Brief History Lesson on Water Polo (courtesy of Wikipedia)

image56-1024x680The history of water polo as a team sport began as a demonstration of strength and swimming skill in late 19th century England and Scotland, where water sports and racing exhibitions were a feature of county fairs and festivals. Men's water polo was among the first team sports introduced at the modern Olympic games in 1900. Women's water polo was introduced to the Olympic games in 2000. Water polo is now popular in many countries around the world, notably Europe (particularly in Serbia, Russia, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Greece and Hungary), the United States, Canada and Australia. The present-day game involves teams of seven players (plus up to six substitutes), with a water polo ball similar in size to a soccer ball but constructed of waterproof nylon.

image37-800x651One of the earliest recorded antecedents of the modern game of Water Polo was a game of water ‘hand-ball’ played at Bournemouth on 13 July 1876. This was a game between 12 members of the Premier Rowing Club, with goals being marked by four flags placed in the water near to the midpoint of Bournemouth Pier. The game started at 6.00pm in the evening and lasted for 15 minutes (when the ball burst) watched by a large crowd; with plans being made for play on a larger scale the following week.

image14-1600x1067The rules of water polo were originally developed in the late nineteenth century in Great Britain by William Wilson. Wilson is believed to have been the First Baths Master of the Arlington Baths Club in Glasgow. The first games of 'aquatic football' were played at the Arlington in the late 1800s (the Club was founded in 1870), with a ball constructed of India rubber. This "water rugby" came to be called "water polo" based on the English pronunciation of the Balti word for ball, pulu. Early play allowed brute strength, wrestling and holding opposing players underwater to recover the ball; the goalie stood outside the playing area and defended the goal by jumping in on any opponent attempting to score by placing the ball on the deck.

Useful Links

Water Polo in Social Media

USA Water Polo

Dec 9, 2022 @ 2:00pm
#ICYMI, This week's #CounterAttack showcased all big moments of in the DI and DIII National Championships and caught up with @TeamUSA Athlete @ben_hallock doing what he does best--dominating in the pool! Check it out!
Dec 8, 2022 @ 5:00pm
Did you know Grammy Award-Winner Sean Paul ( @duttypaul) played #waterpolo? He joined @NY1 last month and talked about his family's history with the sport.
Dec 8, 2022 @ 3:00pm
World Champion Jordan Raney is one of three @TeamUSA athletes using tuition grants to pursue medical training. Raney is focusing on holistic medicine at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Dec 8, 2022 @ 2:00pm
#ICYMI: The @TeamUSA Women are home for the holidays as they host Italy and Spain!

Team USA's roster is now available along with information about a Holiday Food Drive in collaboration with @FoodFindersinc.




Dec 9, 2022 @ 6:01pm
Become a Coach, Official or Mentor to Help Grow Water Polo to More Colleges/Universities
Dec 8, 2022 @ 11:01pm
Reminder: 2023 Collegiate Water Polo Association Women’s Division I Championship Date Moves to April 28-30
Dec 8, 2022 @ 6:30pm
United States Naval Academy Men’s Water Polo Alumnus Jason Salata ’94 Guests on the Sing Second Sports Podcast
Dec 8, 2022 @ 10:50am
Brown University & Harvard University to Host 2023 Bruno Invitational on February 3-5

American WP

Aug 12, 2022 @ 5:19pm
Bluff City Water Polo to Host New Players Clinic on August 20 at St. George’s Aquatic Center
Aug 3, 2022 @ 2:27pm
American Water Polo Mourns the Passing of Official Jeff Hyde
Jul 22, 2022 @ 7:19pm
Carol Stream Park District (Ill.) to Host U14 & High School Clinics on July 28 & 29
May 25, 2022 @ 5:59pm
American Water Polo Changes Safety Certification Process to National Federation of High Schools



Where are the horses kept?

After years of intense studying we are finally able to explain water polo. Here it goes, water polo at its basics is played by two teams of 14 players, each with their own horse, save for the team’s goalie, who uses a SEAhorse (specially bred for water polo). The goal of the game is to submerge the other team completely. Additionally, every player is required to keep their eyes shut while shouting “Marco.” The game does include up to two referees that are required to rid a cow, sporting a black and white striped polo shirt.

Okay, you caught us, we don't really use horses or seahorse.....for every game.


How deep is the pool?

There is the ideal depth and what you have available to work with.
The minimum depth of the pool should be about six feet deep. However, in many leagues and tournaments, there may not be a facility that is equipped with a pool of this depth. Typical pools will run shallow to deep. Therefore, the basic rule state that players should not use the bottom to their advantage (i.e., pushing off).  Now, if anyone believes that players do not use the bottom in the shallow end, please see above referencing use of horses for water polo.

Do you have to tread the whole time?

Unless we are playing in the ideal kiddie pool, yes we are treading water when not swimming.
Treading in water polo

Another treading tutorial

Can you touch the bottom?

I wish we were joking about the order of these questions. However, yes, these are the typical order in which a water polo player gets asked these questions (#waterpoloproblems). See Truly Ideal Depth above

Do you have to wear a speedo?

This question is typically only asked of the male water polo players. strange. Emilio Estevez's character, Andrew Clark, said it best in The Breakfast Club: "I wear the required uniform!"

The average water polo player may swim over a mile during the course of a game. Ever tried to swim a mile in swim trunks? Let me tell you, it is extremely difficult and tiresome. In addition, this question may be hinting at whether we wear speedos when we are sitting around the pool deck or at the beach. Therefore, water polo players, for the most part, wear swim trunks when not playing competitively.