The water polo sport is a team-based game played in a pool, requiring the ability to swim to compete. Waterpolo 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. Each team competing in water polo are only allowed six substitutions per game. The team that has the most goals at the conclusion of the time limit in a water polo game is declared the winner. Water polo 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.
Offensive Strategy in the Water Polo Sport:
When a water polo game is started and at the start of each period, both teams line up at their own goal line, three players to each side of the goal, with the goalkeeper starting in goal. When the referee blows the whistle to start the match and/or period, both teams sprint swim to the center of the field, and the ball is dropped into the pool. In many international competitions, the ball is held at the center by a ring and each water polo team races to gain possession of the ball to start the first attack of the game and/or period. When a goal is scored, the team that had the goal against them starts with the ball and play is resumed when one teammate passes the ball backwards from the center.
In water polo sport, the ball is advanced either by swimming while pushing the ball (called dribbling) or passing it to a teammate. This is to get closer to the goal and have a better chance of scoring. In water polo sport, an offensive player is not allowed to push a defender away to free up a passing lane or a shot. If he or she does this, it is ruled a turnover and the ball is given to the defending team.
Advanced Strategies in a Water Polo Game:
The primary goal of players in a water polo game is to set up the ball at the center of the pool by passing to teammates so that a decent shot can be made to score a goal. Passes are done either “wet” or “dry”; meaning that if the pass purposely hits the water and bounces to a teammate, it is a wet pass. A dry pass travels through the air without touching the surface of the water.
Man up occurs in a water polo game when a defender commits an ejection penalty and is ejected from the game for twenty seconds. The team that committed the foul has a disadvantage and is down a player (6 on 5).
Five Meter Penalty:
This occurs in water polo sport when a defender commits a foul within the five meter area near their own goal, preventing a possible goal from occurring. The player with possession is then granted a free penalty shot or throw.
A goal is then scored if the entire ball passes between the goal posts and underneath the top crossbar.