If you’re interested in water polo – or even if you’re not – then this is one of the most common questions that arises. How deep is a water polo pool?
The answer is that it varies, but commonly a water polo foot is a minimum of 6 feet (1.83cm) in depth, though preferably 7 feet (2.13m) in depth.
This is because it’s illegal for water polo players to use the floor to create an opportunity for themselves, so players generally prefer to not even have this opportunity. It is unikely that a foul will be called for touching the floor, as the majority of water polo players are trained to do the ‘eggbeater’.
The eggbeater, a unique way to tread water, helps the water polo players avoid touching the floor. This is a necessity for the players if they truly wish to push their water polo abilities to the next level – we teach very young children this technique as one of our starting points.
Generally, water polo players prefer deeper water in competitive matches. At the last Olympics, the depth of the pool was 2m. This is deep enough for the majority of players to avoid touching the floor.
You will find in water polo that sometimes you will end up playing with a shallow/deep pool. This gives one side a significant advantage whilst they are in the shallow end of the pool. This is combatted by switching sides at half time, which helps to prevent any unfairness between the two sides.
Is the shallow end really an advantage?
For playing the game, it isn’t much of an advantage to use the shallow end of the pool. This is because it’s more likely that you will make a foul play, resulting in a turnover. The benefits of having the shallow end of the pool is the longer resting times that you can have by using the shallow end.
Is there a regulation size?
There is no specific one fits all regulation size for water polo, though it is generally accepted that the pool must be an adequate depth for the players to tread water. If you speak to different organisations or clubs, they often will each have their own regulation size. This is often 7 feet for adults, and 6 feet for juniors.
What about the goalies?
Interestingly enough, it’s not actualy against any regulations for goalkeepers to touch the floor whilst they are playing water polo. It is illegal for outfield players, but not for the goalie, though it is unlikely that they will get any significant advantage from this anyway.
So players have to tread water the entire time they’re in the water polo pool?
Yes, it’s generally accepted that players will have to tread water the entire time that they’re in the water polo pool. This is what makes water polo such great exercise and a sport that is increasing in popularity around the world.