The aim of the game:
Generally speaking, Water Polo is a simple game. Two teams of seven in the water at one time, each attempting to push, carry or throw the ball into the opponents goal.

A goal is worth one point and the average result for a close game between senior players is around 8-6 or 9-7.

One team wears approved coloured caps with white numbers from 2 to 13 and the other team wears white caps with blue numbers. The goal keeper wears a red cap with number 1 and is subject to a few special rules.

Players in possession of the ball endeavour to pass to a team mate in a scoring position, the pass can go forwards, sideways or backwards. There is no real offside, except within 2 metres of the opponents goal line.

Players in possession can be tackled and fouled. If this occurs, they cannot then shoot for goal, but must pass to a team mate.

However, the referees have to decide between minor and major fouls which are treated very differently and provide the basis for tactics to be used. Three major fouls from an individual player will exclude that player from the game.
Players may be substituted after a goal, or at any quarter time break. There is no limit to the number of substitutions made during the game.
Apart from the goal keeper, the only other specialist positions are centre forward and centre back. All field players try to be competent at all areas of the game in both attack and defence.

Similarities to other games:

SOCCER (i)the shape of the field and goals
(ii)the rules regarding goal throws, corner throws, neutral throws and restarts after a goal

BASKETBALL (i)the limited time allowed for a team to hold possession without shooting for goal
(ii)the rapid movement of all players from one end to the other after a change in possession for the counter attack
(iii)the setting up of a zone defence system to thwart good set play attacks

Water Polo is a great team sport and you need to be strong, a good swimmer and a team player to get the most from the sport. Contact the NSW Water Polo Association to find out where your nearest club is and go along to have a look at this exciting game!




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