The Rules of Water Polo – EXPLAINED!

The Rules of Water Polo – EXPLAINED!

Ninh explains, the Rules of Water Polo
The object of the game is for your team to score more goals than the opposing team.
Water Polo is a game played by two teams of 14, with 7 players taking to the pool at any
one time. They consist of 1 goalkeeper and 6 field players.
To score a goal, a player must throw the ball into the goal.
These goals are 3m wide and 0.9m above the surface of the water.
The pool is a maximum of 30m long and 20m wide, and is a minimum depth of 1.8m
There is a red line 2 metres away from the goal,
an amber line 5 metres away from the goal, and a midline in the middle of the pool.
I’ll explain what these lines are for later. The game starts with the ball in the midline
of the pool. Once the referee blows the whistle, both teams
will swim for the ball and try and take possession of it. You can pass the ball directly between teammates
in any direction, and swim with the ball by pushing it in front of you.
Field Players can only hold the ball with one hand, and the idea is to pass the ball
to a teammate and set up in a position to be able to throw the ball into the goal.
You have to be quick though, as once your team has possession of the ball, you have
up to 30 seconds to shoot the ball. Failure to shoot results in the other team being awarded
the ball. The opposing team will try and stop you by
blocking the ball in the air, intercepting the ball, or trying to move you out of position
so that they can get the ball. They will try and take the ball away from
you so that they can score themselves. The game is played in four 8 minute periods,
for a combined playing time of 32 minutes. Highest score at the end of time, wins.
Huh, that was easy?! Well, Water Polo is an easy sport to understand,
but there’s a few more things you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a
game. For example:
Ordinary Foul. Ordinary fouls include the following, and
result in the ball being awarded to the other team.
The clock does not stop during ordinary fouls, and the offending team must allow the other
team to play the ball. The other team must put the ball in play within
3 seconds, otherwise they will lose possession to the other team. Major Foul.
Major Fouls (also known as ‘exclusions’ or ‘kickouts’) are more severe than ordinary
fouls and include the following: The offending player is excluded for 20 seconds
and cannot participate in play during this time.
If that same player racks up 3 major fouls, they are ejected from the game. In the rare case that a player deliberately
tries to injure another player, this is known as a brutal or brutality foul, and results
in the player being ejected immediately. 2 Metre Line
The 2 metre line, denoted in red, is an area where an opposing player may not pass the
ball to a teammate. However, the player can still swim with the ball. 5 Metre Line
The 5 metre line, denoted in yellow – marks an area where if an opposing player is fouled,
he is awarded the ball. But he is only allowed to pass the ball, he cannot shoot directly.
The goalkeeper can use two hands to handle the ball up to the 5 metre line.
and this is also the line used for penalties. Penalty
If a major foul is committed on a player who has a realistic chance of scoring, a penalty
is awarded. The player is awarded the ball at the 5 metre line and only the goalkeeper
can stand in the way. Just like soccer, it’s one shot only. Time outs.
A team can take a 1 minute period to take a break or to discuss strategy.
This is called a timeout and teams are allowed one timeout per period. Substitution.
A team is allowed to have 7 substitutes on the bench, which consists of 1 substitute
goalkeeper and 6 substitute field players. If you have found this video at all helpful,
please like, comment share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one of these things
and good karma is very much appreciated. Be sure to follow me on Twitter also, but
in the meantime, enjoy Water Polo. Ninh Ly, @NinhLyUK,

Comments (98)

  1. Kid started water polo. Had no clue. This was a good primmer.

  2. Thank you! I'm going to be in water polo ! I'm a freshman

  3. What happens with Kabbadi


  5. for your next vid maby polo

  6. great explanation… my 11 yr old just joined water polo and we were clueless until now… job well done!

  7. Thanks for your helpful video, god bless you!

  8. This video was the most helpful compared to others thanksss

  9. Im watching all of these that are football/basketball like

  10. I just started playing water polo two days ago and this helped so much thank you!

  11. it was very helpful to know what not to do

  12. Correction for 3:00, when a player is fouled outside the five meter line, they can choose to shoot directly at the goal

  13. Thank you for the clear information

  14. Thank you a play in a club and a didn't quite get some rules u helped a lot

  15. im trying to get better at water polo to play with my friends this vid helped thanks!

  16. Thank you so much, now I can tryout for the water polo team with confidence in myself!

  17. This is wonderful

  18. what happens if the ball goes out of bounds?

  19. Please do dodgeball and indoor soccer

  20. I'm starting playing water polo for my school as they have a pool and this video helped alot

  21. I feel like it will be very hard to defend in this game, especially as a keeper.

  22. Nicceeeee thanks

  23. Man, I wish there was a professional water polo league outside of the Olympics.

  24. Are you allowed to touch the bottom of the pool with your feet

  25. should be called water football, not water polo

  26. I actually play waterpolo in holland. I once played to a team from america. The actually got different rules than we do. It may be because i'm 15. But i for excample play with two metre foul as the only reason of getting a penalty

  27. It helped so much thx

  28. What about a tie decision?

  29. Thank you this helped me very much and ill be sure to remember all of this before playtime

  30. If you get a minor foul outside of five meters, you can shoot if it's straight away and in one motion. (No faking)

  31. Nice, got a game against Warrington this upcoming Friday xd

  32. I am doing water polo for my Special Olympics. It was very useful. Thanks a lot.

  33. To run for the ball is call a sprint, and if you take the ball, your team wins a sprint, the one who swims to win a ball is a sprinter

  34. I play for the USA water polo bay club

  35. I know nothing about water polo and tomorrow are my trials so I watched this video and understood everything I haven’t even played water polo

  36. Nice I understood it and you explained it really well

  37. Good vid, i play water polo so I know 1 thing you missed. You can shoot the ball on or outside the five.

  38. Why did you mainly use girls in your footage lol

  39. Thanks for the explanation, truly appreciate it! ??

  40. Very very useful for me being a goalie thanks

  41. Showing this to my non water polo player friend lol

  42. sending this to my mom so she finally understands my sport thanks

  43. It’s a bit late to change, but yellow cards can be issued to coaches for improper conduct, at least in high school (NFHS) rules.

  44. Great pace, good clear narration, and got everything right – nice video!

  45. Superb instruction..keep it up?

  46. I enjoy it 3-4 times a week! Best sport!

  47. There was a question if the rules are the same between men and women. There are slight differences (also there are a lot more rules than this video says, but the rules you need most of the time are covered here). Some were actually wrong, not much but just a bit. Here's the differences between men and women:.

    Ball size:

    For games played by men, the circumference of the ball shall be not less than 0.68
    metres and not more than 0.71 metres, and its pressure shall be 55 – 62 kPa (kilo Pascal’s) (8 –
    9 pounds per square inch atmospheric).

    For games played by women, the circumference of the ball shall be not less than 0.65
    metres and not more than 0.67 metres, and its pressure shall be 48 – 55 (kilo Pascal’s) (7 – 8
    pounds per square inch atmospheric).

    Pool size also men goal lines should be 30-20m apart for men and 25-20m apart for women.

    Inaccuracies: There is no minimum depth for the pool, just adjustments for goal height. The pool size differences between men and women. You can receive the ball even inside 2 meters if the ball is first taken there and then passed. You can actually score after the 30s timeout, if the ball was thrown before 30s and is in air after.

    There there are rules that are not taken so strictly such as times of periods in matches. Sometimes the periods are shorter or done with a running clock. Also timeouts might be different depending on how much time is available during matches. Then the 30s clock might not be in use, so the referee will do it on the sort of 30s principle.


  48. What about corners and center balls?

  49. Super Thank You Ninh for the awesome video!!!!

  50. I think this video is really good and this helped me a lot. Thx!

  51. I actually need to send this to my friend bc they keep asking

  52. Thank you for your explaination, it was very much appreciated

  53. Very helpful! Just started playing and looking for a good video to teach me

  54. aren't exclusions also ejections?

  55. I'm planning to try out for polo, even though I've never heard of it before, so this really helped me!! Thank you :).

  56. This really is a use full video for people like me starting water polo.

  57. Thank you for explaining, I now understand the game more.

  58. Thank you! I’m gonna try out for water polo for the first time at my high school on February 25th!

  59. This is for adult waterpolo the rules for kid waterpolo are slightly different

  60. I think I was at this game, great fun

  61. Awesome, really helped me with water polo

  62. I’m a newbie goalie, I need some goalie vids lol ?

  63. Excellent and concise video Ninh, thank you!!

  64. 2:52 you actually can shoot but you have to be behind the five meter.

  65. Easier to understand the game than to play it.

  66. I training water polo but you don’t say drowned ball. Super video!

  67. A team sport that deserves so much better advertizing.

  68. Woah, this helped so much! Thanks!

  69. So glad they finally decided to not play with horses anymore

  70. My only comments
    1. If you are fouled outside of the 5 meter you CAN shoot immediately after the foul in one continuous motion otherwise you must pass out out the ball in play.

    2. If the person with the ball is inside the 2 meter line a pass may be received by a player inside the 2 meter line.

  71. Looks like association football, but this time, on the water.

  72. Thank you! This was very helpful 😀

  73. Water Polo murder on the ?

  74. Waterpolo is simple sport, so what uses to protect in water polo? Should player get ejected from injuries?

  75. I’m about to join a team, this was really helpful.

  76. Thanks for explaining, I’m starting it this year in my freshmen year. I’m a pretty good swimmer, so I hope I make it on the team

  77. Thanks for creating this video keep it up

  78. i wanna play water polo but as soon as i get into the water, ima drown ???

  79. Can you swim backstroke (is it allowed)

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