Water Polo is a high-intensity sport that has been around for over 100 years. It is played in pools and requires speed, agility, and stamina. The objective of the game is to score goals by throwing or kicking the ball into either end of the pool while preventing your opponents from scoring on you. In order to play water polo, there are some rules that need to be followed at all times. Here are three tips on understanding water polo rules.
Know The Ball Is In Play At All Times
If you are unsure if a goal has been scored, an official will blow his whistle to signify that time has not run out. If you notice your opponent throwing or bouncing anything into their own pool, then this means they are trying for another point. The only way that the ball can be considered dead is if the whistle is blown.
A ball that comes back into play after leaving it for any reason (such as going out of bounds) can be played by anyone on either team, but only one player from each team may touch the ball at a time. If you see your opponent throwing or bouncing anything away from their pool, then this means they are trying to stop the clock and regroup.
Know When You Are In The Zone
The zone is an imaginary line that runs across each pool. The ball must completely cross this line to be considered out of bounds, and a turnover will occur. If any part of the ball lies on or outside the line, then possession belongs to your opponent’s team. You cannot touch anything inside of your opponent’s pool, or this will result in a foul.
Neither team may play the ball without penalty as long as it does not go over the center line and into the opponents’ goal area (the area between each end of the pool). Two referees oversee all water polo games, one at each end of the pool. These referees are in charge of blowing the whistle on fouls (i.e., when a player does not follow the rules).
Know The Fouls
There are many different types of water polo fouls. The most common one is when a player obstructs their opponent from making a legal play on the ball by using an illegal hold or block, but this also includes pushing and holding opponents underwater with your arms or legs. This results in a penalty against the offending team.
Fouls are usually accompanied by a blue card that is held up in the air. If these cards accumulate to three, then it results in an exclusion foul (meaning only one player will be excluded for two minutes). This means their team must play with one less person on the field until the two-minute penalty expires or they score another goal.