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Basic Water Polo Rules

Teams Each team shall consist of seven players including the goalkeeper with not more than five reserves or six if one is the second goalie.
Substitutes May enter after a goal has been scored, during interval quarters, and from the corner during the game – may not push off wall, lift lane rope or dive in.
Referee Is in absolute control of the game. They must refrain from calling a foul if advantage is gained by the team in possession.
Duration of Game Four periods of 5 minutes (Open Grade 6 minutes) running time for Intermediates. 1 minute between quarters and 2 minutes between halves. Then best of five penalties.

FINALS: Four periods of 4:30 minutes (Open Grade 5 minutes) , with shot and stop clock. 1 minute between quarters and 2 minutes between halves. Then best of five penalties.

Start of Play Players Line up on their respective goal lines and swim off for ball after ref blows whistle.
Scoring The entire ball must pass fully over the goal line. May be scored with any part of the body i.e. Hand, head, foot but not clenched fist.
Restarting after Goal Players take up positions in their respective halves (½ way white marker).
Goal Throw Taken by goalkeeper anywhere inside the 2 metre area. Can occur after deflection, after shot, behind goal from defending player (Red marker).
Corner Throw (2m) Taken by member of the attacking team on 2 metre marker next to edge of the game boundary (wall or lane rope).
Neutral Throw One or more players commit foul at the time. Ref signals with two thumbs up. Ball hits an obstruction.
Free Throw Ref blows whistle to declare fouls. Must take the throw without delay, either to another team-mate or to yourself. Once ball played it must touch another player on your team, unless you shoot directly from outside 5 metres (Yellow marker).
Ordinary Foul (Minor foul) 1. To hold or push off wall during play

2. Take ball under water in a tackle.

3. To use two hands together on the ball unless you are the goal keeper who is within 5 metres (Yellow marker).

4. Impede or prevent free movement of another player “not holding the ball”.

5. Push off an opponent.

6. To be within opposition’s two metre area without ball is off-side.

7. To waste time or delay when taking a free throw.

8. Goalkeeper to go past half way.

Exclusion Fouls (Major foul) Players have a maximum of three major fouls and are then excluded from game. When excluded you must swim to the corner opposite the ref (or opposite to the table when two referees are involved). Player can return to game after wave in from Ref or the player’s cap colour flag is held up from the table.

1.                   Interfere with the taking of a free throw

2.                   To push or throw the ball away

3.                   To splash an opponent

4.                   Block a shot with two hands outside five metres.

5.                   To hold, sink or pull back an opponent not holding the ball

6.                   To kick or strike an opponent intentionally or make intent (Exclusion from game with substitution after 4 mins and penalty)

7.                   Misconduct – Foul language, violent or persistent foul play, and disrespect to officials (exclusion for game with substitution).

Penalty Throw (5m) Committing any foul within five metres (yellow marker) area but for which a goal would be scored.

1.   Goalkeeper hiding the ball under water in a tackle

2.   Pushing off the wall to stop a shot

3.   Attempting to block a shot with two hands- field player.

These are some of the basic rules of water polo. Don’t hesitate to ask the Ref for clarification on the rules after the game if you are unsure. Enjoy your games and practices. Play hard and play fair.