2014 Referee Certification + More

1. Version 4.2 of the Rules

We’ve updated §3.3 – Overtime.

It has reverted to the overtime rule of prior seasons: Instead of five minutes followed by first-goal-wins, it will simply be first-goal-wins after a rejoust. You can find the updated pdf here, or on the Rules page.

NAH Ruleset v4.2

2. NAH Referee Requirements for Qualifiers and Supplemental Support


A minimum of two paid and certified referees per court, available to be scheduled throughout the duration of the tournament. The names of these certified referees should also be sent to the Referee Committee prior to the qualifier. So, for a qualifier with two courts, four names should be submitted. These certified referees do not need be scheduled the entirety of the weekend. It is recommended that a certified referee oversee the scheduling responsibilities. This underpins what will be a single-referee system throughout swiss rounds and early bracket games, moving to a double-referee system later in the bracket.

After the meeting the basic requirements above, if the organizer wants to schedule unpaid, uncertified referees, that is their prerogative. It is also recommended to have certified referees scheduled for all winners bracket / late losers bracket games, especially when moving to a double-referee system. If a region has significantly less teams, NAH will make exceptions to this requirement case-by-case.


A minimum of $20/day for paid referees, for which NAH will provide supplemental support. In lieu of a membership system, the additional $10 per player tournament fee is going primarily towards this expense. The amount you receive will be based on the number of participants. If a region has significantly less teams, NAH will make exceptions to this requirement case-by-case.

3. 2014 Certification Material + Supplemental Education

After several months of development, NAH is releasing the 2014 certification test which can be found here. It includes individual quizzes on each section of the rules, as well as a final section of long-answer questions that all require video analysis. The tests for most sections are not meant to be easy. A high success rate will require careful analysis of the exact wording of the rules.

In contrast to the tests, the Referee Committee also wrote explanations for each section of the rules in a conversational tone for those players who want more insight into how rules were developed and will be applied. This also features an additional section of instructions for referee conduct. The education materials can be found here.

Certification Course

Education Material

4. Qualifier Referee Signup including Out-Of-Region Referee Share

NAH, through organizer suggestion, has created a google form to collect referee signups for people who would like to signup in their own regions, as well as travel out of region to other qualifiers. This list will be shared with tournament organizers, who can then reimburse travel expense, if their budget allows. Organizers are encouraged to find non-playing referees but nothing is required at this time as resources are limited.

Referee Signup Google Form

Please contact joe@nahardcourt.com with any questions, thoughts, concerns. Also, if you’d like to help revise and add to this for 2015, please drop a line.

A special thanks go out to Bruce, Crusher and Kruse for their help with this project. Also huge thanks to our long-time partner, Fixcraft, who has demonstrated continued support with a contribution of referee shirts for qualifiers and for providing the first-ever official referee uniforms for North Americans.

NAH Ruleset v4.0 Approved by NAH Board and Club Reps

Voting on the NAH Ruleset v4.0 is now complete, and votes have been tallied.

Before we announce the results I’d like to remind everyone in the community that this isn’t the end of Rules development. If you have constructive input to provide, after spending the time thinking through the changes critically, trying them out in tournaments or pickup, please e-mail kruse@nahardcourt.com or joe@nahardcourt.com. Plenty of great feedback was provided thanks to this club rep voting process, specific to the rules and more generally about the process. As we move more towards direct member voting, you will see specific rules or combinations of rules put to a vote, and possibly even a mechanism for anyone to introduce a polished rule to be voted upon. This infrastructure requires a huge time investment, and we are doing the best we can to put the pieces in place. More on that in the coming weeks.

The vote was sent out, by email to a mostly updated list of club reps.

Club Reps Emailed: ~110 (due to delivery failures, inactive clubs)
Respondents: 53

In favor of Adopting v4.0 for 2014: 47
Opposed to Adopting v4.0 for 2014: 5

1 Club Abstained. Non-Respondents are considered ‘yes’ votes, but it’s not necessary to include them.

The NAH Board voted unanimously in favor.

This ruleset has been Ratified, and we’ve made some minor language changes after receiving feedback from all these amazing Club Reps. From now on all changes will be kept in a version history over on the Rules page.

You can download v4.1 by clicking this link..

Proposed 2014 Ruleset: Version 4.0 Beta

From the Rules committee chair, Nick Kruse:

NAH has completed the final proposal for the 2014 ruleset. Building on years prior, we have highlighted some critical safety concerns and filled in holes that had previously allowed for what we deemed to be unfair play as observed over the course of the season. Also, some technical descriptions, sizes and measurements were hashed out to a finer specification. We hope that you will find the ruleset to be more organized and worded better, on the whole.

The ruleset presented here has not been voted on by NAH yet, and is therefore a proposal. Organizers for upcoming off-season events have inquired about the release of this ruleset prior to the NAH schedule. We want to be supportive of this, in order to test the ruleset and to let referees and players gain familiarity with some of the bigger changes, so we are releasing this beta version. The Epiphanie tournament overseas and the Great Lakes Winter Classic up in Toronto this winter will use this ruleset as a feeler — we are hoping that all players involved in bike polo can gain familiarity with this document. Please, use it in any upcoming pick-up sessions or tournaments near you.

NAH Ruleset v4.0 Beta

Representatives and the board will be voting on this in two weeks time. There are changes in this ruleset that will affect, at the least, game play in the 2014 regional qualifiers and North Americans, so read over it. I will be sure to answer any questions. We are really confident in what we’ve produced here and hope that you will find that vast improvements have been made.

– Nick

Email here or via Contact Form.

Proposed Regional & Structure Changes for 2014

In an effort to provide a more equitable and competitive NAH Championship series, two key changes are being proposed to the qualifying system – the creation of new regions and a return to an open region qualifying system. The purpose of these changes is it make it as easy as possible for teams to attempt to qualify. The open region system will give players more flexibility as to where and when they attend a qualifier. The creation of new regions will make it easier for those teams from areas who previously found it difficult to travel to qualifiers previously, or where qualifiers were oversubscribed.


(1) Open Regions

Similar to the 2012 qualifying system, registration for your regional qualifier will be exclusive to in-region teams for a period of time (2 weeks) and then opened to out-of-region teams. Additionally, whichever region a team qualifies in will receive the allocated spot for future seasons, regardless of their home region. A team/player may only attempt to qualify in one region.


(2) Regional Changes

NAH is also presenting a package of proposals for regional restructuring to solve a variety of travel issues and competitive disparities within the current system. These changes to regional structure will be voted upon only by the club reps from the affected states and provinces.


  • The creation of a Prairies/Great Plains region, combining states and provinces from Cascadia and Midwest, centered around the Canadian Prairie provinces, and the US states directly below.
  • The dividing of the Midwest region into 2 regions, Upper and Lower. Currently the region is heavily populated but geographically disparate. By creating two regions, we’re solving an issue that has affected this region for two years, allowing for greater participation and reducing travel distance.*
  • The addition of a region for Mexico, who were previously in a very large South Central region.


*NAH explored splitting Cascadia, mostly based on the number of competitive teams in that region, but didn’t have the same travel issues as the Midwest.


Additionally, the following states are proposed to change regions, for logistical reasons, and due to the changes in the Midwest. These changes to regional structure will be voted upon only by the club reps from the affected states:

  • Vermont and upstate New York from Northside to Eastside. This has been requested by players and reps from both these states, and the Eastside region as a whole.
  • Michigan from Northside to Upper Midwest (dependent on approval of Midwest split). Michigan travel a lot to the Midwest, and with the split producing a smaller geographic region, the travel will be easier than to some of the potential Canadian host cities.
  • Tennessee from South East, and Kansas from South Central to Lower Midwest (dependant on approval of Midwest split). As with the Upper Midwest, this allows clubs who have often travelled to the Midwest to be part of that region, making their potential trips to qualifiers easier.
  • New Mexico from South West to South Central, and Mississippi from South Central to South East. To allow these 3 regions to each be aligned further west, and to place clubs closer to their potential qualifiers.


Finally, a number of clubs close to regional borders would be moved to their adjacent region, where they are not near any other clubs in their own region:

  • Thunder Bay, ON from Northside to Upper Midwest
  • Cheyenne, WY from P/GP to South Central


Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 11.33.26 PM

Most regions and clubs significantly affected by these changes have already been contacted, and have been part of this proposal process.


(3) NAHBPC Allocations

Providing this proposal is approved, the addition of regions would require changes to the NAHBPC allocation process. These changes would emphasize the quality from the top regions, but also make sure each region is represented, regardless of their performance the previous year.

It is important to note that the top 24 teams from the NAHBPC would continue to be the determining factor for allocating qualifying spots for as long as this regional structure is utilized.

The following rules would decide on the allocation for each region:

  • 1 spot for the NAHBPC Champions from the previous year, with these conditions:
    • They must register with the 3 original players.
    • These players would not be permitted to play on any other team attempting to qualify.
    • If the spot is not taken, it would go back to the general pool.
  • 2 spots per region.
  • 1 spot per region for every team in the top 24 of the NAHBPC the previous year
  • Any region that has only two qualifying spots after the top 24 spots have been assigned, will be allocated a third spot at the NAHBPC (from the top down), as long as there are remaining spots available.
  • Any remaining spots get allocated by region from the top down, as will any spots not claimed by any region.


This would give us these allocations for 2014 (assuming the Champions spot, and all spots allocated to regions are claimed):


Champion 2013 2 spots Top 24 2013 Podium minimum*** Bonus Spots*** Total
NA Champs 1 1
Cascadia 2 8* 1 11
Eastside 2 4 6
Northside 2 3 5
Lower Midwest 2 3** 5
Upper Midwest 2 2** 4
South Central 2 2 4
South West 2 1 3
South East 2 1 3
Prairies/Great Plains 2 0* 1 3
Mexico 2 0 1 3
Total 1 20 24 2 1 48

*in the case of Mosquito (Saskatoon, SK) their Top 24 spot remains in Cascadia, as it would be under the Open Region system. No other top 24 teams have changed region through the regional changes.

**the Midwest teams have been divided geographically, based on their home club at the time of qualifying.

*** To allocate remaining spots the Regions with only 2 are granted a third spot (for their podium), and after that the additional spots are given to the regions who had the MOST teams in the Top 24 of the prior competition.



(4) Voting

  • Club reps will shortly be contacted by the NAH, to submit their vote.
  • Voting will close on December 15th.
  • Club reps are expected to have consulted their club and cast votes based upon popular opinion.
  • Club reps will be contacted to vote only on changes which directly affect the region to which they belong.


Important Notes:
  • The vote on regional restructuring will be binding for the 2014 season.
  • If you are in a region created by these changes, you will need to establish a regional representative. (An NAH staff member will be in contact assist with this process.) This regional representative’s first job will be establishing a host city for the qualifier. Once the host city has been established, email John Hayes (tournaments@nahardcourt.com)
  • NAH understands that the highest priority for most players is rules and especially reffing. Programs and progress in these areas are also underway. That said, we consider improvement of the regional qualifier system equally important given the situations that occurred in 2013.