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      Water Polo

Goals & Rules

Water polo is a sport played in the water with a ball. It is based on a similar game, polo. The objective of the game is to get the ball into the goal more than the opposing team.

Water polo is a team game. Two teams play a match, which consists of four periods named quarters. The length of each period is usually between 5 to 8 minutes, but because the amount of time spent on fouls or out throws is not counted in the quarter time, an average quarter lasts around 12 minutes ‘real time’.

Each team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. Water polo players need to be skilled in swimming, ball handing skills, reflexes and awareness.


  • If you have the ball you cannot use your free hand to push attackers way or it is a turnover. (This means the other team is given the ball)
  • You cannot touch the ball with two hands unless you are the goalie. The goalie can touch the ball with two hands up to the 4 meter line.
  • If you are chasing an opponent on a breakaway you cannot pull his legs or shoulders. (This is called impeding a breakaway and is a major foul)
  • Your team has 30 seconds to shoot or the ball will be turned over.
  • Do not hit the ball with a fist. (Bad idea)
  • You cannot intentionally splash your opponent. This means that you cannot be mean and splash you opponents face when he is going to make a pass or shot. If you accidentally splash your opponent then that is OK.
  • You cannot pass the 2 meter line before the ball does. (Like the blue line in hockey)
  • If you have just been fouled then you cannot shoot. You can shoot once you have passed to someone and they pass back
  • If you put the ball underwater then the referee will call a turnover foul.
  • You cannot push someone under the water if they do not have the ball. (This is a minor foul which means the referee will stop the play and give the ball to the player that got pushed underwater)
  • The game is composed of 4 quarters of 8 minutes.
  • When a goal is scored, teams line up at center and possession of ball is given to the non-scoring team. Pass the ball back towards your own net to start play. (Usually the goalie)

Learn to swim through water polo

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