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What’s a ball game without the ball? The water polo ball is normally bright yellow in colour, so as to make it easier for players to follow as it moves around the pool. Available in two different sizes, the ball is designed with a rough texture to ensure players are able to grip it easily, especially given how slippery it can be in the pool.
Size five (68 to 71 cm in circumference) balls are normally used for men’s matches, while the smaller size four (65 to 67 cm) balls are used commonly in women’s matches. This is due to the fact that women’s hands are usually smaller, and hence the smaller sized ball is easier for ladies to grip.
The goals used in water polo differ greatly from those used in soccer. For one, water polo goal posts have to be able to float in water, or players will find it impossible to score.
Two goals are required in a game, one on each side of the pool. Each goal is three metres wide and 0.9 metres high.
Injury is common in every sport, and several require players to wear protective gear. The water polo cap comes with a protective covering that goes over the player’s ear and protects the player from injury in the event that the ball hits his head.
Additionally, most sports require players to have a number attached to their attire, but water polo leaves very limited areas for numbers to be attached as players are in their swimming attire. The players’ identifying numbers are thus printed on the caps .
The colour of the caps are also important. Goalkeepers are the only players who wear red caps with the number ‘one’ on it, while their team traditionally wears blue and white caps respectively.
As the game is played in water, swimsuits
are almost as important as the ball .
Male players are typically attired in swimming briefs or thigh-length trunks, while female players are required to wear one-piece swimming suits. Most water polo players prefer to wear tight-fitting swim wear, as it is common for opponents to grab onto each other’s swimming suits during the game.
A mouth guard isn’t necessary according to the rules, but like most contact sports, players are advised to use a mouthguard to protect themselves, in case the ball hits their mouth.
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