The Italian Swimming Federation (FIN) and water polo clubs agreed on a new playing format for the Italian A1 men’s league.
The league was supposed to begin on October 3. Thirteen clubs take part in the Italian League, and it was planned that they play 26 rounds in the regular season.
But, on October 2, the Federation postponed the start of the Championship because of several coronavirus cases at the clubs.
Since then, the Federation and the clubs have discussed several proposals on a new competition formula. On Monday evening, another teleconference meeting was held. The Federation and the clubs accepted the format which consists of two phases of the regular season and the playoffs.
As the Italian Federation announced, in the next few days, the relative regulatory procedures will be refined, and the conditions for formalizing the championship formula will be definitively verified.
Regular season – phase 1
The 13 teams will be split into three groups of 3 and one of 4 teams, with home and away matches (6 rounds in each group). In this phase, nine teams will play four matches, while the remaining four clubs will play six games.
Regular season – phase 2
Group for the title
The first two classified teams from each group advance to the second phase battle for the title, which consists of two groups of 4 teams. In this phase, each team will play six games on a home and away basis.
The first two ranked teams from each of the two groups will qualify for the playoffs, which starts from the semifinals. The number of matches in the playoffs hasn’t been determined yet (there are two options – best of three, and best of five series).
The remaining five teams (ranked 3rd and 4th in the first phase groups) will play in the group for places 9th – 13th, on a double round-robin basis (each team plays four home and four away matches). The last two teams will compete in the relegation playoffs.
The calendar hasn’t been determined yet, but the league will probably start in November.
All in all, the number of games is reduced significantly. The maximum number of matches that a team will play in the regular season is 14. Some of the teams will play 10 games in the regular season. In this format, it will be easier to reschedule a game, if there is a need for the postponement of the match.
Before the planned start of the league, three male clubs confirmed that their players had tested positive for COVID-19: Telimar Palermo, Brescia, Posillipo. Meanwhile, Pro Recco’s Gonzalo Echenique tested positive, but none of his teammates is infected.
The Italian League clubs: Pro Recco, Brescia, Ortigia, Savona, Trieste, Telimar, Florentia, Roma, Lazio, Posillipo, Quinto, Salerno, and Metanopoli.