The history of water polo is one of the things that you need to understand if you want to play the sport.

Water polo is a popular sport in the UK. It is a competitive sport that is played between two opposing teams with 6 players and one goalkeeper each. There are six other players on the sidelines for substitutions purposes. The game has four quarters. Each team should throw the ball into the goal of the opponent. The team that scores the most goals will win the game. The game happens in a pool that is seven-feet deep. The players are expected to throw the ball towards each other and score a goal while keeping their feet from touching the bottom of the pool.

History of water polo

So when did this type of sport start?

It is believed that the history of water polo began with a man named William Wilson. In the late 19th century, this Scotsman was known for developing techniques that improved efficiency and safety while swimming. This swimming coach was also responsible for coming up with the “aquatic football.” He combined elements of the American football, wrestling, soccer, and rugby into one game. The players of water polo are expected to combine all of these elements while treading water.

The very first game happened along the River Dee banks in Aberdeen, Scotland. As it was played, it gained a lot of popularity in Great Britain. There were several games organised but it was only in 1885 that the Swimming Association of Great Britain recognised the game and formalised the rules that Wilson initiated. Water polo became one of the original games introduced during the second modern Olympics back in 1900 in Paris.

Although the Americans had a similar game, the difference in the rules kept both sports from competing on an international stage. Even when the sport was included in the 1904 Olympics, it was only in 1929 when the Europeans and Americans played against each other. This is was after the international water polo committee was formed to formalised a set of rules.

Notable changes in water polo since it started

Throughout the history of water polo, the rules of the game went through several changes to solve issues and problems arising as it was played. Some were insignificant changes but there were two notable ones that had a significant impact in the way water polo is currently played.

Dry pass

The first change involved what we now know as the “dry pass.” This was invented in 1928. Before this rule, the ball was first dropped on the surface of the water and the players would scramble to get it. Now, the ball is not allowed to touch the water. The teammates should pass the ball to each other without letting it touch the surface. This made the game faster and required the players to have more finesses and quickness to be efficient in the sport.

Trudgen stroke

This is the swimming method that players had to learn in order to play water polo. It is a revolutionised water movement that the Scottish players developed to make swimming easier as the game is played. The movement involved swimming on the side while the arms are alternating out of the water and the legs scissoring with each stroke of the arm. The front crawl version of this swimming method is what we now know as the freestyle.

Now that you know the history of water polo, you should be able to understand and appreciate the many changes and rules that you have to follow in order to be good at playing the game.