Water Polo
all the info you need on water polo!

Jun
12

This here is going to be a short post.

 The USA water polo is having a Honor Roll. To apply, go here: http://www.usawaterpolo.org/ProgramsHome/AcademicAllAmerican.aspx. The requirements are that you must be a member, got a 3.6 in the last school year, passed all the classes you took, and competed in a national event. You have until July 24, I think.

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Jun
09

It is the end of the school  year, and usually the summer is a time for relaxing. Usually. My summers are really busy. I have work, work, water polo, swimming, and travel. I will try to continue the post, but I am afraid that I can’t make posts as often. I am so busy and I have harly any time. i will try to add posts, though.

What I have learned as being a blogger, is that there need to be a lot of information, work, and time to go into making a good blog. Being a blogger means that the person has to really like the subject that they are talking about and know what they are talking about to make sense to the readers. The work load was intense, and it was kind of hard to write about water polo, when it is not such a popular sport. Blogs add a personal perspective to the water polo field. They add new points of view, and show the world how they feel about the sport. The downfall of blogs are that they are not regarded as a good source of information and they are pretty much ignored. In my field, I have not learned much. I actually know a lot, and the only things I really learned are about Merrill Moses. Water polo is not really involved with blogs, and there is no real audience. On YouTube there is so many videos, and games, and references to water polo, but that is pretty much it. Water polo magizines won’t die out, I get like 5 with my membership.  I think that videos will come to rule the water polo world. Good bye for now . . . Annie.

Jun
09

Water-Polo-FootballWater polo is known for its toughness. But is it really all that great of a sport? After every game, you see people with bloody noses, scratches, bite marks, ripped suits, and even bruises. Many people come out of games complaining of others who play way too rough, and of those bad referees who do not see that annoying b**** choking you, but kick you out when they see you rip off her suit. What’s a better way to avoid all the brutality in this sport? Many young kids start playing at the age of nine. Is it too dangerous to play? All those college water polo injuries – Should you risk that scholarship? Is playing water polo really worth those broken noses, violent matches, and sore legs? The answer is YES. Why? I will tell  you.

Water polo is a great team-building sport. Many of  the players I know have become best friends, and are still talking. Water polo is not just a sport where you get beat up, it is a sport where strong bonds are made. You have to trust your teammates and know what they are going to do, and how they play. A strong-bonded team is a winning team. If you played with people who did not know you or you don’t like them, then your team chemistry is whacked up, and you will do horribly in the games and lose. And if you just don’t like the sport, you are SCREWED. Do me a favor, and when you quit, don’t go and play wrestling. Now that is just not fair. If you don’t like water polo because of the brutality, I have made a list of how to avoid all of the brutality.

  1. Don’t quit. Although this seems like the only answer, it’s not. It just seems that was because it is the easiest and most obvious answer you can only quit after you have tried to do all of these tips.
  2. Play goalie. You are out of the game, and it is more individual work. You build up your reaction time in the goal, and the balls are not actually thrown too hard. Only the set players have the capability to throw it hard enough to make you sore.
  3. Don’t play rough. Usually you play rough without realizing it, and they play rough just to get back at you. Be more aware of what you are doing when you play.
  4. Don’t fight back. Usually if you fight back, you get ejected. My advice is get the referee’s attention to you and then the person guarding you will get ejected.
  5. Call the refs attention. If they are grabbing your suit, get up high out of the water to show the refs. Yell if they are holding you, and over react if they kick or hit you.
  6. Tell the referees. If someone is playing really dirty, tell the referees to watch out for them better. Also if they scratch you, tell the referee to have a nail check on their number and show them you scratch marks.
  7. Learn where pressure points are located. If they grab hold of you, just grab one of the pressure points in the arm, and they will eventually let go, and stop fighting.
  8. Don’t look aggressive. Most people will start to fight is you look really aggressive and mean.
  9. Play a bad team. They will usually play cleaner and not be aggressive. Usually they will be weak, so they will not be really aggressive.
  10. Don’t do anything. Try to avoid physical contact and look like you don’t know how to play the game. Then, they will not try to kill you.

If these points do not do anything for you, then you can quit. But I promise you, there is no sport that is as fun as water polo.

Jun
08

Heeeey! I’ve been looking around at other blogs, and I found some really interesting things:

For improving freestyle technique:   http://www.wbmny.com/swimming/ I checked out this site and it was very helpful with my swimming. Basically, this person has been writing about how they swim, and what they do to improve their times. The points they give are very useful and clear to understand.

For finding suits:      http://standingby.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/swimwear-shopping/#comment-680 This place has good places to shop for reasonably priced suits. It gives types of suits to wear, and what they do. I think that this is very handy for two pieces, but it doesn’t mention one-pieces. I personally don’t think that half of those suits are bad, but that choice is really up to you.

For fitness in paddling water sports: http://race.fit2paddle.com/ I know a lot of people who have been swimming for a while, and are complaining about not cross-training. Who can blame them? It gets really hot on some of the running trails, and it is really gross, hot, and sweaty. So, why not row? Rowing is a very good sport, because not only will it build up your muscles and make you stronger, but if you get hot, all you will have to do is jump in the water to cool off!!!

For tips and workouts for swimmers: http://swim-life.blogspot.com/ It can be hard to come up with sets, if you are a coach or an individual swimmer, it is always best to have a set prepared. This site is very useful and handy to serious swimmers. It has different sets for different strokes, and I like this site a lot. I will be using it in my future.

For the official Ivy League Women’s swimming and diving: http://psychesheetwomens2009.wordpress.com/ If you are going off to college (I know some of you are, or at least you know someone who is), then this site will help you see what you schedule will be like for next year. With this site, you could see how busy swimming is and how good the teams are.

For a bilingual swim suit shop: http://www.aqualoja.net/index.php/en/Events This site is cool, because it can be in PORTUGUESE. I think that this site might help others that speak only Portuguese (obviously). Anyways, these suits are so cute and I want to go buy some, but unfortunately, I have to wait for my next paycheck.

For parkas and goggles: http://swimparkas.blogspot.com Parkas are always handy if you are in a water sport. It usually ends up being way too cold to swim or play polo and if you are waiting, you don’t want to freeze. Parkas do sound like something that people in Alaska would wear, but they are very warm. Goggles keep people’s eyes from getting too bloodshot, so people won’t think that you are high.

For NorCal water polo: http://www.norcalwaterpolo.com/ If you are in North California, this site is a MUST. They have everything: nutrition, dry-land training, lessons, you name it.  This site is always handy and useful to those that reside in North California. I think that this site is going to be my new favorite.

Jun
04

As a water polo player, I am constantly buying and ripping suits. Going through all those suits, seasons on end, can end up costing a lot of money. So, I am doing all you readers a favor — I am going to analyze the suits that are currently in my possession (girls suits only — sorry boys).

My first suit is a practice suit (mostly used with swimming) by Nike. The name/style is Nike Adjustable Strap Women’s Swimsuit. It has an adjustable strap, and is made of Spandex and Lycra. It is really good, except for the fact that the Spandex stretches put really fast so the suit has to be constantly tied up. Also, it has a built-in-bra, which is no good at all, because it acts like a drag suit and slows you down. Out of a ten, this suit gets a three.

My next suit is a Nike Cut-Out Women’s Tank Swimsuit. This honestly is kind of a slutty swim suit. The back is two very skinny straps and the but is low. It is a good way to get rid of a tanline, but you have to buy this suit in a smaller than you are, because the straps stretch out, and the front falls down. This is a somewhat fast suit, so it is pretty good. It is 100% polyester. Out of a ten, this suit gets a seven.

The Dolfin Uglies Women’s V-2 Back Racing Suit is not really stretch, which can be kind of good, but it makes the suit really hard to get into. The suit is good for only a while, then it gets really baggy. That is not good, because it is like you are swimming with a really big suit, and the only think that keeps the suit on is the liner underneath. Out of a ten, I rate this suit a five.

The Speedo Avenger Water Polo Endurance suit is a good suit. I have it as a zip-down, and this suit has lasted a couple of years, my longest so far. This suit has some stretchiness, and that is not good for water polo, because you can end up flashing people, which is not good because you end up being really embarrassed. 😳 It has strong, good tautness, and this suit doesn’t bag easily. This suit is half polyester and half PBT polyester (whatever that is). I like this suit a lot, especially since you can breathe in it. I rate this suit a nine.

 My next suit is a Turbo Water Polo Women’s Suit. It is 82% Poliamida and 18% Lycra. It is a strong suit, very taught, and it makes the suit hard to grab onto. The problem is this suit makes it hard to breathe. This suit does not rip or get baggy very easily. It chafes and gets very uncomfortable and tight. The company has many different cool patterns for suits. Also, this suit is a zip-up, so that makes it easier to undo the suit while you are playing water polo. I give this suit a two out of ten.

The Finis Female Bladeback Water Polo Suit is 55% polyster and 45% PBTpolyester.  This is is also a zip-up, and very tight. Also, there is something good and special about this suit: it has Velcro, so that way the suit does not become unzipped as easily. You have to get this suit in the right size or else it will be harder to breathe. The suit is taught so it does not rip. This suit is very good. Out of ten, I give it a nine.

May
28

This weekend the Women’s Senior National Team will play for the first time in 2009  against Canada, and the Men’s Senior National Tam will continue their competition of last weekend’s Fischer Cup.

Women’s FINA world League Prelims went to So Cal for three games, the first one being an exhibition contest. Today, the teams will play at the USA National Training Center in Los Almitos, CA at 7:30 p.m. This is the first official game for new head coach Adam Krikorian. Then, on May 30, at the Corondo High school, in no other place than Corondo, California, they teams will face off again at 6p.m. There will also be a meet and greet for the members of the National Team if you show up.  The next day is for the third and final game. It will be at 4:30 p.m., at Corona del Mar High School, in Corona del Mar, Calif.

The Fisher Cup entrees Men’s Senior National Team and the World University Games squad will play as USA Red and USA Blue at the Oaks Christian High School in Thousand Oaks at 4pm. (I did not get the date.) Again, there will be a meet and greet, so come early to the game! Next, they will play again at six with the women at Corona del Mar. Then, the men’s squad goes to Nor Cal for a three- game tournament with another team (Serbia) from the 2008 Olympic Games. The US beat Serbia in the Semi-finals, so this game should have lots of excitement. The tournament starts June 4 at U of Pacific in Stockton, Ca at 7. Then, they go to Cal on June 6, at 3. The last game is at Stanford on June 7 at 2. Before each game there will be a meet and greet about two hours before the opening sprint.

Read the article here: http://www.usawaterpolo.org/SingleNews/09-05-27/Men_s_and_Women_s_National_Teams_In_Action_This_Weekend.aspx?ReturnURL=/Home.aspx

I think that all of these games sound very exciting, and I am probabally going to the game on June 6. (USA Men’s Team vs. Serbia)

See you there! 🙂

May
26
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Merrill Moses is a beast

Being a goalie is tough. Merrill Moses would know. With balls being thrown at your head with decapitating speeds, treading water for hours on end, having the outcome of the game rest on your shoulders, not many people would want to be a goalie.

If you are wondering why anyone wants to play water polo, check out this link:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=5875a189-861e-4427-a48c-6e1d455c0872

Merrill Moses was a goalie for the United States of America in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was born in Harbor City, California, and his birthday is August 13, 1977. He is 6′ 3′ and he weighs 215 pounds. Merrill has played water polo since high school, when his school had merged three schools together and it looked like it would be very hard to play football. Thanks to his friends, Merrill found out about water polo, and even though he did not really know what it was all about, he fell in love with the sport the moment he jumped into the pool. He became a goalie when he came back for another year. The team was short a goalie, and the coach noticed that Merrill had a large wingspan. Merrill was stuck in the goal, where he is there to stay.

In college, he kept Pepperdine fighting until sudden death and won 8-7, which launched him onto the U.S. national team. 

Merrill has the record for the most saves in one game (17, set in 2004).

He has been considered one of the most explosive goal keepers in the world.

Merrill and his team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics went through serious workouts and training. They all have lots of team dinners and eating going on . . . I’m glad I don’t have to cook for them.

He is known for his shouting in the pool and during plays. While some people think that a bunch of shouting is annoying, it is actually a good way to build up your lungs and be heard. A good goalie always communicates with their team.

Merrill’s personal faves are to:

  • snowboard
  • scuba dive
  • cook

In high school, he played the saxophone and viola, along with a short week of football, and a lifetime of water polo.

Before every game, it is Merrill’s tradition to drink Jamba juice because as a goalie, we never need to sprint hard, so we don’t really throw up . . . goalies are never too full. I’ve had eating contests with the rest of my team, and I can easily out eat the girls on my team, and a LOT of boys that don’t play water polo. Goalie workouts always build up an appetite, with carrying water-jugs over our heads, and treading water for HOURS on end . . . no wonder all water polo players do is play polo, eat, and sleep.

Merrill’s faves:

  • Food = Salmon
  • Color = Blue
  • Movie = Gladiator
  • Songs = “Bubbly Toes” – Jack Johnson, “Ave Maria” – Andrea Bocelli
  • Artists = Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Rage Against the Machine, Damian Marley
  • Actress = Scarlett Johansson
  • Actor = Matthew McConaughey
  • Super power = Time travel
  • Halloween costume = gorilla with red eyes that glowed.

His personal theme song is “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. His favorite present ever was the Chrystler his parents got him when he was 17. 

 Thats all about Merrill Moses!

May
12
  1.  Pool (at least 7 feet deep and some what large)
  2. Water polo caps
  3. Water polo ball
  4. Water polo suits
  5. Shot clock
  6. Referees
  7. Goals (preferably floating cages, but wall cages are fine too)
  8. People (14 for an official game)
  9. Nail clippers
  10. Chlorine
  1. A pool is necessary because they are what water polo is played in. If we did not play WATER polo in a pool, then it would be called some thing else, like grass polo, or rugby-handball-hockey. The pool has to be deep because it is illegal to stand on the pool bottom. Also, a big pool is needed because it is not fun to play water polo in a kiddie pool. You need space to move around and guard people, and if the pool is deep if gives tall people less of an advantage. Did you know that the captain of the water polo team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics is short? Well, she was, and she was pretty good, too. If the pool your playing in is big and deep, then it is a good pool to use, and your game will be fun! J
  2. Water polo caps are very important as they protect your eardrums. They have plastic right where your ear is so you don’t loose your hearing. My friend was injured not wearing a water polo cap. Basically, he was swimming with no cap (it fell off and he ignored it), and he was racing towards the ball with another person on his heels. Then, both David and his defender went for the ball, and David got an elbow to his hear. Later that night, David noticed that his ear was hurting, and so he looked in the mirror. He saw that his ear was bleeding. David went into the Emergency Room of the hospital, and that is the wonderful story of how David lost 20% of his eardrum. It had disintegrated, and David couldn’t swim or change elevation for six weeks! That meant no going to Tahoe for New Years. So even though caps are the most gorgeous thing, they can protect your hearing.
  3. Water polo balls are necessary to play. Without water polo balls, the game would just be swimming back and forth, which is pointless and no fun. The water polo balls come in different sizes and colors. The largest size is a Mens ball. It is made for males (obviously) who are over the age of 16. That is typically the age where man can palm those balls. (Palming is being able to grip the ball from the top with one hand.) The next size down is a Womens ball. They are typically smaller and used by both women (DUH!) and kids in the 14 & under age group. The next smaller size is a 12 & under ball. It is used for very young kids who like water polo ball but they can not grip a Mens or a Womens ball. The smallest water polo ball is a goalie training ball. They are a little bigger than tennis balls and they are thrown at the goalies to get their reaction time faster. The colors are important, too. Not only can you get then the colors you want, or ones with pictures that you choose, they tell you what you’re working with. The standard ball is plain yellow with black lining. A really good team might have pink balls. Beware of black balls with yellow lining – they are training balls, which are heavier then normal water polo balls.
  4. Water polo suits are critical to play the game. Water polo is a very physical game. There is a lot of pulling, pushing, scratching, biting, tearing, and wrestling. Men typically wear Speedos, and women wear suits with zippers. Men wear two Speedos typically, because one might end up ripping. We women wear suits with zippers so we do not flash the world as much. The key to buying a good women’s water polo suit is to make sure that it is tight. Otherwise the suit will drag and make you slower, and you might flash everyone. I have seen tie-dye suits, suits with unicorns, and personalized suits.
  5. Shot clocks are to keep any one team from keeping the ball too long. Each team has thirty seconds to make a shot, and if the thirty seconds expires, the ball is turned over to the other team. If there is a penalty, like a kick out, then the shot clock gets a new thirty seconds. Every foul, the shot clock stops. So it may not seem like a lot to have the ball for thirty seconds, but sometimes it can last up to a few minutes.
  6. Referees help keep the game clean. They might not make great calls, but it is always a lot of fun to hide the penalties and fouls from the refs. Make sure your refs are not biased, and make good calls.
  7. Goals are important because that is where the goal is scored. A wall cage gets stuck in the wall and is typically shallower than a floating cage. A floating cage is deeper, and they get bungeed to the wall.
  8. Bring all of your friends to play! People are always needed to play. A full game has seven on each team, but I have played with eight, four, three and five on each team. It is tiring, but fun.
  9. Nail clippers are to keep from clawing other people and getting in trouble with the refs. Usually before each game, the refs do a “nail check” to make sure everyone’s nails are not sharp. If you have sharp or long nails, you are asked to cut them, so it is important to carry nail clippers.
  10. Chlorine tends our wounds. And it keeps the pool clean. I know people who pee in pools, so it is very important to have chlorine in your pool. It also makes us deadly, with the amount we end up drinking from being drowned. Even though you smell so strong of chlorine after you swim in it, both you and the pool stay clean.
May
11
 

These is a typical six-pack 
This is a typical six-pack

In water polo, there are seven players in the pool for each team. One goal keeper and six field players make up the seven that play. There are no assigned positions outside of the goal, and everyone rotates and moves in the field throughout the different plays. 

The field positions are numbered from one to six. If you are looking at the goal with the players lined up in a standard six-pack, you will see something like a triangle on the top (away from the goal) with three players spaced out. Towards the bottom (near the goal) there is a line of three players. All of these three players are at two meters. If any of these three players go into the two meters when the water polo ball is not in there, it is an offsides and the ball is turned over, kind of like soccer. The middle position in front of the goal is called the hole set, or 2-meter position. They are typically the strongest person in the pool with the hardest shot. It is the place where most fouls, shots, goals, and injuries happen. On either side of the set are the deep wings. They typically drive to get open and set picks on the other players. The deep wings are on the two-meter and pick up what is called the “garbage” – basically, it is the missed shots. The two players on the seven-meter line are the “flats” or high wings. Their job is to run drives, and get open for the point. Typically a left- handed person is on the right flat and a right-handed person is at the left flat, because when they do get a pass, it does not have to go across their face, which makes it easier to handle.  The last offensive player in the pool is the point. They yell out the plays, and direct the offense. It is critical to have good ball handling skills, because if a pass is made badly, a chance to score is lost, and they have to sprint to the other side of the pool.

The defensive players are what wins the game. If your defense is the strongest of the two teams, then the game is pretty much won for you. Occasionally, people get ejected from the game for twenty seconds so the offensive gets a power play. This is the hardest time for the defense, because they have one less man, and they have to cover more area. Typically the top is split into so there is one less defensive man on the to, and everyone is mannedup on the bottom. If one player gets ejected three times, they are majored (kicked out of the game). Anyone can get ejected, even the goalie.  The 2-meter defense has to get in a wrestling match with the set player. They have to do whatever they can to prevent the set from getting the ball and scoring. The other field defensive players are trying to steal the ball, and trying to prevent goals. The last player out of all of the positions is the goalie. They direct the defense, yell out the time left on the shot clock, and block shots.

Those are the positions of water polo.  🙂

May
07

Hello.

I have been playing water polo for a couple of years now. I am currently a goalie. I have played with people who play water polo at Stanford, and water polo is pretty much my life now. I love watching and playing water polo. It is a real fun sport and I hope you enjoy it, too. Water polo is my life. I have played water polo so much that I have no life now. My favorite player is Merrill Moses. He is such a beast! My favorite positions to play in water polo are 2 meter defense, point, and goalie. It seems a little scary to have a water polo ball coming at your head so fast that it can injure you, but I have learned quick reflexes, and water polo makes me stronger than half the guys I know. Water polo is a really fun sport.  It teaches you how to work with others, and how to communicate. The players on your team become really close, and there is a lot of really fun team bonding. Water polo isn’t always about winning (although that is fun), it is really about the good times. I know people who say their best friends were from playing water polo – it really is a sport where you have to get along with your team. Summer season is starting soon, and I’ll be playing with a new club, run by my swim coach. Instead of playing with North Bay Aquatics, with Andrew Morris (who is a bad coach because he cares only about the girls that go to his school), I am playing in a club called SHAQ. SHAQ stands for Sleepy Hollow AQuatics. The coach is a really nice man named Mark Anderson. He and the SHAQ coaching team have been playing water polo and are experienced players and trainers. SHAQ’s website is linked on this site.

Have fun playing polo!

~Anastasia