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Water Polo


Water polo developed into different forms in the United States and Europe. The European game is now universally accepted.

Tough beginnings

Water polo is a tough sport, but when it first began it was even tougher. Fighting between players was common, if not the norm. In 1897, New Yorker Harold Reeder formulated the first American rules for discipline, which were aimed at curbing the sport’s more violent tendencies.

Naming the game

In the early days, the players rode on floating barrels that resembled mock horses, and swung at the ball with mallet-like sticks. This made it similar to equestrian polo, hence its name. In the United States it was termed softball water polo due to the use of an unfilled bladder as a ball.

Current sport

Water polo was developed in Europe and the United States as two differing sports. Ultimately, the faster, less dangerous European style predominated, and today this is the form of the game practised universally. It consists of seven-man teams playing four eight-minute periods.

Olympic history

Water polo made its Olympic debut at the Paris Games in 1900. It was not included in 1904 but would be present at each subsequent edition of the Olympic Games.
Since then, the Hungarians have been by far the greatest ambassadors of this discipline. Between 1928 and 1980, they won medals at every Games. Between 1932 and 1976, they even won six of the 10 gold medals available.

In 2000 in Sydney, Hungary make a remarkable comeback, winning its seventh gold medal in water polo. In the same year, women’s water polo made its first official appearance at the Olympic Games, 100 years after the debut of this discipline.

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Gallery

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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2012/London/08-12/Water_Polo_Mens_Final_-_Croatia_v_Italy_-__London_2012_Olympic_Games_Highlights_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,2500,3500,4500,6500,8500,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Flawless Croatia take Water Polo gold

London 2012 - Croatia secured their first men's Water Polo gold medal with an 8-6 win over Italy in the final. The Balkan team won eight from eight during the Games.
IOC
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2012/London/08-12/Water_Polo_Mens_Bronze_Medal_Match_-_Serbia_v_Montenegro_Full_Replay_--_London_2012_Olympic_Games_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,2500,3500,4500,6500,8500,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Serbia v Montenegro Water Polo bronze final - full replay

London 2012 - Serbia and Montenegro serve up a thrilling tie as they battle for a bronze medal in the Water Polo. Watch a full replay of the neck-and-neck match here.
IOC
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2012/London/08-10/Water_Polo_Womens_Final_Round_-_Gold_-_United_States_v_Spain_Replay_-_London_2012_Olympic_Games_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,2500,3500,4500,6500,8500,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

USA women make a splash for Water Polo gold - full replay

London 2012 - The USA took gold in the women's Water Polo with a convincing 8-5 victory over Spain at the Water Polo Arena. Maggie Steffens scored five goals for the USA as they cruised past the Europeans in the tournament final. Watch the game in full.
IOC
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2012/London/08-10/Water_Polo_Womens_Final_Round_-_Hungary_v_Australia_Replay_-_London_2012_Olympic_Games_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,2500,3500,4500,6500,8500,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Australia take Water Polo bronze in play-off drama

London 2012 - Australia took bronze with a dramatic extra-time win over Hungary. In a repeat of the Beijing 2008 third-place play-off, the Australians were cruising to victory before a last-second Hungarian leveller. Australia scored two goals to clinch the match 13-11.
IOC
play
https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2012/London/08-10/Water_Polo_Womens_Final_Round_-_United_States_v_Spain_-__London_2012_Olympic_Games_Highlights_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,2500,3500,4500,6500,8500,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

USA women make a splash for Water Polo gold

London 2012 - The USA took gold in the women's Water Polo with a convincing 8-5 victory over Spain at the Water Polo Arena. Maggie Steffens scored five goals for the USA as they cruised past the Europeans in the tournament final.
IOC
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Maurizio Felugo of Italy

London 2012 - Driver Maurizio Felugo is demonstrative after contributing one of his three goals to Italy’s win over Hungary in men’s water polo quarterfinal action.
2012 Getty Images
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