Late in September, the new season of the LEN competitions begins with the first round of the Champions League qualifications (September 29 – October 2). All major European men’s national water polo leagues will start the following month.
The Hungarians, the French, and the Greeks will start races for their titles on October 8. The Italian League will begin two weeks after, and the Spanish Championships on October 15.
Some of the federations have already released the full calendars. The others determined provisional calendars and the final versions will be announced soon.
However, all calendars are subject to change mostly because of international competitions.
The composition of the league has been changed a little bit. The newcomer is KSI which replaced DVSE Debrecen, the club that was relegated to the second division.
Ferencvaros defends the title. The regular season will be, as usual, played in a double round-robin competition formula. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs for the title. The teams ranked 5th-8th will play in the 5th-place playoffs, and the teams which finish between 9th and 12th place will battle for 9th place. The 14th-placed team will be relegated to the second league, while the 13th-placed will compete in the playout.
Participating teams: Ferencvaros, OSC, Szolnok, Vasas, BVSC, Honved, Szeged, PVSK, Eger, Kaposvar, UVSE, Miskolc, Szentes, KSI.
Day 1 (October 8)
Honved – UVSE
Eger – Szolnok
KSI – Vasas
BVSC – Ferencvaros
Szeged – Kaposvar
Miskolc – OSC
Szentes – PVSK Pecs
The dates of the following rounds have to be confirmed.
The competition formula hasn’t changed since the last season. The Greek League is the only one with more than 14 clubs. Sixteen teams will play in the Championships. They have been drawn into two groups of eight teams. After the 14th round, two new groups will be formed – the top four teams from each group will qualify for Group G1, while all other teams will play in Group G2. The first six teams from group G1 go to the playoffs. The teams placed 7th and 8th in Group G1 will battle against 1st and 2nd in Group G2 for the remaining two places in the quarterfinals.
Olympiacos, the reigning champion is the frontrunner in Group A, while Vouliagmeni, the 2nd-placed team in the season 2021/22, is the favorite in Group B. Nireas Chalandriou and Elysiakos have been promoted from the 2nd to the 1st league.
Group A: Olympiacos, Panionios, Ydraikos, Ethnikos, AEK, Panathinaikos, Chios, Nireas Chalandriou.
Group B: Vouliagmeni, Apollon Smyrnis, PAOK, Glyfada, Peristeri,Chania, Palaio Faliro, Elysiakos.
Day 1 (October 8)
Panionios – Olympiacos
Nireas Chalandriou – Panathinaikos
Ydraikos – AEK
Ethnikos – Chios
Chania – Apollon Smyrnis
Peristeri – Glyfada
Palaio Faliro – Elysiakos
Calendar, Groups A and B – Day 1: October 9, Day 2: October 15, Day 3: October 22; Day 4: October 29; Day 5: November 5, Day 6: November 12; Day 7: November 19; Day 8: December 3, Day 9: December 10; Day 10: December 17; Day 11: January 7; Day 12: January 14; Day 13: January 21; Day 14: January 28.
Nine teams will participate in the French League next season. Compared to the 2022/23 Championships, FNC Douai is missing. Marseille, the title-holder, will be the favorite for the title, but Noisy-le-Sec (Cercle 93), Tourcoing, and Strasbourg will be very tough opponents to the reigning champion.
The league begins on October 8.
The top six teams will advance to the title playoffs. The 1st-placed and 2nd-placed qualify for the semifinals directly.
Participating teams: Marseille, Noisy-le-Sec, Tourcoing, Strasboirg, Pays d’Aix, Reims, Sete, Montpellier, Nice.
Day 1 (October 8)
Marseille – Sete
Strasbourg – Pays d’Aix
Tourcoing – Nice
Noisy-le-Sec – Reims
Calendar- Day 1: October 8, Day 2: October 22, Day 3: November 5; Day 4: November 12; Day 5: November 19; Day 6: November 26; Day 7: December 3, Day 8: December 10; Day 9: December 17.
Day 10: January 28, Day 11: February 4, Day 12: February 11; Day 13: February 18; Day 14: February 25; Day 15: March 4; Day 16: March 11; Day 17: March 25; Day 18: April 1.
Spanish League starts on October 15. Barceloneta will try to win its 17th consecutive national title. Twelve teams will battle for the trophy. The newcomer is Caballa- Ciudad de Ceuta. The league consists of 22 rounds (double round-robin competition). The top four teams after 22 rounds, will advance to the semifinals of the playoffs.
Participating teams: Barceloneta, Barcelona, Sabadell, Terrassa, Mediterrani, Sant Andreu, Mataro,
Tenerife Echeyde, Catalunya, Rubi, Real Canoe, Caballa – Ciudad de Ceuta.
Day 1 (October 15)
Barceloneta – Catalunya
Barcelona – Real Canoe
Sabadell – Rubi
Mediterrani – Tenerife Echeyde
Caballa – Mataro
Terrassa – Sant Andreu
Provisional calendar of the first half of the season – Day 1: October 15, Day 2: October 22, Day 3: October 29, Day 4: November 5, Day 5: November 12, Day 6: November 19, Day 7: November 26, Day 8: December 3, Day 9: December 10, Day 10: December 17, Day 11: January 14.
In the previous two seasons, the regular season of the Italian League was held through a few phases due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The teams were split into several groups. From the following season, the league returns to its standard format. Fourteen teams participate and they will play in 26 rounds in the regular season. After that, the top four teams will qualify for the semifinals of the playoffs.
Pro Recco is the reigning champion. A new club compared to the previous season is De Akker. The Bologna-based team replaced Lazio, which will play in Serie A2 in the next season.
The season in Italy begins with the qualifications for the National Cup (October 8 – 9)
Participating teams: Pro Recco, Brescia, Savona, Ortigia, Trieste, Salerno, Posillipo, Bogliasco, Anzio, Telimar, De Akker, Roma, Iren Quinto, Catania.
Day 1, October 22
Savona-De Akker Team
Roma Nuoto-Iren Genova Quinto
Pro Recco – Catania
Calendar– Day 1: October 22, Day 2: October 29, Day 3: November 5; Day 4: November 12, Day 5: November 19, Day 7: December 3; Day 8: December 7; Day 9: December 10; Day 10: December 17; Day 11: January 14, Day 12: January 18; Day 13: January 21
Day 14: January 28, Day 15: February 4, Day 16: February 11; Day 17: February 18; Day 18: February 25; Day 19: March 4; Day 20: March 18; Day 21: March 25; Day 22: March 29; Day 23: April 1; Day 24: April 8; Day 25: April 15; Day 26: April 22.
Ten clubs will play in the league. After nine rounds of single round-robin competition, they will be split into two groups (1st-6th place and 7th-8th place). The teams placed 1st – 8th will go to the playoffs. Novi Beograd is the reigning champion, while a new club, promoted from the second league is Novobeogradski Vukovi (the “B” team of Novi Beograd)
Participating teams: Novi Beograd, Radnicki, Sabac, Partizan, Crvena Zvezda, Vojvodina, Valis, Proleter,Nais, Novobeogradski Vukovi.
Day 1 (October 11/12)
Novi Beograd – Proleter
Radnicki – Partizan
Nais – Vojvodina
Crvena Zvezda – Sabac
Valis – Novobeogradski Vukovi
Calendar of the first stage– Day 1: October 11/12; Day 2: October 19; Day 3: October 26; Day 4: November 5; Day 5: November 12; Day 6: November 23; Day 7: December 3; Day 8: December 10, Day 9: December 17
The competition in the two new groups will be held in February and March.
The draw of the starting positions of the Croatian League hasn’t been conducted yet, but the competition formula and the provisional calendar have been confirmed. Just as in Serbia, after the first half of the regular season, the clubs will be split into two groups. It’s planned that the league starts on October 1 and ends on March 18. The playoffs will start with the quarterfinal matches on March 25.