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The Sport

About the Sport of Water Polo

Men's Water Polo was the first team sport at the Olympic Games, in Paris, 1904. The women joined the Olympic family in Sydney, 2000. The sport combines swimming speed, ball handling skills and team play into a game that is played in an all deep pool. Games last about an hour and during a weekend tournament, teams can play 4 to 5 games.

With the Men's National Training Centre located in Calgary, strong competitive programs in Calgary and Edmonton, numerous recreational programs across the province, athletes, coaches, officials and team leaders on the National teams...Water Polo has become the newest, hottest sport in Alberta.

General Rules

  1. Teams are made up of 13 players - 7 in the water at one time, including 1 goalie and 6 field players
  2. Play starts with a sprint by both teams to the ball, dropped at the halfway mark by the referee
  3. After a goal, play starts in the middle of the pool. Teams can use this time to substitute players.
  4. When the referee whistles to indicate an infraction - players must pass the ball to a teammate before shooting on goal, with the exception of a direct shot on goal from outside the 7 m line or a penalty shot
  5. Players can advance the ball by swimming or passing
  6. 1 hand on the ball, except goalies who may use 2 hands within their 4 m line
  7. No standing on the bottom, except goalies within their 4 m line
  8. No dunking the ball
  9. Players may only be "dunked" if they are in possession of the ball. There may be contact away from the ball, but it will be up to the referee to decide if there will be any consequence.

Guidelines for the beginner fan (distributed with permission from Dave Maynard)

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