Champions League

FINA accepted shorter rosters at the Olympic Games, LEN launched new Champions League

team USA vs. Australia
Photo: Catharyn Hayne / KLC fotos

Two important pieces of information came from two water polo government bodies today. FINA approved 11-players roster at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Other important news was announced by LEN. The LEN Bureau decided to expand the LEN Champions League

FINA Water Polo Technical Congress ratified new rules

FINA Technical Water Polo Congress officially ratified the new rules for the Olympic Games at its meeting in Budapest today. This information was published by website

The International Olympic Committee’s “Agenda 2020”, includes, among the others, 11-players rosters at the water polo tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee has adopted 11-players roster rule in June, so FINA objectively couldn’t do much after IOC’s decision. But, the FINA’s officials will negotiate with IOC about a little addition to the new rules. The idea is to allow water polo teams to bring two more players at the Games, but they would be accommodated outside the Olympic village and they could replace only injured members of the 11-players team.

The new rule will not apply to the other FINA competitions (World Championships and World League) as well as in the competitions under LEN’s jurisdiction and in the national competitions. Teams will keep 13 players roster

FINA Water Polo Technical Congress didn’t debate about other changes of the water polo rules. The discussion is postponed to an extraordinary meeting, probably in October.

16 clubs in the Champions League, Final Eight replaces Final Six

LEN Champions league

As expected, LEN Bureau has officially approved to expand the men’s Champions League. This topic was discussed during the Champions League Final Six in Budapest in May and the new format is launched now.

In today’s official communication LEN notified that 16 clubs will play in the LEN Champions League in the coming season (four more than in the recent format), while 12 clubs will get wild-cards (four more than in the previous four editions of the CHL).

LEN announced that new wild-cards were allocated for teams from the Netherlands (AZC Alphen), Russia (Dinamo Moscow) and Romania (Steaua Bucharest). The European Federation hasn’t announced a name of the fourth new wild-card holder, but it is supposed that it will be Hannover (Germany), the technical host of the 2018/19 final tournament

New wild-card holders will join clubs which already have “tickets” to enter the Champions League without qualifications: Pro Recco Szolnok, Partizan, Jug, Barceloneta, Olympiacos, Spandau Berlin, Olympic Nice.
16 clubs (12 with wild-cards and 4 from qualifications) will be split into two groups.

The format of the final competition has also been changed. Eight sides will qualify for the final round, so Final Six will be replaced by a Final Eight.

LEN announced:

“Accordingly, a Final 8 tournament will be held (in Genova, the host is Pro Recco of Italy) which might see more balanced performances as all qualifying teams shall play the same number of matches (in the Final Six the group winners got a bye and advanced to the semis directly). From next season the scheme will follow the usual quarter-final match-ups (1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1). It’s yet to be decided whether it’s going to be a three- or four-day long tournament. The latter would allow a rest day for the two finalists and those going for the bronze medal while the other four sides would use the third day to decide the final rankings for the 5-8th places. More teams mean higher prize money so every match will have something at stake – the final distribution chart will be announced soon.”

Champions League, 2017-18 – Season Dates

Qualification Round I
15-17 September 2017
Qualification Round II
29 September-1 October 2017
Qualification Round III
14 & 18 October 2017
Group Stage (14 rounds)
25 October 2017-9 May 2018
Final Eight
6/7-9 June 2018


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