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Olympics Betting: Water Polo

Tokyo 2020 | 24 July – 8 August | Multiple Rounds & Events

Olympics Water Polo History

Olympic water polo started as a men’s event at Paris 1900, and as such is one of the oldest team sports in the history of the Games. Women’s events were finally introduced at Sydney 2000.

Water Polo at Tokyo 2020

At Tokyo 2020, the men’s event will be a 12-team tournament and the women’s will be a 10-team competition.

  • 12-team tournament (Men)
  • 10-team tournament (Women)

Olympic Water Polo: How it Works

A game of water polo is played out in four quarters which last eight minute each. All outfield players can only use one hand to handle the ball and must shoot on goal within 30 seconds of an attacking move. Possession goes to the other side if a team exceeds that limit.

Rolling substitutions are made in this physically strenuous sport – players can move freely in the 30m x 20m playing area, treading water to stay upright and lifting and leaping above the water to shoot or pass the ball, or if on the opposing side, moving and jumping to make blocks.

As a contact sport there are a large number of fouls where either possession is then rewarded to the opposition, penalty shots are incurred, or culprits are temporarily excluded from a game until their team scores another goal. Contact is only permitted with players in possession of the ball, but beneath the water is where the dark arts of the game go relatively unchecked by the referee.

Olympics Betting: Water Polo

As a sport with British/European heritage, the men’s teams from such nations have been most successful in Olympic events. Hungary have won 9 gold across all Olympics, three of which came during and after Sydney 2000.

Croatia won gold at London 2012, Serbia did the same at Rio 2016, whilst Italy are also regular challengers, having won a haul of three golds, two silvers, and three bronze in their Olympic history.

Attention should also be paid to USA, won back-to-back gold medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games after introducing an Olympic development programme for the sport.

See all our Olympics Water Polo betting markets now.