Become a Referee

How to Become a Referee

Simple Steps

  • Step 1 Become a trainee referee
    • Achieve this by passing the written test
  • Step 2 Get Assessed
    • Ask a Grade 1 or Grade 2 referee to watch you referee a match

Referee Course

Attending a referee 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:

Know the Rules

If you don’t want to or don’t have the time to attend a referee course there is some great interactive learning online at the ICF Canoe Polo website under the referee section . You should read the current edition of the ICF Canoe Polo Rules so you can become familiar with the rules, especially before taking the written exam.


Initial Assessment – Written Exam

In order to become a trainee referee you must attain 75% in the Irish Canoe Polo Referee Exam. The examination is in paper format and consists of 50 multiple choice questions relating to the current edition of the ICF Canoe Polo Rules. Aspiring referees can sit the examinations on completion of a referee course or at designated times throughout the session and at competitions.

Practice and Shadowing

After passing the written exam it is good to get in some practice. Try to get as much practice in as you can by refereeing games at any tournament, or even at your own training sessions. Shadowing is were a graded referee follows behind you as you referee a game. They will advise you on what to look out for, things you might have missed or if you get something wrong.

Read and refer to the rules continuously. If you have any queries relating to the rules ask a fellow referee or contact the refereeing officer at


In order to become a graded referee you must be assessed by a higher grade referee during a game. This is a practical assessment and as such there is no percentage mark, but is at the discretion of the Referee doing the assessment. It should be conducted during a relevant competition whilst the practicing referee is refereeing a game.  RefereeForms_A01 should be completed and returned.

Continuous Assessment

All Referee grades are valid for a period of 2 years from time of assessment. Referees that do not get reassessed within that period will automatically be dropped a grade. Trainees that do not get graded within the 2 year period will be removed from the register and have to sit the written exam again. 

Grade 1 Referees will continuously observe and assess Grade 2,3 & trainee referees. The Grade 1 referee may increase/decrease these grades at their discretion. 

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