Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Dante Baths, München; Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: September 4, 1972
Format: Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool.
At the last four Olympics the top four teams had been Hungary, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Italy, although the order changed slightly, but Hungary had won three of the last four gold medals. These four teams all advanced to the final round, the biggest surprise coming in Group A, won by the United States with Yugoslavia second. West Germany (FRG) also advanced, placing second in Group B to Hungary. In the final pool, Hungary and the Soviet Union tied with 3 wins and 2 ties, as they tied in their head-on match, 3-3, with the Soviet Union winning their first water polo gold medal by goal differential. The United States won its fourth bronze medal in the sport, but its first since 1932, having also placed third in 1920 and 1924. The leading scorer in water polo in Munich was Cuban Carlos Sánchez with 18 goals.