The new rules of HaBaWaBa International Festival 2019

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Waiting for HaBaWaBa International Festival 2019, that will take place at Bella Italia & EFA Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) on next June (16th-23rd), Waterpolo Development has made some changes to HaBaWaBa rules in order to protect the spirit of the game and to help the skills development of the little players. Below you can find the link to the new regulation, here we have sumarized the main changes:
  • Registration is open also for teams with only 7 players.
  • The distinction between ordinary fouls and major fouls is erased: all illegal contacts in the water are punished by the assignment of a “foul of illegal contact“, sanctioned with temporary exclusion or with a 5 meter penalty, if the offense is committed inside the 5 meters area with the clear objective of avoiding a goal (read rule 5.1 and 5.2). Illegal contacts against an opponent who has the possession of the ball are also considered fouls. After 4 fouls of illegal contact the player can’t be back in the field (rule 5.4).
  • The player who defends at arm’s length (i.e. close enough to touch) on an opponent in a static position, with or without possession of the ball, must make both hands visible to the referee above the surface of the water, but without extending them vertically. The non-visibility of the hands is considered “foul of illegal contact” (rule 5.1.2).
  • Following an exclusion due illegal contact foul a free throw shall be taken from the location of the ball, except if the “illegal contact foul” is committed by a defending player within the defender’s 2 meter area, the free throw shall be taken on the 2-meter line opposite to where the foul was committed. The player who suffers a foul of illegal contact can not shoot directly on goal. If the foul occurs outside the 5-meter area, the attacker can play the free throw, pass or move in any direction and then shoot (rules 7.7 e 7.8).
  • During the game, when the teams play with equal number of players and the attacking team crosses the midcourt of the field with all its field players, a zone defense is not allowed. This change was introduced in order to avoid a distortion of the rule that forbids the zone defense: in last editions, some coaches usually kept some of their players in their own half-court (and with them the respective defenders) in order to play in attack with less pairs.
  • The goalkeeper may move further than the half of the field at any time and participate in the attack actions of his team.
“We have made these changes – explains Yiannis Giannouris, vice president of Waterpolo Development and director of the tournament at the HaBaWaBa International Festival – because we would like to have a kind of waterpolo that promotes movement and decreases physical contact, making the game less dangerous and violent. Our idea is to push the defenders to play with their hands out of the water, without pushing or grabbing the opponent”. Registration for HaBaWaBa International Festival 2019 has started on November 5th.   CLICK HERE FOR HABAWABA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2019 RULES (rules changes written in blue) CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTRATION GUIDE OF HABAWABA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2019        

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