Perennial ryegrass is a globally cultivated obligate outbreeding diploid species (2n = 2x = 14) which is subjected to periods of waterlogging stress due to flood irrigation during winter and the lead-up to summer. Reduction of oxygen supply to root systems due to waterlogging produces consequent deleterious effects on plant performance. Framework genetic maps for a large-scale genetic mapping family [F (1)(NA (x) x AU(6))] were constructed containing 91 simple sequence repeat and 24 single nucleotide polymorphism genetic markers. Genetic trait dissection using both control and waterlogging treatments was performed in the glasshouse, a total of 143 maximally recombinant genotypes being selected from the overall sib-ship and replicated threefold in the trial. Analysis was performed for nine quantitative morphological traits measured 8 weeks after stress treatments were applied. A total of 37 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified; 19 on the NA (x) parental genetic map, and 18 on the AU(6) parental genetic map. Regions of particular interest were identified on linkage groups (LGs) 4 and 3 of the respective maps, which have been targeted for further analysis by selection of critical recombinants. This first study of genetic control of waterlogging tolerance in ryegrasses has important implications for breeding improvement of abiotic stress adaptation.