Getting into Water Polo in England

Join a water polo club

Getting into water polo is easy. Children can be introduced to the game during swimming lessons. For more on joining a water polo club go to our Find a Club page here.

Kids’ Swimming Lessons

Children can be introduced to water polo in their swimming lessons. The ASA Learn to Swim Pathway has water polo specific modules in Levels 8 – 10, known as the ASA Aquatics Skills Framework.

These three steps on the Pathway involve learning the basics of the sport from movement, shooting and passing to more complex skills and technique. Ask your child’s swimming teacher about it at the next lesson.

The drop down below will show you the basic skills kids need to pass each level of the Framework.

ASA Aquatics Skills Framework – Water Polo

Stage 8

    1. Swim 10m front crawl with face in the water and then 10m with head up.
    2. Swim 10m head up front crawl, controlling a ball in front.
    3. Stay vertical and static for 45 seconds using eggbeater kick.
    4. Swim 10m demonstrating water polo backstroke.
    5. Move 5m forwards, 5m backwards, 5m left and 5m right and return to the starting point, using eggbeater kick and staying vertical, keeping finger tips out of the water.
    6. Pick up the ball from underneath the surface with alternate hands, and lift above head. Repeat six times.
    7. Pass a ball accurately with a partner, using one hand to throw and two hands to catch over a 2m distance. Each player to pass 10 times.
    8. Play a Mini-polo game with at least three v three, and demonstrate skills learned from Stage 8.

Stage 9

      1. Swim 20m showing:
        1. Three strokes head up front crawl.
        2. Three strokes water polo backstroke in a continuous action.
      2. Use eggbeater kick and sculling to stay horizontal/flat on the surface staying static for 30 seconds.
        1. Demonstrate ability to be as high as possible out of the water.
        2. Demonstrate an ability to move off in any direction as quickly as possible.
      3. Move 5m forwards, 5m backwards, 5m left and 5m right and return to the starting point, using eggbeater kick and staying vertical keeping finger tips out of the water.
        1. Ability to show good leg kick maintaining a good body position in different directions.
      4. Pick up the ball from underneath the surface with alternate hands, and lift above head. Repeat 10 times.
      5. Pass and catch a ball accurately with a partner, over a 3m distance, 10 times each, using only one hand.
        1. Ability to show good ball control maintaining strong body position.
      6. Pick up a ball, shoot at a target from a 2m distance and repeat five times. The target may be a kick board, plastic bottles, etc.
      7. Play an advanced Mini-polo game with at least five vs. five using skills from Framework Stages 8-9 showing good technique throughout.
        1. Show a basic awareness of game play.

Stage 10

    1. Swim 20m head up front crawl with the ball.
    2. Perform 10 x static pick-up rotations with the ball using alternate hands.
      1. Ability to show good ball control maintaining strong body position.
    3. Swim 20m head up front crawl, turn at 10m without using a wall/floor and return to starting point
      1. Ability to turn and change direction quickly.
    4. Swim 20m head up front crawl, change into vertical, static, eggbeater hold for five seconds, repeat six times.
      1. Ability to change from horizontal to vertical.
    5. Move 5m forwards, 5m backwards, 5m left and 5m right and return to the starting point, using eggbeater kick and staying vertical keeping elbows out of the water.
      1. Ability to show good leg kick maintaining a good body position in different directions.
    6. Use eggbeater kick and sculling to stay horizontal/flat on the surface and then move 10m forwards.
      1. Demonstrate ability to be as high as possible above surface of the water.
      2. An ability to move off in any direction as quickly as possible.
    7. Pass and catch a ball accurately with a partner over a 3m distance, using one hand 10 times then the other hand 10 times.
      1. Ability to show good ball control maintaining strong body position.
    8. Pick up a ball, shoot at a target from a 3m distance, repeat five times. The target may be a kick board or plastic bottles, etc.
      1. Ability to co-ordinate sequence of skills to produce an effective shot.
    9. Play a water polo game, duration 4x5mins, incorporating skills from Stages 8-10 of the Framework showing good technique throughout.

The ASA Aquatics Skills Framework also involves playing Mini-polo – a beginner’s version of water polo with a smaller ball. The rules of Mini-polo are more relaxed – players can stand up for example – so you can play in shallow water and just use floats or cones as goalposts.

Adults’ Water Polo

You’re never too old to start playing water polo! Masters water polo is simply water polo for players aged 30 years and older.

The rules of the game are the same with a few minor amendments – possession time is 35 seconds and teams in the age bands 50+ years and upwards play six minute rather than seven minute quarters.

Most clubs welcome players over 30 years and older. Go to our clubs page here and get in contact and we can track down a club for you.

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