Meet the competition system

This European Water Polo Championship will be significantly different from previous tournaments in terms of the competition system or the way of playing.

Namely, European Aquatics changed the competition system so that it was first tested in tournaments of younger age categories, where it proved to be good and more interesting than the previous one. The desire is to significantly increase the number of uncertain matches between opponents of equal quality in every tournament and championship.

Thus, based on the placement at the previous European Championship in Split 2022, the national teams were divided into two divisions or strength groups. Division I consists of the 8 best teams from Split in 2022, while the rest are in Division II. Groups A and B are in Division I, and groups C and D are in Division II.

This automatically makes for much more uncertain matches already from the 1st round. The two first-placed teams from groups A and B will advance directly to the quarterfinals. The teams that will take the third place in groups A and B will play the so-called the fake round of 16, that is, they will “cross” with the teams that take second place in groups C and D. The national team that is fourth in groups A and B, will “cross” with the first-placed team from groups C and D. The winners of those matches will place into the quarterfinals.

With this system, the success of the best 8 from the previous European Championship is rewarded, but at the same time lower-ranked national teams are also given the opportunity to join the fight for a high ranking, even for a medal.