The post-Olympic year will be packed with many water polo competitions.
The World Championships and the European Championships will be held in 2022. However, it won’t happen for the first time. In the 1990s and the 2000s, when FINA and LEN were changing systems and rhythms of the holdings of their championships, World and European championships were held in the same year several times (1991, 2001, 2003).
This time, the FINA World Championships were moved from 2021 to 2022 due to the postponing of the Tokyo Olympics.
The World Championships will be held in May. In 2016, FINA decided that Fukuoka (Japan) would host the 19th edition of the World Championships. In the last few months, there have been rumors that the Championships might be moved from Fukuoka to Kazan (Russia) or Dubai (UAE). Reportedly, Japan doesn’t want to organize another big competition in the “COVID era” after the Tokyo Olympics. However, official sources haven’t confirmed this information. Moreover, the hosts have been preparing for the championships for a while. FINA delegation visited Fukuoka and inspected the competition venues in late November. The Organizing Committee organized several promotions of the Championships in the past few months. According to FINA’s official calendar, the 19th World Championships in all aquatic sports will be held in Fukuoka between May 13 and 29. The water polo tournament will begin on May 15. The final games are on May 27 (women) and 28 (men).
In late August and early September 2022, the European Water Polo Championships will be staged in Split (August 27 – September 10). After the qualification tournaments in February and March, the list of teams competing in the event in Split will be finalized.
The series of competitions for the national teams in 2022 starts on January 18, with the first day of the European qualifications for the Men’s World League Super Final. Ladies will begin their race for the Super Final berths a week after. The European qualifications both for men and women will be finished in April. The World League Super Final for women is scheduled for July 12 – 17, while the Men’s Final Eight will be held between July 25 and 30. The hosts of the Super Finals, and of the Intercontinental qualifications have yet to be determined.
The FINA World Cup, which was established in 1979, and was organized every four years since 2002, won’t be held this year due to a packed calendar.
The 31st World University Games (Universiade), moved from 2021 to 2022, will be held in Chengdu (China) from June 26 to July 7. At the same time (June 25 – July 5), the Mediterranean Games will take place in Oran (Algeria).
Competitions for clubs
As for international clubs’ competitions, the Champions League continues on January 11. Six rounds of the Champions League will be contested till the end of March. Then it’s time for a rest because the national teams begin their World Championships preparations. In June, the Champions League will restart. Between June 30 and July 2, the Final Eight will be held in Belgrade.
The LEN Euro Cup will be completed in March (the final matches are on March 5 and 26).
The Women’s Euro League ends in April (the Final Four is on April 1 and 2). The LEN Trophy Final Four will be staged a week before. The hosts will be determined after the Euro League Quarterfinals.
Junior and youth championships
Two FINA World Youth Championships (U18) will be held this year. Originally, Brisbane was determined as a host both for men and for women. But, the championships have been relocated from Brisbane to Belgrade, according to the most recent information. The men’s tournament is scheduled for July 30 – August 7. The female youth teams will battle for medals between August 13 and 21.
The first-ever World U16 Championships will be played in Volos (Greece) in June and July.
In September, the Water Polo Federation of Montenegro will organize the Men’s European U19 Championship in Podgorica. The dates of the Women’s European U19 Championships (Netanya, Israel) haven’t been announced yet.
Update, April 2022
Since the beginning of the year, there have been a lot of changes in the international water polo calendar. The World Championships in Fukuoka have been moved to 2023. FINA scheduled the World Championships in Budapest (June 18 – July 3). These FINA’s decisions caused changes in almost all competitions. The Champions League Final Eight has been moved to early June, the World League Super Finals have been moved, etc.
Therefore, Total Waterpolo had to update the calendar.
Calendar of major water polo events in 2022 – revised version
(medal tournaments are underlined)
January 12: LEN Euro Cup Semifinals, leg 1
January 18: Men’s World League, European qualifications, Day 1
January 21 – 23: Premier Regional League, stage 2
January 25: Women’s World League, European qualifications, Day 1
February 5: Euro League Women Quarterfinals, leg 1
February 9: LEN Euro Cup Semifinals, leg 2
February 15: Men’s World League, European qualifications, Day 2
February 17 – 20: Men’s Qualifications for the European Championships (Slovenia, Georgia, Malta, Israel)
February 18 – 20: Premier Regional League, stage 3
February 22: Women’s World League, European qualifications, Day 2
February 26: Euro League Women Quarterfinals, leg 2
March 4 – 6: Women’s Qualifications for the European Championships, Group C (Malta)
March 5: LEN Euro Cup Final, match 1
March 7 – March 13: World League, Intercontinental Qualifications, men and women (Peru, Lima)
March 8: Men’s World League, European qualifications, Day 3
March 15: Women’s World League, European qualifications, Day 3
March 25 and 30: LEN Trophy Women, Final
March 26: LEN Euro Cup Final, match 2
April 2 and 3: Premier Regional League Final Four
April 2 and 3: Euro League Women, Final Four
April 14 – 16: Qualifications for the European U19 Championships, men, Group D (Malta)
April 22 –24: Qualifications for the European U19 Championships, men Group A (Bucharest), Group B (Tbilisi), Group C (Kosice) there are no qualifications for women.
April 22–24: Women’s World League, Final Six of the European qualifications (Santa Cruz, Spain)
April 28 –30: Men’s World League, Final Eight of the European qualifications (Podgorica, Montenegro)
June 2 – 4: Champions League Final Eight (Belgrade, Serbia)
June 18 – July 3: 19th FINA World Championships, Budapest
June 26 – July 7: Summer Universiade (Chengdu, China)
June 25 – July 5: Mediterranean Games (Oran, Algeria)
July 4 – 11: European U19 Women’s Championships (Netanya, Israel)
July 23 – 29: Men’s World League Super Final (Strasbourg, France)
July: Women’s World League Super Final (host and exact dates to be determined)
August 02 – 10: World Men’s Youth (U18) Championships (Belgrade, Serbia)
August 13 – 21: World Women’s Youth (U18) Championships (Belgrade, Serbia)
August 27 – September 10: European Championships (Split, Croatia)
September 11 – 25: Asian Games (Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China)
September 18 – 25: European U19 Men’s Championships (Podgorica, Montenegro)
October 5 – 14: South American Games (Asuncion, Paraguay)