For all refs and players – below is a clarification put out by the ICF canoe polo committee chairman. The short answer is our current application of the rule is correct…
The defending team (that just scored) must still be given a minimum of 10 seconds to get 3 players back- The referee must still be in control and restart with a whistle.
Any deliberate delay results in a team warning.
The player taking the throw must be somewhere along the centre line and stationary (or close enough to it) with none of his teammates crossing the line until the whistle blows.
The defenders (who have just scored) have a right to take 10 seconds to get back without deliberately delaying so there needs to be some fairness to both teams.
The only time a referee should restart the game before 10 seconds is if both teams and referees are ready.
The intention is to not allow the defending team to delay the restart but also to give the referees time to signal numbers and award cards.
The rule was bought in to prevent excessive delays- not to turn us into handball or basketball. 10 seconds is not much time and the referee needs to complete their tasks and the defending team have a right to some reasonable time to get back.
Andrea Donzelli, ICF Canoe Polo commttee