Competition Format

 

  • 16 teams.
    • 8 winning teams of the play-off.
    • 8 teams classified 1st to 8th from Belgrade 2016.
  • Group phase: 4 groups with 4 teams each.
    • A draw is held using the following system:
      • 1st batch: The teams ranked 1st to 4th in Belgrade 2016.
      • 2nd batch: The teams ranked 5th to 8th in Belgrade 2016.
      • 3rd batch: 8 winning teams of the play-off. Each group uses the following schedule:

         

        Day 1

         

        Day 2

         

        Day 3

        1

        A1 – A3

        9

        B4 – B3

        17

        C1 – C4

        2

        A2 – A4

        10

        B1 – B2

        18

        C2 – C3

        3

        B1 – B3

        11

        C4 – C3

        19

        D1 – D4

        4

        B2 – B4

        12

        C1 – C2

        20

        D2 – D3

        5

        C1 – C3

        13

        D4 – D3

        21

        A1 – A4

        6

        C2 – C4

        14

        D1 – D2

        22

        A2 – A3

      • The first team classified from each group will qualify directly for ¼ finals.
      • The 2nd and 3rd teams will play each other to qualify ¼ finals in cross group format.
      • The 4th classified teams will play each other for places 13th to 16th in cross group format.

         

        Day 4

        25

        4A – 4C

        26

        4B – 4D

        27

        2A – 3C

        28

        3A – 2C

        29

        2B – 3D

        30

        3B – 2D

      • KO Phase: qualifying matches for ¼ finals, semifinals and finals.

         

        Day 5

         

        Day 6

         

        Day 7

        31

        L25 – L26 (15th-16th)

        39

        L33 – L34 (11th-12th)

        45

        L41 – L42 (7th-8th)

        32

        W25 – W26 (13th-14th)

        40

        W33 – W34 (9th-10th)

        46

        W41 – W42 (5th-6th)

        33

        L27 – L29

        41

        L35 – L37

        47

        L43 – L44 (3rd-2nd)

        34

        L28 – L30

        42

        L36 – L38

        48

        W43 – W44 (1st-2nd)

        35

        1D – W27

        43

        W35 – W37

         

         

        36

        1B – W28

        44

        W36 – W38

         

         

        37

        1C – W29

         

         

         

         

        38

        1A – W30

         

         

         

         

The European Water Polo Championships, the most important event of 2018, are the main continental tournament regarding this sport, Olympic since 1896. Following its traditional format, the 33rd men’s edition will gather the 16 best teams in Europe. The definitive list of participants will not be decided until the pre-European tournaments are held in 2017 and 2018. 

Hungary, the most powerful team during the first decades of the European Championships, dominates the historical medal table with 12 titles, 6 sub-championships and 6 bronze medals. A total of 24 podiums for one of the greatest national teams of all time. Coincidentally, the first edition of the tournament took place in the Hungarian capital 90 years ago. 

Serbia, that will fight for its 4th consecutive crown (Hungary, with 5, has the longest winning streak, from 1926 to 1938), is the undisputed champion of recent years. It is the first team ever to concurrently hold the European, World and Olympic titles. 

After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the foundation of new countries in the region, only nations created from this former Balkan country have been able to conquer the European Water Polo Championships.