Water polo originates from the 1800s, but the rules have changed over time. In America, water polo used to be a much more physical game. However, after World War II, Americans began playing water polo the way it was played in Britain. This new game stressed passing and much less physicality.
Water polo is similar to soccer and hockey. Each team defends their goal while trying to score on the other team's goal. To score a goal, players throw the ball between the posts and under the crossbar of the opposing team's goal. The team who scores more goals by the end of the game wins.
Water polo also shares some traits with basketball. In water polo, there is a thirty-second shot clock for each possession. Using their hands, players pass the ball in the air. The main difference between water polo and these other sports is that water polo is played in a pool. Water polo players must be competent swimmers and have a lot of endurance to tread water throughout the game.
Water polo is played with 14 players, 7 on each team. Players are only allowed to have one of their hands on the ball at any time, except for the goalie. The goalie can use both hands and is the only player who can touch the bottom of the pool.
There are many fouls in water polo, which result in a loss of possession. A few of them include interference, shot clock violations, and push-offs. There are also major fouls, which result in the player being held out of play for 20 seconds. A few examples of significant fouls are kicking, splashing, and behavioral misconduct. Fouls are called by referees, who also judge when goals are scored and are in charge of stopping and starting play.
Water polo is played on many different stages, including as an Olympic sport. Water polo is a major sport in the Summer Olympics.