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Fina has launched the Water Polo Rules - Open Course

with the objective to help those interested get a better understanding of the Rules of Water polo and the sport, in general. 

The course is FREE! Learn more and register: 

For link to downloadable file, click here:  NEW FINA RULES



Rule WP20 – Reset Shot Clock to 20 Seconds:

Possession time shall be reset to 20 seconds when (a) a corner throw is awarded (b) after a shot is taken that does not change possession, and (c) in the event of an exclusion with less than 20 seconds remaining on the shot clock.  If there is more than 20 seconds remaining on the shot clock at the time of the exclusion, the greater time will remain with no new reset.



Rule WP19 – Location of Free Throw:

A free throw shall be taken at the spot of the ball, except (a) if the foul is committed by a defending player within the defender’s 2-meter area, the free throw shall be taken on the 2-meter line opposite to where the foul was committed and, (b) where otherwise provided by the rules.



Rule WP17 – Corner Throws:

A player taking a free throw may (a) shoot directly (b) swim and shoot without passing or (c) pass to another player.



Rule WP5 – Additional Substitution Area:

An additional substitution re-entry area will be at any place in between the goal line and center pool line on the teams half of the field of play (for flying substitutions).  Substitute must always re-enter via the re-entry box in the corner.  The rule only applies to pools with sidelines of at least half a meter from the wall.

Rule Amendment #5

Rule WP11 – Interval at Halftime:

The interval at half-time shall be no more than 3 minutes.


Rule WP14 – Method of Scoring:

If a foul is awarded outside of 6 meters, the player may (a) shoot immediately (b) fake and then shoot (c) dribble and then shoot.  Both, the ball and the foul, must be outside of 6 meters.



Rule WP14 – Goalkeeper Privileges:

The goalkeeper is allowed to move beyond and touch the ball past the half distance line.  They are allowed to shoot from anywhere and can participate as a shooter in a penalty shot or shootout.



Rule WP12 – Time-outs:

A team is entitled to no more than 2 time-outs per game.  Time-outs can be called at any time by the coach of the team in possession of the ball, except after awarding a penalty throw.



New Rule – Attacking a Player from Behind within 6 meters:

When a player with front position is facing or swimming toward the goal and/or is holding the ball and is impeded (attacked) from behind during an attempt to shoot, a penalty foul must be awarded.  The only way to defend in this position is for the defender to make contact with only the ball/hand of the attacking player.  Note: This rule does not take precedence over the advantage rule.  This rule does not change the definition of a probable goal.  It only eliminates the ‘no call’ of a penalty foul for having the ball in hand.



New Rule – Direct Shot Signal by the Referee:

If a free throw is awarded for a foul outside, but within one meter of the 5-meter line, the referee administering the free throw will point downward to the 5-meter line to indicate that the player is eligible to shoot a direct shot on goal.

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