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  • The Basics of Water Polo by Joe Cole

    January 16, 2017 3 min read


    It is a game which is played in the water without any support from the ground, and it is played by the most physically fit players. Originally it was a very harsh game in which players played it like rugby under the water, and during the game, harsh injuries and near drowning incidents were very common. Later, players from Scotland made it more civilized and unlike what was being done previously, it was now illegal to drown the ball in the water; the ball has to remain above the water surface. Most of the rules that we follow today were developed by Hungarians as they took up the game as it became more and more popular in Europe. For the beginners and the young people who are interested in this game, here is a list of skills, methods, and techniques that constitute the rules of the game.

    Head-Up Freestyle

    It is the main way of traveling in the water whenever the players are playing this game. In the entire distance, the head remains out of the water while elbows are moved forward and backward to keep the body moving forward. There is one important incentive for keeping your head outside the water and that is you are constantly aware of what is happening in the game, where the other players are and where actually the ball is.


    In the game, six members are appointed at attacking and defensive spots while one member is given the goalkeeping role. The main role of the attackers is to score maximum goals against the other team, while the main role of the defenders is to defend their own time and stop other members to score goals against their team.

    Strategy of Advancing the Ball

    Whenever a player takes hold of the ball, his main aim is to move the ball forward and he constantly tries to score the goal against the opposite team. In all this process, he keeps the ball above the water surface in front of his mouth. All the players aren’t allowed to use their arms or legs; if any defender tries to use his arm or leg to take possession of the ball, or if he tries to make some space using his hands, the referee declares it as a turnover, and the defense finally takes possession of the ball again.

    Defense Strategy

    The advancing ball strategy is used by the attackers to advance the ball, while at the same time a different strategy is used by the defenders to stop attackers from scoring a goal and this is called defense strategy. The defensive players try to snatch the ball from the attackers and they also try to make fouls to make attackers unsuccessful in their attempts to score goals. The goalkeeper is a very important member in the gameplay because he is the one who stops the final attempts of the attackers.

    Precautions to Reduce Injuries

    As mentioned earlier, Water Polo, initially, was a very dangerous game but with the passage of time people modified it in more and more civilized manner. Currently, there is hardly any equipment needed to avoid injuries except some basic swimsuits. Most common injuries faced by the players in the game are head injuries and shoulder injuries, and these too are induced by the direct contact of the head with the elbows. Another injury is a shoulder injury and which occurs if you try to throw the ball without properly warming up your shoulder. If the shoulder is not properly warmed up, in game terminology it is called “Cold Arm”.

    This guest post is written by Joe Cole, he works at Coupon Goo.

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