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Australian Water Polo League

Australian Water Polo League
FormerlyAustralian National Water Polo League
SportWater Polo
First season1990
Organising bodyWater Polo Australia
No. of teams11
Most recent
Men: UNSW Wests Magpies (7th title)
Women: Sydney University Lions (3rd title)
Most titlesMen: Fremantle Mariners & UNSW Wests Magpies (7 titles)
Women: Queensland Thunder (7 titles)
Official website

The Australian Water Polo League (formerly known as the Australian National Water Polo League) is the premier Australian domestic water polo competition. The men's league was established in 1990 with the women's league following in 2004. The league is administered by Water Polo Australia (WPA), and is contested by eleven clubs, each fielding a women's and a men's team. As of 2024 five clubs are based in Sydney and one each in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Fremantle, Newcastle and Perth.[1]

Seasons of the AWL run from January to April and include a 28-round regular season, followed by a finals series playoff involving the six highest-placed teams, which culminates in a grand final match.[1]

Competition Format

Regular season

The regular season runs during the Australian summer, from January to April of each year. The competition consists of 28 rounds, with each team playing every other team twice. Each match sees the teams awarded points based on the following scale: [1]

  • Win in Normal Time: four points
  • Win in Penalty Shootout: three points
  • No result (game cannot be conducted due to uncontrollable factors): two points each
  • Loss in Penalty Shootout: one point
  • Loss in Normal Time: zero points
  • Disqualification/Forfeit: zero points

All games require a result, and as such it is impossible for a game to result in a draw.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the top six placed teams from each of the men's and women's divisions will progress to the finals series, with the position of each team determined by the highest number of points accumulated during the regular season. The remaining four teams are awarded final placings based on the number of points accumulated over the course of the regular season. If two or more teams are level on points, the team which won the game between those two teams will be determined as being higher ranked. If three or more teams are level on points, the following criteria are applied in order until one of the teams can be determined as the higher ranked:[1]

  1. The points of the games among the tied teams;
  2. The goal difference (excluding goals from a penalty shootout) among the tied teams;
  3. Total goals scored among tied teams;
  4. The games played between the tied teams;
  5. The results against the highest placed team;
  6. Toss of a coin.

Finals Series

The top six clubs at the conclusion of the regular season progress to the finals series. The finals series culminates to the Australian Water Polo League grand final, where the winner is crowned AWL champion. The club that wins each grand final is presented with the AWL Champions Trophy.[citation needed]

The finals series consists of six teams who are placed by rank, as determined at the end of the regular season. The finals series runs over four days. In the first day of fixtures, the third-through-sixth ranked teams play a single-elimination match, with the two winners of those matches competing on day two to play off against the loser of the day two match between the first and second ranked teams on Day 3. The two winners of the those matches meet in the grand final on Day 4.[citation needed]

Competition Venues

AWL games are played across a total of 22 approved venues throughout the season. The following venues were used for the 2024 season.

Pool Club Location Pool Type Ref.
New South Wales
Peter Montgomery Pool Sydney University Lions Sydney, NSW Indoor [2]
Dawn Fraser Baths UTS Balmain Tigers Balmain, NSW Outdoor Tidal [3]
Sutherland Leisure Centre ACU Cronulla Sharks Sutherland, NSW Outdoor [4]
Drummoyne Swimming Centre Drummoyne Devils Drummoyne, NSW [5]
Ashfield Aquatic Centre UNSW Wests Magpies (M)

UNSW Wests Killer Whales (W)

Ashfield, NSW [6]
Lambton Pool Hunter Hurricanes Newcastle, NSW [7]
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre Neutral Sydney Olympic Park, NSW Indoor [8]
Pymble Ladies College Aquatic Centre Pymble, NSW [9]
Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre Ryde, NSW [10]
Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre Auburn, NSW Outdoor [11]
Oasis Aquatic Centre Wagga Wagga, NSW [12]
Valley Pool Griffith University Queensland Thunder Fortitude Valley, QLD Outdoor [13]
All Hallows School Brisbane, QLD [14]
Stuartholme School Swimming Centre Toowong, QLD [15]
Musgrave Park Swim Centre Brisbane, QLD [16]
Kawana Aquatic Centre Neutral Bokarina, QLD [17]
Western Australia
Bicton Baths Fremantle Mariners (M)

Fremantle Marlins (W)

Perth, WA Outdoor [18]
HBF Stadium Aquatic Facility UWA Torpedoes [19]
University of Western Australia Aquatic Centre Indoor [20]
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre Victorian Phoenix Melbourne, VIC Indoor [21]
Caulfield Grammar School Caulfield, VIC [22]
South Australia
Adelaide Aquatic Centre Neutral Adelaide, SA Indoor [23]


The Australian Water Polo League is contested by eleven clubs from across Australia.

Men's Champions

As of the 2023 season, 11 different clubs have competed in the men's division of the AWL, with seven having won the championship trophy.

Team Championships Year(s) won
UNSW Wests Magpies 7 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023
Fremantle Mariners 7 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012
Victorian Phoenix 6 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2010, 2013
Cronulla Sharks 5 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999
Sydney University Lions 4 2002, 2003, 2005, 2018
Queensland Thunder 2 2004, 2007
UWA Torpedoes 1 2016
Adelaide Jets 0
Hunter Hurricanes 0
Drummoyne Devils 0
UTS Balmain Tigers 0

Women's Champions

As of the 2023 season, 11 different clubs have competed in the women's division of the AWL, with five having won the championship trophy.

Team Championships Year(s) won
Queensland Thunder 7 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019, 2022
Fremantle Marlins 5 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014
Sydney University Lions 3 2016, 2017, 2023
Cronulla Sharks 2 2006, 2012
UNSW Wests Killer Whales 1 2018
UWA Torpedoes 0
Victorian Phoenix 0
Adelaide Jets 0
Hunter Hurricanes 0
Drummoyne Devils 0
UTS Balmain Tigers 0

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "2024 Australian Waterpolo League Manual" (PDF). Water Polo Australia.
  2. ^ "Sports & Aquatic Centre". Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  3. ^ "Dawn Fraser Baths - Inner West Council". Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  4. ^ Centres, Leisure (11 December 2023). "Sutherland Leisure Centre". Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  5. ^ "Home". Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Ashfield Aquatic Centre - Inner West Council". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  7. ^ "Lambton Park War Memorial Swimming Centre". NewcastleCorporate. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  8. ^ "Aquatic Centre - Venue information | Sydney Olympic Park". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  9. ^ "Home". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  10. ^ "Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  11. ^ "Home". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  12. ^ Centre, Oasis Aquatic (6 March 2024). "Our Pools". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  13. ^ "Valley Pool, Fortitude Valley". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  14. ^ Team, DCWC. "All Hallow's School- Consilio Aquatic Centre". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  15. ^ "The Swim Academy Brisbane Register Stuartholme". The Swim Academy Brisbane. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  16. ^ "Home". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  17. ^ "Your Ultimate Destination for Swimming and Fitness". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Bicton Baths Reserve".
  19. ^ "Pool Facilities". HBF Stadium. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  20. ^ "UWA Aquatic Centre". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  21. ^ admin. "Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre – Stages 1, 2 and 3". Otium Planning. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  22. ^ "Caulfield Aquatics". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  23. ^ "Adelaide Aquatic Centre". Adelaide Aquatic Centre. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
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Australian Water Polo League
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