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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose ‘I Love Water Polo’?

It’s fun! It’s unique! It’s different and unusual. ILWP provides a positive environment that promotes fitness, friendship, teamwork and aquatic skill development. . Although it combines elements from a wide variety of sports (swimming, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, rugby and wrestling, to name a few), and entails many of the same principles and rules, it is different from typical activities that children play.   Focus is on aquatic skill development and fun! Water polo is the perfect answer for those parents who want to involve their children in an aquatic activity that promotes total body fitness, with very little impact on joints.  ILWP is offered as a series of lessons within four skill levels, just like a learn-to-swim program.

ILWP games and activities use adapted rules to suit the needs of the children and encourage skill acquisition and development.  When instructors organize adapted ILWP mini games during their lessons, the only rules applied are no contact, one hand on the ball at all times, and children are permitted to use the bottom.  The instructor’s creativity will create additional rules that support the concept of skill acquisition and development.

Are there any prerequisites to play?

No water polo experience is necessary, but participants should be comfortable deep water swimmers. Lessons combine swimming skills, balance and coordination skills, and basic water polo skills like ball handling, head above the water swim skills, and water balance skills.  Many participants will go on from ILWP to participate in club water polo programs. Others will continue in aquatic sports for life as they will have developed a strong aquatic competency.

Why is there such a broad range of ages?

ILWP is offered as a series of lessons within four skill levels, just like a learn-to-swim program.  Water polo is co-ed for younger participants because at this stage of development there are not great differences in strength and ability, between males and females. Co-ed programs allow us to promote equality, and allow communities to form groups easily by ability, not specifically by gender or age.  Club water polo in Canada is streamed by age and gender.

What about instructor certification?

Water Polo Canada has developed an 8-hour instructor clinic through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). All ILWP instructors are required to have this certification. The workshop has been designed specifically to meet the needs of instructors and lifeguards who have little to no water polo experience. The course candidates go through a skills workshop and finish with a set of lesson plans for each of the four skill levels and everything they need to roll out the program. There is no re-certification process. The Instructor clinic can be brought to individual facilities to train staff on site. 
For information about instructor training please email us.

How much space is required to run ‘I Love Water Polo’?

ILWP does not require deep-end pool space. A combination of deep and shallow water is appropriate. The first two levels can be taught in shallow water. The pool space could be shared with another compatible use.  Depending on the lesson plan classes can be delivered width-wise or length-wise.  Delivery is left up to the creativity of the instructor.

What about equipment?

Little equipment is required. Appropriate size balls are important. Water Polo Canada supplies Youth balls at a reasonable price. Nets and hats are optional, and also available through Water Polo Canada.

What is water polo?

Water polo is the first team sport to be played in the Olympic Games in 1900.  Its origins date back to the 1870s in the United Kingdom.  Women’s water polo was first introduced in the Olympic Games in 2000.  Performance-wise, water polo is one of the strongest team sports in Canada.
Water polo is played between two teams each wearing contrasting caps.  Each team is allowed to have six field players and a goalie, with six alternates on the bench.  Games are played in deep water only and the size of the pool is 30 meters by 20 meters for men, and 25 meters by 20 meters for women.  Games consist of four quarters of eight minutes stop time.

The manner in which the game is played is very similar to basketball with regards to offensive, defensive, and transition strategies.  Rather than a hoop, the water polo net is three meters wide and sits almost one meter above the water.  Top level water polo athletes swim up to five kilometers in a water polo game.

As in most sports, the objective of the game is to outscore your opponent.  There are various ways to score goals, but the most common is to try and pass the ball to the centre forward position who is closest to the opponent’s goal.  From there the centre forward will attempt a shot or will earn a power play. As in hockey, the ability to score goals on your power play is very important.  There are two basic types of defences:  one-on-one defence and a zone defence.  The zone defence attempts to double and triple cover the centre position, while allowing shots from the perimeter.

The rules of water polo do not permit players from touching the bottom of the pool, only one hand is allowed to touch the ball at a time, and you are only allowed to use one hand to attempt to block a shot.  The goaltender is the only position allowed to use both hands.

ILWP games and activities use adapted rules to suit the needs of the children and encourage skill acquisition and development.  When instructors organize adapted ILWP mini games during their lessons, the only rules applied are no contact, one hand on the ball at all times, and children are permitted to use the bottom.  The instructor’s creativity will create additional rules that support the concept of skill acquisition and development.
 
 
 

 


 
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