Why Are Water Polo Swimsuits So Small? (3 Right Fit Polo Revealed)

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Have you seen the rigours involved in the water polo sport? The constant pulling and clawing of the opposing team is enough reason not to ask “Why are water polo swimsuits so small?”

To answer the question though, water polo swimsuits are so small because athletes wouldn’t want to give their opponents the upper hand by wearing bogus swimsuits which would make dragging a whole lot easier.

Water polo is a very physical sport, and as such, small swimsuits will put the opponent at a disadvantage when it comes to grappling and pulling in the sport.

Such intense sports require not just physical strength, but also mental, and to a very large extent, the smaller swimsuits ensure an opponent is outwitted in an aspect he would have likely got an upper hand.

Top 3 water polo swimsuits that are not too small

Playing Water Polo to win

Water polo is in many ways similar to basketball due to the rules such as free throws, fouls, and shooting time limits. The general rules of water polo can be said to compromise of the following;

Ground rules of water polo

Rule 1

Water polo players are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool with their legs, save the goalkeeper.

Rule 2

The players are allowed to pass the ball in any direction they choose as long as they adhere to the number one rule above.

Rule 3

The movement of the ball can be made with one hand or by putting your head above water while holding it between the arms. This allows the ball to thrive on the wave created by the player – another name for this is dribbling.

Rule 4

The only offside rule in existence is when a player is within 2m of the opponent’s goal.

Rule 5

A player is only allowed to hold the ball on one hand at a time. The only exception to this rule is the goalkeeper; they are allowed to handle the ball with both hands.

Rule 6

A soon as possession is gained, the water polo team in possession of the ball is required to shoot the ball within 30 seconds, or else, possession is seeded back to the other team.

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Water Polo foul rules

There are just a few differences between American football and water polo in terms of the contact opposing players tend to inflict on themselves. This means the referee would have to be on his A-game to gain any sort of control or sanity in the match, especially underwater where the referee’s sight is limited. The three major types of foul in water polo include the following:

  • Ordinary fouls
  • Major fouls
  • Penalty fouls

Ordinary fouls

The ordinary fouls in a water polo game account for a majority of the whistle stops one is likely to hear during a match. Some of these fouls include:

  • A player touching the ball with both hands when he isn’t a goalkeeper.
  • Collecting the ball outside the view of the referee (underwater) when tackled.
  • Obstructing an opponent who doesn’t have the ball.
  • Refusing to shoot or advance the ball within 30 seconds of gaining possession.
  • Dangerously pushing an opponent.

Once the referee spots an infringement in the class of an “ordinary foul”, the referee immediately stops play, and the team in the right is awarded a free throw right at the point the foul was called.

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Major Fouls

Major fouls are sometimes called personal fouls or exclusion fouls. The gravity of punishment termed a “major foul” is higher than the ordinary foul, and some of the offence includes the following:

  • Striking or maliciously kicking an opponent in a way that could jeopardize their overall wellbeing.
  • Trying to interfere with a free throw when an ordinary foul has been previously awarded.
  • Trying to deliberately obscure the vision of an opponent by splashing water directly into the eyes.
  • Any level of disrespect or misconduct towards the referee in any way is termed a major foul.
  • Holding, pulling or sinking an opposition player who doesn’t have the ball.

Major fouls are likely to result in a player being sent off for a minimum of 20-seconds, while a single player who has committed three major fouls will be totally removed from the game by substitution.

Any player who makes a deliberate attempt to kick or strike an opposing player will result in the referee sending away the offending player permanently.

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Penalty fouls

Fouls that occur in the 5m area or zone can result in the referee awarding a “penalty foul”, especially if the foul in question has prevented a goal from being scored.

This implies that a free throw is awarded to the fouled team, who is then allowed to throw the ball at goal from the 5m line with the goalkeeper being the only obstacle standing in his way from scoring a goal.

In terms of improving one’s health and fitness, few sports beat the water polo.

Terms in the Water Polo sport

Some of the terms used in the water polo sport can sound a bit confusing to the beginner. The basic terms used in the sport can include the following;


The term “advantage” is a rule that allows play to continue even after a foul is continued. This rule can only be applied if the flow of play is in favour of the team whose player was fouled. However, a sudden transformation in play will result in the referee stopping play and awarding the said “foul” to the fouled team.

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Just like the name implies, “brutality” is a term used when a play engages in dangerous play such as punching or using the elbow on an opponent. Any sort of excessive force can be considered as “brutality” by the referee thereby causing play to be stopped and the appropriate foul called by the referee.

Ball under

This foul is called by the referee on a player who takes the ball underwater when being tackled by an opposing player.

Dry pass

A pass is called a “dry pass” when a player passes the ball to a team player, and the receiver receives the pass without the ball touching the water.

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Corner throw

A corner throw is a throw that restarts the game if a defender was the last person to touch the ball before going over the goal line.


The term “Eggbeater” is used for the leg kick players use to navigate the pool and lift themselves vertically from the pool.

Free throw

A free throw is how the referee restarts the game once the ball passes the sideline. It can also be used on any foul that doesn’t result in a penalty throw.

Major foul

This is a foul that can cause a player to be sent out to the exclusion area. Another name for this is called an “exclusion foul”.

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Goal throw

A goal throw is a free throw made by the goalkeeper which is usually made to restart the game if an attacker was the last person to touch the ball before going over the goal line.

Neutral throw

This throw is made by the referee to give each opposing team an equal chance to reach the ball. This throw is usually made when neither team can be blamed for causing a stoppage in play that resulted in the throw.

Penalty foul

A penalty foul is a foul committed by a player on an opposing player in the 5-meter area that prevents the opposing player from scoring.

Ordinary foul

This is a foul that gives the referee leverage to award possession to the team without possession due to an infringement in play.

Penalty throw

A penalty throw is a throw made from the 5-meter line by a member of a fouled team. This throw can only be defended by the goalkeeper once a penalty foul is called against a player.


Stalling is a term used to describe the failure of a team to shoot within the 30 seconds time limit. This usually results in an “ordinary foul” call by the referee, and the ball handed over to the other team.

Wet pass

This pass is primarily designed to land on the water surface before reaching the receiver.


This is used to term a race for the ball located in the centre of the playing area. It usually characterizes the start of the second period.


Why do water polo players wear speedo?

One of the main reasons water polo players prefer wearing briefs commonly known as “speedo” is due to the mobility and hydrodynamics it gives the athletes in the water. It also means the opposing player has very little material to hold onto when making a tackle or a challenge.

Do swimsuits look bigger or smaller in water?

Generally, swimsuits are bound to increase about an inch in water as a result of the material (spandex) used in making them.

Are googles allowed in water polo?

No! goggles aren’t allowed in water polo regardless of the player’s eyesight and environmental circumstance.

Why Are Water Polo Swimsuits So Small – Conclusion

Water polo is a sport that has been in existence for a long time, and its popularity is bound to grow in time to come due to the huge recommendations it gets from health practitioners all around the world. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a household sport around the world. Feel free to drop your comments, suggestion, and observation in the comment section. Cheers!!!

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