The World Aquatics Bureau has recently approved new Competition Regulations in all six aquatic sports and announced it yesterday.
As for water polo, there are two significant changes. One concerns the change of nationality (the same for all aquatic sports), and the other affects the duration of the game. There will be no draws. The penalty shootout will determine the winner if the match ends in a tie.
Three years of pause after changing citizenship
According to the old rules, an athlete had to wait at least one year to get the right to play for a new national team after changing citizenship.
That period is prolonged to three years.
An athlete that indents to change his/here sports nationality shall observe a waiting period of three years between the last representation for his/her former country and the first representation for the new World Aquatics member, new rules say.
Most important excerpts from the rules:
“-The athlete shall not be entitled to represent any World Aquatics Member at International Competitions during this waiting period.
-The athlete shall be a citizen by birth or naturalization of the country or Sport Country he/she will represent.
-The athlete shall have an uninterrupted residence in the new country for at least three years prior to his/her first international competitions or shall be able to demonstrate by the end of the waiting period at the latest, that he/she has a genuine close and established link to the country or sports country he/she will represent.”
These rules came into force on February 23. Still, the World Aquatics Office may apply the old rules on nationality during a transitory period until the end of this year at the latest if an athlete initiated the process of eligibility or change of sport nationality before February 23, 2023.
The waiting period is one year if the athlete has previously represented another country at age categories only ( U16, U18, U20, Youth or Junior)
Penalty shootout after ties in all competitions
As for the draws, the new part of the Water Polo Rules is point 4.3. (section “Duration of the game) :
“Each World Aquatics Water Polo game shall have a winner at full time in any game. There shall be a penalty shoot out to determine the result as specified in Appendix 6 (the appendix about a penalty shootout procedure – Ed).”
There weren’t ties in the former FINA World League, and these rules have been implemented in the newly launched World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup (a team that wins a game after four quarters gets 3, a team that wins in a penalty shootout two, and a losing team in a penalty shootout 1 point).
But, the points system for the World Championships and other World Aquatics water polo tournaments hasn’t been announced yet. It still hasn’t been clarified if the points will be awarded like in the World Cup.
To remind you, the points system at the World Championships Olympic Games until now was: two points for a win and one point for a draw (LEN has different rules – 3 points for a win).
The competition format of the age group competitions (U20 and U18) was changed. We have already written about it.
The beach water polo rules and the VAR protocol have been updated,too.
The changes approved in October are implemented in the new rules