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About Water Polo

Zagreb European Water Polo Championships 2010 Water Polo Men Day 4 TUR 5 - 9 ITA photo:

Water polo is categorized among the most difficult sports in the world. It is first played in the late 19th century in the lakes and rivers of Britain. During the twentieth century, it expanded its play area to the seas and the pools. Then, it rapidly became popular and spread all over the world.

Although it is considered difficult and demands high performance, the injuries during the training sessions and matches are extremely low when compared to other team sports. Water polo is a part of the Olympic Games since from the beginning. Also, it is among the most watched team sports of the Olympic Games.


Rules of Water Polo

Water polo is played in the pools with the dimensions of 33x20m and 1.90 or 2m depth. It is played with two teams of 7 players that consist of one goalkeeper and six fielders each. The aim is scoring goals, and the team that scores more wins the game. Goalposts of water polo have 3m width and 90cm height. Water polo ball’s weight is 450g and diameter is 71cm. Generally it is yellow colored to make it easier to see, and rugged to minimize its sliding on water. During the game one of the teams must wear blue and the other one white water polo caps, while goalkeepers wear red.

At the beginning of the game, fielders line up on their own goal line, at least 1m away from the goalpost. When the referee throws the ball to the middle of the field, the game starts. The first team to recover the ball becomes the attacker.

The fielders can move the ball by swimming with the ball in front of them (dribbling), or by throwing the ball by only touching with one hand to a teammate (passing). No players can hold the ball with two hands, punch the ball or keep the ball under water except the goalkeepers.

Each team has an attacking period limit of 30 seconds. If the attack exceeds 30 seconds the other team gets the right to attack. If a defender commits a major foul within the 4m area near the goalpost to prevent a likely goal, the team will be penalized by a penalty shot. In the penalty shot, an attacker throws the ball from the position right in front of the goal post and 4 meters away.

Water polo consists of four quarters, and each quarter lasts eight minutes. If the score is tied at the end of normal time limit, teams play two three-minute overtime periods. If the score is still tied after the overtime periods, the golden goal periods start. This means that the match continues until a team scores a goal.


Starting Age for Water Polo

The primary requirement for playing water polo is of course swimming very well. The kids who have this skill can start playing water polo after they are 9 years old. A good water polo player can continue his career in this field as an active player until she/he is 35 years old.


Water Polo at Manisa Water Sports Club (MSSK)

All the athletes that complete the swimming classes in our club successfully, and reach expected levels of swimming in all styles, may join MSSK water polo foundation teams. Water polo improves the team working, concentration skills and discipline. To provide this and maintain the necessary level of fitness, our athletes join training sessions at least 1.5 hours each day, 6 days every week.

MSSK continues to achieve important results with its 50 licensed water polo players that competes in four different teams, which are Men’s Team, Women’s Team, U-15 (Under Fifteen) Men’s Team and U-14 Men’s Team.


Water Polo and Nutrition

Water polo demands high level physical fitness. Water polo players lose an enormous amount of energy and water. For this reason they must be very careful about their dietary habits. The coaches of MSSK regularly attend seminaries in this field, and the doctor of the club Ender İşbir provides professional support to the athletes about the issues like weight control and food regimen.