This team sport consists of six field players and one goalkeeper and is played over four, eight-minute quarters. The games are played in a 20- by 30-meter area of a pool that is at least 2 meters deep.
With the exception of the goalkeeper, players can only have one hand on the ball. Field players have 30 seconds to attempt a shot on goal and if they fail to do so, possession is awarded to the opposing team. Due to the physical demands of the sport, rolling substitutions, such as those in ice hockey, are allowed.
As a contact sport, fouls are common, with ordinary fouls resulting in a change of possession and personal fouls that can result in a penalty shot or the offending player being removed from play for 20 seconds, leaving their team short-handed. Contact with a player not in possession of the ball is deemed a foul. However, a great deal of contact may take place under the water, where it is often not seen by the referee.
Water polo begins July 24 and runs to Aug. 8.
Venue and access information
Water polo will take place at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre, a symbol of aquatic sports in Tokyo, which has a capacity of 4,700.
The center is about seven minutes from Tatsumi Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line and about 15 minutes from Shin-Kiba Station, which is served by several lines.