MENU

Competition

Who makes the rules for the CWPA?
The CWPA is governed by a legislative process in which every member institution has a vote. This means that the membership itself determines the policies and rules by which it is governed. To enforce the policies, the membership elects a Board of Directors that serve two-year terms.

What is the difference between club and varsity water polo?
People normally ask what the primary differences are between varsity and club play. That is difficult to answer briefly because the individual teams that comprise each group are themselves very diverse in every category, from funding to ability. However, as a general rule, the following differences apply to each category. Varsity teams are organized and supervised by their athletic departments, have paid coaches, and follow the NCAA rules and regulations affecting eligibility. In addition, the competitive level of varsity competition is generally higher than that of the club level. The collegiate club teams on the other hand are normally student-run. Some teams do have coaches and some of these coaches are paid, although none are full-time. They are not required to meet NCAA eligibility requirements, they do not offer scholarships, and the programs are supervised by their sport club or intramural offices. The level of play within the top collegiate clubs is sometimes stronger than the lower level of varsity programs, but as a general rule it is less intense than the varsity competition. The main difference student-athletes will recognize stems from the funding. While varsity teams are typically well funded, meaning the students do not pay to travel, the majority of the club teams must raise funds to meet their financial obligations. Fortunately, the newly organized conference structures are offering these institutions a more credible outlet and consequently the funding with many collegiate club teams has increased dramatically.

Who is eligible to compete?
Men’s and women’s sport clubs may allow full-time graduate students to play. Students must be full-time at the institution for which they are competing. Only the New York Men’s Division permit full-time staff and professors to participate as athletes. However, these individuals may not compete in the division championship. Varsity teams must comply with the eligibility rules of the NCAA.

What happens if my team cannot make a tournament?
All teams must sign a Participation Contract before the season begins in order to be eligible to compete. The contract clearly states that any team joining the conference must attend every tournament, even if it means attending with a partial squad, borrowing players form other teams, and forfeiting all games. Failure to attend will result in a no contest, which requires immediate suspension of the team for the remainder of the season and the following year, in addition to payment of all league fees.

How is the schedule determined?
Each division determines how many games they want to play and on what dates, during an annual conference call. Unless otherwise determined by the teams involved, sites are selected using a rotation schedule in which every team has a turn to host.

Under what circumstances might the schedule change?
Once the schedule is printed, it will only change if one of three circumstances occurs:
1. The facility hours change.
2. A team withdraws, or is suspended.
3. An extraordinary unforeseen circumstance requires a team to request a change. These circumstances do not include preferences about opponents or game times.

As a coach, am I able to request a specific schedule?
No. Teams may only request that they play at a specific time based on travel constraints and geographic distance from the tournament site. Requests need to be made to the office well in advance of the release of the schedule.

How are problems resolved between coaches, referees, and athletes?
The CWPA annually elects a Board of Review comprised of one men’s coach, one women’s coach, an athletic administrator, and the Technical Director. The Commissioner and Director of Officials serve as non-voting members. Any problem that is not addressed by standing policies or the current playing rules is handled by the Board of Review. The Board will make a determination regarding the problem and when necessary, refer the issue to the Board of Directors.

Where can I find contact information for a team?
Click on the membership section of our website for complete contact information for every CWPA team.

Are parents and fans permitted to stay at the league hotel for a discount?
The choice of hotels is up to the individual, but the CWPA wants our parents and fans to have the same opportunities to locate housing for a discounted rate at competitive sites throughout the country. We invite you to take advantage of this great offer by making reservations within the same room blocks available to our teams. To make reservations, simply click on the Fans link and then Hotels Reservation to learn which hotels have been booked for the weekend.

Whom should I call if problems arise?
Every effort should be made to contact the Commissioner or the Director of Officials. The 24 hour line for the Director of Officials is 610-662-6464.

How do I file a protest?
The coach wishing to protest the game must make a written statement within 15 minutes of the close of the game, outlining the problem. Protests can only pertain to a misapplication of the rules or errors in recording information. They may not refer to judgments made by the officials. Once signed, the head referee will immediately convene the tournament committee which is comprised of the head referee (chair), the two referees on the game (unless involved in the protest), the two coaches involved in the next game, and the tournament host. One additional non-working official can serve as a replacement for a referee that needs to be disqualified. In addition, the head referee may use his discretion in replacing other members of the tournament committee that are either not available, or disqualified due to the protest. The decision made by the committee is final for the purpose of the tournament. The NCAA rule book also specifies the procedure.

How do I handle a protest filed?
Contact the Head Referee immediately. He will assume responsibility for handling the protest.

Who has the final say during a tournament?
In the absence of the Commissioner or Director of Officials, the Tournament Committee has the final say. Every effort should be made to contact one of these individuals. The 24 hour line for the Director of Officials is 610-662-6464. The tournament Committee is comprised of the head referee (chair), the two referees on the game (unless involved in the protest), the two coaches involved in the next game, and the tournament host. One additional non-working official can serve as a replacement for a referee that needs to be disqualified. In addition, the head referee may use his discretion in replacing other members of the tournament committee that are either not available, or disqualified due to a conflict of interest.

What do I do with the official game scoresheets?
At the conclusion of each game, the opposing coaches receive the yellow and pink copies. The white copies should be saved and mailed back to the CWPA office at the conclusion of the tournament. Hosts should also email scores for each tournament game to office@collegiatewaterpolo.org.

How are referees assigned?
Officials are sent an availability form before the season, listing all of the dates and sites. They are asked to return the form listing where and when they would like to work, prioritizing their selections. The Director of Officials, in consultation with the Commissioner and Technical Director, assigns the officials based on ability and preference. The CWPA endeavors to give every official their first or second choice each weekend.

Collegiate Water Polo Association