The earliset record of Waterpolo being played is from Bournemouth Rowing Club in England, when on the 13 July 1876 a game was played with great success (according to Bournemouth visitors directory). It was seen as a mix of Rugby and swimming, a popular idea at the time to blend sports to increase swimming activity. Although Waterpolo has been in the Olympics since 1900 and was infact the first team competition to become part of the Olympic program, it is only since the Sydney 2000 Olympics that women have been included. There are only three countries that have competed in the women's Waterpolo since it became an Olympic sport, Russia, Australia and the USA, who are the most successful on the medal count table. Other than a smaller ball the rules are the same for men and women, with each game being split into four quarter of eight minutes.
What I find remarkable about this sport having interviewed a number of Waterpolo players for the magazine over the years is that you are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool with your feet during the game. Not only this but “anything” goes under the water from kicking to tugging of swimwear etc it is far more brutal and tough a sport than it may apart above water that’s for sure! Add to all of this that each player will swim as much as 6km per match, this is a high cardio sport and one very much worth watching.
Eight womens teams with a total of one hundred and four athletes will compete at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre and Olympic Aquatics Stadium for Olympic glory with the Team Pools as follows:
Italy, Brazil, Russia, Australia
China, Hungary, Spain, United States