Water Polo in Croatia

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Water Polo originated about 150 years ago in England as an aquatic form of rugby. While it remains just as physical, the sport has evolved to the equivalent of soccer in a pool.

Seven players for each team -- 1 goalie and 6 field players -- are in the pool at a time. Each field player plays both offense and defense, and the goalie isn���t allowed in the other half of the pool. The location of the players depends on the play that is being run, similar to basketball or soccer.

One important rule is that the ball can only be handled by 1 hand at a time. If a player holds the ball (which is the size of volleyball with a rubber grip) with both hands, the referee calls a turnover, and the ball goes to the opposing team.

In scoring, 1 point is given for each time the ball is thrown into the goal. Each quarter begins with a sprint in which the fastest member of each team races toward the ball, which is placed by the referee at the halfway point on the water.

Play consists of 4 quarters that are 7 minutes long. There is a running shot clock of 35 seconds, which resets only if a shot is taken or there is a change in possession.

Uniforms consist of swimsuits, as well as a cap on the head with plastic ear protectors and the player's number on the front and back.