Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Might Not Get It!

Richard Hunkler, PhD.
Water Polo Planet

There is an old adage that says “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it”. In point of fact the hip hop singer Eminem wrote about it.  Here are some of the lyrics he wrote:

So be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it and if you get it
Then you just might not know what to wit’ it
‘Cause it might come back on you ten fold

Well if you get what you wish for and it comes back on you tenfold then not getting what you wish for can come back on you a 100 fold.  This is what it did to me but then I started thinking about the makeup of the people who completed the poll and they are as follows:


There are 260 college players, high school players, college coaches, high school coaches and fans who voted in the survey. Many if not most of these players and fans and many of the coaches have not actually seen or played in a game with no blatant holding on the perimeter, no sumo wrestling at 2 meters, a whole lot of driving going on, and a game with as many natural goals as 6 on 5 goals. I think when these players, coaches, and fans get a chance to participate or watch a game involving the new rules they will be amazed to see how much more fun water polo is to play, to coach, and/or to watch.

Here is what Wolf Wigo, 4 times NCAA All American and 3 times Olympian, has to say about scrimmages involving the new rules:

The general thrust of the comments on the WPP Poll is that we love our sport and don't want to change it even if no one AT ALL watches it at any level and all people outside the sport find it VERY boring. The comments on the short course were especially disturbing. What a sad game we have if too much front court offense would mean a terrible much boring transition as possible is what these people want? I did the 20M (not 25M) rules with no fouling for some coaches this past week and they were VERY excited by them. I have to tell you it is WAY better for a spectator to watch, and I may add for the players to play. Every one of my players likes the game better when played at 20M. Also I have had a ton of people who have never seen the game before watching both versions. They think it is a sick joke when I ask which version they like better. That is how much more they prefer 20M game!!! Would players prefer a game that stressing shooting and ball handling skills or a game that stresses long distance swimming and weight lifting (plus punching grabbing and holding and all the other wonderful things our macho contact sport provides). I would be happy to debate anyone on this at any time.

I am down but not out because I believe when the majority of the water polo community gets a chance to see the game played with the new rules that they will change their mind about many of the new rules. I know there are some in the water polo community who will find it not only difficult buy almost impossible to change their opinions of the new rules. But these people must understand these changes are not changes for changes sake but rather they are changes that we hope will cause water polo to grow and become as popular as soccer and lacrosse. Change is an inevitable part of life and here is what some experts think about change:

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."- Maria Robinson

“We change, whether we like it or not."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable”- John F. Kennedy

“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”- Bertolt Brecht

“Nothing is permanent but change.” - Heraclitus

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.” - Francis Bacon

“It is in changing that things find purpose.” - Heraclitus

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” - Anonymous

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.”- Alfred North Whitehead

“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.’ - Francis Bacon

“Change before you have to.” - Jack Welch

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” - Frederick Douglass

“When you are through changing, you are through.” - Bruce Barton

“Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.” - Caroline Schoeder

“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.” - Thomas Fuller

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” - John Wooden

“If you really want to change water polo, you will have to start by changing FINA and its subsidiary the USAWP” – “Doc”

We at WPP are hoping after you see an actual game or a video game involving the new rules you will change your mind about them. Because if we don’t change the rules so they are more fan friendly and they are less physicality friendly we will become like the two images below – a caricature of our selves and more impotantly a caricature of water polo, the sport we love.

Men's H2O Polo

Womens H2O Polo.