The Italian Swimming Federation (FIN) suspended the national water polo championships until mid-February because the new wave of the coronavirus pandemic affected the league significantly.
In the last few weeks, many players have tested positive for coronavirus, and many games have been postponed. Only two of seven games of the 13th round of the male championships were played the past weekend. A total of 10 games in the men’s Serie A1 were postponed in the past five weeks.
Since the international and national water polo competition calendar in 2022 is packed, the FIN decided to change the competition formula, Italian media report.
It’s planned that the ten postponed games will be played in the following 30 days.
According to a proposed new formula, the teams would be split into two groups in the second part of the regular season, which is planned to start on February 12. Instead of 26, the league would consist of 20 competition rounds.
The teams ranked 1st – 7th after the 13th round would play in one group, while the teams ranked 8th – 14th would compete in the other group. The second half would be a single round-robin competition. The points won in the mutual encounters between the teams in the same groups would be carried to the second stage of the league. Each team would play six games in the newly formed groups.
The Italian Federation hasn’t issued an official announcement yet, but Italian media write that the final decision regarding a new competition format should be made this week.
The competition system of the female and other national leagues in Italy will be changed too.
Current standings in the male Serie A1
1. Pro Recco 11 – 33
2. Brescia 11 – 30
3. Trieste 13 – 29
4. Savona 12 – 27
5. Telimar 12 – 25
6. Ortigia 12 – 25
7. Salerno 10 – 15
8. Anzio 13 – 11
9. Posillipo 12 – 10
10. Quinto 10 – 9
11. Milano 11 – 9
12. Catania 11 – 7
13. Roma 12 – 7
14. Lazio 12 – 1