Water Polo Uniform Rules

By on May 05, 2016 water polo

SECTION 1  Caps – COLORS                        

ART. 1 . . . Each team shall have two sets of caps manufactured for water polo, one white and the other a dark contrasting color. The caps of the home team may be any dark color that contrasts with the color of the ball and with the color of the numbers of contrasting color to the cap. (Yellow, gold, orange, powder blue, light gray, pale green or similar light colors may not be used for the dark caps.) The caps of the home team field players may be divided into thirds or quarters, consisting of two colors, two a solid dark color such as navy blue or black on the sides of the caps, and the other one (or two on a cap with four quarters) on the top of the caps of a solid color such as powder blue, medium blue, orange or green (this panel shall not be white). These caps must be clearly distinguishable from the caps of the goalkeepers (the caps of the field players may not be divided into red and white thirds or quarters or into red and dark thirds or quarters). The numbers on the caps shall be white, yellow or gold, clearly visible, of the correct size and the numbers are placed on the darker portion of the cap. No logos or other designs may be in the panels with the cap numbers. The middle panel(s) (if in quarters) on the dark caps may contain, with no restriction on the size or number, school logos, school name, school mascot, and/or other school information, provided that the background remains a contrasting color.

ART. 2 . . . The caps for the visiting team field players shall be solid white. The middle panel(s) (if in quarters) of these caps may contain, with no restriction on the size or number, school logos, school name, school mascot and/or other school information, provided that the background remains white.

ART. 3 . . . Caps may have piping of any single solid color not to exceed a width of 1 cm around the edges of the cap and/or on the seams of the cap. The piping must be solid, not dashed or double, and may not cross a cap number. (Cap strings or straps may be the same color as the piping or match the cap color.)

ART. 4 . . . All team caps may have one visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference, not to exceed 2¼ square inches in area and not to exceed 2¼ inches in any dimension. This logo/trademark/reference, if present, must be located on either the front or the back of the middle portion of the cap.

ART. 5 . . . Caps shall be worn throughout the entire game by all players on the bench and in the water. Caps shall be fastened under the chin. If a player loses his/her cap during play, it shall be replaced at the next appropriate stoppage of the game when that player’s team is in possession of the ball.

SECTION 2  caps – EAR GUARDS              

Each player (in the water or on the bench) shall wear a cap with protective ear guards at all times. The color of the ear guards on the field players’ caps shall match the color of the caps as closely as possible: dark on dark caps, white on white caps. Ear guards on the cap of the home goalkeeper shall be dark and match the color of those on the field players’ caps as closely as possible. The ear guards may be red only if the home team caps are of red color. The ear guards on the caps of the visiting goalkeeper shall be white.


The caps of the home goalkeeper shall be divided into red and dark thirds or quarters, with dark ear guards and white, yellow/gold cap numbers; the caps of the visiting goalkeeper must be divided into red and white thirds or quarters, with white ear guards and dark cap numbers.


ART. 1 . . . Clearly visible numbers, at least 8 cm (preferably 10 cm) in height, shall be placed on both sides of the caps. The numbers on the dark caps shall be white or yellow/gold. The numbers on the white caps shall be a contrasting dark color, such as black, navy, royal blue, etc. (Powder blue, light gray or similar light colors shall not be placed on the white caps.) The numbers must be of block number format. The numbers may have a narrow border of light gray, for example. Goalkeepers’ caps shall have the number 1. If there are additional goalkeepers, it is recommended that their cap numbers be 1A, 1B, etc. Field players’ caps are numbered beginning with No. 2. Caps of the same color must have different numbers. All players on the same team shall have the same color numbers on their caps.

ART. 2 . . . Additional cap numbers may also be located on the middle panel of the caps; one number on the back and/or front of the cap. These numbers shall be a minimum of 4 cm in height. It is required to have the third number on the cap, preferably on the back to assist in identifying an excluded player.

ART. 3 . . . It is recommended that each team either have a replacement set of caps readily available so that a cap with the same number can replace a lost or damaged cap during the game or the team should have additional cap numbers available of the original set. If a replacement cap is not available, a player may change cap number with the permission of a referee who will notify the game secretary and the coach of the opposing team, but the player may not use either the cap number of a player previously excluded from the remainder of the game or that of a player who has any personal fouls. If a goalkeeper and field player change positions, the goalkeeper must use a differently numbered cap when moving into the field if there are any personal fouls charged to the cap number of the field player moving into the goal. The name of the field player moving into the goal must be written on a different line on the scoresheet (1A, for example) and any fouls previously charged to that field player must be transferred to that line on the scoresheet and lined out on the line for the original cap number.


A player may only wear a swim cap under the water polo cap; the color of the swim cap shall match the color of the water polo cap as closely as possible. The swim cap worn by a goalkeeper shall be red or a color which matches the color of the water polo cap of the goalkeeper as closely as possible (red or dark for the home goalkeeper or red or white for the visiting goalkeeper).


ART. 1 . . . Players shall wear non-transparent, one-piece competitive swim suits. Suits shall completely cover the buttocks and breasts. The girls’ suit shall have a solid high back with broad straps (style optional for goalkeepers).

If a player’s suit does not meet the rules specifications, the player will be required to change suits. If this is not possible and if the game is played with non-compliant suits, the referee must notify the state or district association of the offending team of the nature of the offense so that this will be corrected in the future. The state association will also assess the appropriate penalty.


1. The use of the term solid back does not preclude the use of a zipper in the field player’s suit. The suit of the goalkeeper on the girls’ team must be a competitive one-piece suit. There is no requirement for straps of a particular width on the goalkeeper’s suit.

2. In girls’ competition, a defender shall be excluded for 20 seconds after grabbing an offensive player’s suit and causing breast exposure. When an offensive player grabs a defender’s suit and causes breast exposure, the player shall be excluded for 20 seconds and the ball turned over. A player grabbing her own suit and exposing a breast, results in a 20-second exclusion being called.

ART. 2 . . . The suits shall contain only one visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference not exceeding 2¼ square inches in area and not exceeding 2¼ inches in any dimension. The suits may also include the name of the school or mascot.

Art. 3 . . . One American flag, not to exceed 2 inches by 3 inches, may be worn or occupy space on each item of uniform apparel. By state association adoption, to allow for special occasions, commemorative or memorial patches, not to exceed 4 square inches, may be worn on the uniform without interfering with the visibility of the cap numbers or compromising the integrity of the uniform.

ART. 4 . . . Before taking part in a game, the players shall remove any articles likely to cause injury, including, but not limited to, the following: jewelry, medical or religious medals, watches and swim goggles. Sharp fingernails and toenails shall be trimmed. The referee may direct the player to remove items deemed to likely cause injury, including the trimming of nails.