Water polo is a water sport in which two teams compete against each other using a ball inside a swimming pool. The goal is simple: you have to score a goal for the opposing team, as in football.
It is a very fun sport similar to handball. The teams consist of a goalkeeper, a defender, two players who form an outside line, two forwards and a centerpiece (comparable to the basketball pivot).
The duration of a match is four effective eight-minute periods of play, interspersed with two minutes of rest between each quarter. This sport requires a lot of technique, a lot of endurance and a lot of physical strength.
One of the main features of this discipline is that players have to stay afloat throughout the match. This increases the level of difficulty and requires good physical fitness on the part of the athletes who practice it.
To be a good water polo player you need to develop considerable muscle strength, be fast in the water, increase endurance and have perfect technique. It is a complete and very demanding physical activity.
The benefits of water polo
Water polo is a sport that brings many benefits. Let’s see what are the advantages of practicing this discipline:
1. Water polo and weight loss
It is no surprise that water polo allows you to burn a lot of calories and lose weight. Staying afloat for the duration of a match requires significant energy consumption. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that the players swim continuously from one side of the pool to the other.
2. It is a low impact sport for the joints
Water polo is an intense and very physical sport, but the fact that it is played in water does not compromise the joints and muscles like sports that are practiced on a hard surface.
Compared to other disciplines, water polo allows you to have a lower impact on the joints, significantly reducing the risk of injury. This does not mean that injuries cannot happen. On the other hand, those who practice sports are subject to these eventualities.
3. It is an endurance sport
Water polo tests the cardiovascular system and our lung capacity. To be a good player you need to have good stamina, train your breathing and learn to manage effort.
Let’s not forget that it is a sport played at a high pace in which one constantly moves from one side of the pool to the other.
The rules of water polo
Water polo is a team game that combines speed and strength with excellent physical condition. As with other types of sports, the player who scores the most goals wins. Players cannot touch the bottom of the pool and must stay afloat throughout the match.
In the pool, each team is made up of seven elements: six players plus a goalkeeper. Players can throw the ball to each other or move forward by swimming with the ball in front of the body. The ball can be held with one hand, except the goalkeeper who can use both.
The rules allow you to substitute a player at any time during the game. As it is a very strenuous sport, it is possible to make up to six substitutions, one for the goalkeeper and five for the players.
How to play
The games begin with the ball in the middle of the field and the players positioned along the goal lines. The team that reaches the ball first has first possession of the game.
Each team can hold the ball for up to thirty seconds before shooting on goal. If this time is exceeded, possession of the ball passes to the opposing team.
The team that conceded the goal will resume the game having possession of the ball. Before resuming play, each player must be placed in their own half. There are two referees, one on each side of the pool.
Water polo is a sport that brings many benefits, both to the mind and to the body. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? You will be surprised at how much you can improve your fitness.