#10 Response to Referee Signals

Drill 10.2: Face Off

To practice sharpening up reaction time and learning technique to recover ball after neutral throw.


  1. Place two players in position to take neutral (face-off) throw by official.
  2. Have coach, or other players, act as referee on deck with the ball.
  3. Drop ball between players in water trying to simulate various types of throw-ins used by officials in your league (Ex: forceful bounce, drop, swim off for ball, etc.).
  4. Player gaining control dribbles a few strokes and passes ball back to man on deck and drill is repeated several times with different partners.

Drill 10.3: Control Free Throw

To develop quickness in breaking and putting ball back into play after free throw is awarded.


  1. Place a maximum of 6 players in the field; 3 with white hats, 3 with blue. Also place 1 or 2 men (X1 and O1) on center line as indicated in diagram.
  2. Ball is put into play by middle man, and players continue a normal scrimmage type advance of ball.
  3. Coach controls play with frequent whistle and changing direction of hand, forcing players from offensive to defensive situation at opportune times, causing a breaking man to quick reverse.
  4. Occasionally let drive continue until shot at goal is taken. After score, goalie passes to center man who puts ball into play again.

Note: Drill is very tiring, demanding much hard swimming, so change directions often.

Bill's Biography

Bill Anttila
Known nationally as one of the foremost authorities on water polo, Bill Anttila was inducted in the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame on January 17, 2004. He was involved in aquatics from 1947-1984. In 1948, Bill was responsible for the inauguration of the first community college water polo program in Northern California at Stockton College. Before that, Bill began the water polo program at the University of the Pacific in 1947. He coached the Pacific Tigers for 18 years with only one losing season and his 1956 team won the league championship with a 12-2 record. Bill was also the swimming coach at Stockton College, where he won 10 NCC championships and never had a losing season.

During his 38 years of coaching water polo, his teams won 10 Northern California Championships. In 1,099 games, Anttila compiled a 759-340 overall record {.691 winning percentage}. At the time of his retirement, Anttila was the winningest water polo coach in the United States. He had the satisfaction of coaching over 50 All-Americans. He has written a book titled Water Polo Drills and Playing Hints. Anttila was inducted into the Stockton Hall of Fame in 1985. He was then inducted into the University of the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. He is currently retired and resides in Stockton with his wife, Sisko, of 50 years.


The medal pictured above is the last solid gold Olympic medal which was given out at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in Sweden

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