New rules shall be approved one by one in Budapest by the federations members of the FINA Congress: if European waterpolo aims to block the reform, European federations should try to speak with one voice and to convince other federations to stop the rules changing. Next Len Congress in Marseille (May 13rd) could be very important to build a common strategy.
If the reform will be approved, the new rules will be adopted in every competition ruled by FINA (Olympics, senior, junior and youth World Championships). Instead every single federation could choose to adopt them or not for their own national competitions.
Here all the new rules of the FINA Bureau proposal:
a) 25 METER FIELD. The distance between the goal lines shall not be less than 20 metres and not more than 25 metres: so, the 25 meter pools could host official FINA competitions.
b) 11 PLAYERS ROSTERS. Each team will consist of a maximum of 11 players: 10 field players and one goalkeeper. A team will start the game with not more than 7 players in the water, one of whom shall be the goalkeeper and who shall wear the goalkeeper’s cap. 4 reserves may be used as substitutes, one of them may be a substitute goalkeeper.
c) 25’’ SHOT CLOCK. A team can retain possession of the ball for more than 25 seconds of actual play (instead of 30) without shooting at their opponent’s goal.
d) 15’’ SHOT CLOCK AT A CORNER THROW. At a corner throw, a team may only retain possession of the ball for 15 seconds of actual play without shooting at their opponent’s goal.
e) 15’’ EXCLUSION TIME. The excluded player or a substitute will be permitted to re-enter the field after 15’’ seconds (instead of 20).
f) ADVANTAGE RULE. Referees will have discretion to award (or not award) any ordinaryor exclusionfoul, depending on whether the decision would advantage the attacking team. They will officiate in favour of the attacking team by awarding of a foul or refraining from awarding a foul if, in their opinion, awarding the foul would be an advantage to the offending player’s team.
g) INTERVAL TIME. There will be athree-minute (instead of 5) interval between the second and third periods.
h)TWO TIME-OUTS. Each team may request two timeouts per game (instead of one in each quarter). Other innovation is that a timeout may be requested at any time, except after the awarding of a penalty throw, by the coach of the team in possession of the ball.
i) BALL UNDER THE WATER. If the goalkeeper clearly takes possession of the ball and puts it under the water when tackled, a penalty foul is not awarded. This is an ordinary counter-foul, because when the goalkeeper takes clear possession, the goalkeeper’s team is no longer the defending team but rather the attacking team.