The men’s tournament begins with the preliminary rounds. The 12 teams will be divided into two groups of six teams, and each team will play every other team in its group. In the preliminary rounds teams receive two points for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a loss.
The four best-ranked teams in each group will progress to the quarter-finals, from which point the tournament will be conducted according to a knockout format. In the knock-out matches, ties are resolved by two periods of play of three minutes each way. If the match is still tied after that, there is a 5m penalty shoot-out of five shots per team, followed by a sudden-death shoot-out if necessary.
- The winners of the semi-finals play in the gold medal match
- The losers of the semi-finals play in the bronze medal match
- The losers of the quarter-finals play a series of classification matches to determine the placings from fifth to eighth
- The four teams that failed to qualify from the preliminary round are ranked from ninth to 12 according to the International Swimming Federation (FINA) rules
Find out more about the men's Water Polo competition at the Olympic Games on the International Olympic Committee website.