For our most common questions regarding water polo and our association, please see below. Otherwise, feel free to contact us.


What is Water Polo?
Water polo is a team water sport, which can be best described as a combination of swimming, football (soccer), basketball, ice hockey, rugby and wrestling. A team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The goal of the game resembles that of football/soccer - to score as many goals as possible, each goal being worth one point.

Do I need experience to play?
No, you do not need any.

At what age can my children start playing?
Our youngest age group is the Under 8s.

Can I play? Am I too old?
There's no such thing as too old! Our Opens age group contains both teenagers and adults alike. Our opens divisions are usually classed as Social or Competitive. If you just want to jump in and have fun, you can always be part of our social competition.

Registration and Club Information

When and where do you train?
Training times and locations vary between clubs. To find out the training times and locations for a club, simply contact a club representative.

How much does it cost to play?
Costs vary between clubs - see our registration section for more information on costs for the current season.

Policies and Procedures

What are the rules?
The SSWPA has developed, and plays by, its own set of water polo rules. You can access them here. The SSWPA rules are a slightly amended version of the FINA rules.

How are age groups determined?
The age that you are as of the December 31st of the start year of the season shall determine the age group you play in. For example, if you are 12 as of the next 31st of December and you play any time before the next December 31st, then you play in the Under 13s.

Can I play in different teams?
If you are a registered in a team, you can never play in lower division, or another team in the same division (unless it is a forfeit match). You can play UP a division for your club only (some exemptions apply), but only a maximum of five games for a single team before you can only play up in that division for that team.

For example, if you played for a Gunnamatta U12 team, you could only play up for any Gunnamatta U14 (or other higher division) team if they were short (less than 8 players). As soon as you had played five games for a particular Gunnamatta U14 team, you could not play for any other Gunnamatta U14 team. You could however, play for a Gunnamatta U16 or Open team (again, until you played five games for a particular team).

When should I show up for my game?
You are expected to arrive 15-30 minutes before your game. You should get there with time to spare, as if you are late your team might automatically lose before you get there due to not enough players being present.

What happens if my team has to forfeit?
An unfortunate part of any sporting competition is when teams forfeit and do not show up to their game. This is upsetting for the opponent team, and a waste of our resources and staff. Teams that forfeit 3 times during the season will not be able to participate in the competition further, unless a $50 buy-in is provided before the next game. (This fee will be used to cover referee and facilities costs incurred.) Failure to do so will lead to the team being folded and draw being altered, and players will be redistributed into other teams. Every subsequent forfeit after this $50 buy-in will result in a further buy-in being required in order to re-enter the competition.


How are points awarded?
There are 3 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 point for a loss and 0 points for a forced loss or forfeit.

How are teams ranked?
Teams are ranked using a 'Win Ratio' (WR). This ratio is the total number of points for a team, divided by the total number of points available. For example, if Team A had played ten games, they would have a potential 30 points (10 wins @ 3 points per win). If they had 27 points, then their WR would be 27/30, or 90%. 

The point score is then subsorted by difference, for and against. 

If, in the case that two teams are on the same WR, difference, for and against (e.g. Team A and Team B both on 90%, a difference of 108, for of 120 and against of 12) - and a decision must be reached to schedule a semi final or grand final draw, the winner will be the team that won the game between Team A and Team B.

What's the difference between a forced loss and a forfeit?
A forfeit is where no team members show up for a game. A forced loss is where (a) there are less than five players present for a team or (b) illegal players in the water for a team or (c) some other factor that causes a team to lose a game other than by scoring less goals.

How are semi finals decided?
Divisions are broken into groups of four based on the point score. (If there is an odd number of teams in the last group of 4, then the bottom team does not play in the semi finals. If there are two teams they play each other.) In each group, the format is 1vs4, 2vs3, and then 5vs8, 6vs7, and so forth.

How are grand finals decided?
Winners of each semi final game group play each other. The winners of 1vs4 and 2vs3 play for Gold/Silver, and the losing teams play for Bronze. The same goes for 5vs8, 6vs7, et cetera, but medals are only awarded for the top three teams in the division. 

If there are a large number of teams in the division (usually 16 or more), it may be broken down into A and B group finals, or only the top eight (or more) teams will play in the grand finals. Semi and Grand final draws are subject to be decided based on pool availability and time constraints.

What happens if there is a tied score in the semi or grand finals?
A tied score in the semi finals result in the team that was higher in the point score going through as the 'winning' team. In the grand finals, a Gold/Silver or Bronze game that is tied goes into 6 minutes of overtime. 3 minutes are played either way with no break in the middle (except for teams swapping sides). The 6 minute period is a golden goal period - first to score wins. If there is no goal scored, joint-premiers are announced.


How do I become a referee?
Referee intake occurs at the start of each season if positions are available. See our Working for Us page for more information regarding available positions.

How do I become an operations manager?
Operations intake occurs at the start of each season if positions are available. See our Working for Us page for more information regarding available positions.