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 10 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 


If you need to postpone a match, request permission from the Match Secretary at least 10 days in advance (Rule 14) – if you need a referee to contact the referee co-ordinator.


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)

After the match, ensure the match sheet is signed by the referees. Send the match sheet to the match secretary within seven days of the match. 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 35p per mile.

If for any reason you cannot play a programmed fixture, request a postponement from the Match Secretary at least 10 days in advance and notify the opposition and referees at the same time – and rearrange the fixture within 14 days and make sure you tell everybody of the new agreed date (Rule 14).

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