Water Polo regulations for 2019 - 20 | Published 1 September

WAT i The BUCS Water Polo Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the FINA Water Polo Rules1.

WAT ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

WAT iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the FINA Water Polo Rules1, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

1Please note that BUCS WILL be adopting the FINA Water Polo Rules, published in February 2019, for the 2019-20 season, with the following exceptions that are not being adopted and will be reviewed for 2020-21:

- The use of a time-out button for team officials.

- The introduction of an ADDITIONAL Re-entry area between the goal line and the centre field line on the team’s half of field of play (for flying substitution).

- The use of automatic visual effects, surrounding the penalty box. i.e. Signalling the last five seconds of the expiration of the exclusion time or the time when the excluded player is allowed to come back into the game.

-The use of video monitoring system to determine goal or no goal (WP 11 Video Assistant Referee).

-The use of audio equipment by the game referees.

-The use of the GVMS (Game Video Monitoring System) for identifying and sanctioning incidents of brutality or extreme violence that occurred but were not appropriately punished or identified during a game.

As ever, any BUCS regulations shall supersede the FINA Water Polo Rules, unless specifically stated otherwise.


WAT 1 There shall be separate Team Championships for Men and Women. The programme for each Championships shall include leagues and knockout competitions as per BUCS general regulations, Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

WAT 2 Match format and timings

WAT 2.1 Men's and Women's Premier Tier/Championship

WAT 2.1.1 BUCS recommends that at least 75 minutes of pool time are booked (longer for knockout competition fixtures). Institutions/Playing Entities failing to book sufficient time will be considered to have defaulted on the match if for any reason there is insufficient time to bring the fixture to a conclusion.

WAT 2.1.2 The duration of matches and intervals shall be as per the FINA Water Polo Rules. In the event of a tie after full-time in a knockout match, the outcome of the match shall be determined by following the penalty shootout process of the FINA Water Polo Rules.

WAT 2.2 Men's and Women's Tier 1/Trophy and Tier 2 and below/Conference Cup

WAT 2.2.1 BUCS recommends that at least 70 minutes of pool time are booked (longer for knockout fixtures). Institutions/Playing Entities failing to book sufficient time will be considered to have defaulted on the match if for any reason there is insufficient time to bring the fixture to a conclusion.

WAT 2.2.2 The duration of matches and intervals shall be: 4 periods of 7 minutes with 2 minutes rest interval between each period. In the event of a tie after full-time in a knockout match, the outcome of the match shall be determined by following the penalty shootout process of the FINA Water Polo Rules.

WAT 3 Facility requirements

WAT 3.1 Men's and Women's Premier Tier/Championship

WAT 3.1.1 All matches shall be played in pools which meet the dimensions of the FINA Water Polo Rules, with the exception of WP 1.8. In addition, the depth of the water shall be consistently not less than 1.50 metres. The opposition should be made aware of the dimensions when confirming the game as per REG 9.5.

WAT 3.1.2 Shot clocks are compulsory.

WAT 3.2 Men's and Women's Tier 1/Trophy and Tier 2 and below/Conference Cup

WAT 3.2.1 All matches shall be played in pools which meet the dimensions of the FINA Water Polo Rules, with the exception of WP 1.8. In addition, the depth of the water shall be consistently not less than 1.50 metres. The opposition should be made aware of the dimensions when confirming the game as per REG 9.5.

WAT 3.2.2 Shot clocks are not compulsory. Where a shot clock is not provided it is a requirement to have an audible whistle to signal the end of possession.

WAT 4 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

WAT 5 Balls The home team is responsible for providing three regulation match balls. Should balls not be deemed suitable the away team may provide match balls. The referee will have the final decision.

WAT 6 Squad size The maximum squad size shall be 13 players.

WAT 7 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be six.

WAT 8 League points

WAT 8.1 Two points will be awarded for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss.

WAT 8.2 Where a walkover has been awarded/conceded (REG 13), two points shall be given to the non-offending team and two points deducted from the offending team.

WAT 8.3 No points will be awarded to either team in the case of a void fixture.

WAT 9 Championship/Trophy Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals

WAT 9.1 The eight teams qualifying for the Championship/Trophy Quarter-Finals may agree to organise fixtures for the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final rounds in the following format. Should agreement not be reached by all teams, fixtures will take place in standard knockout format.

WAT 9.1.1 The eight teams that progress through Rounds 1 (Last 32) and 2 (Last 16) of the Trophy/Round 1 (Last 16) of the Championship will play in a Northern or Southern round robin in two groups of four.

WAT 9.1.2 These round robin ‘Semi-Finals’ are to be organised by the qualifying institutions/Playing Entities.

WAT 9.1.3 The top team from each group will contest the Trophy/Championship Final which shall be held at a venue decided by BUCS.

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