Water polo

Water polo is a team water sport, which can be best described as a combination of swimming, rugby and wrestling.

The field of play

The dimensions of a water polo field depend on the size of the pool. Governing bodies such as FINA state that the distance between the goal lines is 20m‑­30m for men and 15m‑­25m for women.

The width of the playing field varies from 10m‑­20m, depending on the size of the pool.

If no pool is available, water polo can be played in natural bodies of water, such as lakes and pond. Where necessary, lane lines are used to mark off the field dimensions.

The minimum water depth is 1.8m but 2m is preferred.


Water polo fields are marked with four specific distances: the goal line, the 2m line, the 5m line and the mid‑­pool line.

  • The goal line is the spot where the front of the cage meets the beginning of the field.
  • The 2m line is the point 2m out from the goal line, marked on the side of the pool with a red cone. 
  • The 5m line is the point 5m out from the goal line, marked on the side of the pool with a yellow cone. 
  • The mid‑­pool line marks the middle of the field of play, generally with a white cone. 

Platforms for the referees are provided on both side of the field of play. These platforms are 1m square and 70cm high above the water level.


The goals posts and crossbar are made of either wood, metal or synthetic (plastic). The posts are fixed equal distance from the sides and at least 0.3m in front of the ends of the field of play.

The inner sides of the goal posts are 3m apart. The underside of the cross bar is 0.9m above the water surface. The underside of the crossbar is 0.9 metre above the water surface when the water is 1.5m or more deep and 2.4m when less than 1.5m deep.

Limp nets are securely fastened to the goal posts and crossbar, allowing not less than 0.3m of clear space behind the goal line everywhere within the goal area.

water polo pool dimensions


FINA Facilities Rules, update 28 Oct 2015. 

Water Polo Australia

Sports association detail

Water Polo Western Australia Inc

Colin Thurlow
General Manager
PO Box 458 Mount Claremont WA 6010
Telephone 61 8 9387 7555
Email generalmanager@waterpolowa.asn.au
Website www.waterpolowa.asn.au
Facebook waterpolowa
Twitter @WaterPoloWA


The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.

Page reviewed 12 July 2019