South African Underwater Hockey Federation

Tournament Rules & Regulations


General rules for all SAUWHF-based tournaments are described below. However, these might vary depending on the tournament and all players will be kept abreast of these.

  • It customary for each team to provide a chief referee, timekeeper and scorekeeper during the periods required indicated per the Chief Referee Roster. It is the captain’s responsibility to check the roster regularly for changes.
  • Chief referees and water referees MUST sign the score sheets after each game. Failure to do so could result in a portion or the whole of the refundable deposit being retained.
  • In the event of a team not having a suitably qualified referee, the captain must make arrangements with the SAUWHF Chief Referee at least 24 hours before the games.
  • The SAUWHF Chief Referee will nominate referees for the semis and finals.
  • Any team failing to report for chief or water referee duties will lose a portion their refundable deposit and the team’s standing will be subtracted by 2 points due to infringement.

Disciplinary Procedure

Presentation of complaints during a tournament:

  • Any complaint during a game must be brought to the attention of the Chief Referee within 15 minutes after the game.
  • The captain or coach of an individual or team must present their objection to the Tournament Referee within 1 hour, in writing, along with a monetary deposit which will be determined for each tournament.
  • Sufficient information and description of what/ where it happened, who was involved must be documented.


A disciplinary committee will be convened to hear any disputes or incidents and shall comprise of:

  • The Competitions Officer, the Chief Referee, the SAUWHF Hockey Officer (this will be the men or ladies representative).
  • The SAUWHF President plus one other suitable qualified referee independent to any of the teams.
  • The committee will be chaired by the Chief Referee, a decision will be made by the committee but the deciding vote is with the President.


The decision and penalty awarded by the committee is final.

  • The team/individual that is implied in the complaint is allowed representation (1 person) and witnesses (not more than 3).
  • However, only one of these persons shall have the right to address the committee.
  • Given the nature of the offence/actions the inclusion of the legal representative for the South African Underwater Hockey Federation will be included in the committee as and when requested by the committee.

(Outside of Pool)
In the case of a complaint lodged during the duration of the tournament for actions, offences or irregularities outside the pool, pool area or at any of the tournament functions the procedure will be as follows:

  • Complaint/incident to be reported to the President of the South African Underwater Federation.
  • Given the nature and severity of the incident the SAUWHF president will with the assistance from the Federation Executive committee and legal representative decide on the cause of action.

Note that the SAUWHF cannot stand in for civil acts of disruption, damage to property or any other illegal offence. In this event the case will be handed over to appropriate authorities, e.g. South African Police.

Rules & Regulations

1. No player can participate in a SAUWHF-sanctioned tournament unless they are affilicated to SAUWHF and have a paid-up membership.

2. Tournaments will be played according to the official C.M.A.S.- rules for underwater hockey version 11, with the following exceptions:

  • Each tournament will have its own unique game times, breaks in-between and change of game times.
  • Time-outs stoppages and how penalties will be awarded will be specific to each tournament.

3. Team Scoring System and Log Standings

The winner of a game gets 2 points

  • Loser gets 0 points.
  • If the result is equal, each team gets 1 point.
  • If a team forfeits a game they will be subtracted with 2 points.
  • If two teams gain the same number of points (decision will be made by the following information):
    • The ranking will be the result of the match between these two teams.
    • If still equal; team who won most games will rank higher.
    • If still equal; least total number of goals against team will be the deciding factor.
    • If still undecided the winner will be decided with a coin toss.
  • If the final ends in a draw, extra time shall be played.
  • If there is no result it will be followed by sudden death.

4. Substitution

The substitutes can either be side-subbing (in-water) or out of water subbing depending on the pool. CMAS rules will apply all substitutions. Penalised players will be sitting at the penalty box appointed by the Chief Referee (next to the scoring table).

5. Team and Player Regulations
Players will not be allowed to play for more than one team for the duration of the tournament. Regardless if other team is in a different league. In the event of this occurring, both teams may be disqualified. This does not apply where players are playing for the “SA Elite, Junior or Masters” sides or internationals for the purpose of trials.

6. Gear and Markings
All players are required to wear protective headgear. This must be light in colour (difference identifiable by referee) when the team is playing white sticks and dark in colour (difference identifiable by referee) when the team is playing black sticks. Alternatively, unique team caps may be allowed if there is absolutely no possibility of them being confused by the caps of the opposing team/referees. The glove must be of a strongly contrasting colour to the stick. Each captain and vice-captain will be indicated with a C and VC respectively on their shoulder (>7cm) in size for the entire duration of the tournament.

7. Presence of Coach in Water
The coach is allowed in the water only during his/ her own team’s game and if he/ she is wearing a clearly identifiable coloured cap not to be confused with players or referees (i.e. Green). Further, the presence of the coach should not touch, move or block the view of the referee or camera. If coach is guilty, team will be liable for fine or risk losing team deposit.

8. Participation Clause
Neither the SAUWHF, nor Tournament Officials can be held responsible for any harm to participants and/or loss or damage to their possessions during the tournament. Each individual is participating in the tournament at their own risk.

9. Team Conduct
The team managers, coach, and/or Captain are responsible and can be held accountable for the behaviour of their team members. All behaviour should be aligned with SAUWHF Code of Conduct. If individual or team does not play tournament in a good manner or if party does not follow the SAUWHF Code of Conduct. Individual or team can be liable for losing team deposit, suspension or have a disciplinary hearing regarding the issue.

10. General
In all cases not stipulated in C.M.A.S. ruling or tournament rules, the organising committee will decide.

Code of conduct

We as underwater hockey players of South Africa playing this breathtaking sport will respect the rules and play in the spirit of the game and remember to maintain a sense of integrity.

  • Conform to South African Underwater Hockey federation’s code of conduct.
  • Respect the rules and participate in the spirit of fair play.
  • Display high standards of behavior that promote a positive image for the sport.
  • Act and play with respect for other fellow athletes, opponents, officials and myself.
  • Pride of participation should balance the will to win.
  • Give my teammates positive inputs and feedback.
  • Respect the usage of facilities and equipment prescribed for an event.
  • Commit to the fight against banned substances in sport.
  • Commit to the WADA code of conduct and contribute to fight drug abuse.
  • Resist all forms of corruption, pressures and other compelling circumstances, which go against the spirit of fair play.
  • Display exemplary behavior in and out of play, promoting fair play in sport.
  • As sports men and women discourage the promotion of tobacco and alcoholic products in sport.
  • Commit and cooperate with all medical and testing protocols of SASCOC.
  • Commit ourselves not to bring our sport into disrepute.
  • Respect the referees and their decisions.
  • Be an example to the junior players.
  • Be gracious in victory and defeat and remember that winning isn’t everything.
  • Strive to maintain a sense of self-control and dignity at all times.
  • Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language or behaviour in or out the pool.

Thank you for your positive contribution towards this plea.