Inner Tube Water Polo

Participants should participate with the understanding that injuries do occur & realize that taking part in the Intramural Program is completely voluntary. Therefore, Northern Michigan University is not responsible for injuries happening during play.




Students must purchase a student recreation pass to be eligible to participate.  You must show the Intramural staff your I.D. in order to participate.  Faculty/Staff and Community Recreation members must purchase a recreation membership in order to participate in I.M.’s.  Community members must be 16 years of age. Students who are found to be participating without a current rec pass will be automatically charged the semester rate of $70.00 to their student account.



The Intramural Manager’s Meeting will be done on-line.  An e-mail, which is in place of the manager’s meeting, will be sent to the manager the morning following the deadline.  It will be the manager’s responsibility to read the email and relay the information to the remainder of the team.



Your team schedule will be sent to the team manager the Friday after the deadline date.  Play could begin as early as the following Monday.  It is the responsibility of each of the team managers to check their e-mail on a regular basis for team schedules and updates.  The intramural office will not call team managers to notify them of their team’s first game.  It is the responsibility of the team manager to inform their team of the game dates and times. 



Teams are expected to begin play on time.  A team has 10 minutes to arrive after the clock begins.  One point will be added to the other team’s score for every two minutes late until the 10 minutes are up.  If the team is more than 10 minutes late, a forfeit will be declared, and a $25.00 fee will be charged to the team manager’s student account.  Teams who forfeit during the course of the regular season may not be eligible for tournament play.  Teams who forfeit twice will be dropped from further competition and charged a total of $50.00. You may call the Intramural Office at 227-1692 at least 48 hours prior to your game time in order to avoid the forfeit fee.  Make sure to leave your team name, game time, and league.




  • All protests must be filed by the team manager at the time the question occurs.

  • Protests concerning rule interpretations will be settled at the game site by the officials, or the sport supervisor.

  • If a team manager believes the decisions rendered to be in error, he/she must notify the officials and supervisors that the contest will continue under protest.

  • A written protest and a $5.00 protest fee must be submitted to the Intramural Sports Coordinator by noon the following day.  The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.

  • A matter involving the official’s judgment is not subject to protest.

  • A protest concerning a player’s eligibility can be made before, during, or after a contest.


1.      If an eligibility question is before or during a contest, the player and team captain will be notified and given the choice of whether or not the player will play.

2.      If the player chooses to play and is found ineligible, the contest will be forfeited and that player suspended from further participation for that sport’s season.

3.      If the player leaves the contest and is found to be ineligible, the contest may be subject to review by the Intramural Sports Coordinator.

4.      A protest regarding the eligibility of players must be made before either team plays its next scheduled game.

5.      Eligibility questions after contest will be investigated by the Intramural Sports Program.  Participants found ineligible will be penalized accordingly.



Varsity athletes may participate in those Intramural sports which are not sports that they represent at N.M.U.  However, no more than one-half the number of players allowed on the court or field at one time shall be varsity athletes.  For water polo, six (6) players participate at one time, so only three (3) varsity athletes may be in the pool at any one time from each team. 



  1. Innertubes will be supplied by the Intramural Sports Program.
  2. The 2 yard line (goal area) and 4 yard line (penalty area) will be clearly marked, measured from the wall.
  3. All players must sit in tube with both legs hanging over the tube.




Note: There will be a lifeguard on duty at all times.



Six (6) players shall make up a full team, five (5) offensive players and a goalie. 

A game may start with a minimum of four (4) players

One of these six players will be designated as the team captain.  The team captain will speak for the team in all dealings with the officials. 



  1. Substitutions may enter the game only after a whistle and there is a stoppage in play.
  2. Each team is allowed one (1) one-minute time-out per game.
  3. Time-outs may only be called by the team in possession of the ball.
  4. Two (2) fifteen (15) minute halves shall constitute a game.



  1. At the start of each half, each team lines up at the opposite ends of the pool, with hands and feet touching the wall.  Three players must be on one side of the goal and two on the opposite side, and the goalkeeper must be in the goal area.  If a team violates this rule, the referee will throw the ball to the opposite team.
  2. When the whistle is blown, the clock starts and the players may push off the wall.
    NOTE: This is the only time players may push off the wall.
  3. The referee will drop the ball in the middle of the pool.



  1. To score a goal, the following conditions must be met:
    1. The ball must completely enter the goal before a goal is scored.  A ball part way in the goal is NOT a goal.
    2. If a player scoring a goal falls out of the tube due to the motion of the shot, the goal will be disallowed.  However, if a defensive player tips the offensive shooter out of their tube, the goal will count.  No personal foul will be called in this situation.
    3. Goals will count as one (1) point.
    4. All shots must come from outside of the two yard line. 
  2. After a goal, the ball is put in play by the goalie just scored upon after a whistle by the official.
  3. Goals scored by females will count as two (2) points.
  4. Goals can be scored by throwing the ball with one hand or two hands.
  5. Mercy Rule: If in the last two minutes of the second half, a team is winning by 8 or more goals, the game shall end. 



  1. No player may leave his/her innertube and touch or maneuver the ball.  The only thing you can do when you are not in your tube is get back in it. 
  2. No offensive player is allowed within the goal area. (Two yards from the end of pool).
  4. Tipping is only allowed when being done to the person in possession of the ball.
  5. The goalkeeper, while within the penalty area may not throw the ball more than half the distance of the pool.
  6. The referee has the discretion to not stop play for a foul, if to do so would be to the advantage of the fouling team.



  1. After any stoppage in play, the ball will be put back in play by one of the following:
    1. Indirect free throw (IDFT) – Player has 3 seconds to put the ball in play.  Opponents must give the person taking the throw one yard of space and may not guard or interfere with the player until the ball is in play.  An offensive player must touch the ball before a goal is scored.
    2. Direct free throw (DFT) – same as above but no other offensive player must touch the ball before a goal is scored.
    3. Corner throw (CT) – Awarded when the defensive team puts the ball over the end line.  A corner throw is taken from between the two yard line and sideline corner by the offensive team. 
    4. Face off (FO) – A face off will occur when double fouls occur or if play is stopped and neither team was in possession of the ball.  Two players must face each other two yards apart.  No other player may be within two yards.  The ball must hit the water before the players may touch it.  The referee will award a free throw to the non-offending player, should a player touch the ball before it hits the water. 
    5. Goalie Throw (GT)






  1. INFRACTIONS – will be restarted by IDFT, CT or GT.
    1. A ball thrown out of bounds will be awarded to the team who did not last touch the ball.  If out over the sideline an IDFT will be awarded.  If the ball goes out over the end line, a CT will be attempted if the defense last touched the ball and a GT if the offense last touched it.
    2. The defense may not grab the goal; CT for the offense.
    3. Holding the ball underwater; IDFT at spot of infraction to defense.
    4. Touching, holding, maneuvering the ball, or obstructing an opposing player while out of the tube; IDFT at spot of infraction.
    5. Stalling – A player who is closely guarded, within 2 yards, must pass the ball within five seconds or attempt to advance the ball towards the opponents goal; IDFT at spot of infraction.
    6. Offensive player within the two yard goal area.  Any part of the tube may not cross into the two yard zone in front of the goal which extends the entire width of the pool.  Players may not reach across the two yard line to play the ball.  A GT will be awarded.
    7. Using the wall to gain an advantage other than at game start (i.e. pushing off wall); IDFT
    8. Kicking the ball.  You may only kick the ball if no other player is around the ball (at least two yards); IDFT
  2. PERSONAL FOULS – will be restarted by a DFT
    1. Holding, pushing, hitting, jumping or tackling, or dumping an opponent without possession of the ball.
    2. To push off from or impede the movement of an opponent.
    3. Striking the ball with a closed fist.
    4. To deliberately splash water in the face of an opponent.
    5. Goalie grabbing the pool wall or goal standard while attempting to block a goal attempt.  (DFT outside 2yd. line)
    6. Player persistently repeating an infraction, after the official has given warning.
    7. Interfering with a person taking an IDFT.
      NOTE: DFT’s may be taken from the most advantageous spot: either the spot of the foul or the location of the ball at the time of the foul.
      NOTE: When a team receives six (6) Personal Fouls, a penalty shot is awarded.
  3. MAJOR FOULS – Player will be disqualified from game, penalty throw
    1. A flagrant foul is committed.  This is a foul which endangers an opponent.
    2. Disobedience or dissension to the official.
    3. Unsportsmanlike conduct.



  1. A penalty shot will be taken four yards from the front of the goal.  Any player at the time of the penalty may shoot.  All other players must be behind, and three yards away from the shooter.  If the shot is blocked, the ball is dead and becomes a GT.
  2. Penalty shot will be awarded when:
    1. A major foul is committed.
    2. A defensive player other than the goalkeeper blocks a shot within the two yard line.
    3. A team commits a set of six personal fouls.
    4. There is a foul committed in the penalty area which in the opinion of the referee prohibits a clear-cut chance of scoring. (i.e. breakaway)
  3. The referee will say “ball up”, the shooter must pick up the ball.  Afterwards, the referee will blow his whistle.  The players must immediately shoot in a continuous motion, no hesitation or faking is permitted.



  1. The goalie must pass the ball after 8 seconds.
  2. A goalkeeper may not handle the ball out of the tube.  If the ball is traveling towards the goal, and a goalkeeper handles it while out of the tube, a goal is awarded.
    NOTE: If the goalkeeper blocks a shot, and falls out of the tube after the block, no goal is scored.
  3. The goalkeeper, while within the penalty area may not throw or skip the ball across the center line.  NOTE: If the ball floats or is floating across the center line, no violation is considered to have occurred.



During the regular season, if the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5-minute sudden death overtime will be played (first team to score wins).  If no team scores during the sudden death period, the game will be recorded as a tie game.  (In the playoffs, three minute periods will be played until a team scores).  There will be no time-outs during overtime.



ABSOLUTELY NO DRINKING is allowed before playing in Intramural Sports Activities!  If an official, for any reason, suspects that a player has been drinking prior to playing, that player will not be allowed to participate in the game.  If anyone is found using tobacco products or drinking he/she will be asked to leave the building and will be indefinitely suspended pending a meeting with the Intramural Sports Coordinator.