Water polo is one of the oldest olympic sports, and was first played in the 1880s. It is a fast-paced, exciting game, played in a deep swimming pool, a lake or the sea. The ‘pitch’ is typically 25 or 30m long, with a goal at each end. The aim of the game is to score more goals than the other team, by throwing the ball into the goal. Each team is allowed 13 players, with seven (a goalkeeper and six field players) participating at any one time. Except for the goalkeeper, players may handle the ball with only one hand. The game is usually played in four quarters, each quarter being eight minutes in length with two minute intervals between quarters (32 minutes of stopped time). Substitutions are most common after a goal is scored, between periods, or for an ejected player. Each team is allowed two time outs within a match. Physical contact is the rule rather than the exception, as the players manoeuvre for position in front of the goal. A goal (1 point) is scored when the ball is thrown or pushed completely past the face of the goal.
To play water polo, you need to be a reasonably strong swimmer, and need a reasonable level of fitness, as the game involves swimming or treading water most of the time. If you want to have a go, visit your local water polo club, as every club is friendly and keen for new players.
If you require further details on how to contact clubs please use the contact us form.