Rule Changes in Water Polo – History, FINA 2018 New Rules, and Literature Review

Mark Li1, *, James Graham2
1 Great Neck North School Aquatics, Great Neck, NY11021, USA
2 Water Polo Team, University of Pacific, Scranton, CA95211, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Li and Graham

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Great Neck North School, Great Neck, NY 11021, USA; Tel: (516) 423-3175; Fax: (718) 670-2408; E-mail:


Water polo has recently encountered extensive challenges, including possible banishment from the Olympics. To meet the challenges, major rule changes have been implemented. This perspective is to provide a literature review of the impact of rule changes on water polo gameplay. An emerging and relatively small body of research has demonstrated significantly enhanced game dynamics and outcomes as intended by recent rule changes. The water polo community needs more analytical research on the impact of the latest rule changes approved in 2018.

Keywords: Water polo, Rule changes, Impact, Gameplay, Performance, FINA.