Owned and run by New Zealand Water Polo, Flippa Ball is the junior version of water polo.

Age to start:

Flippa Ball is available to children in years 3, 4, 5 & 6, and because it’s played with feet on the floor everyone can play – no matter how well they swim.

Most water polo clubs have junior teams that start at the under eight age level. Children can begin to play water polo at the under eight level depending on their swimming ability.

Rules of the game:

The basic rules of Flippa Ball are;

  1. Typically a Flippa Ball game is played in a shallow pool. Players can use one hand to catch, pass or shoot – except the goalie who may use two.
  2. A game is played between two teams each consisting of 7 players with one of those players being the designated goal keeper.
  3. Players can walk along the bottom if they don’t have the ball – when they have the ball they must swim or pass.
  4. It is a non-contact sport and off-side rules apply
  5. The aim of the game is to score a goal by throwing the ball into the goal that is guarded by the opposing team’s goal keeper
  6. The team that has scored the most goals at the end of the game is the victor.

Find a full list of the rules of flippaball .


Flippa Ball delivers all the benefits associated with sport and physical exercise, as well as introducing its young players to the principles of water competence – making them stronger swimmers and more water aware by teaching skills they can take to the beach, river or lakeside. Water polo is an excellent activity for boys and girls. It is a great way for children to incorporate swimming and a ball sport into a team environment. Water polo is suitable for children who are strong swimmers and have the ability to tread water for extended periods.

Clubs offer junior teams for both boys and girls. Water polo is a sport played entirely in the water so children must be able to spend considerable amounts of time in the water. Any medical conditions that may be affected by this must be considered. Water polo can involve physical contact and this also needs to be considered when deciding whether to participate.

Sign up dates:

Sign up times for the summer water polo season are open at most clubs in September. Contact your local club for specific registration details.

Sporting tips:

To successfully participate in water polo you require;

  • Strong swimming ability
  • Excellent physical fitness
  • The ability to spend long periods in water

Visit the New Zealand Water Polo website.

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