Water polo is a team aquatic sport and is played in the Olympics. Each team has seven players. Three players are defenders, three are forwards, and one is the goalie. Each team can have six other players for substitution purposes. Players tread water and swim during the game. To win, teams must score the most goals. A ball is passed from player to player; if the offense can successfully get the ball into the opposing team’s goal, then the team scores a point.

Water polo is played by men and women. Men play in a 30m x 20m area; women play in a 25m x 20m area. The pool must have a minimum depth of 1m. Different colored buoys and line ropes divide the field of play. The ball is yellow and waterproof. Men use a 68-71cm ball, and women use a 65-67cm ball. Goals are either attached to the back of the pool or held by cables. Goals float on the water and are 3m wide and 0.9m high. Players wear FINA-approved swimsuits and colored caps. The caps have individual numbers to tell players apart and ear guards to protect the ears.

All rules and regulations for water polo are governed by FINA. Generally, the game has four 8-minute periods of play. In case of a tie, there will be two 3-minute periods. If there is still a tie, then there will be a penalty shootout. Two referees monitor play; there is one on each side. There are two judges at each end of the pool as well. Only the goalie can touch the ball with both hand and a closed fist; the goalie is also the only player that is allowed to touch the bottom of the pool. The other players can score a goal with any part of their bodies except a closed fist and two hands.

There have been different versions of the game. In the United States, a rougher form of water polo developed. However, the faster, less dangerous European version was more popular, so the European style has become the universally accepted version. Water polo has been an Olympic sport since 1900. The Olympic water polo was not included in the 1904 Olympic Games, but water polo has been a regular event since 1908. Women’s Olympic water polo officially debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Other major competitions include the FINA World Aquatics Championships, the FINA World Cup, and the FINA Water Polo World League.

Water polo is a vigorous and intense aquatic sport. If you are a strong swimmer and want to be a part of a team, then water polo could be the sport for you.