Water polo: quite possibly the world’s hardest sport
By Kara Wilbeck
May, 05, 2011
LAKEVILLE — Few sports require as much endurance as water polo. For the match, athletes are not allowed to touch the floor of the pool at any time. They must tread water or swim and can only rest during timeouts.
The Hotchkiss School girls water polo season is now at its halfway point. The team has yet to chalk up a win, but coach Laura Barrosse-Antle is optimistic.
“We’re a really young team with a lot of talent,” she said. The team is made up predominantly of freshmen and sophomores, and, “We’re going to be looking at a lot more improvement as they get more game experience.”
The upside of having so many underclassmen in the water this season is that they’re getting trained early in their high school careers. They should just get better the longer they play.
Girls water polo is played in four seven-minute periods, with two teams of seven players on each side of the pool. Two goals are set up over the water, and the teams must get the round ball (similar to a volleyball) past the goalkeeper and into the opposing team’s goal.
The game may seem simple — but it’s not. While the rules are easy to understand, the amount of physical strength required to stay in the game can make basic passing and shooting tough.
In a game against Choate Rosemary Hall on Wednesday, April 28, the team managed to score 10 points, which is the second-highest score the team has had all season. Choate was ultimately victorious, earning 23 points, but the high Hotchkiss score was evidence that the team is maturing and improving.
Two of the team members are currently unable to play, due to concussions received during (often rough) play.