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Monday, 12 February 2007 06:15

Water Polo - Rules

Water polo players
 Players move the ball by pushing it while swimming, or passing to a team-mate

Teams consist of seven players (a goalkeeper and six field players) with the visitors wearing white caps, the home team dark ones, and keepers in red.

A match has four eight-minute quarters with the clock stopped each time the ball is dead. Each team has two, one-minute time-outs which can be called when in possession. If required, extra time has two three-minute periods with each team permitted an extra time-out. If the scores are still drawn, a five-shot penalty shoot-out will take place, followed by a sudden death finish.

Players can move the ball by pushing it in front of them or by passing, while a player in possession cannot allow the ball to go underwater when tackled or pushed. The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to touch the ball with both hands. Contact is permitted only on the player in possession and must not amount to impeding the player by, for instance, swimming across their legs or back.

The 12 nations and regions competing will be divided into two groups, each of which will play a preliminary round-robin. The leaders of each group have a bye into the semifinals, the teams finishing second and third will play their counterparts from the opposite group to determine which will compete in the semifinals. The same process will be held for the teams finishing in the bottom half of each group.

Water Polo - Animation

Requiring strength and endurance in the swimming pool, water polo is always bound to make a big splash. For an in-depth look at the rules, terms and equipment, check out our animation and follow the links.


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