Water Polo Overview

Water Polo Basics

Water polo is a team water sport consisting of 4 quarters (or periods) in which the two teams attempt to score goals by throwing the ball into their opposition’s goal, with the team that scores the most goals winning the game (of course).

A team consists of 6 field players and one goalkeeper in the water at any one time. In addition to this, teams may substitute players (with the amouunt of substitution allowed depending on the governing body), including up to one substitute of the goalkeeper.

Water polo is typically played in an all-deep pool (usually at least 1.8m deep or 6 feet),and because of this, players need a great deal of stamina and endurance to play this game due to its demanding nature.

Water Polo – Increasing Your Physical Prowress

Because of it being a demanding and physical sport, water polo will strengthen the cardiovascular system and increase stamina and greatly enhance core strength. During a game or practice, athletes do not touch the bottom or sides of the pool, so the body is continuously in motion. Additionally, the agility and quick movements required during water polo can improve a player’s flexibility and muscular length.

Endurance
Players swim the equivalent of 4 miles per game without touching the bottom or sides of the pool. Water polo improves cardiovascular health; and players of this sport burn as much as 700 calories per hour because of this need to stay afloat.

Much of the kicking which is required for the swimmer to remain afloat (and in a vertical position) is done with a style known as the “Eggbeater Kick” – and mastery of this kick is vital to the success of the player and critical to winning the game.

Strength
Athletes use all muscle groups to keep the body above water while facing their opponent. Arm and leg muscles are strengthened and toned through swimming, passing and eggbeater motions. Core strength is increased through passing, shooting, and changing direction in the water.

Injury Prevention
The water around the body acts as a cushion on the joints and muscles and helps in softening the strain placed on the body while also strengthening the muscles around the spine, helping protect from injury.

Water Polo – Participating for Life

Water polo can be a lifelong sport. It is less stressful on the joints and muscles of older athletes than the more high-impact, non-aquatic sports like jogging. With the proper safeguards in place, water polo is a great exercise regimen for anyone.

Sources: WikiPedia, USA Water Polo.

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