Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores the most goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water (using a sort of kicking motion known as "eggbeater kick"), players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing the ball into a net defended by a goalie. 'Man-up' (or 'power play') situations occur frequently. Water polo, therefore, has strong similarities to the land-based game of handball.
OLYMPIC WATER POLO - DID YOU KNOW?
- Water Polo is Great Britain's most succesful Olympic aquatics sport - we currently sit third in the all-time medal table with four golds from 1900, 1908, 1912 and 1920.
- The sport is known as one of the most physical in the Olympic program with a match between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Games in Melbourne notoriously refered to as the 'Blood in the Water' match. The game took place days after the unsuccesful Hungarian Revolution against Soviet occupiers and the match was called off with a minute to play after Valentin Prokopov incensed the crowd by punching Ervin Zador and causing the Hungarian player to bleed from under his eye.
- While Great Britain dominated the early Games, Hungary are now the world leaders with nine Olympic titles to their names. The women's competition has only been held at three Games with different winners on each occasion
although USA have finished on the podium (silver, bronze, silver) at all three.
Click Here for the British Swimming Guide to Olympic Water Polo.
George Cornet, Inverness, with Golds in 1908 and 1912 and Bill Peacock, Paisley, with Gold in 1924 are the only Scots Gold Medal winning water polo players.
The last Scot to play for Great Britain in the Olympics was Jack Ferguson, Motherwell AS&WPC, who has lived in St Andrews for many years. He was in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.
DWPC's first coach, David Barr, was one of 3 Scots selected for the 1960 Games but it was decided that the team would not participate.