(spacer)EdGate Gateway to the Summer Games torch image(spacer)
(placeholder) (placeholder) (placeholder) (placeholder) (placeholder)
(placeholder) Brought to you by EdGate and Griffin Publishing Athens 2004

Water Polo

Water polo originated in England during the 1870s, and as legend has it, the sport was developed by spirited young men who wanted to play rugby and cool off at the same time. It soon became popular in the United States and is now a major sport in a number of European countries. Its first appearance in the Olympics was at the 1900 Games where it was the first team sport admitted to the Olympics.

Click a link to
read more about

Games are divided into four periods of seven minutes each, with a two-minute interval between periods. One point is scored when the ball is thrown or shoved completely past the face of the goal. In case of a tie, two three-minute overtime periods are held; if necessary, two more are played until a winner is decided.

Players wear caps of contrasting colors for easier identification; the official rules stipulate white for one team, blue for the other, and red caps for the goalies.

A water polo team consists of seven players: a goalkeeper and six field players. In addition, each team keeps six substitutes in reserve. With the exception of the goalkeeper, each player must tread water the entire time, never touching the bottom or sides of the pool, nor may they take the ball beneath the surface of the water.

News, History, and Fast Facts

  • For complete information about playing, coaching, and watching water polo, visit the EdGate Community Education Gateway's School Athletics Center: Water Polo page.
  • Learn more about the sport of Water Polo at USA Waterpolo.com.
  • Tap into the last Olympics articles and features about the men's and women's water polo teams on CBS Sportline's Olympics 2000 site.
  • Stoneridge Water Polo provides a comprehensive glossary of the sport.
  • Learn about water polo; its history, rules, and news; or get a schedule of Olympic events on the Athens 2004 site.
  • What does it take to play water polo? Check out the IOC Web site to find out.
  • Did you know that when water polo began, players rode on floating "horses" made of wooden barrels? Find out more interesting water polo facts from Hickock Sports.
  • Find Water Polo plays and drills or learn more about coaching water polo.
  • Olympic and other International water polo competitions are played by FINA regulations; however, local American high school competitions are usually played by NCAA regulations and you can check the NCAA Website for their regulations.
  • Study the competition on the FINA site, which provides news and biographies about water polo teams from all across the world.

More sports






Canoeing & Kayaking





Field Hockey











Synchronized Swimming

Table Tennis


Team Handball


Track & Field



Water Polo



General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and every one by visiting the sites listed below.

Portions of the above text were excerpted from Share the Olympic Dream--Volume II.
© 2001 by Griffin Publishing Group/United States Olympic Committee.

For information on purchasing Griffin materials, please visit the Griffin Publishing Group Web site at http://www.griffinpublishing.com.


Griffin Publishing

Coaches Notes

International Paralympic Committee
International Paralympic Committee

US Paralympics
US Paralympics

Canadian Paralympic Committee
Canadian Paralympic Committee



Help | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
© Copyright 2004 EdGate All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Produced in partnership with Griffin Publishing Group.