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Water polo is a team water sport, which can be best described as a combination of swimming, football (soccer), basketball, ice hockey, rugby and wrestling. A team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The goal of the game resembles that of football/soccer—to score as many goals as possible, each goal being worth one point.
A perfect water polo athlete can be best described as having the over-arm accuracy of a baseball pitcher, the vertical of a volleyball player, the toughness of a hockey player, the endurance of a cross-country skier and the strategy of a chess player. Of course, to find a player of this ability is difficult.
Basic skills needed for a water polo player
* Swimming: As water polo is a team water sport, swimming is most commonly a skill which is acquired before playing this sport. It is a key element as it is needed to swim back and forth across the pool often.
*Ball handling skills: As all out-field players are only allowed to touch the ball with one hand at a time, they must develop good ball control.
* Treading water: The most common form of water treading is referred to in the United States as the "egg-beater," named because the movement of the legs resembles the motion of an egg beater. The advantage of the egg-beater is that it allows the player to maintain a constant vertical position in the pool (as opposed to the scissor kick, which results in the player bobbing up and down.) Also, by kicking faster for a brief period the player can get high out of the water (as high as their suit—below their waistline) for a block, pass, or shot.
Some of the best ever include Spain's Manuel Estiarte, who played in a record six Olympics and led in scoring for four of them. Another major figure in the sport is Tamas Farago.
In the United States, Water polo players also tend to have prestigious academic backgrounds as well. A number of players, including former USA captain Wolf Wigo, who retired after Athens 2004, and international phenom Tony Azevado attended Stanford. The sport's most notable balancing act to date includes Omar Amr, who played on the US National Team while attending Harvard Medical School and recovering from a near career ending knee injury in 2001.
Water polo is a game requiring excellent eye-hand coordination. The ability to handle and pass the ball flawlessly is what separates the good teams from the great teams.
Flags: Very Short (0-60 mins), Short (1-3 hours), With a Group, Teens, Adults, Indoors, Day, Sunny, Snowy, Rainy