Goal keeper signalling a power play.

Goal keeper signalling a power play.


Unless we say otherwise, all other normal water polo rules apply - if you are a first timer and need a crash course in the basics check out this great video!

For pointers on how our rules work in practice check out this handy explainer!

Here are all the rules for our tournaments:

  • 3 field players and a GK in the water at any time (for mixed teams, there must be 2 girls and 2 boys on the field at all times)

  • 6 minute running time halves + 2 min half time

  • Halves are scored as individual sets, like volleyball or tennis

  • Winning both halves ends the game at 2-0

  • Winning a half each results in a 3 person penalty shootout, where players will have 10 seconds to get as close to goal as they can and have a shot, receiving a pass from the GK, who can also shoot!

    • The passing GK can’t go outside their own 5m to pass or shoot - if they do, the penalty attempt is finished

    • The defending GK can leave their goal to defend - though leaving an empty net is risky business!

    • If the defending GK creates an ordinary foul on the attacking player OUTSIDE 5m, the attacking player can have a direct shot at goal without a fake, as per normal water polo rules

    • If the defending GK creates an ordinary foul INSIDE 5m, it will result in the GK being ejected for the remainder of the shoot out and the attacking team receiving a 5m penalty shot

    • If ten seconds passes, the penalty attempt is finished

    • If teams are tied after three penalties, the shoot out continues until a result occurs - the same order of shooters continues

  • Substitutions can be made anywhere along the teams sideline OUTSIDE the 5m line - i.e. the white zone!

    • A sub inside the 5m results in an immediate turnover AND exclusion for the player who stuffed it up!

  • Exclusions still need to go to the penalty box, marked in red. Players can immediately come back into play once they have entered the penalty box (i.e. no 20 second exclusions)

    • A substitution can be made either INSIDE the penalty box OR the player will still need to sub in the white zone.

  • Each team can nominate a 'power play' once per game (regular time only), where the next goal scored by either team is worth 2 - it can only be called directly after a goal has been scored

    • This needs to be called by the teams GK while in possession of the ball by showing two fingers to the referee

  • No shot clock - though the referee can call a 'passive' play if the attacking team is not trying to score, by shouting 'move it on', at which point the attacking team has 2 passes to get a shot on goal before a turnover is called