Playing Rules

Updated September 1, 2023
General Rules

Florida State University does not provide accident insurance coverage for injuries received by Intramural Sports participants. Each participant should make sure that they have coverage either through family policies or the student insurance plan.

Florida State University PROHIBITS possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property. Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is also prohibited at Campus Recreation facilities. This includes the Rec SportsPlex, Main Campus Fields, Westside Courts, and Tully Gym. Violators will be asked to leave the area. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of the contest, suspension of individuals and/or teams, and appropriate action by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards and/or the FSU Police.

Sport Rules


1. Participation is limited to currently-enrolled, fee-paying FSU students, faculty members, and full-time staff. FAMU & TCC students and members of the community are not eligible.

2. In order to participate in an intramural contest, each player must present his/her current, valid FSUCard. Check-in takes place at designated sign-in locations at the facility, not at the fields or courtside.

3. Additional information regarding player eligibility, team rosters, and participant check-in is available in the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Intramural Sports web site and in the Intramural Sports Office at the Main Campus Fields (1001 W. St. Augustine Street). Requests for exceptions to any policy must be directed to the IM administrative staff during regular weekday business hours in the Intramural Sports Office. No exceptions are granted at the fields or courts.

4. Participants must be able to access the Leach Center. A valid FSUCard is required to enter the facility. Faculty and staff must have a Leach membership or purchase a guest pass in order to participate.


1. Each team will consist of four (4) players in the boat per round. In addition, two (2) more players may serve as poolside soakers.

2. A team may have an unlimited number of players on its roster. Players may be added to the roster prior to any round including the championship. Substitutes may only replace an active player in between rounds.

3. To participate in a round, a team must field a complete roster of four (4) team members in the boat. Poolside soakers are optional. Three (3) players results in a default. Two (2) or less results in a forfeit.

4. (Co-Rec) The required number of players to begin a round shall be four (4), with 2 males and 2 females in the boat. If one (1) poolside soaker is used, there are no gender requirements. If two (2) soakers are used for a team, one must be male, the other female.


1. Players are required to wear appropriate swimwear by all players who will be in a boat.

2. A life jacket must be worn by a each player in a boat, unless that player performs and passes a swim test administered by the Campus Recreation staff. Swim tests consist of swimming the length of the pool unassisted. Swim tests are administered prior to each round. Should a player not wish to participate in the swim test, they may opt to wear a life jacket throughout play.

3. Athletic attire or swimwear is recommended for poolside soakers.

4. Jewelry is strictly prohibited.

5. Any clothing or attire that is ruled dangerous by a game official is prohibited.

6. Participants must behave respectfully and courteously in the spirit of fair play towards the referee and IM staff, teammates, opponents and spectators. They must refrain from actions aimed at delaying the game or taking unfair advantage. Participants must accept referee’s decisions with good sporting behavior. In case of doubt, clarification may be requested. A captain may protest the referee’s interpretation of a rule, but not the referee’s judgment.


1. Each team will receive three (3) buckets, two (2) shields. Teams can distribute their equipment throughout the boat in any order.

2. Each team may also utilize mats for kneeling or sitting within their boat. Mats are supplied by IM Sports.

3. Poolside soakers may utilize any commercially available water gun (super soaker, etc). IM Sports will provide basic pool soakers. Each player may only utilize one soaker per round.


1. Each match will take place in the shallow end of the Leach Center pool in an area approximately 3 swimming lanes across. In the pool, boundaries are provided by lane lines and the side of the pool.

2. Throughout game play, IM staff will be present in the pool to push or redirect boats together. Actions by the IM staff are designed enhance game play and are complete without regard to requests by participating boat members.


1. Each team attempts to sink their opponents by throwing water from their buckets into their opponent’s boat.

2. During qualifying rounds, a predetermined number of boats (typically the last two or three) afloat will advance to the next round.

3. The last boat afloat in the final round wins the tournament.


1. Teams begin the heat with all four players inside the boat. Players must be sitting or kneeling in the bottom of the boat.

2. At the start of a round, the boats will be even spread along the perimeter of the battle waters. The officials will push the canoe from the edge of the battle waters toward the center of the pool at the starting whistle.

3. Teams may engage as soon as the starting whistle is blown.

4. Players may throw water with their buckets, shields, or hands at their opponents.

5. When play is paused by officials, all play must stop including throwing water, poolside soakers, and moving a boat within the pool.

6. Sink-or-be sunk Rule: In an effort to keep rounds completing in a timely manner, ALL teams will periodically have buckets of water dumped into their boats.


1. Players may NOT take water out of their own canoe. PENALTY: Replacement of water at official’s discretion plus one large penalty bucket.

2. Players may not touch any opponent, opponent’s equipment (in possession of an opponent or in the pool), or an opponent’s boat. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket. Any intentional act of tipping an opponent’s canoe may result in team disqualification.

3. Players may not touch the side of the pool or any lane lines within the pool in an effort to push off or otherwise direct or propel their boat within the water. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket.

4. A team may never possess more than three (3) buckets and two (2) shields. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket.

5. Players may not stand in the canoe. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket.

6. Players must immediately freeze when an official’s whistle is blown. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket.

7. During the stoppage of play all players are prohibited from throwing water at opponents or bailing water from their canoe. PENALTY: One large penalty bucket.


1. Penalty buckets will be used to penalize teams for breaking game rules.

2. Game officials will blow their whistles to stop play when a penalty bucket is issued. They will announce which boat receives the penalty. The penalized boat will be required to fill up their largest bucket from the pool and dump it into their canoe.


1. A team is eliminated when:
(a) Their boat capsizes or both sidewalls of the boat are underwater.
(b) A player falls out of the boat.
(c) Players refuse to comply with game rules or directions of a game official.
(d) A game official rules a team is eliminated due to poor sporting behavior or dangerous play.

2. Once eliminated, the game officials will stop play until the eliminated team and its boat clears the playing area.​


1. The mission of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sporting behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sporting behavior throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.

2. The Sporting Behavior Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams’ attitude and behavior can be assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with his/her team about the system.

3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, FSU Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain’s efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are key to controlling team conduct.

4. Sporting behavior is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor behavior. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsporting conduct.

5. Each participant should choose his or her team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sporting behavior guidelines. Protests or appeals of sporting behavior ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.

6. Additional information regarding team and participant sporting behavior including the rating method, factors, and scale is available in the Sporting Behavior Principle of the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Campus Recreation web site.