Experience the remarkable sport of water polo at the Aquatics Centre as the Olympic Games 2012 kick-start. Read more to know the rules and regulations of water polo.

Water Polo

Water polo being an epic team water sport, it requires immense effort to play the game. This sport calls in for great strength, stamina, and excellent hand with eye co-ordination. The potential players use their techniques of swimming and treading water, which is how they defend their opponents. This game is more similar to soccer and a score is marked when the ball is thrown between the goal posts. With the fame of being the first team sport at the modern Olympic Games in 1900, it was only limited to men's event initially. Later in Holland, in 1906, women played water polo and proved their talent. Alas, this sport failed to gather popularity. After a national tournament for women was held in the United States in the year 1926, the sport came to be considered as brutal and was abandoned until 1960s. For women, the water sport tournament held during the 2000 Summer Olympics turned out to be the real recognition. Today the spectators thrive to be a part of the game and this shows the extent up to which the game has laid its influence. London Olympics 2012 is all set to display water polo at the brand new Water polo arena. Scroll further for more details.

Water Polo Rules And Regulations
  • There is a squad of 13 players for each country and in total eight countries participate in the women’s tournament while it is twelve in the case of men’s match.
  • The teams for water polo are divided into two groups and initially the teams take over each other within the same group. After this, the teams play quarter finals, semifinals and the top two teams from either group comes fact to face for gold.
  • Water polo is played by a team of seven members which comprises: a goalkeeper and six outfield players. It is usually an eight-minute match with four periods and the size of the pool varies from 20m by 10m to 30 by 20m. The minimum depth of the water should measure 1.8 m.
  • Each team will be given 30 seconds to score a point and the failure of which the ball will be passed to the opposition team. The players are not permitted to touch the side or the bottom of the pool during the match. According to the rules of the game, only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball using both hands at the same time and also allowed to stand on the bottom as well.
  • Each team has a corresponding goalkeeper and he/she has to stop the shots from being a goal.
  • If a team scores a goal within the allotted 30 seconds, then the clock is reset to 30 seconds at that instant.
  • The players are not supposed to pass the ball underneath the water. Neither can they push or hold another player in possession of the ball.
  • While the match is going on, the team in possession of the ball may call 2 one- minute time out during its four periods of the match.
  • Fouls are of two types: ordinary and major. If the player is given a major foul, it results in temporary exclusion and the player is sent off field for 20 seconds. In case of three major fouls for the player in a game, he/she is sent off the game field for the rest of the game.
  • The team is awarded a score if the ball passes between the two goal posts and underneath the crossbar. Like in soccer and football, if the defense throws the ball out, then the offense will be rewarded a corner throw. ‘Sea gulling or cherry picking’ is the term used to signify the pass when the defense gains control of the ball and passes it to the team member on the offensive end of the pool after a shot is blocked by the goalie.
Water Polo History
This sport developed as a team in the 19th century in England and Scotland and was considered to be an aquatic version of rugby played in the rivers and lakes. The game that prevails today is more similar to a handball and has come to be included in every Olympic program since its debut in the Paris Games, 1900. Also, it holds the prestige of being the first men's team sport introduced in Paris at the modern Olympic Games in 1900. Towards the 19th and the 20th century, this game grew as a sport on the either side of Atlantic. Thus, soon the rules of the game were formal and this in turn helped to spread its roots over 12 nations at the 1920 Games held in Antwerp. As years passed, the techniques and the rules of the game were modified which bought more character into the game. Since 1970s, there have been changes incorporated in the sport as the exclusion foul was replaced with a point system in the case of major fouls. Hence, the players were excluded from the game and given a penalty of one minute and also the possession of the ball for each team became 45 seconds.