Brief History Lesson on Water Polo (courtesy of Wikipedia)
The 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.
One 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.
The 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.
Water Polo in Social Media
USA Water Polo
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.
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.