Water Polo is a team game and played in water. The most important aspect of this game is swimming. If you are a good swimmer, then water polo is the right sport for you. The game is played by seven players and is more or less similar to football except that one is allowed to use his hands and feet.
Though the origin of the game is not perfectly known, modern water polo started as a form of rugby football that was played in rivers and lakes in England and Scotland. The game was earlier known as water rugby and later was rechristened as water polo.
The sport was introduced at the Olympics in 1900. Exactly 100 years later, women water polo was introduced at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Since 1973, men's Water Polo World Championship is being organized every two to four years. Within the FINA World Aquatics Championships
The playground for water polo is not fixed. It varies between 20 x 10 and 30 x 20 meters. Similarly, the minimum depth of water is not specified. Though ideally it should be 1.8 meters (6 feet), but it is changed for high school games. The goals are 3 meters wide and 90 centimeters high. Even the balls used for the game are not fixed. It can be changed according to the needs
When playing the game, it is absolutely necessary to have very good eye-hand coordination. The ability to handle and pass the ball separates the good teams from the great teams. To just go into details about the passes, a ball when thrown to a partner without touching the water is called as a dry pass while a pass that uses water as a medium is known as a wet pass. Any part of the body can be used to score a goal
The goalkeeper is often the most prized player in a team. He has the tough job of being able to jump out of water and holds the vertical position without sinking back. The goal area is about 30 square feet and therefore the goalie has to be fast in especially in lateral movement.
In water polo match, teams line up on near their own goal with three players standing on either side of the post. As soon as the referee blows his whistle, the teams swim to the pool centre. The referee then drops the ball and the game starts. The first team which gets the ball is called the attacker and remains so until the opposition gets hold of the ball.
Water polo is guided by the Federation International de Natation (FINA), based in Switzerland. The organization has been holding FINA Water Polo World League since 2002.
Some of the most prominent water polo associations and federations are Australian Water Polo, Water Polo Canada, and Croatian Water Polo Federation, Hellenic Under secretariat of State for Sports / Water Polo, Hungarian Water Polo Federation, New Zealand Water Polo, Water Polo Federation of Serbia and Turkish Water Polo Federation.
Inner tube water polo is another kind of water polo. In this sport, the main difference is that the players, excluding the goalkeeper, are required to float in inner tubes. This means that players waste less energy than traditional water polo players. This sport is very popular at universities.