waterpolo-men-nc flag

Greg Johnson | NCAA.com | June 24, 2020

Addition of 6-meter mark approved in water polo

John Munson | NCAA Photos Addition of 6-meter mark approved in water polo

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved rules to align the game with national and international rules, including the addition of a 6-meter mark. The rules go into effect for the 2020-21 season.

The 6-meter mark extends the previous offensive area by 1 meter and is used to identify the area where players can shoot immediately after being fouled.

DON'T MISS: Listen, learn and act: The voices of NCAA student-athletes

Another approved rules change specifies that the ball must be put in play by demonstrating a clear separation of ball, hand and water as in passing, picking up the ball, swimming with it, dropping it and tossing the ball up in the air. This replaces the previous wording in the rules of having to make a “water polo related move.”

The Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Rules Subcommittee members think this rules change will improve the pace of play and increase shots on goal.


Goalkeepers will be allowed to move beyond and touch the ball past the half-distance line.

The rational for the rules change is to create opportunities for additional offensive play, while at the same time pose a considerable risk for the offensive team.

2019 REPLAY: Stanford wins 2019 men's water polo championship over Pacific | Stanford women

Water polo rules subcommittee members think the risk/reward aspect of allowing goalkeepers to venture farther into the pool will create excitement in end-of-game situations.

Other rules changes

  • Assistant coaches and players in the bench area will be allowed to sit or stand during play. Only the head coach can move beyond the goal line during live play.
  • Replacement caps can be readily available in the team bench area.

NCAA DI Council approves moving fall championships to the spring

The Division I Council approved a package of proposals to move the 2020 fall championships to the spring of 2021. Brackets will be filled at 75 percent capacity.

Water polo: Addition of 6-meter line proposed by Rules Subcommittee

New recommendations would align NCAA rules with national, international competition.

Stanford wins 2019 NCAA men's water polo championship over Pacific

Stanford won the 2019 NC men's water polo championship over Pacific. Here is the final bracket, scores, schedule and latest highlights.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners