Southern Pacific Zone
   of USA Water Polo 

Changes Taking Place Immediately

19 Jan 2014 7:25 PM | Anonymous

At the recent Zone Chair Leadership Conference that concluded today, several new programs and initiatives were presented and we wanted to let you know about some of the changes, which take effect immediately.

Concussions and injuries experienced in our sanctioned events along with brutalities and misconduct penalties are on the rise.  USAWP takes this very seriously and is taking positive steps to combat this trend.  These steps will take cooperation of our athletes, coaches and referees.


It has been the policy of the Sopac Zone that a USAWP verified roster is required at all sanctioned events. Admittedly, enforcement of this has been lax and many events do not follow this requirement.  There have been several events where documenting who actually received a brutality or red card was not clear. Effective immediately, all sanctioned events will require a USAWP Verified Roster be submitted to the table before the contest and Membership ID cards will be checked to verify that the players playing are those on the roster.  This is a USAWP Requirement. The referees assigned to the game have the responsibility to verify the roster and membership cards though this process will take the cooperation of the clubs, hosts and our referees.  If a club does not have a verified roster, the game cannot begin and could result in a forfeit.  If an athlete or coach does not have their photo Membership ID Card, they cannot participate and their cap will be taken and must remain at the table. If a player or athlete can obtain their membership ID Card, they can present it to the referee when the referee is available such as at a break in play or between quarters. As those who have attended JO’s know, this is the process that has been in effect for JO’s and JO Quals.  We encourage teams to have copies of all of their player’s photo ID cards with the coach. Also, the USAWP Verified Roster program is being revised so that you can click on a button during the process and when the roster is printed, copies of the respective photo ID cards will also print, several to a page. 

We encourage our hosts to allow enough time in their schedule to accommodate this process.  Typically the referees will conduct this review during half time of the game before the contest in question.  Coaches should have their team ready, lined up in cap order and the ID Cards and roster ready for presentation.


USAWP will now be tracking athletes and coaches who get red cards and/or brutalities during sanctioned events.  Such a penalty will result in one point.  The following penalty scheme is now in effect:

  •    2 points in a 90 day period:  Automatic 14 day suspension and the member must participate in an on line Positive Coaching Alliance session;
  •     3 points in a 6-month period:  Automatic 90 day suspension.

We hope this penalty scheme will impress upon our members the importance of the need for safety and reduce the number of overall brutalities, red cards and injuries.


There are other changes and information, which will be upcoming including explanation of the new FINA Rules and how they will be applied in the USA, additional USA rules which may apply to the younger ages and the adoption of the “Safe Sport” program developed by the US Olympic Committee, which our coaches will be completing.


In addition, we are working on a Clinic for our coaches, referees and members on the new FINA Rules, which are in effect, and how they will be implemented. This clinic will be held on February 13 before the upcoming Winterfest and Kap7 tournaments.

As we obtain this information, we will present it to our members.  If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Mark Cousineau

Sopac Zone Chair

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