W aterpolo is a tough sport - especially for non-swimmers ...

Peter Frankenfeld

The oldest Olympic team sport - since 1900 (women's water polo since 2000)


Waterpolo came about at the same time as the game of polo was developing. This term has also been adopted in the majority of European languages; the best-known exceptions to this are the German name Wasserball and the Italian pallanuoto.


There are various statements about the history of the origin of the water ball, but they do not contradict each other. On the one hand, it has been proven that the water polo game was probably invented in order to make swimming events more attractive and thus to make swimming more popular in general. On the other hand, there is an oral testimony in which Dick Hodgson (member of the English Olympic team in 1924 and 1928) tells the BBC television commentator Harry Walker a different story. According to this, Hodgson's father usually went with his rugby team in Lancashire to a wash house with a swimming pool after a game: “Eventually they would end up in the pool, normally with a ball, and would play a type of rugby game in water. The ball would be placed on the side when a goal was scored in rugby fashion "(JUBA 1972, 18). By the way, the players cannot stand, even if it sometimes looks like it: they play in water at least 1.80 m deep.


From its country of origin England, the water polo game spread as a competitive game across the European continent and North America towards the end of the 19th century.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So water polo became the first Olympic team sport. Even if it is only a marginal sport in Switzerland, water polo is the trend sport in many countries such as Croatia, Montenegro and Hungary and ranks way ahead of football, for example. But water polo is also very important in Italy, England, the USA, Serbia and many other countries. Famous water polo players were or are: actor Bud Spencer (on the Italian national team), Prince William of Great Britain, singer Sean Paul, writer Ernest Hemingway, astronomer Edwin Hubble (inventor of the Hubble, telescope), ship owner Aristotle Onassis, Germany's national football goalkeeper Manuel Neuer ( to compensate), swimmer and Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller, actor Ted McGinley (known as Al Bundy's neighbor), the Klitschko brothers (boxers, also to compensate), the inventor of the surfboard Duke Kahanamoku, the inventor of penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming and more ... Who would have thought that?