Enjoyment for all

Bugpolo is a social game for everyone to enjoy. Dangerous play, disruptive behavior, or deliberate fouling of opposition players may result in expulsion from the pool.


Males get two points for scoring a goal. Females get three points for scoring a goal. Players get an extra point for a goal thrown from outside the ‘Bucket Line’. Penalties two points. Teams get two starting point per female (max of 4points) at the start of the game.


Each half is started by the teams lining up along (and touching) opposite ends of the pool. The referee starts the game by throwing the ball onto the pool anywhere on half way. The goalies start in their respective goal mouths

Important Rules

‘Four Second Rule’: Players may only hold onto the ball for 4 seconds. The only exception is when moving toward the goal. Also, if the ball is floating next to a player on the water they have only 4 seconds to pick it up and pass/throw it. You may propel the bug while holding the ball.
‘Two Metre Rule’: Players Bugs must be at least 2m apart when passing to each other.


‘Ball in Hand’: It is illegal to grab/knock the ball from an opposition player’s hand/s.
‘Blocking a Throw’: When an opposition player is throwing the ball, it is illegal to attempt to block the throw inside the perimeter of their Bug.
‘Out’: The ball is out (of play) if it touches the side of the pool. The ball is also out, if a player (or their Bug) touches the side of the pool while holding the ball. The team that did not touch the ball last, throws the ball in using a Restart Throw.
‘Restart Throws’: A Restart Throw is used for all sideline, goalie and penalty restarts. A Restart Throw is a two handed throw above the head and cannot be contested until the ball has travelled 2 metres. A Restart Throw cannot be thrown directly into the goal to score.
‘Penalty Restart’: If the team in possession of the ball commit a minor foul, the game is restarted by the other team with a restart throw
‘Disputed possession’: If a ball is grabbed by an opposing player at the same time, the game is stopped, and the team last in possession lose it and the other team get the restart throw.

Bug Rules

Unless competing for the ball all bugs must keep clear of each other.
‘Right of Way’: When two bugs are moving, the bug that is ahead, or will cross ahead of the other, has right of way.
‘Blocking’: It is illegal to deliberately move to block an opposition player’s Bug with your Bug in their half, unless they have the ball. However, a stationary Bug has a right to be there. A retreating Bug may not be blocked.
‘Seated in Bug’: A player can only take part in the game when seated in their Bug.

Goal Rules

‘A Goal’: To score, the ball must pass completely through the goal mouth.
‘Dead Ball’: The ball is dead once the goalie has hold of the ball.
‘Tagging’: The goalie may tag a player’s Bug with his hand to take possession of their ball or if they don’t have the ball force them to retreat back to the bucket line before their team can score a goal.
‘Defending Team’: The goalie is the only defending player allowed to occupy the area within two metres directly in front of the goal mouth except when a player is within one metre of an opposition play’s Bug, or is retrieving a ball off the water.
‘Corner Restart’: Is taken at the bucket line as a sideline throw by the attacking team who must be behind the line.
Penalty Shot: Awarded for a blatant foul in front of the goal mouth that has stopped a likely goal being scored. The ball is dead immediately after the throw.

Download as PDF Comprehensive Rules