What is wrong with water polo?

What will water polo look like in the future?

At the 17th FINA World Championship (2017) in Budapest (Hungary), FINA launched the FINAtv to allow the global fan base of aquatics to watch the FINA events live for the first time (subscription based). As per the post-event analysis, water polo was the most viewed sport during the FINA World Championships of all of the aquatic disciplines.

As water polo coaches, we are not surprised by the interest in our sport but these statistics raise the following questions for a discussion and debate!!!

  1. Does water polo need the change (based on FINAtv statistics and being the most viewed sport out of all aquatics)?
  2. If it does, what kind of changes are required to innovate our sport (is it rule change or marketing or development of the sport around the globe or investment or…)?
  3. The majority of the top 10 countries that subscribed to watch FINAtv were, for the most part, from “non-water polo” countries. This fact begs the question, is the issue really about the attendance of in-person fan support at the event or the competition format and help with the developmet of the sport that would allow outside of Europe countries, good competition while promoting the water polo through good marketing?
  4. Given the global interest in water polo (as evident from the FINAtv statistics), is the current water polo development plan addressing the global interest and need? Is there such a plan right now?
  5. What kind of water polo do we want? A technical game (like basketball) or a physical and brutal game (like rugby and ice hockey)?
  6. Will the “silent war” in between FINA and LEN be good for water polo or totally damage it and make it even more European sport then it is now?

Question #5 is integral and pivotal to the future of our sport! What do we want water-polo to look like to satisfy the global fan-base and sport markets and to have more people on the stands? The sooner we have the answer, the better for our sport will be!


All of the questions above are posed by the WWPCA Executive Board with the sole intention of improving our sport and to stimulate a healthy debate with the anticipated outcome of positive and sustainable change. We are not a political body, and our objective is and was clear ….as coaches, we are ready to be part of the solution to innovate our sport!

[pdf-embedder url=”https://wwpcoach.org/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/2017/08/FINA-tv-statistics-WP.pdf” title=”FINA tv statistics – WP”]
[pdf-embedder url=”https://wwpcoach.org/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/2017/08/FINA-tv-statistics-top-countries.pdf” title=”FINA tv statistics – top countries”]