USAWP Rules Modifications for 12&Under and 10&Under


Most of you are aware that rule modifications for the 10 & Under and 12 & Under age groups were adopted in January at the USAWP Annual Assembly. Many of you have been successfully coaching and playing with this new subset of rules and the transition to these minor changes seems to be going smoothly. These rules are currently in effect and will be used for the 2015 National Junior Olympics and all NJO Qualifying Tournaments. Below is more information as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help clarify the rules for athletes, coaches and parents. You can also find these FAQs on the USA Water Polo Website at: 10U and 12U Rules FAQs

USA Water Polo
FAQs – 10u & 12u Age Division Rule Modifications
New Rules:
1. No direct shot after foul outside of 5 meters.
2. Teams must play a press defense in their own defensive half of the field of play.
3. On an exclusion foul there is no specific time a player has to serve in the exclusion area. Athlete swims to re-entry area and returns to field of play immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 – Where do I find information on these new rules?
Information regarding all USAWP playing rules can be found online on the USA Water Polo Website under resources/rules & ethics.
A summary of the 10U and 12U rule modifications can be found online as well.
2 – Can athletes still “crash” or “drop” and help with two-meter defense?
Once the ball is the air, athletes are free to “crash” “drop” or play help defense on any athlete in the pool. Once the ball is in clear offensive possession, athletes must press players within the 9-meter cone.
3 – Can athletes Foul and Drop?
Athletes can use the “Foul and Drop” defensive tactic but must re-press their player once the ball is put in play.
4 – If two athletes on the perimeter are in close proximity, can the defensive player guarding the player without the ball attempt to steal the ball from near by offensive player?
If athletes are within one stroke or movement to the ball they may attempt to help and steal the ball. Athletes are expected to play press defensive. If defense swims away from athlete they are guarding to steal the ball, press defense is broken and foul will be called.
5 – What happens if a coach calls a Timeout after their team earns an exclusion?
Both teams return to play following the timeout at even-strength.
6 – What about Double Exclusions? What happens then?
Both excluded players swim immediately to the re-entry area prior to returning to the field of play.
7 – When will the new goal size for 12 and under competitions be mandatory?
The new goal size, currently being used for all USAWP 10U competition, is 2 meters by .75 meters will be required for 12U competition beginning January 1st, 2017.
USAWP is currently working with manufacturers to provide an excellent product at a fair price.
8 – When will USA Water Polo begin using new 12&U goal for competitions?
USAWP will begin using the smaller goal for National Championships in fall 2015 at The 12& Under Rocktober Classic. Junior Olympics in 2016 will also use the new goal size for the 12&U division
9 – What happens when an athlete leaves their defensive position to go to offense early? AKA: “Cherry-Picking”
All athletes on offense inside of the 9-meter cone must be pressed by the defense. If the defensive leaves early to “cherry-pick” they are no longer pressing and should be excluded by the official.
10 – Will athletes be punished for being lost or out of position on defense?
The referee’s are being instructed to be more involved as teachers of the game. For first offense of a rule during a game, the referee will do his/her best to remove the ball from the field of play and explain the rule. This is a considered a warning for both teams. If an athlete is confused, lost or tired during the course of a game and is not pressing while on defense, the referee will encourage the athlete to get into proper positioning. The spirit of the defensive rule is to take away deliberate zone defense and double- teaming away from the ball.