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Basic Rules

Water Polo Rules

Examples of Ordinary Fouls: 

  1. When a player pushes off the side of the pool.
  2. A “False Start” at the beginning of play.
  3. Holding the entire ball underwater when being tackled.
  4. To touch the ball with two hands (excludes goalies).
  5. Pushing off a player who is not holding the ball.
  6. When a player is within 2 meters of their opponent’s goal except when behind the line of the ball.
  7. Pushing off of a defensive player.
  8. When the player throws the ball out of bounds.
  9. If the team keeps the ball for more than 30 seconds (the length of the shot clock) without taking a shot on goal.

Examples of Exclusion Fouls: 

  1. To hold, sink or pull back a player who is not holding the ball.
  2. Misconduct (foul language, etc…).
  3. Leaving the ejection area illegally.
  4. Brutality—obvious intent to injure another player.

Examples of Penalty Fouls: 

  1. A defending player to commit any foul within the 5 meters of the goal for which a goal would probably have resulted.
  2. For a defending player within 5 meters of the goal to kick or strike an opponent or commit an act of brutality.
  3. A penalty foul results in a penalty shot at the goal.
  4. A player that receives three exclusion and/or penalty fouls is excluded rom the remainder of the game.


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