Water Polo Glossary
Robert Gaughran & Richard Hunkler

#’s

#'s  A  Top

1-4 Defense

A type of 5 on 6 defense employing 4 men on the 2 M/Y line and one player out on the outer line.

1st Olympic Team Sport

Water Polo was the first team sport to take part in the modern Olympic Games.(II Olympiad in 1900)

2 M/Y Marker

Marking on side of pool or course indicating 2 Meter or Yard line.

2 Meter Guard

Player whose primary defensive position is to guard the 2 M/Y player. (See 2 Meter Person or Center Back)

2 Meter Person

Player whose offensive position is on the opponents 2 M/Y line. (See Center Forward)

2 Meter or Yard  Line

An imaginary line 2 M/Y (meters or yards) distance from the front of the goal on the surface of the pool running parallel to goal line.

2 on 1

Offensive situation usually on a counter when 2 offensive players confront one defensive player.

2-3 Defense

A type of 5 on 6 defense employing 3 men on the 2 M/Y line and 2 men out on outer line of defense.

20 Second  Advantage

Upon the ejection of a player the offensive team shall be awarded a 20 second player advantage.

3-3 Offense

Style of 6 on 5 offense with 3 players on 2 M/Y line and 3 players outside.

35 Second Clock

Clock which times the possession time of the ball by the offense. (See Shot Clock)

5 M/Y Marker

Marking on side of pool indicating 5 M/Y line. Penalty throws taken on this line.

5 Meter Call

A penalty shot is awarded. (See Penalty Shot)

5 Meter or Yard Line

An imaginary line 5 M/Y (meters or yards) distance from the front of the goal on the surface of the pool running parallel to goal line. Line from where penalty shot is taken.

4-2 Offense

Style of 6 on 5 offense with 4 players on 2 M/Y line and 2 players outside.

5 on 6 Defense

Defense which occurs when a player is ejected and the player's team has to play with 5 players for 20 seconds. Defense is playing with a person down.

6 on 5 Offense

Offense which occurs when an player on the opposing team is ejected for 20 seconds. Offense is playing with a person up.

7 M/Y Line

An imaginary line 7 M/Y (meters or yards) distance from the front of the goal on the surface of the pool running parallel to goal line. Line from where a player can take a shot on goal rather than a free throw.

7 M/Y Marker

Mark on side of pool or course indicating 7 M/Y line.  This marks the distance from where a player can take a shot on goal rather than a free throw.

A

#'s   B  Top

A.A.U.

Acronym for Amateur Athletic Union.

A.I.A.

Acronym for Association Of International Arbitrators. (International Referees Association)

Advantage Position

When an offensive player has established a position between his or her player and the player’s offensive goal.

Advantage Situation

Player with the ball is in an advantage position to score and is fouled. Referee may not call the foul due to the advantage rule.

Alternating Frog Kick

Kicking of legs in frog kick manner alternating one leg then the other. (See Egg Beater Kick)

Angle (Cut The )

When a defender is trying to cut off a breaking opponent, it is the angle one must choose that will allow the defender to do this.

Angle (Goal)

The triangle formed between both goal posts and shooter. Goalie must always be aware of this angle.

Angle (Playing The)

Playing the angle has to do with goalie figuring out the best position to be in to contest the shooter.

Anticipation

The ability to foresee what will happen next and react accordingly.

Arena

Brand name of a water polo game ball.

Assist

A pass to a teammate that leads directly to the scoring of a goal.

Attack Zone

Wedge-shaped or rhombus-shaped area directly in front of opponents goal. The line segment delineating the front of this area is the goal face; the left side is an imaginary line segment drawn from the left goal post to the start of the 4M/Y marker on the left side of the pool; the right side is an imaginary line segment drawn from the right goal post to the start of the 4M/Y marker on the right side of the pool; and the back line is the 4 M/Y line. (See Red Zone)

Attempt Statistic recorded each time a player takes a shot at the goal. (See: Shot Taken)

B

A  C  Top

Back Court

Term used to describe the half of the field of play where offensive teams goal is located.

Back Door

On weak side (off ball side) player swims behind his or her player where he or she can accept a pass for a quick shot. (See Blind Pig)

Back Side Help

Help given by a second defender who comes to aid of teammate from the back side of the opponent.

Backhand

A type of shot or pass in which a player throws the ball behind him or her.

Backstroke

Style of swimming on the back in a supine position.

Bad Pass

Statistic recorded when a player throws a pass which results in a turnover.

Baden

Brand name of a water polo game ball.

Bait

Play in manner to make an opponent wrongfully think you are not a threat to intercept or to block his or her pass.

Balance

To have offensive players evenly spread in the front court offense.

Balance (Shots or Pass)

To have the body under control and in a balanced position to shoot or pass the ball.

Balance It

Request to have either the offense or the defense establish a balanced alignment.

Ball  

Rubber ball when fully inflated is 27-28 inches which is used in the game of water polo. NCAA uses a yellow or gold colored ball and FINA uses a yellow or gold colored ball with blue stripes.

Ball (Ball Manufacturers)

Different makers of water polo balls which include Arena, Baden, Mikasa, or TYR.

Ball (Leather)   

Official ball of national and international competition was a leather ball used from 1920 until the 1960s

Ball (Red)

Color of rubber water polo ball prior to 1960s.

Ball (Smaller)

Smaller ball used in youth league and women’s water polo.

Ball (Yellow)

Color of NCAA water polo balls used since the 1960’s.

Ball (Yellow and Striped)

Color of FINA water polo balls used since 2005.

Ball Control

An offensive team is able to maintain control of the ball for almost the entire 35 seconds.

Ball Handling Drills

Drills designed to improve ball handling skills: Passing, Catching, dribbling, scooping, and etc….

Ball Out

When ball goes out of the field of play or when a referee calls for the ball to be thrown to him.

Ball Side

Side of your opponent that is closest to the ball. It is best when driving to drive on the ball side.

Ball Under

Technical foul called for taking the ball under water when tackled by an opponent.

Bar

The cross bar or side bars of the goal. To Bar the ball means to hit a bar on the goal face.

Bench

Number and strength of your substitutes available.  (See Team Bench).

Blind Pig

On weak side (off ball side) player swims behind his or her player where he or she can accept a pass for a quick shot. (See Back Door)

Blind Side

The side on which a player can not see or the back side of the defender.

Blind Spot

Blind spots caused by players looking into sun, lights, or water splash which can greatly or totally limit goalkeepers vision.

Block

To stop the balls flight; to hinder a players progress by positioning; and to have the goalie save the ball from a goal.

Blue

Color of home team - FINA Water Polo Rules.

Blue Ball

Alert to team that the blue team now has control of the ball.

Body Rotation

Player rotates upper body when passing or shooting the ball. Proper body rotation is essential for good shooting and passing mechanics.

Box Out

A defensive move to eliminate the shooter or a defensive person from retrieving a rebound after goalie block or barred shot on a penalty shot attempt. The defensive player cuts in front of the shooter or a another offensive player immediately after shot is taken.

Break

On gaining possession of the ball player makes an immediate offensive move to free his or herself from defenders on the counter attack .

Breakaway

An offensive player on a fast break is able to completely out swim the defense and to be totally free.

Breaking

Offensive player swimming toward opponents goal. Player should attempt to break on ball side of opponent.

Brutality

Actions by a player to cause intentional bodily harm to an opponent. For such actions the offender is usually excluded from the rest of the game.

Burn the Shooter

A defender commits totally to a counter or fast break as his or her player shoots the ball.

   

C

B  D  Top

C.I.F.

Acronym for California Interscholastic Federation. (governs California high school competition)

C.O.A.

Acronym for Committee on Athletics. (governs California community college competition)

Cage

Another name for the water polo goal.  (See  Goal)

Cap Number

Player's designated number worn on his or her water polo cap.

Cap Numbering

For NCAA rules both the white and dark caps are numbered 2-20 , and goalie caps are numbered 1A, 1B, 1C... . For FINA rules caps are numbered 1 - 13 and the numbers 1 and 13 are reserved for goalies.

Captain

Player in the water during game who is the only one on the team allowed to address questions to the referee.

Center Back

Defender whose primary responsibility is to guard the offensive 2 meter person. (See Center Forward)

Center Forward

Player whose primary offensive position is on opponents 2M/Y line. (See 2 Meter Person or Center Forward)

Center Forward (names)

2 Meter Person; Go-To Person; Hole Person; Post; The Set; and Setter.

Center Throw

The free throw which is taken at the center point of the mid-court line after each goal. This free throw is taken by the team scored-on.

Change Ends

In all deep pool teams switch ends at each half. In a shallow to deep pool teams switch ends at end of each period.

Check

Place hand or forearm on chest of opponent to hinder drive and to maintain defense position (See Chug)

Cherry Picker

Player who does not cover back on defense and who is hoping for a turnover which will allow him or her to score unguarded.

Chocolate Whistle

Describes what a referee who won't make the obvious calls must have in his or her mouth - a soundless chocolate whistle.

Choke

To be unable to complete important shot or allowing player to score unguarded.

Chug

Place hand or forearm on chest of opponent to hinder drive and to maintain the defensive position. (See Check)

Clock

Either the Game Clock or the Shot Clock. (See Game Clock or Shot Clock)

Clutch Situation

A situation where outcome of game could depend on the immediate actions of the player(s).

Coach

Person ultimately responsible for all facets of training, conditioning, discipline, tactics, and strategy of a team.

Coin Flip

Pre-game occurrence in presence of referee to determine choice of ends.  (See Ends of Pool).

Commit

To make a move to defend a player or a shot, or to make a move from which it is difficult to recover.

Common Opponent

An opponent (team) that has been played by all teams considered.

Communication

Verbal, visual, and acquired understanding of things happening or of things to come.

Conditioning

Mixture of physical and mental exercises and drills which together prepares the players and team to play.

Contest All Passes

Basic fundamental in a pressing defense. Don’t let opponents pass the ball and don’t let opponents receive ball.

Corner Throw

Free throw taken by offense on 2 M/Y line on side of course that the ball went out of bounds.

Counter

A fast break by a player's team after a turnover.  (See Counter Attack)

Counter Attack

Immediate offensive reaction by player or team to swim down the course to the offensive end after gaining possession of the ball.

Course

The field of play.

Course (Dimensions)

The course must be 30 M by 20 M (maximum dimensions) or 13 M x 25 M (minimum dimensions) for NCAA and USWP rules. FINA uses only maximum dimensions.

Cover Back

An alert to defensive players to defend players behind them or between them and their goal.

Crash

To drop or slough in an aggressive manner toward the Center Forward. (See Slough)

Cut the Shooter

A defensive move to eliminate the shooter or a defensive person from retrieving the rebound after a goalie block or a barred shot. The defensive player cuts in front of the shooter or a another offensive player immediately after shot is taken.

C.W.P.A. or CWPA

Acronym for Collegiate Water Polo Association.

   

D

C  E  Top

Dead Time

That time after a referee sounds his or her whistle and until the ball is put back into play. Any foul during this time may result in an exclusion.

Dead Time Foul

Foul occurring during dead time results may cause an offender to being excluded.

Deep End

End of field of play where water is deepest.

Deep Hands

A goalie who sculls very deep in the water and who has difficulty in blocking high corner and over the head shots. His or her hands are moving slowly through water instead of fast through air. (See Heavy Hands)

Defender

Designation of a player whose team currently does not have the ball and is on defense.

Defense

A team is on defense when their team is not in possession of the ball.

Defensive  Responsibility

That area which is a players to defend. Plus any uncovered opponent between him and the goal.

Defensive Team

Team not in possession of the ball.

Delay Game

To slow down the game offensively in order to preserve a lead and to run out the time on the game clock.

Delay of Game

Failure of a team to be ready to begin play after time out or period change or stalling.  (See Stalling)

Delayed Call

Referee may choose to delay an ejection or penalty throw call to give player a chance to score.

Deny

To contest all passes thrown to your opponent by playing in front of the opponent or playing in the passing lane of the opponent, thus, trying to deny your opponent the ball.

Designated Shooter

The player on team designated to take penalty shots.

Diagonal Cut

Offensive move where player swims diagonally across the front court (FC) offense starting a rotation or set play.

Direct Shot

Ball may be shot directly at goal on a free throw when the player is outside the 7 M/Y line.  (NCAA and FINA rule).

Dog It

To not give an honest or full effort as a player or a team.

Don’t Change Direction

Advise to driver: Once committed on the drive go for it and don’t cross over defender - play opportunity could be lost.

Don’t Expect Whistle

Advice to driver with the ball to play for the shot on goal and not to play for the call by the referee.

Donut

A goal scored over the goalkeeper’s head when the goalkeeper has both hands up and crossed by his or her head trying for the block. The arms look similar to a donut.

Double Elimination

Type of tournament where a team plays until it has lost twice.

Double Foul

Simultaneous fouls committed by opponents which results in face off or neutral throw.

Double Post Offense

Offensive style where two offensive players establish position on or about 2 M/Y in the offensive end.

Double Round Robin

Type of tournament or league play where each team plays every other team twice. Team with the best record wins.

Double Team

Two defenders playing on one offensive player.

Draw

Turn with the ball in right hand while spinning body to the left and imitating action with the elbow. (See Spin)

Draw A Foul

By cunning or force, a player is able to make an opponent cause a foul or a turnover.

Drew Ejection

Statistic recorded when a player causes another to be ejected from game.

Dribble

To move the ball through the water by swimming with it in front of the body between arms.

Drills

Practice sessions designed to develop fundamentals or skills.

Drive

Front court player facing his or her opponent attempts to aggressively swim by him or her to a position of advantage.

Driver

Player whose primary offensive responsibility is to drive.  (See Drive)

Drop or Drop Back

Style of defense where a defender plays off his or her player hoping to prevent the ball from going to the center forward or 2 meter person.

Dry Pass

Pass from one players hand to another players hand without the ball touching the water.

Dump The Ball

When there is very little time left on the shot clock and no one is open for a pass and a shot, the ball is thrown into the untended corner of the pool and the team immediately plays defense.

   

E

D  F  Top

Ear Guard

Plastic covering attached to water polo caps for protection of ear drum. Ear guard color must match cap color.

Early Entry

After an ejection a player enters the field of play before being waved in by the table or the referee.

Egg Beater Kick

Type of support kick which is best described as an alternating frog or breaststroke kick.

Ejection

A player is removed from the water by the referee for 20 seconds of playing time because of a rule violation. (See Exclusion)

Ends of Pool

To start game coin toss decides which team will be at what end of pool teams change each period.

Entry

To be allowed to enter the game by the referee.

Exclusion

A player is removed from the water by the referee for 20 seconds of playing time because of a rule violation. (See Ejection)

Extra person

Results after an ejection foul when one team has an extra player (See 6 on 5 offense).

Eye Contact

Eye-to-eye contact between passer and receiver is essential for good play.

F

E  G  Top

F.I.N.A. or FINA

Acronym for international governing body of water polo and other aquatic sports.

Face Guarding

While defending, the defensive player is face to face with the offensive player.

Face Off

Referee throws the ball between two opponents similar to a face off in ice hockey.(See Neutral Throw)

Faint

Player pretends that he or she is being fouled or on a drive a player faints one way and goes the other – to pretend.

Fake

To make believe that you are going to pass, shoot, drive, or make any move in order to fool an opponent. (See Pump).

False Start

To begin to sprint before the referee’s signal at the start of a period or a face off.

Fast Break

Quick offensive maneuver by a player to gain an immediate advantage over his or her defender immediately after gaining control of ball. An offensive player swimming toward the opponents goal without a defender or without a close defender.

FC

Acronym for front court.

Field of Play

The maximum size is 20 M x 30 M and the minimum size is 13M x 25M for NCAA and USWP rules.

Field Player

A team is allowed six field players and one goalkeeper in the water during play.

Fill Back Down the Middle

Defensive move for when a team loses possession of the ball and the players swim down the middle of the pool to the their defensive end. They guard first the offensive players with the best percentage shots on goal which are usually those offensive players who are closest to your goal.(See Jam)

FINA Rated Official

FINA rates water polo officials from A through C based on excellence and degree of competence.

Flag

Prior to the 90’s it was held by the referee to indicate which team is awarded possession of the ball or goals. Today hand signals are used for the same purpose.

Flair

To swim in an arch or flair away from the goalkeeper to receive the ball during the counter-attack.

Flat

Area of the front court 6 or more M/Y out from the goal.

Follow Through

Describes action of fingers hand and arm of player after ball has left his or her hand on a shot or pass.

Force

To make an opponent move in a direction that you want him or her to go.

Force to Outside

Good idea to force the player with the ball to the sides of the pool, thus, restricting the direction in which the ball can be passed.

Forcing the Ball

An ill advised pass to a teammates who is well covered by his or her defender

Forfeited Game

A team fails to comply with rules after pre-game meeting or decides not to complete a game or doesn't show up on time at the start of the game.

Forward

Offensive players in the 2, 3, or 4 position. (See Numbering of FC Offense)

Foul

Breach of rules of the game for which a free throw, an ejection, or a penalty shot is the outcome.

Foul 4-Meter

Statistic recorded when a player commits a foul for which a 4 M/Y penalty shot is awarded.

Foul and Drop

Defender fouls his or her opponent to stop progress of ball and then drops to help defend other opponents

Foul Ejected

Statistic recorded when a player commits a foul for which he or she is ejected.

Foul Major

Statistic recorded when a player commits a foul for which he or she is ejected for 20 seconds of playing time or the player's opposing team is give a penalty shot.

Foul Offensive

A foul by an offensive player which causes the ball to be turned over to opponents.

Foul Out

For a player to accumulate three major fouls will result in his or her exclusion from the game. He or she has fouled out.

Free Throw

A free pass awarded to a player because of a rule violation by his or her defender. Opponents must not interfere with taking of the throw.

Frog Kick

The kick used in the swimming of the breaststroke.

Front

Defense term meaning to gain a front water position on an opponent. This is a way to guard the set to deny the set the ball.

Front Court

The portion of the field of play where the offensive team attempts to score.

Front Court Offense

Offensive patterns and/or plays designed to be used in front of the defenders goal.

G

F  H  Top

Game Clock

Clock on which the playing time of the game is kept.

Gap

The position between two opponents can be offensive or defensive.

Gap It

A called reminder to take up the position between two opponents on offense or defense.

Garbage

Offensive term to describe a loose ball close to goal which is put into goal by an alert opponent or any loose ball that a player grabs.

Get A Back Line

A called reminder to take up the defensive positions on the back line or the 2 M/Y line of the 5 on 6 defense.

Get The Ball Up

A called reminder to attacking players to have the ball up and ready for a shot or pass.

Give and Go

Offensive move where player passes the ball and then drives or breaks toward goal for a pass and a shot. (See Pass and Go)

Go - To Person

Designation of the player who consistently can score or get the job done on offense.

Goal

A player makes a goal by throwing the ball into the goal past the goal-line, and a goal is worth 1 point. (See Score)

Goal (Fixed)

A goal which is secured to the bottom or the side walls of a course or pool.

Goal (Floating)

A goal which is supported by flotation devices and free of permanent supports.

Goal (The Goal)

It is a 3 x 10 rectangular enclosure where a ball must pass over the goal line to cause a score and it can be fixed to the side of the pool or it can be floating.(See Net)

Goal Average

Goals scored for a team divided by goals scored against a team.

Goal Difference

Goals scored by a team minus goals scored against a team.

Goal Extra Person

Goal scored when scoring team is playing with an extra player advantage. (See 6 on 5)

Goal Face

Leading edge of the entire goal (cross bar & posts) fronting on the field of play.

Goal Judge

Official at side of pool on goal line who aids referee in regard to goals scored, to ball out of bounds, and to a player’s illegal entry into the pool or course.

Goal Line

Line or imaginary plane parallel with goal face past which the entire ball must pass for goal to score.

Goal Line Marker

Marking on side of pool indicating goal line.

Goal Natural

Goal scored when both teams are at full strength.

Goal Person Down

Goal scored when scoring team is playing with one less person. (See 5 on 6)

Goal Throw

A throw awarded to and taken by the goalkeeper.

Goalie (Golden Rule)

If goalie comes out of goal to intercept a long pass the goalie had better be sure that he or she can get it. If he or she doesn’t have an excellent chance of getting the ball then don’t attempt it.

Goalie (Golden Rule 2)

Seventy-five percent of all pressured shot will be aimed at strong side of your goal. Believe it!

Goalie or Goalkeeper

Player with the responsibility to defend a teams goal. Unique rules apply to goalies that do not apply other players such as the goalie is allowed to touch the ball with two hands or the goalie may stand on the bottom of the pool or if the goalie leaves the 4 M/Y area his or her goalie privileges are forfeited.

Goalie 4 Meter Allowed

Statistic which states that a goal was scored on the 4 meter penalty shot.

Goalie Cap

A water polo cap quartered with red and the home or visiting team’s color which is worn by goalie.

Goalie Out

An alert by teammates when the opposing goalkeeper has ventured out of immediate goal area.

Goalie Press

Style of defense where goalie leaves goal to guard a field player. This is a desperation play with little time left on game clock.

Goalie Save

Statistic which states that a goalie blocked a players shot on goal.  

Goalie Save 4 Meter

Statistic that indicates that the goalie blocked a penalty throw.

Goalie Save 5 on 6

Statistic which indicates a save by the goalie during a 5 on 6 situation.

Grab

To hold another player with the hand.

Grab Block

Defensive maneuver where the defender attempts to grab opponents arm as he or she is turning to pass the ball.

Green or Your Green

Time of offensive possession when 35 seconds clock is down to 10 seconds remaining on clock. (See Red)

Greenie

A close in pass for a shot to a teammate whose defender is face guarding him or her.

Gross and Go

Attempt by players in transition to push off, sink, or pull back an opponent to get advantage on the fast break.

Guard

Defensive field player whose primarily responsibilities are to stop offensive players from scoring and from passing correctly.

   

H

G  I  Top

Half Court Line Marker

Marking on side of pool indicating line in field of play that is half way between the goals.

Half Distance Line

Line which divides the length of field of play into two equal halves at midpoint of course.

Half Time

Mid-point in time of the game. Also a 5 minute break is given between the first and second half of a game.

Hands Up

A called reminder to defensive players to hold their arms up during dead time or when defending a player who has inside water within the 4 meter line. This will help avoid an ejection foul or a penalty shot.

Hard Nosed Player

A player who plays hard and is not easily intimidated or fooled and never gives up.

Head High Crawl

The swimming stroke most used in the sport of water polo. (See Head Up Swimming)

Head Up Swimming

Water polo stroke which allows a player to have the best vision of his or her surroundings by holding the head above the water while swimming.

Heavy Hands

A goalie who sculls very deep in the water and who has difficulty in blocking high corner and over the head shots. His or her hands are moving slowly through water instead of fast through air. (See Deep Hands)

Help Inside

A called reminder to alert players that they must support defensive teammates who are getting beat by their offensive person on a drive inside the 4 M/Y line.

Help The Ball

A called reminder to help a teammate who has the ball and is under pressure and having trouble trying to pass.

High Corner

Top corners of the goal and the usual target when shooting from the outside.

High In The Water

An ability to rise high in deep water to shoot, pass, play defense, etc…. Strong legs are needed to be able to do this.

High Point Person

Person who has scored the most points during a game, tournament, and/or season.

Hips Up

A prone treading position with the hips at water level which is essential for good offensive and defensive play.

Hole Guard

Field player who is a defensive specialist and whose primary job is to guard the 2 M/Y player. (See Center Back)

Hole Person

Field player whose offensive position is on the opponents 2 M/Y line. (See Center Forward or 2 Meter Person)

Honor

A player has to honor his or her opponent because the opponent makes the player feel that the opponent can score or gain a position of advantage.

Hook Back

A release move used by an offensive player to open water between him or herself and the defender so he or she can receive the ball.

   

I

H  J  Top

Illegal Entry

To enter the field of play before being allowed to by the table officials or a referee.

Improper Free-throw

Statistic recorded when a free-throw is improperly taken resulting in a turnover.

Independent

A collegiate team which is not a member of a water polo conference.

Initiator

Offensive player who makes the first move on a set play.

Inside

When considering the positions of two players the player closest to the goal has the inside water.

Inside 2 M/Y Line

Offensive player moves inside opponents 2 M/Y line before the ball is inside the 2 M/Y line which results in a turnover. (See Offside)

Inside Water

When an offensive player is between his or her defender and the defender’s goal he or she has inside water.

Interference

To disrupt or interfere with the taking of a free throw by an opponent which results in an ejection.

International Cap

An imaginary cap awarded to a player each time he or she plays an official international match.

Interval Between Periods

There shall be a two-minute interval between quarters & a five minute interval between halves of a game.

I.S.H.O.F or ISHOF

Acronym for International Swimming Hall Of Fame where US Water Polo Hall Of Fame is located.

J

I  K  Top

Jam or Jam Back

Defensive players must drop back and clog middle of back court to defend against a counter attack.(See Fill Back)

Jungle Ball

An unorganized disjointed style of play in a water polo game with no rhyme or reason as to methods employed.

   

K

J  L  Top

Kick

A blow or forceful thrust with the foot to an opponent's body or face which is a major foul.

Kick Off

To use the foot to push off of an opponent to gain an advantage.

Kick Out

When a player violates a rule and is removed from the water by the referee for 20 seconds of playing time.  (See Ejection)

Know Where The Ball Is

Basic fundamental each player needs to learn if he or she expects to have any success in the game of water polo. A fundamental that should be stressed by a coach.

   

L

K  M  Top

L.E.N. or LEN

Acronym for League of European Nations. (European water polo governing board)

Lane

The path a ball travels when passed to a teammate. (See Lane Defense)

Lane Defense

Defenders take positions in the lanes that a passed ball must travel so as to intercept or deny an offensive player the ball.

Lateral Movement

Moving from side to side using the eggbeater kick. An essential fundamental for goalkeepers.

Lay Out Position (Prone)

Moving to a horizontal prone position in the water. This is a desired position that allows a player the maximum ability to move quickly on offense and on defense.

Lay Out Position (Supine)

Moving to a horizontal supine position in the water for a pass or shot on goal.

League Play

A game against a member of the same league.

Left Hander or Lefty

A player who is left handed.

Left Handers Side

The right side of the front court offense. A side where left handed players are much more effective.

Left Hip

Defensive player establishes position on the left hip of a center forward to discourage that player from shooting a right handed sweep shot.

Leg Up

To be on your side with top leg high in water to allow for effective rear up for a shot or pass. (See rear back)

Light Hands

A goalie anticipating a shot must tread with his or her hands in a position very close to surface of water. (See Shallow Hands)

Light It Up

To shoot the ball hard; to give the shot your best effort; and to score a goal.

Lights Out

It’s Over. There is nothing you can do to win this one.

Line Up

After goal is scored teams line up in their respective ends of the pool at the half court line to restart play.

Look Back

It is a wise move for a player walking the ball towards the goal for a shot to check to make certain no one is in back of him or her trying for a steal.

Loop

Offensive move by a player on the wing timed with a drive by a teammate to counter a slough.

Loss of The Ball

An offensive turnover caused by a steal, foul, bad pass, or missed shot.

Lung Pattern

This is a lung shaped offense where a player from the flat swims to the 2 M/Y player position and then swims on the 2 M/Y line to the left or right wing. There the player waits until another player swims toward him or her and then the player swims back to the flat. This players complete path draws what looks like the outline of a human lung.

Lunge Block

Defensive player lunges high with outstretched arm to block a pass or a shot.

   

M

L  N  Top

M/Y

Acronym for meters or yards.

M.A.A.C. or MAAC

Acronym for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Major Foul

To commit a foul that takes away a player’s offensive advantage, causes the offensive player to be pulled back or sunk, or interferes with a players free throw. The offending player is given an ejection foul or a penalty shot. (See Penalty Fault)

Man Down

A player’s ejection resulting in a team having to play a 5 on 6 defense.

Man Offense

A player to player offense which is designed to be played against a player to player defense and not a zone defense.

Man to Man  Defense

Each defensive player is assigned a player who he or she defends during play. This is opposed to guarding an area as in a zone defense.

Man-Up

A player up situation occurs when an opponent is ejected from the pool because he or she committed an ejection foul. (See 6 on 5 Offense)

Mercy Rule

In tournament play when a team trails by more than 15 goals the game is sometimes ended.

Mikasa

Brand name of a water polo game ball.

M.P.S.F. or MPSF

Acronym for Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Multiple Defense

Style of play where team employs various types of defensive strategies, tactics, and formations.

Multiple Offense

Style of play where team employs various types of offensive strategies, tactics, and formations.

   

N

M  O  Top

N.C.A.A. or NCAA

Acronym for National Collegiate Athletic Association (governs USA collegiate play).

Nail Check

Pre-game checks by referee to insure that finger or toe nails of players don’t constitute a hazard.

National Coach

Coach of a USA National Team.  (See National Team)

National Team

Team which represents USA in international competitions. Chosen by USWP International Committee.

Nationals

Competition where USA national team championship is decided between competing clubs or schools.

Net

A 3 x 10 M/Y rectangular enclosure placed around the goal.  (See Goal (The))

Neutral Throw

Referee throws the ball between two opponents similar to a face off in ice hockey.(Face Off)

No Drifting Rule

Rule of 1940s or 1950s when players were not allowed to move after whistle sounded until ball was placed back in play.

Non League Play

Contest played against a non member team of team’s league or a practice game against a league team.

Numbers For 6 on 5 (3-3)

Offensive players are numbered 1, 2, and 3 across 2 M/Y line, and 4, 5, and 6 on the 5 or 6 M/Y line. Numbering goes from left to right as viewed by the offense.

Numbers For 6 on 5 (4-2)

Offensive players are numbered 1, 2, 3, and 6 across 2 M/Y line and 4 and 5 on the 5 or 6 M/Y line. Numbering goes from left to right as viewed by the offense.

Numbering of FC Offense

Offensive players are numbered 1, 6, and 5 across 2 M/Y line and 2, 3, and 4 on the outside as viewed by offense.

Numbering of Plays

Plays are numbered according to initiators and players involved; For example 21 could mean the player in the 2 position sets a pick for the player in the 1 position.

O

N  P  Top

Off The Bottom

Player using the pool bottom to gain advantage or simply to play the game is a rule violation; however, players may rest on the bottom.

Offense

A team is on offense when they are in possession of the ball.

Offensive Foul

A foul by an offensive player which causes the ball to be turned over to the opponent’s team.

Offensive Advantage

When an offensive player has established a position between defender and and his or her goal. (See Inside Water)

Offensive Team

Team in possession of the ball.

Offside

Advancing inside the opponents 2 M/Y line ahead of the ball.  (See Inside the 2 M/Y Line).

Offside Shooter

Left-handed shooter on right-handers side of court (the left side of the court) and right-hander shooter on left-handers side of court (the right side of the court).

On Balance

Refers to proper body alignment when shooting or passing.

On The Grass

As goalie rises to defend a player’s shot and the player who is inside the 4 M/Y shoots the ball under an arm of the goalie.

On Top or Top

The top of the FC offense. Furthest point out from goal on mid line of pool. (See Point (The))

Ordinary Foul

To violate a playing rule that results in a free throw being awarded to the opponents team.

Out of Bounds

A player going outside the field of play during the game or the ball leaving the field of play.

Outside

Usually some point beyond 7 meters from offensive goal.

Outside Arm

A player who can shoot and score well from an outside position.

Outside Arm Up

Called to a 5 on 6 back line outside defender to lift his or her outside arm to reduce the amount of goal area that the goal has to defend.

Over Aggressive Play

Player who is playing way out of control and who is playing with too much aggression which results in needless fouls and turnovers.

Over Play

When defender over anticipates what is to happen and is caught short and out of position.

Overtime

When a game is tied at the end of regulation time overtime periods are played to decide a winner.

   

P

O  Q  Top

Pace

A teams tempo of playing the game.

Pass

To throw the ball from one player to a teammate or to the area in his or her control.

Pass and Go

Offensive move where player passes the ball and then drives or breaks toward goal for a pass and a shot. (See Give and Go)

Pass (Backhand)

A pass thrown in a backward direction with thumb of passing hand pointing to the water.

Pass (Baseball)

A pass thrown like a pitcher throws in baseball. He or she throws a ball overhand with body rotation and a follow through.

Pass (Cross Court)

Pass from one side of the field of play to the other.

Pass (Cross Face)

Ball is received from across receivers body.

Pass (Face Off)

Denotes an ill advised pass that allows an equal opportunity for both offensive and defensive players to get.

Pass (Flip)

A pass where the ball is passed with a flick of the wrist usually while swimming.

Pass (Lay Out)

A pass thrown while a player is on his or her back in a lay out position.

Pass (Lead)

Initial pass from the goalkeeper to a teammate on a counter attack or fast break.

Pass (Lob)

An high arching pass often used to effectively throw over an opponent.

Pass (Look Away)

Pass thrown after passer has looked away from receiver or is no longer looking at the receiver.

Pass (Pop)

Ball is flipped up with one hand and struck with flat side of fingers of the other hand in any direction.

Pass (Push)

Player swimming with ball in hand passes ball forward with a pushing action and a follow through

Pass (Safe)

To pass the ball to open water near a teammate where only he or she will have access to the ball.

Pass (Scoop)

Swimming pass when parallel to a teammate player scoops ball with a hand to pass to his or her left or right.

Pass (Strong Side)

Pass that is thrown on the strong side of the field of play and remains in the strong side field of play. (see Ball Side)

Pass (Timing)

Timing pass is thrown to allow a swimming player to receive the ball in time with his or her stroke.

Pass (Under Pressure)

Ability of a player to still pass the ball even with a defender is exerting pressure on the player.

Pass (Weak Side)

Pass thrown to the weak side of the field of play. (See Weak Side)

Penalty Area

Area marked on the end of the pool where ejected players must go and remain until penalty time expires.

Penalty Throw

Shot at opponent's goal from the 4 Y/M line which is taken on the referee’s whistle. Moreover, on the sound of the whistle the ball must be thrown directly towards the goal without any hesitation.

Penalty Throw (Positions)

Defensive team has the right to have a player on each side of the shooter and no player from the shooter’s team can be in between the shooter and these players.

Penetrate

To advance with the ball to gain a more advantageous shooting or passing position with respect to goal.

Period

Rules divide the game into four periods of time called quarters.

Person Down

A player’s ejection resulting in a team having to play a 5 on 6 defense.

Person Offense

A player to player offense which is designed to be played against a player to player defense and not a zone defense.

Person to Person Defense

Each defensive player is guarding one player during play. This is opposed to guarding an area as in a zone defense.

Person-Up

A team has one or more players than the opposing team because of an exclusion foul. (See 6 on 5 Offense)

Personal Fault

To commit a foul that takes away a player’s offensive advantage or causes the offensive player to be pulled back or sunk or interferes with a players free throw. The offending player is given an ejection foul or the opposing team is given a penalty shot.  (See Major Foul)

Pick

Defender is screened by a second offensive player allowing first offensive player to get free.

Pick  (Power)

A pick executed by using body of swimming teammate to screen defender.

Pick (Inside)

A pick attempted inside the four M/Y area.

Pick (Moving)

A pick where offensive initiator never fully stops.

Pick (Outside)

A pick attempted outside the four M/Y area.

Pigeon

An opponent who can easily be controlled and outplayed.

Playing the Ball (Offense)

Intentionally handling or making contact with the ball.

Playing the Ball (Defense)

Player is going for the ball and not the player's opponent.

Playing the Person

To play the player with no intention of playing or getting to the ball is a foul.

Playing The Bottom

Offensive or defensive skill used when playing in shallow water.

Playing Time

Every time the referee's whistle sounds the game clock is stopped and it is not started again until the ball is placed back in play. Thus a 7 minute quarter can be as much as 15 minutes or more of playing time.

Point

Credit for a goal scored.

Point (The)

The player on the outside of the offense usually directly out from midpoint of goal.

Pool

The place where a water polo game is played. A swimming pool.

Pool Markings

Must be distinctive markers on both sides of course at 2 M/Y, 4 M/Y, 7M/Y, and halfway from the goal.

Pool Play

Type of tournament where teams are assigned to groups called pools where winners advance.

Positioning

Art of getting to most advantageous offensive or defensive place.

Possession of Ball

Possession is gaining control of ball and includes dribbling the ball, holding the ball or controlling the ball.

Post

Refers to a position in front court on 2 M/Y line directly in front of a goal post (whether on offense or defense).

Post Alignment

An method for the center forward to maintain position by aligning with goal post at opposite end of pool.

Post Player

Player whose offensive position is on the opponents 2 M/Y line. (See Hole Person or Center Forward).

Press

To play a very tight player to player defense beginning when the offensive goalie tries to make pass to his or her teammates.

Pressure Defense

Describes defense where player to player style is played and a player plays very close to his or her opponent.

Primary Set

First player on team who would be chosen to play the center forward or 2 M/Y position.

Psych Out

To cause the opponents to have doubts about what they can or cant do against your players or your team.

Pull Back

Defender grabs an offensive player in advantage position. If detected offending player is ejected.

Pull Down

Skill where goalie reaches high to pull down a shot to a position in front of him or her. Thus, the ball is in his or her control.

Pump

To move the arm to simulate a shot on goal in an attempt to get the goalkeeper to commit.

Push Off

To use the hand or arm to push off of an opponent to gain an advantage. If detected offending player is ejected.

Put It Away To score a goal or to put the ball in the goal.

Q

P  R  Top

Quarter

Game is divided into four time periods each of which is called a quarter.

Quickie

An immediate attempt by the offense team to get a quick goal during the confusion after a defensive ejection.

   

R

Q  S  Top

Raise Ups

Athlete puts hands on deep deck and raises self completely up to deck level then lowers him or herself back into water and so on and so forth.

RB

An offensive move which causes a swimming player to stop, rear up, and an move backwards so the player can receive a pass for a possible shot on goal. (See Rear Back)

Re-entry

A player returning to field of play after an ejection.

Read

Checking for keys to reveal the offensive and defensive plans or maneuvers of the opposing team.

Rear Back

An offensive move which causes a swimming player to stop, rear up, and an move backwards so the player can receive a pass for a possible shot on goal. (see RB)

Rebound

A defensive move to eliminate the shooter or a defensive person from retrieving a rebound after goalie block or barred shot. The defensive player cuts in front of the shooter or a another offensive player immediately after shot is taken. (See - Cut the Shooter or Box Out)

Red

Called to teammates when 10 seconds or less remains on the shot clock or the game clock. (See Your Red)

Red Zone

Wedge-shaped or rhombus-shaped area directly in front of opponents goal. The line segment delineating the front of this area is the goal face; the left side is an imaginary line segment drawn from the left goal post to the start of the 4M/Y marker on the left side of the pool; the right side is an imaginary line segment drawn from the right goal post to the start of the 4M/Y marker on the right side of the pool; and the back line is the 4 M/Y line. Area of front court where most goals are scored. (See Attack Zone)

Referee

Official who is responsible for the conduct of the game and who is the interpreter and enforcer of the rules.

Release

Offensive maneuver used to free oneself from an opponent so he or she is free to receive the ball.

Right Back

Offensive maneuvers where ball is immediately returned by receiver to passer for a shot on goal.

Right Hip

Defensive player establishes position on right hip of a left handed center forward to best prevent sweep shots.

Rotate

Offensive player moves on to next position in a offensive play scheme.

Rotation

Offensive maneuver to move a player to a more advantageous offensive position.

Round Robin

Type of tournament or league play where all teams play one another. Team with best record wins.

S

R  T  Top

Sag

To play off opponent in manner which allows the player to double team another close opponent who gets the ball.

Save

A block of a player’s shot by the goalkeeper.

S.C.I.A.C. or SCIAC

Acronym for Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Scissor Kick

A kick similar to the kick used in the side stroke which can allow players to make a quick start.

Score

A player scores by throwing the ball into the goal past the goal-line, and a score is worth 1 point.

Scoreboard

Where the score of the game is displayed for players, coaches, referees and fans.

Scored Against

A statistic indicating the player that scored the goal against a specific player.

Scorekeeper

Person who tallies all goals attempts, fouls, and etc… during a game.

Screen

Offensive move to slow or stop a teammate’s defender by physically blocking his or her path.

Scrimmage

To practice the team under game like circumstances.

Seam

The areas within a zone defense where individual responsibilities are vague and thus vulnerable.

Secondary Set

Second best center forward player on the team.

Set or Setter

Field player whose primary offensive position is on the opponents 2 M/Y line. (See Center Forward or 2 Meter Person)

Set It Up

Called from bench to offensive team directing them to run a planned play and stop the freelancing.

Set Play

Usually a front court offensive play that is a diagrammed or a designed play. It can also be a play off the sprint or a play off a corner throw or the last play of the period.

Setter

Player who plays the center forward or 2 M/Y position on offense.

Shade

To play off center of the player either offensively or defensively is to shade the opponent.

Shallow End

The end of the field of play with the shallowest water.

Shallow Hands

A goalie anticipating a shot must tread with his or her hands in a position very close to surface of water. (See Light Hands)

Shaughnessy Tournament

A single elimination tournament at the end of league play where teams are seeded by league standings.

Shooting Percentage

A player’s number of goals divided by his or her total number of attempts for a goal.

Shot

An attempt by a player to throw or shoot the ball into the goal.

Shot (2 Points)

In the NCAA there used to be a 2 point shot. Any scoring shot taken from at least 7 M/Y in front of the goal was worth 2 points.

Shot (50 M/Y Swim)

A bad shot that results in team being forced to swim 25 M/Y to play defense then swim 25 M/Y back.

Shot (Backhand)

Type of shot thrown backwards with the thumb of  the throwing hand pointing to the water.

Shot (Bat)

Type of shot off a dry pass re-directed toward goal with a slapping or batted motion.

Shot (Bounce)

Shot on goal where ball is intentionally skipped or bounced on the water just in front of goalie.(See Skip Shot)

Shot (Cross Face)

A shot aimed at the weak side of the goal.

Shot (Deflection)

Path or flight of dry pass or team members shot is changed by players hand, wrist, arm, or fingers.

Shot (High Corner)  

Shot that is aimed at the high corners of the goal.

Shot (Lay Out)t

Shot often used by the center forward who is moving away from goal while rolling on to his or her back for a shot on goal.

Shot (Lob)

An arching or looping shot over the head of a goalie.

Shot (Look Away)

Shot taken after shooter has looked away from goal or is no longer looking at the goal.

Shot (Off Free Throw)

If a player is fouled outside the 7 M/Y line that player can elect to take a shot on goal rather than take the free throw. The shot similar to the free throw must be taken in a reasonable amount of time after the foul has occurred and no pumps or fakes before the shot are allowed. 

Shot (Off Water)

Usually a swimming shot where player scoops, flicks, or throws the ball without lifting the ball above the swimmer’s head.

Shot (On The Grass)

As goalie rises to defend a player’s shot and the player who is inside the 4 M/Y shoots the ball under the arm of the goalie.

Shot (Outside)

A shot taken from in front of the goal usually out beyond the furthest defender.

Shot (Overhand)

A pass thrown like a pitcher throws in baseball. He or she throws a ball overhand with body rotation and a follow through.

Shot (Penalty)

Shot at opponent’s goal from the 4 Y/M line and is taken on the referee’s whistle. Moreover, on the sound of the whistle the ball must be thrown directly towards the goal without any hesitation.

Shot (Pop)

Ball is flipped up with one hand and struck with flat palm-side of fingers of the other hand.

Shot (Push)

Player is swimming on goal with ball. Player then picks up ball from on top and shoots ball by pushing it forward as the stroke is completed.

Shot (Scoop)

Swimming shot when parallel to goal, if going left across face, scoop with right hand toward goal.

Shot (Screw)

Shot is pushed forward and spun as it is released toward the goal in a screwing type motion.

Shot (Sidearm)

Ball is thrown in a straight sidearm motion similar to what is used by a center forward. ( See Sweep Shot)

Shot (Skip)

Shot on goal where ball is intentionally skipped or bounced on the water just in front of goalie.

Shot (Sling)

One of the main shots used by center forwards. Start the sling or sweep shot with the ball in an extended arm and the turning of the head and shoulders. The arm with the ball and the head are accelerating toward the goal with the arm parallel to the surface of the water. The ball is released when the arm becomes a little more than parallel to the goal line and as the ball is released there is a last snap of the wrist. (See Sweep Shot).

Shot (Sweep)

One of the main shots used by center forwards. Start the sweep shot with the ball in an extended arm and the turning of the head and shoulders. The arm with the ball and the head are accelerating toward the goal with the arm parallel to the surface of the water. The ball is released when the arm becomes a little more than parallel to the goal line and as the ball is released there is a last snap of the wrist. (See Sling Shot)

Shot Taken

Statistic recorded each time a player takes a shot at the goal in an attempt to score. (See Attempt)

Shot (Tee)

Ball is held up or teed with one hand and struck with flat palm side of the fingers of the other hand as the player is swimming toward the goal.

Shot (Timing)

Shot executed off dry pass timed to swimming stroke of shooter.

Shot (Tip)

A deflection shot where ball is tipped re-directed by upright fingers or thumb. (See Deflection Shot.)

Shot (Top Spin)

Thrown similar to the way a baseball pitcher throws the overhand curve ball.

Shot (Toss Up)

Swimming player tosses the ball up above his or her head, stops, rears up to catch and then shoot the ball.

Shot-Chart

Chart kept by coaches which shows where shots were taken, by whom, and the results of the shots (goal or no goal).   

Shot-Clock

Clock which times the possession time of the ball by offense also called the 35 second clock.

Single Elimination

Type of tournament where team is eliminated after one loss.

Single Post

An offense with only one player is positioned at the center forward position.

Single Set

An offense with only one player is positioned at the center forward position.

Sink

To push an opponent under the water.

Slice Shot

Overhand shot where ball is allowed to roll off side of hand to the right as the hand's follow through is towards the left.

Slide (Defense)

Defensive maneuver where player moves laterally to gain front water on an opponent.

Slide (Offense)

Offensive maneuver where player moves laterally to prevent defender from gaining the front water.

Slop Goal

A goal scored by a player whose shot looked like something you might call slop. It wobbled its way into goal without speed or accuracy, or it just skidded across the water into the goal. (See Slop Shot)

Slop Shot

A poorly designed and executed shot which usually amounts to nothing more than a pass to the goalie.

Slough (Pronounced Sluff)

Player leaves or sloughs off his or her player to help defend or attack another offensive player with ball.

Slow Down

To reduce the tempo or pace of the game.

Soft Ball Water Polo

Game of water polo played in early 1900s with half inflated ball which could be taken under the water. It was outlawed in the US because of its brutal play.

Spin

Turn with the ball in right hand while spinning body to the left and imitating the same action with the elbow.  (See draw)

Splash or Splashing

For a player to intentionally splash water at an opponent is against the rules and can result in an ejection.

Split Vision

Defender should be in a position so he or she can split his or her vision between the ball and his or her opponent.

Sprint

Players line up at either end of course and sprint to begin game or period.

Sprint Play

A designed play to create a possible scoring opportunity off the sprint or restart of game after a goal.

Square Out

Offensive player executes a 90 degree cut toward the side of the pool on the counter attack to receive a pass from his or her goalie.

Stair Step

Defender moves from an offensive player back towards the goal to the next offensive player who presents more of an offensive threat than the first player did. (See Cover Back)

Stalling

Failure to advance the ball into scoring area of front court which can result in technical foul.

Start

The beginning of the game.

Stay at Home

A defensive player remaining with his or her assignment and not being baited out of position.

Steal

A statistic recorded when a defender takes the ball from player he or she is guarding.

Steal Under Arm

Stealing the ball by reaching under opponents arm and flipping ball away without fouling.

Stop

A shot blocked by the goalkeeper which is also called a save.

Stop and Go 

A type of offensive move.  (See Give and Go)

Strike Zone

Area of front court from goal posts diagonally to 7 M/Y markers where most goals are scored. (See Attack Zone)

Strong Arm

Players dominant arm used when shooting, passing, or in the turning of an opponent. (See Weak Arm)

Strong Side

The side of the field of play where the ball is located. Opposite of the weak side. (See Weak Side)

Strong Side Shot

Bout 75 percent of all pressured shots will be aimed at the strong side of the goal. This is a fact that goalkeepers should know.

Stunt (Defensive)

False move by a defensive player toward an opponent swimming with the ball causing the opponent to stop and pick up the ball, thus, slowing the opponent down.

Stunt (Offensive)

Offensive player swimming on the counter with a defender on his or her back suddenly stops and throws the head back making it appear as if the defender is pulling him or her back.

Stupid Foul (On Defense)

Foul committed by a defensive player not involved in the play. Moves ball to offensive end of pool uncontested.

Stupid Foul (On Offense)

Foul committed by offensive player who is not involved in the play. Causes offensive team to give up ball with no shot on goal.

Submarine

To duck or swim under an opponent to gain offensive or defensive advantage.

Substitute

A player who comes into the game to replace a player already in the game.

Substitution

Can be done at any time. The sub must be in the ejection area for a switch with the player who is being substituted.  

Sudden Death

In an overtime game, if play is still tied after two 3 minute periods, next goal scored wins game. (NCAA Rules)

Sun

A factor in determining which end to defend first when playing on a sunny day.

Support Arm

Goalkeepers weak side arm used for support when attempting to stop a lob shot.

Swim the Person

A reminder to a player to swim an important or an inept opponent to get him or her tired and ineffectual.

Swimming the Ball

Swimming with the ball on the water in front of the swimmer's head and between the swimmer's arms while using a shallow kick to keep the hips up.

Switch or Switching

Defensive maneuver where teammates switch or  change opponents they are guarding for a defensive advantage.

   

T

S  U  Top

T.W.P.C. (FINA)

Acronym for international Technical Water Polo Committee (Makes and guides international rules – FINA).

Tackle

To touch or grab a player who has the ball in his or her hand (a legal maneuver).

Tactics

Schemes employed by a player or team to gain an offensive or defensive advantage.

Team

Water polo team normally is six field players and one goalkeeper plus substitutes; however, ejection fouls can cause a team to play with less than seven players.

Team Bench

Benches for substitutes and coaches are usually located on the right and left of the scoring table at each end of playing field.  

Team Sport

A game played by a group of players from same school, club, or etc….

Technical Foul (Misconduct)

Unsportsmanlike foul by a player in the water, a player on the bench, or the coach results in the offending person being ejected and a free-throw to the opponents or possible removal for the remainder of the game.

Technical Foul (Violation)

To commit an act that breaks a rule in the game that does not involving an opponent usually results in a free throw awarded to the other team.  

Telegraph

To tip off an opponent to a play or a shot. The tip off is usually a telltale body action which indicates to the opponent what’s going to happen.

Tempo

The pace of the game.

Three Post

Goal post to the goalkeeper’s left is called the three post. In a 6 on 5 offense the player in the 3 spot is placed here. (See Two Post)

Ticky-Tacky Foul

Meaningless foul called by referee due to minor non-consequential infraction which usually disrupts the flow of game.

Time Out

Stoppage of play by a team for rest, strategy, injury, or etc…. Usually the time out last 2 minutes in duration. In the NCAA Rules there is also one 30 second timeout per team.

Timer

Person in charge of keeping the running time of the game.

Top or On Top

The player on the FC offense who is the furthest away from the goal and who is usually on the mid line of the pool. (See The Point)

Trailer

Defender who has been beaten and is chasing opponent on counterattack.

Transition

That time in the game when a team changes from offense to defense or from defense to offense.

Triangle Passing (Long)

Refers to passing on 6 on 5 person-up offense among the players in the 1-4-6 positions(the left triangle) or 1-5-6 positions (the right long triangle). The purpose is to try to have the goalie caught on one side of the goal so a pass can be made to a player on the opposite side of the goal for an open shot on goal.

Triangle Passing (Short)

Refers to passing on 6 on 5 person-up offense between the players in the 1 and 4 positions (the left short triangle) or 5 and 6 positions (the right short triangle). The purpose is to try to have the goalie caught on one side of the goal so a pass can be made to a player on the opposite side of the goal for an open shot on goal.

Turn An Opponent

Offensive maneuver used to gain advantage by using leverage or momentum to turn opponent.

Turn Over

A statistic recorded when the offensive team commits a foul or an error causing the loss of the ball.

Two Hands

Use of two hands by a player other than a goalie to catch or play the ball will result in a turn over. If the infraction occurs inside the 4 M/Y line a penalty shot is awarded.

Two Post

Goal post to the goalkeeper’s right is called the two post. In a 6 on 5 offense the player in the 2 spot is placed here.  (See: Three Post)

U

T  V  Top

U.S.W.P. or USWP

Acronym for United States Water Polo - the governing body of water polo in the USA. (See FINA or LEN for international water polo governing body)

Umbrella Offense

Style of offense where the five field players on the back line are deployed in a manner representing an umbrella shape and the six field player is in the center forwards position.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Playing and acting in an unsportsmanlike way can result in expulsion from the game. This may apply to players in the game, players on the bench, or coaches. Before the referee shows a red card indicating an expulsion from the game, the referee usually gives the offending player or coach a yellow card indicating that the person’s conduct is getting out of the bounds of normal behavior for a water polo game.   

V

U  W  Top
Vertical Position Poor offensive or defensive position where a player’s hips are down allowing the player to be turned or controlled by his or her defender.

Voit

Brand name of a water polo game ball.

V-Out

An offensive move which allows player to get free for a pass from the center forward. The player swims to the right side of a defender, stops, and swims back on his or her back several stokes making his or her path form a V with the point on the defenders right side. This move helps free the right hand for a pass from the center forward.This move can also be made to the left side of the defender to try and free the left ha nd.. (See Hook)

W

V  Y  Top

Walking the ball (dry)

Ball is firmly gripped in the hand that is above the water as the player eggbeats toward the goal. As the player moves toward the goal the player’s ball hand fakes or faints a shot on goal.  

Walking the Ball (wet)

Ball is firmly gripped in the hand as the player moves through water and the ball remains in hand throughout the player’s abbreviated swim stroke with the ball.

Was Scored Over

A statistic indicating which player had the responsibility for the player who scored the goal.

We Are All Responsible

The motto of a potentially GREAT defensive team.

Were Down

Alert to players that our team is now down a person.

Were Up

Alert to Players that our team is now up a person.

Weak

Called to a player with the ball to alert him or her that a free teammate is on the opposite side of field of play (the weak side).

Weak Arm

Players non-dominant arm is used when shooting or passing the ball and when turning an opponent. (See Strong Arm)

Weak Side

Side of the field of play where the ball is not located. Opposite of the strong side. (See Strong Side)

Weakest Shooter

The player on the opposing team who is least likely to score if given a shot on goal. This player should be identified so tactics can be designed to take advantage of this player.

Wedge

Open area created on top when point defender drops back to slough or double the hole position.

Wet Pass

Pass from one player to another player which lands in the water as it is received. This is the predominate type of pass made to the 2 M/Y player.

Whip Kick

A knock-kneed frog kick with more whip than a conventional breaststroke or frog kick.

Whistle

Used by referee to control flow of game. The sound of the whistle stops all clocks until the ball is placed back in play.

White

Color of visiting team’s caps.

White Ball

Alert to team that the white team now has control of the ball.

Wing

Area of the front court on the sides of the field of play roughly 2M/Y to 6 M/Y distance from goal.

Wing It

Request to have the ball thrown to a player situated on the wing of the front court offense.

Wrap Around

A move to raise a player up and around an opponent so the player can receive a pass for a possible shot on goal.

W.W.P.A. or WPPA

Acronym for Western Water Polo Association.

   

Y

W  Z  Top

Your Red

Term yelled by teammates to indicate that only 10 seconds remain on shot or game clock.

Z

Y  Top

Zone Defense

Style of defense where defenders guard a prescribed area rather than a specific player.

Zone Offense

An offense designed to operate against an opponents zone defense.

Zone Seam

The areas within a zone defense where individual responsibilities are vague and, thus, vulnerable.