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Rules of Waterpolo
Water polo is a team water sport. The game consists of 4 quarters.
1. Introduction
Why is the whistle constantly blowing in a water polo match What does it mean to drive What are the roles of the wings and hole set? These and other questions are at the heart of understanding water polo a game that is similar in movement to basketball,but requires the strength of football and wrestling, and the endurance of cross country running. (Players typically swim over a mile duringa regular 28 minute match.) The purpose of this guide is to act as a primer for the rules and concepts of the game.Water polo is a very physical sport. You will see a lot of contact among the players above water, and theres a lot of contact belowthe water that you wont see. Contact among players is the nature of the game, and actions such as pushing, pulling, grabbing,holding, and even sinking a player are likely to occur during a game, although most times it will be illegal. While this guideisntmeant to be comprehensive, it should work well as a cheat sheet.
2. Field of play
A standard (championship) course is 30m x 20m for men and 25m x 20m for women. The depth should be at least 1.8m. Despite these regulations, many non standard (smaller) courses are in use throughout the USA.
The field of play is segmented into zones marked by colored markings along the side of the pool Goal line white A goal counts only when the ball goes completely across the goal line and into the goal (close does not count), the ball is out of bounds if it goes completely across the goal line and not into the goal2 meter line red No offensive player is allowed to swim inside of the 2 meter line unless he she has possession of the ball 5 meter line yellowIf a defensive player commits a foul inside of the 5 meter line, which prevents a probable goal, the defensive player is charged with a penalty (personal) foul and the opposing team is awarded a penalty throw (a 5 meter ). If an offensive player is fouled outside of the 5 meter line, the offensive player may pick up the ball and take an immediate shot at the opponents goal (i.e., two players do not have to touch the ball before a goal can be scored)Center line white Mid pool After each goal is scored, play is re started at mid pool, the goalkeepers are not permitted to go across the mid pool line.
3. Players
Each team must have seven players (six field players and one goalkeeper) in the water when the game starts. Normally, the home (or higher seeded) team wears white (or light colored) caps, starts the game to the left of the scoring table, and is on the left (or upper) portion of the scoreboard. The visiting (or lower seeded) team wears blue (or dark colored) caps, starts the game to the right of the scoring table, and is on the right (or lower) portion of the scoreboard. The goalkeepers wear red caps with earguards and numbers to match those of their teammates. Either team may substitute players freely after a goal is scored, during a time out, or between periods. During actual play, substitutions must occur through the teams re entry area (the corner of the pool in front of the teams bench).
4. Fouls
The referees whistle two different kinds of fouls minor (ordinary) fouls and major (personal) fouls. There is no limit to the number of minor fouls a player may commit. In contrast, once a player has committed three major fouls, that player must leave the game and may not return.There are two types of fouls one (like the scenario above) only results in the fouler giving up the ball and backing off, the other results in an ejection or kick out. Ejections are usually given if someone is being a little too aggressive, i.e. drowning or smacking someone. A player can only have 3 ejections before being majored and can not play for the rest of the game. If a player gets a brutality he or she is also not able to finish the game. An example of a brutality would be excessively cruising or intentionally punching someone. Water polo is a physically demanding activity, action is continuous, and players commonly swim 3 kilometers or more during four periods of play.

A defender will often foul the player with the ball as a tactic to disrupt the opponents ball movement. Play continues uninterrupted in most cases, but the attacker must now pass the ball or continue swimming instead of taking a shot. (An exception allows players to quickly pick up the ball and shoot if fouled outside of the five meter mark.) However, as in ice hockey, a player caught committing a major foul, is sent out of the playing area with his team a man down for 20 seconds, but may return sooner if a goal is scored or his team regains possession. If the foul is judged to be brutal, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game, with substitution by another teammate after four minutes have elapsed. A player, coach or spectator can also be ejected for arguing with the referees. During a man up situation resulting from an ejection foul, the attacking team can expect to score by passing around to move the goalkeeper out of position. A player that has been ejected three times must sit out the whole match with substitution.

5. Minor fouls
The referee normally signals a minor foul with one blast of the whistle and holding one arm out straight in the direction of the attack. If the minor foul is whistled against the team with the ball, the referee normally signals this with two blasts of the whistle but the arm signal is the same. After a minor foul, a member of the fouled team puts the ball into play by taking a free throw. If the foul is committed outside the 5m line, the player may take the free throw as a direct shot at the goal.

The most common minor foul is impeding the free movement of a player who is not holding the ball. This is a standard defensive tactic and the majority of the whistles that lead to free throws are for impeding. Other (less common) minor fouls are whistled for
Delaying too long before taking a free throw To waste time (most often when a team elects not to shoot the ball and instead throws the ball to a vacant part of the pool and swims away without trying to retain possession) Holding the ball underwater so that the opponent cannot play it Touching the ball with two hands (does not apply to goalkeeper inside of the 5 meter line) Walking on or pushing off the bottom of the pool (does not apply to the goalkeeper inside of the 5 meter line) Tipping the ball out of the field of play Failing to take a shot within 30 seconds (letting the shot clock expire)For the goaltender to go past the center line




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