Southeast Missouri State University

Innertube Water Basketball

The Game, Players, and Equipment

  • General Provisions
  1. The game shall be played between 2 teams of 5 players each.  A minimum of 4 players will be required to start the game and avoid a forfeit. The game may be continued with less than 5 players as long as the team has a chance to win.
  2. Innertubes and basketballs will be furnished by the Intramural Sports Program. Players must sit in the center of the tubes. Each team must use the same color innertube. Players may wear swimsuits and/or shorts and shirts. Players may not wear jewelry. (Exception medical alert tags must be taped down.) Players my not use flippers or other devices to give them advantage. Goggles are ok. Any apparel worn by the participant that may damage the innertube will be disallowed by the supervisor on duty (i.e. jeans, or clothing with exposed metal)
  • Playing Area
    1. The ball remains in play if it touches the side of the pool or the water.
    2. Out of Bounds. If the ball goes onto the pool deck, past the center rope line, or into the stair entrance area.
    3. Substitute players must remain on the pool deck until they enter the game.

    General Rules

    • GAME TIME IS FORFEIT TIME. If a team does not have the minimum number of players required to start signed in by game time, the shorthanded team will forfeit the game.
    • A game shall consist of two 12 minute halves with a 3 minute half-time. The clock will run continuously throughout the first 22 minutes of the game. During the last 2 minutes, the clock will stop on all official’s whistles.
    • Time-Outs. Each team will receive 1 time-out per half and for each overtime period. Time-outs do not carry over between periods.
    • Overtime. If a playoff game ends in a tie, a 3 minute overtime period will play. All personal fouls will carry over for each overtime period. The clock will run continuously for the first 2 min of the overtime period and stop on all official’s whistles during the last minute of play.
    • Substitution. You may enter the pool area anywhere. Request a substitution from an official after a basket is made, when a throw-in is about to occur, at time-out, when a penalty has been called or between halves. The official will let you know if you can substitute.
    • Starting the Game. A coin flip will give the teams the option of the ball in the first half or second half. Overtime periods will start with another coin flip. The ball is put in play at the far end line.
    • Throw-ins. On a throw-in the ball must be passed before a try on goal. The defense must be at least 3 feet away until the thrower passes or moves with the ball. The thrower has 5 seconds to pass or begin moving with the ball.
    • Jump Ball. A jump ball is called if opposing players have equal possession of the ball, or when opposing players simultaneously knock the ball out of bounds. The ball is put in play using the alternating possession arrow.
    • Out of Bounds. When a ball goes out of bounds, it goes to the opposite team at a spot near where it went out.
    • Free Throws. Free throws are not awarded to players after a personal foul; fouls are counted to three and then after the third team foul, the opposing team is awarded one point.
    • Moving with the Ball. To legally move the ball you may carry it, pass it, bump it with your tube, or splash the ball. You do not have to dribble the ball.
    • Remain in tubes. Participants may not play the ball while out of their tube. If a player falls out of their tube, they may next play the ball only after they have returned to his/her tube in a sitting position.


    Field Goals. A made basket counts as 2 points.


    • Resuming Play. After any of the following penalties, the game will resume with the offended team receiving the ball at the spot nearest where the violation occurred.
    • Holding onto or kicking off the side of the pool
    • Intentionally hold the ball underwater
    • Play the ball while out of the tube
    • Hold the ball longer than 5 seconds, unless the player is moving with it
    • Use flippers or other devices that would create an advantage (goggles are acceptable)
    • Cause the ball to go out-of-bounds
    • Advance the ball with his/her feet (kick)

    Personal Fouls

    • Penalty. When a personal foul occurs, the offended team will get the ball nearest the spot of the foul except during the last 2 minutes of the game or during an overtime period. Two points will be awarded to the offended team during the last 2 minutes or in an overtime period. The ball is then taken out at the end line by the team that committed the foul. After 3 personal fouls on a player, he/she will have fouled out of the game.
    • Holding, pushing, hitting, jumping on the tube, or dumping an opponent not holding or in control of the ball. (Control is defined as holding the ball, touching the ball, pushing water around the ball to move it.)
    • Making bodily contact with an opponent is a foul (hitting, striking, grabbing, holding, etc.)
    • Intentionally splashing water in the face of an opponent who does not have control of the ball.
    • Players persistently repeating a violation, even after the referee has given warnings may be ejected from the game.
    • Exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct (i.e. swearing or taunting)

    Flagrant Fouls

    • Penalty. If a flagrant foul is committed, the offending player will be ejected from the game.
    • Prohibited Acts. The following acts are prohibited and considered to be flagrant in nature:
    • Attacking, striking, or kicking an opponent in such a manner as, in the opinion of the referee, to endanger this person in any way.
    • Holding a player under water
    • Any conduct the official feels is VERY unsportsmanlike conduct (i.e. abusive language towards an opponent or officials)
    • Dunking the ball and/or hanging on the rim.

    Spring Facility Hours (Jan. 18 -May 17)

    Student Recreation Center - North:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight
    Friday: 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Sunday: Noon - Midnight

    Student Aquatic Center:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:30 - 7:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Friday: 5:30 - 7:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Saturday: Noon - 6 p.m.
    Sunday: Noon - 8 p.m.

    Student Recreation Center - South:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Friday: 5:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    Saturday: Closed
    Sunday: 5 - 9 p.m.

    All facilities will be closed: April 18 & 20. Hours will be reduced March 15-22 and April 19.

    For text alerts regarding facility closures, text 'follow @serecnotify' to 40404. Standard text messaging rates will apply.