Flippaball Rules

Melville Water Polo Club

Duration Of Play

FRIDAY : Matches are played as 2 x 12 minutes halves. Total match time is 30 minutes.

SATURDAY: Matches are played as 4 x 8 minute quarters. Total match time is 40 minutes. 


      FRIDAY: Each team has six players in the water, five players “in the field” and one goal-keeper. The goalkeeper cannot go over the halfway line. Each team can have up to six substitutes for a maximum total of twelve players in one team.

      SATURDAY: There are five field players and one goal-keeper with maximum ten players (Saturday Year 5-9). In years 10/11 there are four field players and one goalkeeper with a maximum of 8 players.

      Player Rotations

      All players must receive equal game time. Players should be rotate every two goals – including the goalkeeper. Quick changes are important, so time is not wasted making changes.


      Starting The Game

      To Start, players line up along the goal line. When both teams are ready, the referee blows the whistle and one player from each team swim towards the halfway line where the referee has thrown the ball. The player that wins the ball plays it off to his team-mates who coordinate a play to score a goal.


      Catching and Throwing The Ball

      Players may catch the ball with 2 hands and throw with one hand (Friday Flippa Years 2-3/4). Players must pass or shoot the ball with one hand. Clenched fists are not to be used. No player may hold the ball for longer than five seconds without passing it or swimming with it on the water.


      Dribbling The Ball

      A player may dribble the ball by pushing it along in front of them. An Opposing player may steal the ball from a player who is dribbling provided they make no contact with the player in possession and that they do not take the ball under water. Players are not able to move ball forward by holding the ball under water. In this situation, a defender may sink the ball by placing their hand on the attacking players hand or arm and be awarded a free throw.


      Free Foul (Friday Flippaball)

      Every time that the defender grabs or pushes the attacker when they have the ball the referee will call a free foul.


      Free Throw

      Free throws are to be taken without any delay and within 3 seconds. The free throw can be taken by passing to another player or by the attacking player throwing the ball up and catching it themselves.

      Players are not able to shoot from a free throw.

      Defending must not interfere with the free throw being taken. The defender must move at least an arm’s length from the attacker and is then able to raise their arm to block the pass.

      Cherry Picking

      Player must swim back to defend and cannot hang back around the attacking goal to score an easy goal. Players are encouraged to swim back to at least half- way before going on the attack again. If a player continues to hang back by the attacking goal and does not swim back into defence, they will be called for cherry picking. This call is at the discretion of the referee.


      Restart After a Goal

      When a goal has been scored the players move back to halfway mark, with both teams within their own half. A member of the team that did not score takes a throw from anywhere in their half to restart the game.


      Goal Throw and Corner Throw

      In attacking player throws the ball over the goal line outside the goal area (even if the throw is deflected by a defender) a goal throw is awarded. The goal throw can only be taken by a goalkeeper or the nearest attacker on the defending team. If the ball is last touched by the goalkeeper and travels over the goal line outside of the goals a corner throw is awarded. The corner throw must be taken on the 2m line.


      “Two Meters” Rules (Only Saturday Juniors)

      Attacking Players are not permitted to be closer than 1.5m marked by a cone on the side of the goal when not in possession and the ball is behind them. The 1.5m line will be marked by a cone on the side of the pool. Note in competition water polo this line is marked at 2 metres.


      Exclusion Fouls

      An exclusion foul is committed if a player impedes, hold, sinks or pull backs a player who is not in possession of the ball. Player excluded must swim immediately to the designated corner, touch the wall and then immediately return to play.

      Parent Exclusions

      The Melville Water Polo Club enforces the values of respect. We will not tolerate mis-conduct from parents. Any parent, coach or coordinator who commits a verbal or physical offence will be asked to leave the Pool area immediately if a breach is deemed to have been committed. Please refer to the terms and conditions of participation and the MWPC Code of Conduct required as registered participants and spectators at the Club which are available on the website.