NCAA Rules Subcommittee Toughens Consequences for Rough Play
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The NCAA Men's and Women's Water Polo Rules Subcommittee wants to increase the length of suspension for participating in a fight from one to two games, a rule already in place in many water polo conferences.
The recommendation, which must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel before being implemented, was among several the subcommittee made at its meeting last month in Indianapolis regarding player behavior.
If the recommendation regarding fighting is adopted, violators would have to sit out two games for the first offense, three for a second offense and the remainder of the season for a third. Conferences would be able to review the second and third offenses.
"The increased penalties are part of a two-year program designed to improve sportsmanship and are in line with a national priority to improve sportsmanship across all sports," said subcommittee chair John Vargas, head men's water polo coach at Stanford.
Many water polo conferences already strengthened their misconduct and brutality penalties, and the subcommittee recommendations would be a national codification of those new rules.
Other changes regarding player conduct include:
- Move the foul of "to play in a violent manner" from misconduct to flagrant misconduct. "Violent play" is defined as hitting, kicking or striking with malicious intent and is more likely to cause injury than overaggressive fouling.
- Retain the automatic one-game suspension for the first incident of brutality, with an automatic two-game suspension for a second incident, and suspension for the remainder of the season for a third (with conference review).
- Require referees to verify after a game that all incidents of misconduct, flagrant misconduct, fighting and red cards have been recorded on the score sheet, and that the appropriate coaches were informed of the occurrence of the fouls. The change ensures that reportable offenses are recorded on the score sheet and provide a way to track follow-up penalties if necessary.
- Make minor acts of misconduct during the interval time (such as shoving a player after a goal is scored) punishable by a game exclusion after an initial warning to the field and a 20-second exclusion. This would distinguish between a minor act of misconduct committed during play and one committed during interval time and increases the penalty if the foul is committed during interval time.
In addition to the changes intended to modify the players' behavior, the subcommittee also wants referees to register and take and pass the NCAA referee test annually to officiate NCAA games. The subcommittee believes the change helps ensure that all referees know the latest rules, points of emphasis, instructions to referees and interpretations. The referee test currently is required to qualify to receive a championship assignment.
Other changes the subcommittee recommended include:
- Eliminate the ordinary foul of wasting time, no longer requiring the team on offense to advance the ball toward the offensive end of the pool. If a team relinquishes possession by dumping the ball before the expiration of the shot clock, the referee blows the whistle, turns the ball over and the shot clock is reset.
- Change an attempt to block either a pass or shot with two hands outside the 5-meter area to an exclusion foul.
- Eliminate the concept of a special penalty for fouls committed during "dead time." The terms "dead time" and "live time" are replaced with "during play."
- Require that if simultaneous exclusion fouls are committed by players from opposing teams during play, the team that had possession shall put the ball into play at the point of the foul or behind.
For more information, including recommended editorial changes, points of emphasis and instruction to referees, visit www.ncaa.org/sports/waterpolo/rulesandofficiating.
Release courtesy NCAA