Water Polo Rules - Water Polo

Team size

Depending on the levels the team size varies. Seven is the team size for senior level as per FINA where one is goal keeper and six are field players. FINA made the team size to six in 2014 for U20 and Junior level championships where one goal keeper and five field players.

After 2016 Olympic games, FINA decided to make the same rule of six players for every level. In case of any foul, referee will refer that team to play only with 6 members for duration of four minutes. In case of major fouls like physical fight, then the player might get disqualified.

Situations where a player can be substituted are below -

  • Before and after the goals
  • During the timeouts
  • Before the starting of each quarter
  • After injuries
  • After ordinary fouls

Caps in Water Polo

Minimum requirement is that teams should wear caps of different colors. The color can be same of the color of the ball or may be different with other team or the goal keeper cap color.

Caps

Water Polo − Duration and Clock

There are four periods that a game is divided into. Depending on the match level, the number of periods differ in various tournaments. Below table lists out the several tournaments and their timings -

Duration Tournaments
8 minutes
  • Olympics
  • FINA Water Polo World League
  • Serbia, Russia, Croatian, Italian Water Polo League
  • US College (Varsity Level)
7 minutes
  • US College (Club Level)
  • US High School( Varsity level)
6 minutes
  • US High School (Junior Varsity Level)
  • US High School (Freshman Level)
  • US Water Polo (Under 14 Team Level)
9 minutes
  • Senior Club Play

In following cases, the clock can be stopped -

  • During rethrow and foul.
  • Time between scoring goal and restart.

A team cannot hold the ball for more than 30 seconds during the game. After throwing the ball, if the team recaptures it again then 30 sec in clock is reset.

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