The Basics

In official Flippa Ball™ games, two referees control the game. The main roles of the referee in water polo are to:

  • Responsibly control and supervise the game
  • Apply the rules and their interpretations according to the spirit of the game, for the safety of the participants
  • Attend to the administrative requirements necessary
  • For the success of the game promote an atmosphere of enjoyment
  • Blow the whistle loudly
  • Use clear and concise hand signals
  • Keep up with the play and maintain the correct position


Each team consists of 7 players, one of whom is the goalkeeper, and not more than 6 substitutes (3 is recommended). All players not in the game at the time, together with the coach, shall sit on the team bench. Teams shall change ends at half time.


The Goalkeeper is allowed to stand on the bottom but can not move past the halfway line. They are allowed to catch and pass with two hands.


May be awarded by the referee for infringements such as:

  • Deliberate contact
  • Holding or pulling back and sinking a player.

The penalty for an Exclusion Foul shall be exclusion from the game until the offending player has touched the corner of the pool nearest their own goal, where upon the player or substitute may re-enter immediately.


Ordinary fouls may be awarded by the referee for infringements such as:

  • Swimming over an opponent’s legs
  • Punching the ball
  • Taking the ball under water
  • Accidental contact
  • Splashing
  • Defending with 2 arms in the air
  • Throwing the ball out of the pool area
  • Standing too close to the passer when taking a free throw.

A goal may not be scored directly from a free throw; that is, another player must touch the ball first, except from an immediate shot from a free throw awarded outside 5 metres.

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