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.

Rules Voting for 2014

We’ve set up an informal poll on certain disputed rules that you can find here:

2014 Rules Votes

Have your voice heard for the future of competitive bike polo!


You can join in the discussion here and contact the Rules committee here..

Voting 2014

Here is where you can voice your opinion for 2014 changes. The wording of these polls is NOT how the exact rule will be written, but rather they are put in plain language so we can get a general idea of what the community would like to see next year.

These polls are only used unofficially, but in the future there will be a formal voting system in place for rules changes and more.

UPDATE: Voting is now closed

Rules Changes for 2014

What should count as a goal?

How should we define High Sticking?

Tournament games should follow which format?

Where should players line up to joust?

The addition of a crease to the area of play around both goals on the court stands to serve two purposes. The first is that it allows us to define a “goaltender” and allows us to prevent physical contact onto this player from offensive players. The second purpose would be to eliminate the use of a “double goalie” in bike polo, a defensive maneuver in which a team jams the area in front of the net. The addition of a crease can address the first or both of these issues, depending on the size of the space.

Should ball jointing be allowed in the offensive half?

Should arm extension be regulated?

Should off-ball contact be regulated?