Water polo is a team based water sport that involves up to 14 players in the pool at any given time. Each team has 6 field players and 1 goalie, making a total of 7 for each team. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible by passing the ball while being defended by opposing players and shooting into the goal (or cage) at the opposite end of the pool. Players are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool at any time, so must swim or tread water to move and stay afloat. The game is similar to handball. And no, we do not play on horses, although that would be cool.
Water polo can get very intense, and is a true contact sport. However, if you are good enough, you will know how to get around most things. The best players don't need to play dirty to win. And with all other sports, there are rules against certain things, like punching your defender in the face.
Nope, feel free to just come to the next practice.
You'll definitely want a swimsuit, preferably one that doesn't drag or get pulled on easily. For guys, this does mean that speedos are the best option for you. Other than that, we do a bunch of swimming for warmups, so a pair of goggles would definitely come in handy. If you have long hair and it needs to be tied back, a cap will be needed to keep everything neat and out of the way. No expensive jewelry or watches, as the chlorine will ruin them.
You can wear them during warmups. During actual playing time, there is a very good reason that goggles are banned from the game except in very special circumstances. There have been times in the past when goggles have been allowed and the combination of being hit in the face and the suction from the goggles caused eyes to pop out. It would be much better if you didn't wear the goggles. Try to get a pair of soft contacts to wear instead.
When we say that no experience is necessary to come play with us, we mean it. We will teach you anything you need to know, including how to swim (but we would prefer if you could float or something). However, we can't help you if you naturally have a fear of the water and can only help you if you want to learn. Basic skills include swimming, treading water, throwing and catching a ball with one hand, and some sort of spatial awareness.
We do not collect dues for your first year on the team! Any dues we ask for afterwards depend on the amount of funding we get from the University - hopefully, we never have to!
We would love it if you could come to every practice (5-6 hours a week total) and game, but we understand if something comes up. If you absolutely can't make it to practice or a game for whatever reason, please don't feel obligated to come. (But we would still love it if you came to everything). Your commitment is what you want to make of it.
The easiest way to support us would be by coming to our games and cheering for us. That would be nice especially during home games and tournaments so that we can have a strong home team support. You could also donate to us to help support our away game travels and equipment expenses, like balls, cages, and caps. We are also always looking for new talent, so if you hear of any, send them our way!
You can also make us food. We will eat anything and love you forever.