The dynamics of a game such as water polo push the human body to its limit, so it is no surprise that it is considered one of the hardest sports to play. On the other hand, it is also very commonly and simultaneously overlooked because people underestimate the level of athleticism one must have to be able to go through four 8-minute quarters where players easily swim over a mile in a game!
What are the dynamics of this game exactly? Water polo essentially requires players to swim from their side to their opponent’s, throw the ball in a way close to basketball, and score in a football-type goalpost. Now, that is simply all in the ‘rule book,’ but as any spectator or player of the sport will tell you, the sport also features inevitable elements of wrestling, underwater kicking, constant clouded vision due to non-stop splashing of water, water polo dunking, and your opponent’s jumping on top of you to try and put you down in the water.
It’s been like this since the beginning. The water polo Olympics was the first sport in the modern games in 1900. At the time, the game was a bit different because you could swim with the ball underwater, and so as a result, this caused much more hidden wrestling and obstructive behavior—and this is not something that has completely disappeared either, as there’s a lot of kicking and grabbing going on underneath the water.
As you can imagine, the sport requires a certain set of skills that take time and dedication; let’s look at a few over here.
It’s a sport in a completely different physical context.
It’s hard to ever get over the fact that water polo—and a few other sports, such as ice hockey in some respects—takes place in a completely different space; underwater. This is an additional strenuous element to the sport that instantly takes it to another level. The beauty of that, of course, is that it’s still fair game, as all the players are in the same boat.
Again, the issue with being underwater is already enough to show you that you need a lot of strength. Besides that, you’ll also need to be able to use your arm strength to throw something at the upward speed of 45 miles per hour whilst to lift your whole-body weight and moving against external forces of the opposition trying to hold you down. If you are wondering how deep the pool in water polo is, you might be surprised to hear it’s around 2 meters. Players must constantly tread water for the duration of the game. In addition to that, and although technically not allowed, the constant wrestling between players is just another added weight on anyone in the pool.
Morale is a big part of any sport, and so when one starts to get tired, the drained physical state of the player affects his or her state of mind, so endurance is not only of physical necessity but a skill that is garnered with time, and if it is a requisite in any sport, that that makes it crucial for a sport like water polo.
Speed and Coordination
Lastly, the game is very fast-paced, and to make an advance or to retreat for a defense strategy; the players need to be on top of their game. While playing, players need to manage the constant splashing of water into their field of vision while they’re trying to pass the ball, and all of this is happening while their opponents are surrounding them. We also must not forget that all of this must happen in very short amounts of time, as each team is only allowed 30 seconds with the ball before shooting at the goal.
While water polo has evolved from the time of its Olympic debut, it is still very much considered a brutal sport, and you can notice players exiting the pool with bruises, scratches, and marks on their bodies.
Having said all of this, it is hard to deny that this adds excitement to the sport as well, but as we have seen, it is an incredibly challenging sport, and one that requires a mastering of one’s physical abilities and one’s agility, and a certain control over the mind games involved with all these afore-mentioned factors at play.
Indeed, needless to say, the nature of water polo also makes it very fun to bet on, so if you’re a fan of this sport and you’d like to engage with it more excitingly, you can find the best water polo betting sites here. Betting on sports is a great way to add a layer of excitement to the spectator experience, and you can also win real money in the process!