Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: July 28, 1948
Date Finished: August 7, 1948
Participants: 156 (156 men and 0 women) from 18 countries
Youngest Participant: Osvaldo Codaro (17 years, 232 days)
Oldest Participant: Émile D'Hooge (39 years, 359 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 29 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal
The 1948 water polo tournament was conducted at two different sites. The bulk of the games (30) were played at the Empire Pool at Wembley Arena, while 12 games were contested at Finchley Open Air Pool. Empire Pool also hosted the swimming and diving events, and boxing was also held at Wembley Arena. Finchley was used exclusively for water polo during the 1948 Olympics.
There were 18 teams entered that were separated into six preliminary groups of three teams each, that played a round-robin group. The winners and runners-up of each group advanced to the second round, where there were 12 teams separated into four groups of three teams each, with all groups contested in a round-robin format. However, match results from round one were carried over. The top two teams in each group in round two advanced to the semi-final round. The semi-finals consisted of two groups of four teams each, contested as a round-robin competition, with results carried over from the preliminary groups. The top two teams in each group advanced to a medal round, also contested as a round-robin, while the losing teams in the first round of the semi-final groups contested a round-robin classification round for places 5-8. With so many rounds and matches carried over, the later groups had only a few games contested.