Mini-polo! - The Magic of the Ball
Ever fancied the idea of water polo? It’s a fun, high energy ball game in the pool and it even has the Royal Seal of Approval. Mini-polo is a beginners version of this physically demanding but fun Olympic Sport.
It combines ball and swimming skills as well as teamwork. In mini-polo! participants can play in water they can stand up in, making it easier to concentrate on learning how to play and having a good time. This is a great game and a good starting point for anyone thinking of taking up water polo.
*Ros Griffiths featured in this clip is no longer captain and no longer in the squad. Fran Leighton is now captain.
To learn more about the GB Water Polo teams, click here
What is Water Polo?
The aim of water polo is pretty simple - you have to score more goals than the other team.
Squads are made up of 13 players with a maximum of seven in the pool at any one time.
The goalkeeper, who guards a goal measuring three metres by 90cm, is the only player who is allowed to touch the bottom of the pool.
In front of the goalkeeper the team normally consists of six out fielders, centre back , centre forward and four drivers, two on either wing.
The key to success is quick passing and dribbling as teams only have 30 seconds in which to shoot after they have gained possession.
But there are enough players in a squad for every player to have a substitute to switch in for them whenever they want, as often as they like.
How about mini-polo!?
Mini-polo! is a smaller, more basic game than water polo.
It has been introduced to teach young players up to around eleven years old the basics of the full game.
The rules are very basic - you just need a ball and a pool.
You can use any space of water and turn it into a fun water ball game.
Use any small ball which is waterproof and floats. If there are no goals then use floats, cones or plastic bottles filled with water.
If the pool is shallow, or the players cannot yet swim, then stand up.
If players are not confident in the water, involve them by having their team score by passing them the ball whilst sat on the side.
Many pools and leisure centres are now offering classes in mini-polo! which is a great way to get in the pool and have fun.
How do I join a Club?
Please forward all queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your local pool.
Training will vary from club to club but will be about an hour a week to begin with.
The club will provide the swimming caps you need to wear which have ear guards.
Other than that all you will need is some swimming trunks or a swimming costume - preferably the tighter the better as you don't want any loose fabric.