Water Polo Rules


The following information includes some main points from the water polo rules of play established by *FINA and enforced by USA Water Polo. It does not include rules for officials, field of play and equipment, and other technicalities.

The official water polo rules are covered in 25 sections (WP 1-25): Field of play and equipment, goals, the ball, caps, teams and substitutes, officials, referees, goal judges, timekeepers, secretaries, duration of the game, timeouts, start of play, scoring, restarts, throws, fouls, accidents and injuries. Water polo rules of play are covered in WP 11-25 and include:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 11: Duration (WP 11)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 12: Timeouts (WP 12)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 13: Start of Play (WP 13)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 14: Scoring Method (WP 14)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 15: Restarting after a Goal (WP 15)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 16: Goal Throws (WP 16)

A goal throw is awarded when:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 17: Corner Throws (WP 17)

A corner throw is awarded when:

Additional points:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 18: Neutral Throws (WP 18)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 19: Free Throws (WP 19)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 20: Ordinary Fouls (WP 20)

Any of the following offenses constitutes a foul, resulting in a free throw awarded to the non-offending team:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 21: Exclusion Fouls (WP 21)

Any of the following constitutes an exclusion foul, resulting in a free throw awarded to the opponent, and exclusion of the player who committed the foul:

Additional points:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 22: Penalty Fouls (WP 22)

The following offenses constitute a penalty foul, resulting in a free throw awarded to the opponent:

Water Polo Rules - Rule 23: Penalty Throws (WP 23)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 24: Personal Fouls (WP24)

Water Polo Rules - Rule 25: Accident, Injury and Illness (WP25)

*FINA, which stands for Federation Internationale de Natation (French for International Swimming Federation) is the world governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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