LEN and FINA to discuss 15-player rosters rule

Photo: Blagoje Mitrasinovic

The LEN Bureau still hasn’t approved a new rule of a larger number of players in teams at major competitions, but the question has been opened for discussions between representatives of the international federations.

The LEN Technical Water Polo Committee has proposed a new rule, by which every team would register 15 players for every major multi-day competition. The coaches would deliver a list of 13 players two hours before each match.

This proposal has been one of the topics at the first LEN Bureau meeting in 2018, held in Valetta (Malta).

In today’s press release, LEN announced that the Bureau had agreed to further explore the possibilities to have 15-member teams at the big competitions.

“We need to continue discussions with FINA and other continents as we consider this change a benefit for the sport. Water polo players face growing physical demands as the calendar is getting busier. We all hope we can reach a consensus in the future”, LEN President Paolo Barelli said (source: LEN press release)

LEN hasn’t announced anything about the possibility to adopt the 15-player roster rule at the 2018 European Championships in Barcelona.

Some other changes of the LEN water polo competitions have been agreed at the meeting.

“The Bureau agreed that the new event for national teams, the water polo Europa Cup should be open for all and will qualify four teams to the following edition of the European Championships”, LEN announced.

According to this information, at European Championships for men would play the teams ranked 1 – 8 at the previous championships, 4 from the Europa Cup and 4 from the qualifications. The composition of the women tournaments would be the top six teams at the previous championships, four from the Europa Cup and two from the qualifications.

LEN and FINA representatives negotiate the proposal that the 2019 Europa Cup may be the continental qualifications for the World League Super Finals.

LEN has included the U15 European Championships in the competition calendar. The first championships for 15-years old and younger players will be held in 2019.

One of the decisions of the LEN Bureau has been a growth of prize money for the athletes and for the National Federations at the competitions in 2018. LEN will offer 1,5 million Euros (the highest fund in the history) for awards at major LEN events this year: the European Championships in Glasgow (swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and open water swimming), in Barcelona (water polo), the Europa Cup (water polo), the Champions League (water polo), and other continental competitions in aquatic sports.

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