The Dubrovnik Water Polo Wild League, the world’s largest amateur water polo competition, takes place in Dubrovnik every summer and brings together sports enthusiasts and recreational players on some of Dubrovnik’s most popular beaches. The 2018 edition is held from July 12 to August 5, with 40 teams competing for the championship title.
The Wild League is an informal water polo league comprised of teams that represent the different beaches of Dubrovnik. More than a thousand players play in the league system in the first part of the competition each year and the most successful teams proceed to the knockout stage. Only amateur players can take part in the competition. The matches follow water polo rules and referees all have FINA and LEN licenses. The matches are played on Porporela, Bellevue, Šulić, Danče and other beaches on the Dubrovnik Riviera. The finalists traditionally face off in the Old Town port on the last day of the competition.
The Dubrovnik Water Polo Wild League was launched to keep the tradition of playing water polo on Dubrovnik’s beaches alive and to promote recreational water polo among young people. The league was officially founded in 1983 and held every year since, with the exception of 1992 and 1995, when Dubrovnik was under siege during the war. However, the championship dates as far back as 1949 even though it was only officially registered 35 years ago.
The event is a unique celebration of team spirit and competition and the teams play primarily for fun. The matches are played in good spirit and it is not unusual for the referee to be tossed into the sea if his decision is deemed unfair by the audience. Both the teams and the audience usually have a good time, with fans of each team trying to outdo each other with cheers and witty remarks, and the celebration lasts long after the match has ended. The winning team gets a trophy, which is put on display in their favourite café bar, and a year of bragging rights to boot.
Dubrovnik Riviera accommodation
Travellers who are planning to spend their summer vacation on the Dubrovnik Riviera this year can find luxury rooms with balconies overlooking the Adriatic at the Hotel Mlini. Situated in the tranquil village of Mlini near Dubrovnik, the hotel is an ideal vacation spot for anyone looking to experience the region’s authentic Mediterranean atmosphere and to explore its superb cuisine at the hotel’s restaurants and bars.
Hotel Mlini has a special gastronomical offer available to guests who book a stay of three or more nights for two persons. The offer takes guests on a unique gastronomical journey, allowing them to taste some of the finest Croatian and international dishes while enjoying the view of the Riviera’s spectacular sunsets. The package includes in-room breakfast on the first morning, three dinners at the hotel’s restaurants and taverns, complimentary use of the Astarea Spa zone, and a welcoming fruit basket and wine upon arrival.
Images: Wikimedia Commons/August Dominus