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Water polo subcommittee recommends tweak to penalty structure

If approved, minor acts of misconduct could be called at any time

Water polo officials may soon get more flexibility to address player conduct.

During its meeting last week in Indianapolis, the Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Rules Subcommittee recommended a small rules change, which will allow officials to call 20-second exclusion penalties for minor acts of misconduct at any time, including while play is halted. If passed, the rule would go into effect for the 2015-16 academic year.

All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss the water polo recommendations March 5.

Officials are now prohibited from calling a 20-second exclusion foul for a minor act of misconduct during the interval time, which is when a lot of the acts occur. This change would allow officials complete control of the game during play and interval time. 

The subcommittee also recommended that new language be added to the rules book concerning the lighting of pools. If approved, all pools would be uniformly and adequately lighted.

Members of the subcommittee were concerned about matches being played in conditions where the lighting wasn’t suitable. Adequate lighting is at the core of the game’s integrity because it allows officials to accurately identify players and enforce rules appropriately.