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
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
(ii)the rapid movement of all players from one end
to the other after a change in possession for the
(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!
NSW WATER POLO ASSOCIATION - 9552 1574