What Are the Rules in Water Polo

Water polo is a thrilling and fast-paced sport played in water, which combines elements of swimming, soccer, and basketball. It is played by two teams, with each team aiming to score goals by throwing the ball into the opponent’s net. However, like any other sport, water polo has its own set of rules that must be followed for fair play and safety.

Here are some of the key rules in water polo:

1. Team size: Each team consists of seven players, including one goalkeeper and six field players.

2. Pool dimensions: The pool should be at least 20 meters wide and 30 meters long, with a minimum depth of 1.8 meters.

3. Game duration: A water polo match is usually divided into four quarters, each lasting eight minutes. If the game ends in a tie, additional overtime periods may be played.

4. Fouls: There are various fouls in water polo, including holding, pulling, sinking, and interfering with an opponent’s free throw. Fouls result in free throws or penalty shots for the opposing team.

5. Exclusion fouls: If a player commits a major foul, they are excluded from the game for 20 seconds. If a player receives three exclusion fouls, they are disqualified from the match.

6. Goalkeeper’s privileges: The goalkeeper has special privileges, such as being able to touch the ball with both hands and move beyond the half-distance line.

7. Time-outs: Each team is allowed to call a maximum of two time-outs during a game. Time-outs last for one minute.

8. Scoring: A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line between the goalposts and beneath the crossbar.

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9. Ball possession: Players can use their hands and swim with the ball, but they must release it within three seconds or pass it to another teammate.

10. Caps and uniforms: Each player must wear a numbered cap that corresponds to the official score sheet. Caps of the opposing teams must have contrasting colors.

11. Referee’s authority: The referee has the final say on all decisions and can enforce penalties, exclusions, or even disqualifications if necessary.

Here are 11 common questions and answers about water polo:

1. Can players touch the bottom of the pool? No, players must tread water or swim at all times.

2. Can players use both hands to block a shot? Yes, goalkeepers can use both hands to block a shot.

3. Can players hit or kick their opponents? No, physical contact, hitting, or kicking is not allowed in water polo.

4. Can players pass the ball underwater? Yes, players can pass the ball underwater to their teammates.

5. Can players shoot from anywhere in the pool? Yes, players can shoot from anywhere as long as they are outside the 2-meter line.

6. Can players touch the net or goalposts? No, players cannot touch the net or goalposts during the game.

7. Can players wear goggles? Yes, players are allowed to wear goggles for eye protection.

8. Can players substitute during the game? Yes, players can substitute during the game by entering and exiting through the designated substitution area.

9. Can players use any part of their body to score a goal? Yes, players can use any part of their body, including their head, to score a goal.

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10. Can players push off the pool floor to gain an advantage? No, players cannot push off the pool floor to gain an advantage.

11. Can players touch the ball with two hands simultaneously? No, players cannot touch the ball with two hands simultaneously unless they are the goalkeeper.

Understanding the rules of water polo is crucial for players, coaches, and spectators alike. By following these rules, the game remains fair, exciting, and safe for all participants.