What is Water Polo?
Water polo is a team game consisting of two opposing teams trying to put the ball in the opponent’s net. Each match has four quarters lasting 7 minutes each for high school Varsity (6 for JV, 5 for Novice), with a 2 minute break in between each quarter. Since the game clock is stopped after fouls and goals, an average quarter really lasts around 11 minutes.
Each team has six field players and one goalkeeper. Water polo players need to be able to swim in a pool without goggles and to throw a ball while treading water. They also need good reflexes and awareness.
Players may not stand on the bottom of the pool and must be able to tread water using an eggbeater kick. Field players can only use one hand to handle the ball, and goalies are the only players that can use both hands.
Upon taking control of the ball, the offensive team has 30 seconds to shoot for a goal or it loses possession. A shot clock at each end of the pool helps players keep track of time. If the 30 seconds expires, the ball changes possession. Water polo is very physically demanding.