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Water polo: official game rules briefly

Water polo today is not only an independent sport, but also an Olympic discipline. Two teams take part in the match, which vie in throwing the ball into the goal in special pools. In the match, the side that scores the most goals into the gates of others in the allotted time wins.

The father of water polo is considered to be British William Wilson. The Englishman came up with his brainchild in the 1870s. The new game is based on rugby rules. Discipline became widespread after being included in the Olympic program at the beginning of the 20th century. Water polo is most popular in Europe in Hungary and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Game principles
Contrary to popular belief, water polo is considered a tough contact sport. Team members constantly interact with each other, imposing pressure on each section of the pool. Swimmers must have a high degree of endurance and be well physically developed, able to stay on water for a long time without the help of hands.

From each team to the starting whistle, judges must have 7 players in the pool. The goalkeeper must play in a special cap, according to which he will be different from the “field” players. On a bench of a reserve there can be no more than 6 spare. Substitutions are made only with the consent and signal of the judge.

The essence of the game is to pass the ball throws from hand to hand to teammates and hit someone else’s goal. In this case, players are prohibited from touching the shell with both hands at once. Ownership and transfers are made with only one hand. Keeping the ball means a swim with a shell in one hand or forwarding.

In water polo, the tactics chosen by the coach and the location of the players in the zones are very important. Only coordinated actions in defense and attack are allowed to achieve a positive result. Rivals are allowed to select the ball with direct contact or interception, but without violating the rules and rudeness, otherwise you can get an individual penalty.

Water polo matches are characterized by a large number of goals scored and a high pace of the game.

Basic rules
The match consists of 4 periods of 8 minutes. The countdown begins with the first touch of the ball. Each team has 25 seconds to attack. After this time, the ball goes to the side of the opponent.

In main time, each team has 4 time-outs, as well as one extra time in overtime. Only the side that owns the ball can take a break.

In professional water polo is prohibited:

attack a player who does not own the ball;
sink a shell with any part of the body;
drag, hold or drown a player who does not own the ball.
Such violations are classified as gross and entail individual sanctions. The intruder can be removed from the water from 15 seconds to the end of the next attack time of the opponent. After the end of the penalty time, the player has the right to return to the pool.

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For minor errors, the judge punishes the guilty team with a free throw, which is played by a skid. If the violation occurred behind the 5-meter line, then a free throw should be sent to the opponent’s goal.

If a player has earned 3 deletions for the game, the referee will disqualify him before the end of the match with the right to replace. In this case, the offending player must sit on the bench and untie the hat.

Compliance with the rules in official competitions is monitored by the head referee, assisted by a secretary and two referees at the gates. If the judge raised the white flag, then this means fixing the position “offside”. A red flag signals the completion of a corner throw, while both flags indicate a goal.

Inventory and equipment
The size of the pool for playing men’s teams is 30 by 20 m, women’s – 25 by 17 m. At the same time, the boundaries of the playing area should be outside the goal lines at a distance of 30 cm. The goal is 3 m long and 0.8 m high. The nominal pool depth is 1.8-2 m. The water temperature is maintained at a level of 16 to 24 degrees.

The chamber ball must be round, with a closed nipple, without peeling. An important property is its water resistance. The weight of the projectile is from 400 to 450 g. The circumference for men is 68-71 cm, for women – 65-67 cm. The ball should not be coated with a lubricant.

A cap is an important attribute of water polo for any player. It protects the ears from powerful blows from the ball and water. Teams must play in caps of a contrasting color, for example, white and blue, yellow and black. Goalkeepers always perform in red caps. Each cap must bear the numbers of the players.

Major competitions
The International Water Swimming Federation (FINA), established in 1908 in London, is considered the lead water polo management organization. Its headquarters are based in Lausanne. FINA currently has over 200 countries. It is this federation that organizes the largest international water polo competitions. A striking example is the world championships.

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