Players. Each team must have seven players (six field players and one goalkeeper) in the water when the game starts.
Normally, the home (or higher seeded) team wears white (or light colored) caps, starts the game to the left of the scoring table, and is on the left (or upper) portion of the scoreboard. Either team may substitute players freely after a goal is scored, during a time-out, or between periods.
During the actual play, substitutions must occur through the team’s re-entry area (the corner of the pool in front of the team’s bench).
The referees whistle two different kinds of fouls: minor (ordinary) fouls and major (personal) fouls. There is no limit to the number of minor fouls a player may commit. In contrast, once a player has committed three major fouls, that player must leave the game and may not return.
Minor Fouls - The referee normally signals a minor foul with one blast of the whistle and holding one arm out straight in the direction of the attack. If the foul is committed outside the 5m line, the player may take the free throw as a “direct shot” at the goal.
Major Fouls – Exclusive for 20s. The most common major exclusion foul is holding, sinking, or pulling back a player who is not holding the ball. other (less comon) exclusion foulss are whistled for interference with a free throw or for kicking or stricking.
5 Meter Line – yellow. If a defensive player commits a foul inside of the 5-meter line, which prevents a “probable goal”, the defensive player is charged with a penalty (personal) foul and the opposing team is awarded a penalty throw (a “5-meter”). If an offensive player may pick up the ball and take an immediate shot at the opponent’s goal (i.e., two players do not have to touch the ball before a goal can be scored).
Center Line – White Mid-pool. After each goal is Scored, play is re-started at mid-pool; the goalkeepers are not permitted to go across the mid-pool line.
Field Of Play. A standard (championship) course is 30m x 20m for men and 25m x 20m for women. The depth should be at least 1.8m. Despite these regulations, many non-standard (smaller) courses are in use throughout the world. The field of play is segmented into zones marked by colored markings along the side of the pool:
Goal Line – White. A goal counts only when the ball goes completely across the goal line and into the goal.
2 Meter Line – Red. No offensive player is allowed to swim inside of the 2-meter line unless he/she has possession of the ball.