Referee Policies

Revised 30 December 2020

USAWP Southwest Zone Referee Fee and Reimbursement Policy Purpose and General Policy:

This document describes the fee and reimbursement structure defaults for events in the USA Water Polo Southwest Zone. All fees, charges, and obligations described within are the responsibility of the event host. The goal is to provide guidance and policy for event planners and referees, yet allow for flexibility to address changes and unique needs. Any desired changes should be worked through in advance between the head referee and the tournament host. NOTE – there is a special section on part time Referees.

Failure to adhere or resolve to mutual satisfaction, any of these guidelines, may result in actions by the SW Zone that will impact the host’s future event viability.

Payment Schedule:

Assignor will provide a report to the host within 7 days of completion of the event. Host must send payment within 7 days of report acceptance. SW Zone head referees will initiate payment thereafter.


Assignor – The Zone Head Referee or his/her designee that recruits and assigns referees to game slots of a contest.
Event – A USA Water Polo (USAWP) sanctioned games or tournament consisting of multiple games.
Head Referee – The designated on-site referee that handles issues that arise during the event, such as protests, illness or injury to referees and rescheduling of referees due to conflicts or unexpected absence.
Local Referee – Referees that live within 50 miles one-way driving distance of the event’s main pool.
Non-local Referee – Referees that live further than 50 miles one-way driving distance of the event’s main pool.
Part-time Referee – Referee-registered (example – players or coaches) who choose to referee on a less than full time basis at an event in addition to their playing or coaching duties.

Per Game Fees:

Referee fees are paid by game in accordance with the referee’s rating with USAWP per Table 1. There are NO conditions that require higher or lower fees.

Table 1

Level 1 $22.50
Level 2 $27.50
Level 3 $32.50
Level 4 $39.50
Level 5 $46.00

Game Fee Payment Obligations:

If a referee is assigned to and arrives to work a game, then the referee is to be paid for that game, this includes forfeits. Exceptions: In the event of a cancellation where teams are refunded some portion of their entry fee, then assignments for the cancelled games are not paid..

Assignor Fees:

The Assignor of an event will be paid a fee of $1 per referee assigned to each game scheduled. The Assignor will recruit and assign referees for event games. The Assignor will designate the Head Referee based on available staff if the Assignor is not the Head Referee. The Assignor will be responsible for contacting assigned referees should changes arise. The Assignor will also prepare a referee fee breakdown for payment for the event host.

Referee Development Fees:

$1 per referee assigned to a game is put into a referee controlled account under the control of the National head referee. The fees are to be used for referee development and Arbiter event fees.

Head Referee Fees:

A head referee will be assigned to each site. Each Head Referee for an event is to be paid $25 for a single day event. Head Referees will be paid a flat fee of $50 total for multiple day events.

Reimbursements – Mileage:

Referees who drive their own cars to an event will receive a reimbursement is $0.35 a mile with the following conditions:

  1. The base distance paid is the distance from the referee’s home to the main pool;
    Additional reimbursement for the distances travelled between pools, where applicable, for games assigned to the referee;
  2. ​The maximum amount of reimbursement a referee may receive for mileage reimbursement for driving their personally owned vehicle is $100.
  3. Parking Fees:
    If incurred will be reimbursed when receipts are provided.

Referee Lodging:

Hosts will make arrangements for lodging and prepay hotel fees for non-local referees that require a hotel room.The following conditions will apply to the provision of referee lodging:

A room will have at a minimum two double beds.

Referees will be required to share hotel rooms in pairs, except when special circumstances dictate otherwise (odd numbers of referees requiring hotel rooms, gender split, etc.).
Only referees can stay in the rooms provided.

  • Rooms are only provided for referees who work games starting prior to 12pm on the initial date of referee’s assignment or if the referee is assigned to games where the event starts with evening games.
  • Incidental costs incurred by the referee at the hotel (e.g. room service, damage, etc.) will reduce referee payment in an equal amount.
  • Hosts must ensure that hotels provide free breakfast in time for the referees first game.

Referee Meals/Per Diem:

Hosts will fund meals for referees. The meals may either be provided for by the host OR paid for in the form of a per diem at $25.00 / day. Regardless of the choice of the host, the host will provide drinking water for on deck referees.

If Host opts to provide Meals:

If the referee’s game is scheduled before 8am Breakfast must be provided. If games are scheduled over lunch time Lunch must be provided. Referees scheduled after 6pm Dinner must be provided.

Reimbursements – Airfare and Auto Rental

A tournament host may elect to fund air travel for a non-local referee. The amount is to be agreed upon between the host and the air traveling referee in advance.

A tournament host may elect to fund auto rental for a non-local referee. No mileage reimbursement will be paid if a rental vehicle is obtained. The range of expenses to be covered are:

  1. Auto rental fee;
  2. Fuel expenses;
  3. Parking Fees (if receipts provided).

Special Note – Part-time Referees (e.g. player/coach):

Except for game fees, in order to qualify for any of the reimbursements discussed in this document, part-time referees must be scheduled for at least 4 games for that day (with the exception for an evening start day). Referees who also play or coach will not receive any reimbursements. Local referees that do not play or coach, but who only work part of a tournament day are entitled to mileage reimbursement and meals provided by the host, in addition to game fees.


1. Referee Reimbursement Policy (updated 1/3/2018)