Water polo is a sport that combines swimming, ball handling, and strategic planning. It’s a game that requires a unique set of skills and abilities from its players, including speed, agility, and strength. While the game is known for its fast-paced action and physicality, many people wonder what kind of contact is allowed in water polo.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the rules and regulations surrounding contact in water polo. We’ll explore what constitutes legal and illegal contact, the consequences of committing a foul, and how players can avoid committing fouls.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the contact rules is essential for playing water polo at a competitive level. So, if you’re curious about what kind of contact is allowed in water polo and want to learn more about this topic, then keep reading!
Basic Rules of Water Polo
Objective of the Game
Water polo is a team sport played in a pool, the primary objective is to throw the ball into the opponent’s goal and score more goals than the opposing team. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the game wins.
Number of Players
A water polo team comprises seven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is the only player permitted to use both hands to catch, throw, or stop the ball within their designated area.
The other players may only use one hand to handle the ball. Substitutions can be made at any time during the game, but players must enter and exit the pool at the designated area.
The playing area is a rectangular pool with a length of 25 meters and a width of 20 meters. The depth of the pool should be at least two meters. At each end of the pool, the goals are situated, and they measure 3 meters in width and 90 centimeters in height. The area around the goal is called the “goal area” and only the goalkeeper is allowed to enter this area.
In the game of water polo, players, except for the goalkeeper within their designated area, are prohibited from touching the bottom of the pool.
The game consists of four quarters, each lasting eight minutes, with a two-minute break between the first and second quarters and the third and fourth quarters. Additionally, there is a five-minute break at half-time.
‘Physical contact is allowed in water polo, but only to a certain extent. Players are allowed to make contact with each other as long as it does not impede the movement of the opposing player or cause harm. Any excessive or violent contact is considered a foul and may result in an exclusion, penalty shot, or ejection from the game.
Contact in Water Polo
Water polo is a full-contact sport, and players are allowed to make contact with each other. This contact can include pushing, pulling, grabbing, and holding, but only within certain limits.
Players are allowed to use their arms to protect the ball while in possession, but they cannot hold the ball under the water or use their legs to kick other players.
In addition, players are allowed to make contact with the ball, but not with the opposing player’s head or neck. Players may also make contact with the opposing player’s arm or hand if they are attempting to block a pass or shot.
While contact is allowed in water polo, there are certain types of contact that are considered illegal. These include intentionally sinking an opposing player, pulling on an opposing player’s swimsuit, or using excessive force when making contact with an opposing player.
Players are also not allowed to hold onto the lane line or the goal posts, and they cannot interfere with the opposing player’s movement by pushing off the bottom of the pool or the wall.
It is crucial to acknowledge that although contact is inherent to the game, the referee has the ultimate authority to determine what constitutes legal or illegal contact. Players who commit fouls or engage in illegal contact may receive a warning or be ejected from the game.
In conclusion, water polo is a physical sport that allows for contact between players, but only within certain limits. It’s important for players to understand the rules and regulations surrounding contact in order to play the game safely and fairly.
Penalties for Illegal Contact
Water polo is a physical sport that involves a lot of contact between players. However, there are rules in place to ensure that the game is played safely and fairly. If a player makes illegal contact with another player, they may be penalized with a major or minor foul.
A major foul is a severe breach of the rules that can lead to a player being excluded from the game for 20 seconds. Some examples of major fouls are:
- Holding, sinking, or pulling back an opponent who is not holding the ball.
- Using two hands to hold or push off an opponent.
- Striking an opponent with a closed fist.
- Kicking an opponent.
- Deliberately splashing water in an opponent’s face.
If a player commits three major fouls during a game, they are disqualified from the rest of the match.
Minor fouls are less severe violations of the rules that lead to a free throw for the opposing team. Some examples of minor fouls are:
- Pushing or holding an opponent who is holding the ball.
- Interfering with the free movement of an opponent who does not have the ball.
- Blocking or impeding the progress of an opponent who is swimming towards the ball.
- Touching the ball with two hands.
- Delaying the game by holding the ball underwater or out of bounds.
If a player commits three minor fouls during a game, they may be excluded from the game for 20 seconds.
It is important for players to understand the rules and consequences of illegal contact in water polo. By playing within the rules, players can minimize the risk of injury and ensure a fair and enjoyable game for all.
Water polo is a contact sport that allows physical contact between players. However, the rules of the game are designed to prevent excessive violence and ensure the safety of all players.
According to the rules of water polo, players are not allowed to punch, strike, or kick other players. Moreover, players are prohibited from holding, sinking, or pulling back a player who is not holding the ball. Additionally, exclusion fouls encompass interference with a free throw and throwing the ball out of the field of play.
While tackling is not explicitly defined in the rules, most physical contact is limited to the player in possession of the ball. Players are allowed to push, hold, and impede the movement of the player with the ball, but only within certain limits.
For instance, players cannot hold the ball underwater, walk on or push off the bottom of the pool, or impede a player who is not holding the ball.
Due to the significant amount of holding and pushing involved in the game, water polo players require exceptional stamina. As the game is fast-paced and can be exhausting, each team is permitted a maximum of six substitutes (one goalkeeper and five outfield players).