High School Water Polo Rules
The basics of high school water polo rules are the same as those of other water polo levels. Water polo is a game played in a pool and is a variation of the game of polo which is traditionally played on grass and horseback.
- Seven Players. Each team has no more and no less than seven players on it to begin and continue a game of water polo.
- Pool Specs. For a game to be played according to high school water polo rules the pool played in must meet certain standards. The pool must be 98 feet long by 65 feet wide. The water in the pool must also be at least five feet eleven inches deep. The optimal height for players is where they are able to swim but also tread water when needed.
- Basic Premise. The basic objective of the game is to get the ball into the goal of the opposite team, which is on the other side of the pool from the opposing team.
- Goals. The goals must be constructed of two goal posts with a crossbar. Each goal post must be three meters apart as measured from the inside of the posts.
- Ball. The water polo ball shall meet water polo ball regulations including an air chambered, self-closing valve with no external features or greasiness. The ball must weigh more than 400 grams, but no more than 450 grams.
- Officials. Every game shall be governed by two referees and two goal judges. Each goal has a goal judge to keep watch of when goals are made to make calls as necessary. The referees are on each side of the pool to regulate game play.
- Movement. In high school water polo rules the movement of the ball can only occur on the surface of the water and in one hand of the player.
- Quarters. The game is divided into quarters each of which lasting seven minutes.
- Tackling. Only the player with the ball can be tackled by opposing players.
- Timekeepers & Secretaries. High school water polo rules state each game shall have one of each. The timekeeper watches the time of game play to announce when a quarter has ended and the length of time outs. A secretary records scores, aids in timekeeping and signals when players are able to return to the pool after penalties or other situations.
- Scoring. A score can be made a number of different ways including an immediate shot from the goal, a penalty throw, a free throw and an immediate free throw goal outside of five meters.
- Fouls. High school water polo rules in situations where a player or team can be penalized. A foul is when a player makes a moves or plays outside of the regulations. A foul can result in a player's removal from the game, a penalty of points or other repercussion. Fouls can occur from: a player stepping over the start before the start of the game is announced; a player pushing off of or gaining assistance from any of the equipment, including goal posts and the sides of the pool; a player assisting another player who has control of the ball; becoming an active part of the game when they are not in the pool; holding the ball under water during a tackle; striking the ball with a clenched fist; touching the ball with two hands at the same time; prevent free movement of an opponent who does not have the ball; push off from an opponent who does not have the ball; come within two meters of the opponents goal when not running a behind the line play; unduly delay a throw.
High school water polo rules follow the same rules as FINA and USA Water Polo regulations state. Regulations can be extensive and new players should go through the guidebook memorizing as many rules as they can as the player. Your coach and other players can help you learn the rules through drills and practices.