3 Inventive Ways to Play Water Polo to Beat the Heat!

Photo Courtesy: Beeldboot.nlGertjan Kooij

By Rachel Andersen, Swimming World College Intern.

Water polo is one of the most fun, unique, and challenging sports out there. With its mix of physical play, teamwork and constant exercise, everyone can find something to love about this aquatic game.

By all appearances, the game seems quite fun; however, it can be daunting to beginners. Some creative water-polo lovers have found ways to remix the sport to keep it fresh and accessible for all ages and skill levels. Here are three inventive ways to play water polo to have a blast while beating the heat!

Flippa Water Polo (FlippaBall)

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A young school class playing Flippaball. Photo Courtesy:@waitakwaterpolo

Flippa water polo is nearly identical to regular water polo except for two major differences: the ability to touch the bottom of the pool and being able to touch the ball with both hands.

Unlike water polo proper, which utilizes the egg beater kick to keep players afloat, Flippa water polo (or Flippaball, as it is called in its native Australia) is played in the shallow end of the pool. This allows all of the players to be able to stand up to pass and shoot. The only catch is that once a player is in possession of the ball, they can no longer use the bottom to walk or jump. Instead, the player must stand still to make their passes or shots.

The ability to stand up, in conjunction with being allowed to touch the ball with two hands, makes Flippaball a good introduction to water polo for all ages. Players can get a feel for the positions and rules of water polo all without having to worry about learning a new way of treading water in a deep pool or holding onto a big ball with just one hand. All ages can try out Flippaball, even those who are not the strongest of swimmers.*

Click here for a full list of Flippaball rules.

Inner Tube Water Polo

An intramural water polo team battling it out. Photo Courtesy: @clarksvilleparksrec

Want to play water polo while floating on your favorite pool toy? Well, then look no further than inner tube water polo!

Inner tube water polo is the sport that is (somewhat) sweeping the nation. Colleges coast to coast have seen intramural inner tube water polo teams pop up seemingly over night. In this interesting twist in water polo, members of a six player team, excluding the goalkeeper, must sit rump first in inner tubes while attempting out-shoot their competition. Like Flippaball, players can touch the ball with two hands or even set the ball in their lap as they use their arms to paddle across the pool.

By using inner tubes, the normal game pace slows down. Thus, unlike regular water polo, no shot clocks are used. The inner tubes also help to keep physicality to a minimum, again, allowing all ages and swim levels to play inner tube water polo.*

Canoe Water Polo (Kayak Water Polo)

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Inventive ways to play water polo via kayak polo. Photo Courtesy:@Ib9_brand

Ever wanted to play a mixture of water polo and lacrosse, all while canoeing at the same time? Well we have news for you: Canoe water polo exists!

Canoe polo, also known as Kayak polo, is a sport that combines boat skills with complex team play, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind sport. A game, divided into two 7 to 10 minute halves, features five players per team. Players battle it out to score in goals that are suspended two meters above the water. Players can use their hands or their specially rounded paddles to pass and shoot the ball. Meanwhile, goalies can use their paddles to bat balls away from their net.

In order to protect themselves while playing, polo paddles have thick rounded edges to prevent injury. Required safety equipment include the following: nose and tail boat bumpers, body protection, helmets and face-guards. While this can be an extremely fun spin on the game, be sure not to play without each of these safety features.

If you’re looking for a new sporting experience while still staying true to your polo roots, this may be the game for you!

*Disclaimer: Each of these activities should only be undertaken under proper supervision from safety personnel with proper equipment.

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author. This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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3 years ago

Sounds fun!