"Bench Pressing" on D

Referee Issues moderated by WPP's Righteous Referee

Moderator: Righteous Referee

WaPoSaD
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:15 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

"Bench Pressing" on D

Postby WaPoSaD » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:06 pm

Scenario: Offensive Player is posting up on Defender away from the ball. Offensive Player has his back to Defender lightly pushing in. Defender -- big and strong -- puts two hands on the hips or lower back of Offensive Player and literally throws him half out of the water, away from the goal (if the direction matters). Ball is up the pool and not thrown or directed to these players.

I've seen this situation a dozen or so times, including in a high school game earlier today. Half the time there's no call; half the time (including today) the Defender is called for an ejection.

What's the right call?

I'm told it's legal, which seems right to me, but what do I know? Doesn't seem like it's impeding since the Offensive Player isn't swimming or trying to move around, and 21.9 says you can't "hold, sink or pull back" someone but this (1) doesn't seem like holding, and (2) it's pushing (not pulling) and forward (not back). Plus I'm not sure how bench-pressing like this is any different than bench-pressing with your legs to try to move the Offensive a Player out, which is clearly legal. (Is the extension of the arms maybe the alleged difference, even though this is nowhere in the rule?)

Now, 20.9 says you can't "push or push off" from someone not holding the ball, so that seems on point. But that's an ordinary. And I've never seen an ordinary called in this situation, maybe because it's away from the play (or the rule otherwise inapplicable)?

Can someone set me straight? Exclusion, no foul, or something else?
Last edited by WaPoSaD on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

oldtimer
Posts: 2290
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby oldtimer » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:08 pm

I have never heard or seen this specific situation - but I did see a player throw another off him in a college game. It was a center who had gotten the ball stolen via a drop/crash. The center went under water after the steal, and the defender began to swim straight over him. The center came up from underneath and the (now attacker) left the water - his entire body - by about a foot. I don't recall exactly what happened, but I believe it was an exclusion. I only remember the center shrugging with both hands out of the water, as if to say "What was I supposed to do?".

I can't say what the official interpretation would be, but from my perspective, the only way I can see 'throwing' someone is if you are holding them. Just because it is a 'throw' and not a 'pull' doesn't change the fact that you are clasping your hands around some part of the opponent's body. The only way I can see a 'push' causing someone to leave the water would be by standing or pushing off the bottom - which would also be illegal (actually, in retrospect I could see a big player with strong legs lift a smaller player by just pushing him up - but 'throwing' any distance seems pretty difficult this way). This is, to my way of thinking, completely different than putting palms or chest against someone and 'legging them out'. Otherwise, can you throw them sideways? Behind you?

I can see not calling anything if the ball is not being entered and the referee decides that this action was A) not overly aggressive or a player safety issue and B) does not take away advantage from the offense. If 'legal', I would ask whether doing the same thing on the perimeter would be considered a foul or not.

WaPoSaD
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:15 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby WaPoSaD » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:09 am

Maybe I'm describing the situation poorly, since I strongly doubt I've seen things in my limited exposure to water polo that you have not, oldtimer. In any event, here's a link to the snippet from today's high school game. The pool is 9 feet deep, so the defender is definitely using his legs, not the bottom of the pool. I've added five seconds or so at the beginning for context.

https://vimeo.com/237695888

Does that help at all?

BayBoy
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:52 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Masters player - longtime supporter - love the game.

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby BayBoy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:05 am

Strong kid!
It's certainly not a violent play, but because the offensive wing was rising up in post - potentially to receive a pass from up top - and the defender kept both hands underwater, the D was certainly impeding the offensive movement and 'pushing.' Separate from the lawful language, I think most refs call the exclusion here because of proximity to both goal and passer - and the raw demonstration of power to keep a lid on the underwater game.

oldtimer
Posts: 2290
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby oldtimer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:01 am

Thanks for the video! Yes, I definitely believe he had to be grabbing the player in order to toss him like that - and, because it takes away advantage I would call an exclusion if I were officiating - but again, I don't actively officiate so this is just my own opinion.

I don't think the specific verbiage of 'holding, sinking or pulling back' is the issue - I think the interpretation here would be using the hands/strength to take position away rather than skill. Note that the difference between an ordinary and exclusion has been explained to me as 'foul of possession' vs 'foul of position'. If you foul to prevent or take away possession, it is an ordinary. If you foul to take away position, it is an exclusion.

I'd like to hear what an active official would say the rule violation is.

User avatar
D-man
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 1:12 pm

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby D-man » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:13 am

I would have excluded the player without a doubt. If you let the defender play that way, you are only asking for trouble. I am sure that the offensive player would be looking for "pay back" the next time he was mixing it up with that specific defender. Things would get out of hand quickly with retaliations and more physical play. This is where game management is critical for referees. Letting this type of play continue will only make matters worse, as the game progressed.

If the coach complained, I would explain that this is a "player safety" call and that his player was WAY out of line in his actions and the next time it happened, I would give the player a misconduct, if he did not learn after the 20 second ejection.

ephpolo
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:31 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Ex-player, Ex-coach, referee

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby ephpolo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:41 am

As OT noted, you can't throw someone unless you are holding them. "To use two hands to hold an opponent anywhere in the field of play" is an exclusion.

In the video clip, I also think there are player safety and game management issues that require this foul to be called no matter what the context.

A common no-call for this type of foul--assuming no player safety issues--would be a situation where this kind of contact occurred in the backfield after a turnover, the offending player is now a defender, and calling the foul would potentially interrupt developing offense at the other end of the pool, "rewarding the foul".

But I'd still make the call if it was as aggressive and obvious as shown in this clip.

In fact, absent all the factors above, this example might be an exclusion as misconduct for an overaggressive foul, though I think an exclusion for the reasons above rather than a game misconduct is the more appropriate call. But it's close to the line.

wpgeek
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:22 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby wpgeek » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:34 am

From the clip I think most knowledgeable people would say it would be called an exclusion

thesupernuge
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:36 am
How are you connected to water polo?: Player, Coach etc

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby thesupernuge » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:31 pm

Wow, exclusion for sure. Although if that happened in one of our games we'd most definitely get a contra for a push off lol

User avatar
Allen Lorentzen
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:58 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Referee, fan, past Coastal Zone head referee, past WPA instructor, masters player, past coach, occasional water polo photographer
Location: Santa Barbara / Goleta, California
Contact:

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby Allen Lorentzen » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 am

oldtimer wrote:Thanks for the video! Yes, I definitely believe he had to be grabbing the player in order to toss him like that - and, because it takes away advantage I would call an exclusion if I were officiating - but again, I don't actively officiate so this is just my own opinion.

I don't think the specific verbiage of 'holding, sinking or pulling back' is the issue - I think the interpretation here would be using the hands/strength to take position away rather than skill. Note that the difference between an ordinary and exclusion has been explained to me as 'foul of possession' vs 'foul of position'. If you foul to prevent or take away possession, it is an ordinary. If you foul to take away position, it is an exclusion.

I'd like to hear what an active official would say the rule violation is.


There seems to be agreement here (so far) that the exclusion was appropriate. You've mentioned foul of position and possession. Don't forget fouls of physicality. In high school rules under the Minor act of Misconduct there's reference to "minor shoving" which might be applicable. Under Misconduct there's mention of overaggressive fouling. It's probably "unacceptable within the spirit of the rules" as well. I agree with the regular exclusion unless it met the guidelines within the totality of the game where "Persistent foul play (referring to play that is unacceptable within the spirit of the rules and is likely to bring the game into disrepute)", which would be a Misconduct game exclusion.

Apghrenegade
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:05 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Active player in open and masters tournaments; part time shooting coach; players mentor and advocate; author of a shooting clinic; 37 years playing experience spanning east coast USA, southern California, and europe; pro bono efforts for USA WP

Re: "Bench Pressing" on D

Postby Apghrenegade » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:54 pm

I think there is a reasonable amount of consistency in the way better ref's call this aspect of the game. The faster and more sudden/violent is the move to gain or take away position, the more likely is the call going to be against the person initiating the sudden/violent position move, if it is seen (an important point, as always). Throwing a person a meter or two out of position as in the vimeo is certainly sudden and violent, and easily seen because of the obvious force and motion result.

Getting or taking good position gradually, using applied strength and power over a longer time period...seems to often be rewarded with patience from ref's...who then want to see what develops out of better position. If the gaining of that better position is done using mostly leg work, then it seems to get the most respect and reward.

Quick and bursty surprise moves are a grey area, in my experience. Small push offs, quick shoulder shrugs, quick lateral moves with very small amounts of actual push off/contact...get randomly called offensive and are also frequently rewarded. However, some ref's call the assumptive push off on quick and explosive players. I feel I have been on the wrong end of that sort of call too often!

Return to “The Quicker Kicker Outer”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests