The World Water Polo League is an annual commercial competition of national picked water polo team under the aegis of the International Federation on Swimming (FINA). Competitions have been held since 2002 among men’s teams and from 2004 among women’s teams for the purpose to increase popularity of water polo in the world. The World Water Polo League yields only to Olympic Games and world championships to judge by the popularity.

The World League prize draw holds in two stages. The first stage is a series of continental tournaments. One or two best teams from each zone of America, Africa, Asia and Oceania and some groups of Europe get into the final.

Super final participants (usually 8 teams) are divided into two groups. As of results of play-offs the quarterfinal pairs should be formed. The winners of quarterfinals will continue to compete for the medal according to the play-off system, and losers will fight for 5–8 places.

Within the framework of the FINAWorld League different rules for water polo play-offs were verified. For example, from 2002 every play-off period of every men’s team lasted for 9 minutes, and a long break between the second and the third quarter lasted for 15 minutes. In В 2005 a new format of women’s play-offs was trialed – the duration of each quarter increased from 7 to 8 minutes (the innovation entered into force officially from September 15, 2005).

At the moment competitions hold according to uniform rule. The period duration is 8 minutes, and 2-minute breaks are provided for between quarters as well as the long 5-minute break between the second and the third quarter. In case of draw play following four periods the play-off winner should be determined in series of 5-meter penalty shots.

In the course of the World Water Polo League Super Final hold in the year coming before the year of the regular Summer Olympic Games the winner’s Super Final will additionally get a license for the Olympic Games. Cash prizes are provided for the World League participants, namely the winner of the men’s tournament will be awarded with a prize of $100 thousand.

The right to conduct the Men’s World Water Polo League Super Final was granted to such cities as Parnas (Greece), New-York (USA), Long-Beach (USA), Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro), Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), Genoa (Italy), Podgorica (Montenegro), Nish (Serbia), Florence (Italy).

In October 2011 the resolution was adopted on the regular meeting of the FINA Bureau with respect to transference the right of holding the 11th FINA Men’s World Water Polo League Super Final 2012 to Almaty city of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

г. Алматы, Республика Казахстан

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