The Competition Regulations now replace the old regulations of all of our aquatic disciplines, as well as the following former rules and policies:

  • General Rules
  • By-Laws
  • Facilities Rules
  • Medical Rules
  • Swimwear and Equipment Rules
  • Advertising and Signage

World Aquatics took this step to deliver greater clarity and provide a more comprehensive rulebook across all our aquatic sports. To aid in this, the Competition Regulations text is searchable and hyperlinked throughout.

Highlighted Changes in the Competition Regulations 

Image Source: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Some of the substantive changes to our sports include:

Sports Nationality

  • Minimum 3 years of residence
  • Transitory provision for those in the process of changing sport nationality

Water Polo

  • All Rules and Annexes in the Competition Regulations are the result of a restructuring of the former Water Polo Rules
  • All matches shall end with a winner (ties to be broken by penalty shootout)
  • Updated Beach Water Polo Rules
  • Updated competition format and seatings for age group competitions (U20 and U18)
  • Updated VAR protocol


  • The age range for Men and Women competitors has been aligned (14-18)
  • Backstroke finish submersion

Artistic Swimming

  • Male/Female has been changed to Men/Women for consistency with the other sports
  • The Open category for Team events has been added
  • World Rankings are on hold and removed from the current document

Open Water Swimming

  • Wetsuit use is mandatory as of 18° Celsius (not optional in between 18° and 20°)
  • 25km has been removed from the World Aquatics Championships Programme


  • Team Event: up to 4 Divers (instead of 2)