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

Jan 19, 2022 @ 2:00pm
This #WaterPoloWednesday we've got Dare 2 Dream action, upcoming college games and another awesome @NBA-Water Polo connection!

We 👀 you @rudygobert27! #CounterAttack #waterpolo https://t.co/fe6qJ1AE6z
Jan 18, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Blue Thunder is a masters water polo club that helps provide play opportunities for athletes from all over. With Zooms & annual trainings, they compete in some of the biggest Masters competitions

@rebecca_nordy shares their story in the latest SkipShot: https://t.co/3OAQxMpJOF

CWPA

Jan 19, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Mount St. Mary’s University Announces 2022 Women’s Water Polo Schedule
https://t.co/kDmewNmSb0 https://t.co/kfIxTPRy5V
Jan 19, 2022 @ 4:48pm
No. 18 University of California-Santa Barbara to Provide Live Statistics of 2022 UCSB Winter Invite Games Versus No. 19 Princeton University & Brown University on January 22-23
https://t.co/BBrwFgLtJE https://t.co/5xPiNy6euX
Jan 19, 2022 @ 11:02am
Did You Know: Navy water polo was included during the 41-episode half-hour show Men of Annapolis which ran from 1957–1958.
https://t.co/eFjMAWrO1J https://t.co/cJg2ubSlwF
Jan 18, 2022 @ 11:02am
Rhodes Scholar, Scientist & Trumpeter: The Story of Harvard University’s Laura Garwin
https://t.co/gkpKrpFrHe https://t.co/OUGzyJprsA
Jan 17, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Novalee Roberto to Join Saint Francis University Women’s Water Polo Team in Spring 2022
https://t.co/OywbGUIxJE https://t.co/COfmxJg7Wx
Jan 17, 2022 @ 11:03am
Fordham University’s Scott Kwiatkowski Named 2021-22 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference-East Region Sports Information Director of the Year
https://t.co/3HfBVtyyLI https://t.co/pw7JOhUtcJ

American WP

Jul 11, 2021 @ 5:33pm
Congratulations to North Penn - 2021 National State Challenge 18U Boys Champion https://t.co/oN3fEHRI5U
Jul 11, 2021 @ 5:32pm
Congratulations to Wilson - 2021 National State Challenge 18U Boys Runner-Up https://t.co/xqjH2UhHwz
Jul 11, 2021 @ 5:05pm
Congratulations to Ridge Raptors - 2021 National State Challenge 18U Girls Champion https://t.co/cxMc1KdyOh

F.A.Q.

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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.

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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.