Innertube Water Polo

Download the full rules here: OSSC_Innertube_Water_Polo_Rules.pdf

Sport & Social Club General Rules

Score & Spirit Point Reporting

  • Game Scores (account for 75% of total points): Team captains are responsible for reporting the scores after your game by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘My Team’ tab and selecting ‘Report Score/Spirit Points’.  Teams have a 48 hour window to report scores after the completion of the game.  Please be timely with your score reporting so league standings can remain updated for playoff positioning.
  • Spirit Points (account for 25% of total points): Spirit points are awarded to a team from their opponent after each game to encourage sportsmanship, honesty, integrity and fair play.  For more information and how to properly award spirit points, please see our section ‘All About Spirit Points’.


  • Players can view league standings & schedules by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘Standings/Schedule’.

Player Eligibility

  • All players must be added to the team roster by the team captain.  This process confirms that all players have electronically agreed (checked the box) to our policies and online waiver.
  • Substitute players are allowed, however they must be added to the roster (check the online waiver).  Adding a substitute player from another team in the same league is allowed, however, regular/consistent use of a substitute player in the same league is considered unsportsmanlike and not encouraged.
  • Players must play a minimum of two regular season games in a 6-10 week season, or three regular season games in an 11-14 week season to be eligible to play in a playoff game.  Players can only play for one team per league/pool in playoff games.


  • A default will occur if a team cannot field a squad by 15 minutes after the official start time.  If a team does not meet the standard eligibility requirements, team captains must confirm the outcome prior to starting the game.  Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players.  IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS!  In the event there is a default dispute and the game was played, the SSC ruling is that the game counts.
  • In the event of a missed game due to inclement weather, games will not be rescheduled. To view our foul weather policy click here.

Rough Play & Player Conduct

  • It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable – however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating unsafe play.
  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct may result in immediate expulsion from the league.  This includes, physical or rough play, verbal abuse, damage to facility property and/or loss of facility permit.  Fighting will result in immediate expulsion from the league.  To view our Unsportsmanlike Conduct policy click here. 
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages, use of drugs and smoking at your game site before, during, or after your game is strictly prohibited.  Offenders will be asked to leave the league without refund. No Exceptions. 

Game Coordinator (GC) On-site SSC Staff

  • A GC presence is dependent on sport, season, and/or facility locations.  They are not referees, as all games are self-officiated.  They are on-site to be a neutral supporter of both teams, clarify rules, manage equipment, start/stop games, and to inform players of league news.
  • Game Coordinators may stop a game before the full time has expired due to overly aggressive play, persistent unsportsmanlike conduct or a general violation of the rules of the game.

SSC Official Innertube Water Polo Rules – Coed 5-on-5


  • Innertube Water Polo is a team sport in which the objective is to score more goals than your opponent on their keeper.

Game Length

  • Games are 55 minutes in length with a 5 minute stop for halftime.
  • Games start and end according to your online SSC schedule. 
  • If games start late, games must finish at the scheduled time (e.g. 6:25pm-6:55pm).



  • Equipment for each game will be provided by SSC (innertubes, ball and nets).
  • Players must wear appropriate bathing suit attire.
  • Most players opt to not wear swim goggles.
  • Players must shower before entering the pool. 
  • While at the pool, members must abide by all the rules stipulated by the facility.

Players on Court and Gender Ratio.

  • Teams are comprised of 5 players in the pool (4 players and 1 goalkeeper). 
  • Teams must play with a minimum of 2 males and 2 females in the pool at all times.
  • A team can play with a minimum of 4 people, as long as the gender requirements are met. 
  • Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players and gender ratio before the game starts.

Game Set-up

  • Teams are responsible for keeping score and time. 
  • Often an SSC Game Coordinator is on-site and will set-up the equipment and offer to keep score for the game.
  • The game begins with all 5 players from each team lined up against their respective walls.
  • The ball is then thrown into the centre by a player or Game Coordinator.
  • Once the ball is released, play begins.

General Game Rules

  • Substitutions are made at any time after a point is scored or when there is a stop in play.
  • When two opposing players have possession of the ball with no one player having clear possession, play will be stopped by calling ‘break’. The ball will then be given to a defensive player who must then pass the ball without shooting.
  • Tackling occurs when a defending player dumps an offensive player from his or her tube.  Only defending players are allowed to tackle and can only be done when the offensive player has the ball. In addition, this must be done ‘tube-to-tube’ meaning the defender cannot leave his/her innertube to make a tackle.
  • When the ball goes out of bounds a free throw will be awarded to the opposing team from the same spot.  
  • Penalty throws are awarded to the offensive team if a player is fouled inside the goal line area while controlling the ball. All players except the goal keeper must leave the goal line area until the throw is taken. No player may be within 1 yard of the thrower. Should the penalty throw be missed, it is a free ball and play continues. 
  • After a goal the ball is returned to the goalie and play is resumed when the goalie puts the ball in play.


Goal Crease & Goalkeeper

  • Goal keeper area: Goalies cannot go past the goal line which is 5 feet from the end of the pool. They may travel as far as they like across the goal line width wise. Likewise, players are not allowed to enter this zone unless they have possession of the ball or someone with possession of the ball has already entered the area.
  • The goalie may not throw the ball more than half the length of the pool at any time.
  • When guarding the goal the goalie may not leave the innertube.
  • The goalie must sit in a horizontal position inside the innertube.


Violations & Making Calls


  • It is inevitable incidental contact may occur among players. However, any aggressive contact such as pushing and shoving is not allowed (you should not touch any other player with your body at any time on purpose, and should do your best to avoid unnecessary contact).
  • When an infractions occurs the ball changes possession. A player should call ‘foul’ and the ball is given to the opposite team player closest to the play.  Play resumes when the ball is passed. Players cannot directly score after an infraction.

Infractions include the following:

  • Pushing off of the wall or another player with or without the ball.
  • Holding onto pool wall while in possession of the ball (this includes the goalie).
  • Holding the ball under water.
  • Goalie throwing the ball more than half the length of the pool.
  • Offensive player within the goalie’s area.
  • Holding, pushing, hitting, jumping on, tackling, dunking, or dumping a player not holding the ball.
  • Tipping an opponent immediately after a goal in an attempt to discount the score.



  • A game can end in a tie during the regular season.
  • Playoff games should only be 40 minutes in length in anticipation of needing the extra time to settle a tie.
  • In the playoffs, a game that is tied at the end of regulation time is decided by a three-minute sudden death overtime period. If still tied, the game comes down to penalty throws. The team will select 3 players who are in the pool at the end of the game (minimum 1 male/female)  to take one shot each at a distance of 3 metres (this shot must be taken from a stationary position). The goalie that finished the game remains the goalie for the penalty throws. After three shots, if still tied, teams (any player) continue taking single shots until one team has scored (and the other team does not). The order of shooters must be maintained
  • Team playoff position:  Ties in the standings will be broken first by head-to-head play. If there are more than 2 teams that are tied, all the teams must have played each other in order for the results to go to head-to-head. Otherwise, least points against, then +/-, then most points for will determine the placement in that order.
  • The SSC office will update the playoff schedule once all scores have been submitted and after the last regular season game.  Please do not assume the time/location of your playoff game until team names have been posted into the schedule. 


Remember… Always have fun!