LEN has created a brand new series for national teams. The Europa Cup is to feature the top 12 teams of the continent, both among the men and women since entries will be based on the rankings of the last European Championships. Since the calendar is quite busy, the competition format consists of three phases: Group, Best Eight and Super Final, each stage being held over a weekend.
Three groups of fours will be drawn for the first weekend, participants will play in three different sites in round robin format. The top two from each group and the two best third placed team will make the round of the Top Eight which will see two groups of fours from where the top two qualify for the Super Final. There the old traditions will be back as the final rankings will also be decided in a round robin tournament, which by far is the fairest way to determine the medal winners.
“LEN’s role is to develop water polo and more especially its top competitions, therefore and as already implemented in the LEN Club Cup Competitions, a detailed strategy regarding National Team Events, with a marketing and promotional perspective, has been studied during the last months” LEN President Paolo Barelli said. “In this principle and in order to guarantee continuity in the activity of the European National Teams, as requested by National Federations, LEN decided to elaborate a new competition so as to allow the top Teams in Europe to compete in a high level tournament.”
The draw for the group stage will be held in September, on the occasion of the men’s junior water polo Europeans in Malta.
Europa Cup – Key dates
Group Stage: 17-19 November 2017
Top Eight: 15-18 February 2018
Europa Cup Super Final: 6-8 April 2018
Group Stage: 24-26 November 2017
Top Eight: 1-4 February 2018
Europa Cup Super Final: 23-25 March 2018