OL 2016: Sports – water polo


Britons are believed to be the parents of the sport. “Football in the water” or “waterpolo” is one of the oldest team sports games and the first modern Olympic Games program. Water polo’s founder is Englishman William Wilson, born in London in 1844 of Scottish parents. As a member of “London Swimming Club”, he observed, while that training swimmers, “swimming exhibitions” were dull and boring. Feeling the need for an entertainment one day brought a soccer ball, threw it into the water and began to swim every ball, you catch it, and then pass it to another. It was something completely new, and the game quickly began to catch adherents. On 12 May 1870 at a meeting of the “London Swimming Club” was formed a committee to establish rules of the game, but it’s been nearly four years until the first regulation has taken a first form.

The first water polo game was held on July 14, 1876, the “Premier Bournemouth Rowing Club” the playing field being arranged between two dams. England held 12 years later, in 1888, the first championship of “waterpolo” in the world, initially with only four teams because of distances between cities and transportation difficulties. The first champion was “Burton Midlands Club” and from 1894 until 1901 was owned by rule “Osborne Manchester Club”, which was to represent Britain at the 1900 Summer Olympics.

First country in Europe that was played polo was Belgium, followed in 1888. Germany and Austria in 1894, France in 1897, Italy in 1900 and Sweden in 1906. Hungary Water Polo reach overseas and in the US where John Robinson organizes the first team, “Boston Athletic Association” in 1888. the first rules of swimming and polo was published in 1931, and the first school of referees was founded in 1934.


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