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Water Polo Pool Dimensions

The dimensions of a water polo field ultimately depend on the size of the pool; so there really is no exact “standard.” Governing bodies, such as FINA and USA Water Polo, state that the field of play must be more than 20 meters but less than 30m (for men) and 25m (for women) in length. The width of the playing field can vary from 10 to 20m, depending on the pool. If possible, the maximum field dimensions should be followed. Please click the image to the left for an expanded version of a water polo field.

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

The Standards

Minimum water depth must exceed 6 feet, while the goals must be 3 meters wide by 90 centimeters high. By regulation, all 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 2 meters out from the goal line, marked on the side of the pool with a red cone. No player is allowed within the 2m zone without the ball.
  • The 5m line is the point 5 meters out from the goal line, marked on the side of the pool with a yellow cone. This line is where penalty shots and foul shots are taken.
  • The mid-pool line marks the middle of the field of play, generally with a white line. Often times, the judge’s table will sit outside the pool at this spot. Players will line up at the mid-pool line following a goal. The goalie is not allowed to cross mid-pool.

Judges are always out of the water, overseeing the entire field of play. Generally, a game is officiated by one or two judges. If a game happens to be officiated by two judges, each judge will stand on opposite sides of the pool, parallel to the field of play.

How big is a water polo ball, how long are the pools, and what is the” two meter”? This guide has the answers to these questions, and many more.
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