the ball went out of bounds. The player nearest this exit point takes the throw.

Penalty

  • Losing the possession of the ball to the other team by a free throw.
  • Holding onto the pool wall while in possession of the ball.
  • Holding the ball under water.
  • Goalie throwing the ball more than half the distance of the pool.
  • Offensive player entering the goalie's area.

Penalty

  • Losing possession of the ball to the other team by a free throw.
  • Holding, pushing, dunking, or dumping an opponent not possessing the ball.
  • Goalie holding on to the side of the pool while catching or passing the ball.
  • Persistently repeating an infraction, even after the referee has given warnings.
  • Tipping an opponent out of his/her tube immediately after a score, in an attempt to discount score.
  • Grabbing or touching another player around the head or neck.
  • A free throw is awarded to the nearest opponent on all personal fouls.
  • A penalty shot is awarded to the nearest player if the foul occurs within the penalty area.

Penalty

  • The offending player will not be allowed to finish the game.
  • He/She may not be substituted.
  • Attacking, striking, or kicking an opponent in such a manner, as in the opinion of the referee, to endanger another person.
  • Flagrantly refusing obedience to a referee's request.
  • Exhibiting un-sportsman like conduct.

Additional Rules

  • A participant must remain in his/her tube at all times. If he/she falls or gets dumped out, he/she must attempt to get into the tube immediately. No movement in the pool or touching the ball is allowed if a player is not sitting in his/her tube.
  • Anyone inside the goalie's area is considered a goalie, and that player may not throw the ball more than half the distance of the pool.
  • The goalie may not leave his/her inner tube to perform his/her task (i.e. he must stay in the tube to block a shot). Penalty will be loss of ball.
  • Players may not splash other players. Penalty will be loss of ball.
  • Offensive players are not allowed in opponent's goalie area. If a free ball lands in the goalie's area, the goalie has five seconds to gain control of the ball and have it touch another player's hand out of the area.
  • A player may defend him/herself while controlling the ball, but an offensive or defensive player may not use excessive force while doing his/her duties.
  • A player may not pass the ball to him/herself.
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