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Origins of the Water Polo ball

By: :Janine Purdy 0 comments
Origins of the Water Polo ball

The modern game of water polo originated in the late 19th century as a form of rugby football, played in rivers in England and Scotland. The ball was constructed of rubber imported from colonial plantations in India. This "water rugby" came to be called "water polo" based on the English pronunciation of the Balti word for ball, pulu.

The original ball soon gave way to a soccer ball, which allowed for passing and swimming above water with the ball. However, the leather football absorbed water and became extremely heavy, slippery and out-of-control when wet.

In 1936, James R Smith, California water polo coach and author of several books on water polo mechanics, developed a ball made with an inflatable bladder and a rubber fabric cover, which improved performance. The new ball was red, but by 1948 yellow was adopted for better visibility by players.

It became the official FINA and Olympic ball in 1956. 

In the first half of 2005, FINA allowed a change to the standard water polo ball used in official games. This change permitted a coloured middle stripe (blue, green, red, black, or yellow) with the normal yellow stripes flanking the coloured.

Mikasa Sports, manufacturer of the new coloured ball, claims that the new ball benefits teams by making it easier for them to keep track of their balls, differentiating the women’s balls from the men’s and teaching proper rotation on the ball. Buy your Mikasa water polo ball from swim parka today. 

categories : News