Water polo is a team-based sport that is played in a pool and requires the ability to swim to play. Water polo is played by swimming, passing of the game ball, and scoring goals by sending the ball past the goalie of the opposing team. There are six players on each team in waterpolo, and one goal keeper per team, making a total of seven players in play at a given time. There are a maximum of six substitutes per game and the winner of the game is the team that scores the most goals on the opposing player’s side. Waterpolo has similar characteristics of sports that are played on land, such as soccer and hockey. It is currently the oldest team sport still played in the Olympics.
Water Polo Equipment and Water Polo Gear:
Water polo is a sport that requires very little equipment. Aside from the actual pool and goals on either side of the pool, the only water polo equipment required are the ball, swim cap, swimwear, and mouth guard.
Water Polo Ball:
The most essential piece of water polo gear, the ball is made out of waterproof material and is designed to float on top of water. The surface of the ball is equipped with a special texture to allow it to be easily gripped by players, which is especially important because of the fact that water polo is played in a pool.
Balls are generally yellow so that they are easily seen and it weights about 14-16 ounces while being under 5-7 PSI of pressure. The size of the ball can also differ between men’s, women’s and junior water polo leagues. Men’s water polo equipment standards require it to be 28 inches in circumference and women’s 26.5 inches in circumference.
A water polo gear rule changed the coloration of the ball in official games. The ball now has a blue, green, red, or black stripe to accompany the standard yellow color. The colored balls then began to be used in NCAA and NFHS sanctioned games. Currently, water polo gear rules state that the additional color is required to be black. This new color benefits players because it makes it easier to keep track of the ball that is in play. It also helps players learn proper rotation techniques to put on the ball during play.
Another piece of water polo equipment is the swimming cap which are designed to protect players’ heads and ears. It is also a way for players and spectators to identify each swimmer on the team. The cap on goals is a different color then a normal position player.
Male water polo players generally water polo equipment wear in the form of Speedos. Female players are required to wear a one-piece swimsuit without straps that are on normal swimsuits. Most female one-piece swimwear have zipper-backs.
An important piece of water polo equipment is the mouth guard, which is designed to protect a player’s teeth from the great deal of contact involved in the sport.