How To Become A Referee

Know the Rules 

Read the current edition of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Polo Rules. You should also complete the ICF Canoe Polo Online Referee course which is a very useful tool ->

You will find both in the Rules & Refereeing tab under 'useful links'  

Referee Course

Attending a ref course is invaluable. At these courses an experienced referee will take you through the current ICF canoe polo rules and answer any questions you may have. If you are an individual/club and are interested in attending or hosting a canoe polo referee course, please contact 

Initial Assessment 

In order to become a trainee referee you must obtain 75% in the Irish National Canoe Polo Ref Exam. The exam is in paper format (please mail if you require an alternative format) and consists of 50 multiple choice questions relating to the current edition of the ICF Canoe Polo Rules. Aspiring referees can sit the exam in any of the following situations: on completion of a referee course, at a requested event/training, or at the following 2013 competitions: 

  • Galway Open (June 1st/2nd)
  • National Club Championships, Longford (July 27th/28th) 
  • International Canoe Polo Irish Open, Kilcock (Aug 31st/Sept 1st) 

Practice & Shadowing 

  • Ref local games, club games, competition games 
  • Refer to the ICF Canoe Polo rules continually. If you have any queries relating to rules  
  • There will be opportunities to have an experienced referee shadow you during the above 3 competitions. If you wish to avail of this please email prior to the competition, or contact a committee member/supervising referee at the competition. 

Assessment in Situ 

In order to move up in the national grading, you must be assessed by a Grade 1 (International) referee during a game. This is a practical assessment and as such there is no percentage mark, but is at the discretion of the International Referee. It is not scheduled, and will be conducted unknown to the practicing referee. These assessments may occur during any competition over the Canoe Polo Season.  

Continuing Assessment

Grade 1 (International) referees continuously observe and assess Grade 2, 3, & Trainee referees. The grade 1 referee may increase/decrease these grades at the own discretion. All Grade 3 and Trainee referees will be required to re-sit and pass the Irish Referee Exam every 2 years (from the date of their first test). The pass rate for the written exam is 75%. If you require the exam in an alternative format please contact