Water polo is a team water game played between two sides. Each team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores the most goals.
- Both teams wear different color caps. We can wear latex caps or the regulation caps with the ear covers.
- The game begins with a face off. Every player on both teams go to their goal line at the end of their pool by their goal.
- Rules of Water Polo for kids. File:Kid Rules 4 water polo.pdf
Basic skills Edit
- Swimming: Water polo requires every player to have the ability to swim. Field players must swim end to end of a 30-meter pool non-stop many times during a game without touching the sides or bottom of the pool. The front crawl stroke used in water polo differs from the usual swimming style in that water polo players swim with the head out of water at all times to observe the field. The arm stroke used is also a lot shorter and quicker and is used to protect the ball at all times. Backstroke is used by defending field players to track advancing attackers and by the goalie to track the ball after passing. Water polo backstroke differs from swimming backstroke; the player sits almost upright in the water, using eggbeater leg motions with short arm strokes to the side instead of long straight arm strokes. This allows the player to see the play and quickly switch positions. It also allows the player to quickly catch an on coming pass with a free hand.
- Nonswimmers have some opportunities to play modified games of water polo. Often, games are played in school pools that have both a shallow end and deeper water. Then a shallow-end goalkeeper would not need to be a strong swimmer as the keeper can stand and play off of the bottom of the pool.
- Ball handling skills: As all field players are only allowed to touch the ball with one hand at a time, they must develop the ability to catch and throw the ball with either hand and also the ability to catch a ball from any direction, including across the body using the momentum of the incoming ball. Experienced water polo players can catch and release a pass or shoot with a single motion. The size of the ball can overwhelm a small child's hand making the sport more suitable for older children.
- Treading water: The most common form of water treading is generally referred to as "egg-beatering", named because the circular movement of the legs resembles the motion of an egg-beater. Egg beater is used for most of the match as the players cannot touch the bottom of the pool. The advantage of egg-beater is that it allows the player to maintain a constant position to the water level, and uses less energy than other forms of treading water such as the scissor kick, which result in the player bobbing up and down. It can be used vertically or horizontally. Horizontal egg-beater is used to resist forward motion of an attacking player. Vertical eggbeater is used to maintain a position higher than the opponent. By kicking faster for a brief period the player can get high out of the water (as high as their suit—below their waistline) for a block, pass, or shot.
- Reflexes and Awareness: At higher levels of the sport the pace of play rapidly increases, so that anticipation and mental preparation is important. "Field sense" (i.e. staying aware of the surroundings) is a major advantage in scoring, even if a player lacks the speed of an opponent. 
VideosEdit* Wikipedia:Water Polo
There are six field player positions and a goalkeeper on each team. Unlike most common team sports, there is not any positional play; field players often will fill several positions throughout the game as situations demand. Players who are skilled at several offensive or defensive roles are called utility players. Utility players tend to come off of the bench, though this isn't absolute. Certain body types are more suited for particular positions, and left-handed players are especially coveted, allowing teams to launch 2-sided attacks.
The offensive positions include: 1 center (a.k.a. hole set, 2-meter offense, pit player or pit-man), 2 wings, 2 drivers (also called "flats"), and 1 "point" man. The hole set directs the attack, and on defense is known as hole check, hole D, pit defense or 2-meter defense, defending the opposing team's center forward. The wings, drivers and point are often called the perimeter players. The most basic positional set up is known as a 3-3, due to the fact that there are two lines both containing 3 players. Another set up, used more by professional teams, is known as an "arc", umbrella, or mushroom, because the perimeter players form the shape of an arc, umbrella or mushroom around the goal with the center forward as the handle or stalk. The center forward, known by players as hole set or 2-meter is the center player in the middle of the umbrella who is closest to the opposing teams goal. This player sets up in front of the opposing team's goalie and usually scores the most individually (especially during lower level play where arc or perimeter players do not have the required leg strength to drop effectively onto the pit player) or contributes most often to initiating plays. The five perimeter players often swim the most and interchange their positions several times during a single offensive play. They contribute to the actual execution of plays, and cumulatively score the most points for the team. The point player's position provides opportunities to pass to teammates and communicate among the offense, like the point guard in basketball. The center forward also plays a big role offensively because they sit closest to the goal and usually attempt to shoot from close-range as frequently as possible with "Step-out"(a.k.a Roll-out), "Sweep", or "Backhand" shots.
Defensive positions are often the same, but just switched from offense to defense. Defense can be played man-to-man or zone. It can also be played as a combination of the two in what is known as an "M drop" defense, where the point defender drops down to double team the set offender and the rest of the defense plays man coverage. The opposing center forward (hole set) is often double-teamed because of his position closest to the goal. In zone defense, players defend an area of the pool. A strong shooter or good passer can be double-teamed by the defense, known as "sloughing".
The goalkeeper is generally one of the more challenging positions. A goalie has to be able to jump out of the water, using little more than one's core and legs, and hold the vertical position without sinking into the water, all while tracking and anticipating a shot. The goal is Template:Convert in face area; the goalie should also be a master of fast, effective lateral movement in the water as well as lightening fast lunges out of the water to deflect a shot. Another key job that the goalkeeper is responsible for is guiding and informing his or her defense of imposing threats and gaps in the defense, and making helpful observations to identify a gap in the defense that the defenders may or can not see.
The goalkeeper is given several privileges above those of the other players, but only if he or she is within the five meter area in front of his goal:
- The ability to touch the ball with two hands.
- The ability to strike the ball with a clenched fist.
- The ability to touch the bottom of the pool. (Pool depth permitting)
The goalkeeper also has one limitation that other players do not have: he or she cannot cross the half-distance line. Also, if a goalie pushes the ball under water, it is not a turnover like with field players. It is a penalty shot, also called a 5-meter shot, or simply, a "5-meter".
Offense strategy Edit
At the start of each period, teams line up on their own goal line. Three players go both sides of the goal; the goalkeeper starts in the goal. At the referee's whistle, both teams swim to midpoint of the field (known as the sprint or the swim-off); the referee drops the ball near the side of the pool. The first team to recover the ball becomes the attacker until a goal is scored or the defenders recover the ball. After a goal is scored, the teams line up anywhere within their halves of play, but usually along the midpoint of the pool. Play resumes when the team not scoring the goal puts the ball in play by passing it to a teammate.
Advancing the ballEdit
When the offense takes possession of the ball, the strategy is to advance the ball down the field of play and to score a goal. Players can move the ball by throwing it to a teammate or swimming while pushing the ball in front of them ("dribbling"). If an attacker uses his arm to push away a defending player and free up space for a pass or shot, the referee will rule a turnover and the defense will take possession of the ball. If an attacker advances inside the 2-meter line without the ball or before the ball is inside the 2-meter area, he is ruled off side and the ball is turned over to the defense. This is often overlooked if the attacker is well to the side of the pool or when the ball is at the other side of the pool.
Setting the ballEdit
The key to the offense is to accurately pass (or "set") the ball into the center forward or hole set, positioned directly in front of the goal (the hole). Any field player may throw the hole set a "wet pass." A wet pass is one that hits the water just outside of the hole set's reach. A dry pass may also be used. This is where the hole set receives the ball directly in his hand and then attempts a shot at the cage. This pass is much more difficult because if the pass is not properly caught the officials will be likely to call an offensive foul resulting in a change of ball possession. The hole set attempts to take possession of the ball [after a wet pass], to shoot at the goal, or to draw a foul from his defender A minor foul is called if his defender (called the "hole D") attempts to impede movement before the hole set has possession. The referee indicates the foul with one short whistle blow and points one hand to the spot of the foul and the other hand in the direction of the attack of the team to whom the free throw has been awarded. The hole set then has a "reasonable amount of time" (typically about three seconds) to re-commence play by making a free pass to one of the other players. The defensive team cannot hinder the hole set until the free throw has been taken, but the hole set cannot shoot a goal once the foul has been awarded until the ball has been played by at least one other player. If the hole set attempts a goal without the free throw, the goal is not counted and the defense takes possession of the ball, unless the shot is made outside the 5-meter line. As soon as the hole set has a free pass, the other attacking players attempt to swim or drive away from their defenders towards the goal. The players at the flat position will attempt to set a screen (also known as a pick) for the driver. If a driver gets free from a defender, the player calls for the pass from the hole set and attempts a shot at the goal.
Man up (6 on 5)Edit
If a defender interferes with a free throw, holds or sinks an attacker who is not in possession or splashes water into the face of an opponent, the defensive player is excluded from the game for twenty seconds (informally called a 'kicked out' or an ejection). The attacking team typically positions 4 players on the 2 meter line, and 2 players on 5 meter line (4-2), passing the ball around until an open player attempts a shot. Other formations include a 3-3 (two lines of three attackers each) or arc (attackers make an arc in front of the goal and one offensive player sits in the 'hole' or 'pit' in front of the goal). The five defending players try to pressure the attackers, block shots and prevent a goal being scored for the 20 seconds while they are a player down. The other defenders can only block the ball with one hand to help the goalie. The defensive player is allowed to return immediately if the offense scores, or if the defense recovers the ball before the twenty seconds expires.
Five meter penaltyEdit
If a defender commits a foul within the five meter area that prevents a likely goal, the attacking team is awarded a penalty throw or shot. An attacking player lines up on the five meter line in front of the opposing goal. No other player may be in front of him or within 2 meters of his position. The defending goalkeeper must be between the goal posts. The referee signals with a whistle and by lowering his arm, and the player taking the penalty shot must immediately throw the ball with an uninterrupted motion toward the goal. The shooter’s body can not at any time cross the 5 meter line until after the ball is released. If the shooter carries his body over the line and shoots the result is a turn over. Penalty shots are often successful, but the goalkeeper who blocks a "five meter" can expect a chorus of cheers from the stands.
A shot is successful if the ball completely passes between the goal posts and underneath the crossbar. If a shot bounces off a goal post back into the field of play, the ball is rebounded by the players and the shot clock is reset. If the shot goes outside the goal and on to the deck (outside the field of play) then the ball is automatically recovered by the defense. If the goalie, however, is the last to touch the ball before it goes out of play behind the goal line, or if a defender purposely sends the ball out, then the offense receives the ball at the two meter line for a corner throw or "two meter" much like a corner kick in soccer or football. When the goalie blocks a shot, the defense may gain control of the ball, and make a long pass to a teammate who stayed on his offensive end of the pool when the rest of his team was defending. This is called cherry-picking or sea gulling.
Defense strategy Edit
On defense, the players work to regain possession of the ball and prevent a goal. The defense attempts to knock away or steal the ball from the offense or commit a foul in order to stop an offensive player from taking a goal shot. The defender attempts to stay between the attacker and the goal, a position known as inside water.
If an offensive player, such as the hole set (center forward), has possession of the ball in front of the goal, the defensive player tries to steal the ball or keep the center from shooting or passing. If the defender cannot, he may intentionally commit a foul. The hole set then has a free throw but must pass the ball off to another offensive player, rather than making a shot at the goal. Defensive perimeter players may also intentionally cause a minor foul and then move toward the goal, away from their attacker, who must take a free throw. This technique, called sloughing, allows the defense an opportunity to double-team the hole set and possibly steal the inbound pass. The referee may refrain from declaring a foul, if in his judgment this would give the advantage to the offender's team. This is known as the Advantage Rule.
Minor fouls (ordinary fouls) occur when a player impedes or otherwise prevents the free movement of an opponent who is not holding the ball, including swimming on the opponent’s shoulders, back or legs. The most common is when a player reaches over the shoulder of an opponent in order to knock the ball away while in the process hindering the opponent. Offensive players may be called for a foul by pushing off a defender to provide space for a pass or shot. The referee indicates the foul with one short whistle blow and points one hand to the spot of the foul and the other hand in the direction of the attacking team, who retain possession. The attacker must make a free pass without undue delay to another offensive player. If the foul has been committed outside the 5-meter line, the offensive player may also attempt a direct shot on goal, but the shot must be taken immediately and in one continuous motion. Because of this rule the hole set will often set up at or beyond the five meter mark hoping to get a foul, shoot, and score. If the offensive player fakes a shot and then shoots the ball, it is considered a turnover. If the same defender repetitively makes minor fouls, referees will exclude that player for 20 seconds. To avoid an ejection, the hole defender may foul twice, and then have a wing defender switch with him so that the defense can continue to foul the hole man without provoking an exclusion foul. The rule was altered to allow repeated fouls without exclusions, but is often still enforced by referees.
Major fouls (exclusion fouls) are committed when the defensive player pulls the offensive player away from the ball before the offensive player has had a chance to take possession of the ball. This includes dunking (sinking in FINA rules), intentional splashing, pulling back, swimming on the other player's back, or otherwise preventing the offensive player from preserving his advantage. A referee signals a major foul by two short whistle bursts and indicates that the player must leave the field of play and move to the penalty area for twenty seconds. The referee will first point to the player who commits the foul and will blow the whistle. then they will point to the ejection corner and blow the whistle again. The player must move to the penalty area without impacting the natural game play. If the player does not leave the field of play, the player will be kicked out for the remaining time of the game with substitution. The remaining five defenders, to cover the six attackers on a man up situation, usually set up in a zone defense in front of their goal. The attacking team can expect to score, by adopting a 4-2 or 3-3 formation, and moving the goalkeeper out of position. A player that has been ejected three times must sit out the whole match with substitution, much like the six personal fouls in basketball.
Brutality fouls A brutality is called when a player kicks or strikes (or attempts to kick or strike) an opponent or official with malicious intent. The player who is charged with a brutality is excluded from the game for 4 minutes, and the team is forced to play with one less player then the other team for that duration. Previously, the team who was charged with a brutality would be required to play the remainder of the game with one less player, similar to a red card awarded in soccer.
A misconduct foul is an unsportsmanlike act. For unacceptable language, violent or persistent fouls, taking part in the game after being excluded or showing disrespect, a player is ejected for the remainder of the game with substitution after 20 seconds have elapsed. This type of foul is often called a roll because the referee signals the foul by rolling his hands around one another. If a player commits a violent foul with intention to harm, the player is ejected from the game without substitution. The opponents are awarded a penalty shot, and the ejected player's team plays one man down for the next four minutes of game time. This type of foul is called a brutality and is signaled by the referee by crossing the arms in the form of an X.
A penalty shot is awarded when a major foul is committed inside the 5-meter line and the offensive player had an opportunity to score, or a goal was prevented by the foul. This usually means that the offensive player is in front of and facing the goal. The penalty shot is attempted from 5 meters. Any defenders flanking the player taking the shot must be no closer than 2 meters. The goalkeeper must be on the goal line. In high school rules, the goalie must keep their hips even with the goal line. They are allowed to lean their upper body over in order to kick up higher. The referee blows the whistle and the player must shoot immediately.
Drawing the ejection (forcing defense to commit a major foul) occurs when an offensive player takes advantage of a defensive player by using body position and/or grabbing on their wrists to make it appear as though the defensive player is committing a "major foul", therefore resulting in the ejection of that player and gaining a 6 on 5 advantage. Another common way to draw an ejection is by staggering stroke while being chased to make it appear as though the defensive player is pulling the swimmer back.
Even with good backup from the rest of the defenders, stopping attacks can prove very difficult if the goalkeeper remains in the middle of the goal. The most defensible position is along a semicircular line connecting the goalposts and extending out in the center. Depending on the ball carrier's location, the goalie is positioned along that semicircle roughly a meter out of the goal to reduce the attacker's shooting angle. The goalkeeper stops using his or her hands to tread water once the opponent enters the 7 metre mark and starts treading water much harder, elevating the body, arms ready for the block. Finally the goalie tries to block the ball down, which is often hard for the longer reaches, but prevents an offensive rebound and second shot. As is the case with other defensive players, a goalkeeper who aggressively fouls an attacker in position to score can be charged with a penalty shot for the other team. The goalkeeper can also be ejected for twenty seconds if a major foul is committed. Also inside the two meter mark, the goalie can swing at the ball with a closed fist without being penalized.
Ball handling skillsEdit
When passing or shooting, the hips of the player should line up in the direction in which the ball is thrown with one hand. When passing, shooting or receiving a ball, the player rotates the whole of the upper body, using egg-beater to keep the lower body in the same position, then releasing the ball with hips lined up in the direction of the throw. For extra accuracy and speed when releasing the ball, a player uses body momentum to follow through at the end of the throw.
There are two basic passes in waterpolo: the "dry" pass and the "wet" pass. When passing to a field position player, a dry pass (meaning the ball doesn't touch the water) is thrown a few inches above the head of the catching player and to the left or right side depending on the receiver's dominant hand. The dry pass allows for optimal speed when passing from player to player, who do not have to pick the ball up out of the water to throw. A fluid motion between catching and throwing is the goal. An expert thrower's hand creates back spin, making the ball easier to catch. In order for the player to catch the ball above their head, they must egg beater harder which brings their body higher out of the water.
The wet pass is a deliberate pass into the water. This is usually done when making a pass into the hole set. To make a successful wet pass, the ball lands just out of reach of the offensive player and defensive team. The hole set can then lunge towards the ball and out of the water to make a shot or pass. This is a very effective offensive strategy if a team has a strong hole set. The only thing the passer must look out for is a possible double-team on the hole set. If that happens the player must look for an open player or pass the ball closer to the hole set to avoid a turnover.
Shots usually succeed when the goalie is out of position. At long range from the goal, shots are easy for goalkeepers to stop, but closer ones are very difficult. Close-range shots tend to be harder to come by (since players close to the goalpost are usually under very great pressure), but in these situations usually a soft tap-in is enough to beat the goalkeeper. Close-range shots may come from the centre-forward in open play, utilizing either quick backhand-shots, sweep-shots, layout or other creative shooting positions.
There are three basic outside water shooting techniques. The first is a straight forward power shot. Top level water polo players can generate ball speeds between 50-90 km/h (30-56 mph). The player propels his body out of the water and uses his momentum to shoot the ball into the net. Though very powerful, this shot requires the precise targeting. If the shot is off the mark, the ball will either be blocked by the goalie or rebound off the goal post. Another shooting technique is the bounce shot or skip shot. Instead of shooting directly into the net, the player throws the ball at an angle directly into the water. If done properly and with enough force, the ball will bounce off the water and into the goal. The bounce shot usually takes the goalie by surprise. But, if done from far enough away the goalie can plan to block the ball low on the water instead of bringing the hands up in the air. The lob shot is high arching shot intended to pass over the goalie's hands and under the crossbar. It is most effective taken from an angle on either side of the goal post; this provides a large area behind the goalie into which the lob can drop on its downward arc. This shot confuses the goalie and usually forces the goalie to kick up out of the water too early and miss the block.
Outside water shots require a player to cease swimming, and usually occur outside the 2 meter zone. A player who has inside water and has a defender approaching may not want to pause and let his defender catch up. In these situations, which can often result from driving after a foul has been committed on the hole set or during a close fast break counterattack, players may perform an inside water shot. The t-shot or bat shot is executed by scooping the ball with the non-dominant hand, "loading" the ball to the dominant hand, and propelling the ball forward. The pop shot is a quick shot executed by cupping the ball with the dominant hand from underneath the ball and releasing it, usually into a corner of the goal. This shot is timed with a player's swimming stroke, and should flow comfortably from the dribble. Other inside water shots include the screw shot, which can likewise be executed directly from the stroke, and a spring shot where the player pushes the ball slightly into the water (but avoiding a "ball under" foul) and then allows a sudden release. While beginning players will have difficulty integrating these shots into their stroke, resulting in weaker shots as compared to outside water shots, inside water shots by experienced players have sufficient force to skip past the goalkeeper. One thing the shooter must watch is how close they get to the goalie because they can come out of the goal and take the ball.
Baulking (a kind of pump fake a.k.a. hezie or hesitation shot) is effective when using an outside water shot. The player gets in the position to shoot but stops halfway through. This puts the defense on edge and partially immobilizes the goalie by wasting his blocking lunge. This can be repeated until the player decides to release the ball. A good baulk takes a great amount of hand strength to palm the ball.
Water polo shots are the various ways water polo players shoot the ball.
Lob shot EditThe lob shot is used when a field player tricks the goal keeper into coming out of the cage. Once the goal keeper is out side the 2 meter line the field player lobs the ball over the goalies head into the cage.
Often taken with the power of the wrist when the elbow is straight so as to hold the ball away from the close defender. The power of the shot comes from flexing the wrist.
Push shot Edit
Good for pushing the ball on an attack while swimming in a horizontal position so as to keep the ball away from the defenders. The speed of the shot comes from the player pushing the ball with the elbow going from bent to straight.
Backhand shot Edit
Grip the ball between the hand and the forearm. Generally the shot is taken with the head faced away from the goal.
Trick shot Edit
There are so many, it is hard to name them all.
Video of water polo tricks: Head balance and foot juggling skills and drills.
Tip (deflection) shot Edit
Two players in a line work to make this shot. The first player fires the ball into the direction of the goal. The second player, as the ball comes over or near him, puts his hand up to sweep the ball into the back of the net by giving the angle of the shot a different trajectory.
Overhand (baseball) shot Edit
Player comes to vertical body position and throws the ball with one strong, wind-up motion, generally overhand or three-quarters position.
An offense move to turn the defender and attack the goal or move forward.
- See /Speedball
- Surf polo, another variation of water polo, is played on surfboards. First played on the beaches of Waikiki in Hawaii in the 1930s and 1940s, it is credited to Louis Kahanamoku, Duke Kahanamoku's brother.
Canoe Polo or kayak polo is one of the eight disciplines of canoeing pursued in the UK, known simply as "polo" by its aficionados. Polo combines paddling and ball handling skills with an exciting contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes.
Water polo equipment Edit
Template:Double image Little player equipment is needed to play water polo. Items required in water polo include:
- Ball: A water polo ball is constructed of waterproof material to allow it to float on the water. The cover has a special texture so it won't slip from the hands of a player. The size of the ball is different for men's and women's games.
- Caps: A water polo cap is used to protect the players' heads and to identify them. Home team field players wear numbered white caps, and visiting team field players wear dark caps. Both starting goalkeepers wear (quartered) red caps, numbered "1", substitute goalies caps are numbered either "1-A" in NCAA play or "13" for FINA international play. Caps are fitted with ear protectors.
- Goals: Two goals are needed in order to play water polo. These can either be put on the side of the pool, or in the pool using floaters.
- Swimwear: Male water polo players often wear swim briefs. Some players prefer to wear 2 briefs for more security during play. Female players usually wear a One-piece swimsuit.
- Main article: History of water polo
The modern game originated as a form of rugby football played in rivers and lakes in England and Scotland with a ball constructed of Indian rubber. This "water rugby" came to be called "water polo" based on the English pronunciation of the Balti word for ball, pulu.
Men's water polo at the Olympics was the first team sport introduced at the 1900 games, along with cricket, rugby, football, polo (with horses), rowing and tug of war. Women's water polo became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games after political protests from the Australian women's team.
Every 2 to 4 years since 1973, a men's Water Polo World Championship is organized within the FINA World Aquatics Championships. Women's water polo was added in 1986. A second tournament series, the FINA Water Polo World Cup, has been held every other year since 1979. In 2002, FINA organized the sport's first international league, the FINA Water Polo World League.
2008 Olympic Tournament Final StandingsEdit
- Hungary (also known as HUN)
- United States (also known as USA)
- Serbia (also known as SRB)
- Montenegro (also known as MNE)
- Spain (also known as ESP)
- Croatia (also known as CRO)
- Greece (also known as GRE)
- Australia (also known as AUS)
- Italy (also known as ITA)
- Germany (also known as GER)
- Canada (also known as CAN)
- China (also known as CHN)
Water polo federations, teams, & clubsEdit
- Main article: List of water polo organizations
- Headlines at Captain U, http://news.captainu.com/news/m-water_polo
- ↑ "The Technique of the Eggbeater Kick" by Marion Alexander and Carolyn Taylor
- ↑ Dr. Richard Hunkler, national water polo coach of the year in 1993 and 1994, has compared this aspect of the game to chess. See: Richard Hunkler PhD, Water Polo Planet (April 1, 2006): Water Polo Is the Chess of Sports Retrieved December 12, 2006
- ↑ FINA Water Polo rules: WP 20.5 (Goalkeeper may touch pool bottom)
- ↑ FINA Water Polo Rules, Section WP 7.3: Advantage Rule
- ↑ Marion Alexander, Adrian Honish, Coaches' Infoservice, sports science information for coaches: The Water Polo Shot Retrieved December 17, 2006
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ 12th FINA World Championship 2007: Classroom Resource Retrieved 2007-09-20
- ↑ polo. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 20, 2007, from Dictionary.com website
- ↑ International Olympic Committee Water Polo Site