How to be a good secretary

Advice to BWWPL Secretaries

So, you have just been “landed in it”… You have been asked to organise fixtures for your club for the Bristol and West Water Polo League, and you’ve been assured: “it doesn’t take much time or effort”. Here is some friendly advice on how to be a good water polo secretary and not incur the wrath of the Grumpy Match Secretary…

…and avoid fines!

young stressed businesswoman holding help sign overworked at office computer

What do you have to do?

First and foremost, if you do these jobs in plenty of time and make sure you tell everyone involved, you will AVOID LETTING PEOPLE DOWN particularly when matches get cancelled at the last minute.


Before the Season Starts

  • Attend the AGM and annual fixtures meeting (or send a club delegate) and come prepared to arrange fixtures (check pool bookings etc.) (Rule 10).
  • Ensure your subscription for the season is sent to the Treasurer in before January 31st (Rule 11).
  • Send in your list of players for registration  (who must be registered with the ASA or WASA) to the Hon. Match Secretary by January 31st (Rule 16).

During the Season

All Referees are appointed to the games by the referees’ coordinator and the appointed referees will be found on the website next to the game. At least 14 days before each home match, notify the secretary of the away team and both referees of the venue and start time. It is recommended that you do this in the first instance by email copying all in and asking for confirmation (see over)  – follow this up with a telephone call if unconfirmed (Rule 14). You will find a list of all the referees and club secretaries on the website under the members’ area which is password controlled. You will need to request the password from the Match Secretary. All expenses paid out are equalised at the end of the season, therefore no club pays more than another for referees’ expenses.

Please note that you can download a match sheet by clicking on the names of the appointed referees on Fixtures Page 

Please note that to postpone a game, then you need to adhere to the conditions as laid down in Appendix 3 of Rule 14. If you don’t adhere to those conditions your team will be docked 2points for the cancellation.

On a home match day, ensure you provide a full set of table equipment (Rule 19 – 2 stopwatches,30-second hooter, last minute bell, 4 flags white, blue, red & yellow, scoreboard) and a match sheet (as well as competent table officials) (Rule 20). You will also need to provide the correct size  match ball, ie Size 4 for Under-17s and Women’s Division, and a Size 5 for the senior men.

After the match, ensure the match sheet is signed by the referees. Send the match sheet to the match secretary as soon as is practical. This can be done electronically if you wish (Rule 20), ideally as a pdf, but jpgs and other means will be accepted.

You will also need to pay the referees their expenses (if any). These are based on up to 45p per mile.

If for any reason you cannot play a programmed fixture, you should notify the Match Secretary at least 10 days in advance giving the reason for the cancellation and notify the opposition and referees at the same time.

Example of Referee Notification Template

To:  Away Secretary, Both referees
Cc: Home club captain/other team member
Subject: Home team v Away Team – Day & Date & Time

“Dear All

This is to confirm that the above fixture will take place at time at home team pool.

Please confirm that you can make this fixture OK.



c.c. referees names