Referee Policies

Please note, the CWPA Technical Committee is responsible for reviewing any disciplinary issues involving officials ranging from misapplication of a rule to professionalism and code of conduct violations. If necessary, issues involving officials can be reviewed further by the appropriate Governing Council or Board of Directors.

CWPA Officials Receive

  • Per Diem
  • Game Fees
  • Hotel Reimbursement
  • Air Fare Stipend
  • Car Rental Reimbursement
  • Mileage Reimbursement (certain conditions apply)
  • Free Access to Online Webinars
  • Free Access to all Clinics
  • Referee Package Including:
    • Referee Shirt
    • Media Guide
    • Red/Yellow Cards
    • NCAA Rules Book
    • Laminated score sheet
    • Whistle
    • Liability Insurance


The Coordinator of Officials and members of the Technical Committee handle assigning referees for the CWPA, with financial review from the Commissioner. Locations preferred, along with availability and experience are all factors used in the process. Referees cannot be guaranteed they will be scheduled for every weekend requested. Post season assignments will be based on ability as determined by rankings and the judgment of the Technical Committee. Step 1 – Check all locations you would be willing to work.* Step 2 – Prioritize your choices. If one weekend contains several possibilities, indicate your preferences in order, with “1” being your first choice. For example:

Date Event School & Site Availability
5-7 Southern Varsity Regional Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 1
5-7 Heartland Club Regional St. John’s Univesity, Collegeville, MN 4
5-7 Northwest Club Regional Osborn Aquatic Center, Corvalis, OR 3
5-7 Southwest Club Regional University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 2

Step 3 – List the maximum number of weekends you are willing to work. Step 4 – Determine if you want to serve on-call. The On-Call Referee will be contacted in the event someone cancels. Individuals must remain available up to 24 hours prior to the start of their assigned weekend. All travel costs are covered. Step 5 – Officials wishing to be eligible for the NCAA Championship should watch the NCAA Referee School online.  The school typically occurs in August.  Additional information on NCAA Officiating is available by CLICKING HERE.


The CWPA Official’s Code of Conduct is largely based on the tenets of the National Association of Sports Officials, with appropriate modifications when necessary to conform to the sport of water polo and the requirements of the CWPA.
  • 1. Officials shall be free from any obligation other than the fair and impartial judging of the water polo contest. Anything which may lead to a conflict of interest, either real or apparent, must be avoided. Gifts, favors, special treatment, privileges, employment or a personal relationship with a school or team which can compromise the perceived impartiality of officiating must be avoided.
  • 2. Officials shall master both the rules of the game and mechanics necessary to enforce the rules, and shall exercise authority in an impartial, firm, and controlled manner. Referees may clarify calls, not lecture individuals regarding behavior.
  • 3. Officials shall be professional in their demeanor and serve as ambassadors for the conference. This includes showing appropriate respect to student-athletes, coaches, spectators, and host staff at all times, abiding by their rules and regulations while on site.
  • 4. Officials will set an example for participants in their behavior. The use of profanity and the consumption of alcoholic beverages or use of tobacco products is prohibited at all CWPA events.
  • 5. Officials shall work with each other and the CWPA in a constructive and cooperative manner. Public criticism of the CWPA, other officials, member institutions, or individuals involved with a member institution, is strictly prohibited.
  • 6. The CWPA Mission is to enhance and enrich the student-athlete experience. Officials should endeavor to meet this mission, without prejudice towards the ability or gender of the student-athletes involved.
  • 7. Officials shall never participate in any form of illegal gambling, or gambling on any sporting event in which they have either a direct or indirect involvement.
  • 8. All Individuals associated with the CWPA, including coaches, athletes, and officials, shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with protecting the integrity of the CWPA. Any person involved in activity, unlawful or otherwise, which in the discretion of the Commissioner is deemed to bring disrespect or otherwise adversely affect the integrity and reputation of the CWPA or the member teams may suffer disciplinary action, suspension, or expulsion from the organization.
  • 9. Any person officially charged with a crime will be removed from direct involvement with the CWPA until such time the matter is resolved, at which point the Commissioner in consultation with the Board of Directors may determine a course of action. Note: Any discipline issues involving officials will be dealt with by the Technical Committee and if necessary, the appropriate Governing Council or Board of Directors.




  • Referees are required to attend one Head Referee Clinic every calendar year.
  • Clinics are held at the start of both the men’s fall and women’s spring water polo seasons.

Duties Prior

  • Assign games and ensure each referee knows their schedule
  • Contact other officials to obtain their travel plans
  • Submit hotel reservation request form at least three weeks prior
  • Make travel arrangements (including car rental)

Responsibilities During the Tournament

  • Supervise the tournament and chair any protest committee
  • Record any incidents that occur including all info from the parties involved
  • Immediately contact the Director of Officials regarding the following:

– Brutalities
– Disrespect by players and coaches
– Unprofessional conduct exhibited by officials
– Violations of the CWPA Code of Conduct
– Protests filed
– Circumstances requiring any schedule changes
– Forfeits and “no-contests”

Responsibilites After the Tournament


As participation in online social networks may affect personal, social and professional areas, a referee should always protect his/her professional status.

Shared opinions on any social media profile are personal and do not in any way reflect those of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  An official expressing his/her point of view about any subject, should never forget that his/her job consists of applying the rules and no one has the right to think that decisions are influenced by something different than pure judgment

The CWPA strongly recommends officials do not post information and/or comments about teams, institutions, leagues (both collegiate and professional), fellow officials, institution and league staff, or any other potential institution with political implications, thus avoiding any suspicion of biased judgment.

Officials should not post regarding competition on social media while officiating any assignment.

Inappropriate communications will not be tolerated and the league reserves the right to suspend or sanction any official for conduct deemed in violation of this policy.

It has to be considered that the life of a referee is not private any more, the protection of privacy and confidentiality can impact the job as a referee. The transmission of information via Internet is not completely secure and any transmission of data has a risk, risk of impersonation, risk to have copied material out of restricted pages and to be used it outside of refereeing world. This cannot be underestimated.

Collegiate Water Polo Association