London 2012 Guide to…Water Polo


WATER POLO was originally seen as an aquatic form of rugby.

However, it is actually more akin to handball, but a lot more difficult!

  • How it works

Water Polo is a seven-a-side game, and a game is divided into four periods, each lasting eight minutes.

A team has 30 seconds when in possession to score, otherwise the ball is given to the opposition.

Touching the bottom of the pool, or its side is forbidden.

  • Water Polo in London

Water Polo is taking place in a specifically constructed arena in the Olympic Park.

Teams are divided in to two groups, before progressing to the knock-out games.

And finally…

Look out for: cheating – or ‘ways of gaining an advantage’. Not everyone can see what goes on under the water.

Not to be confused with: Polo. No similarities at all apart from the name!

Useless but informative fact: the longest running water polo is competition is played between Oxford and Cambridge universities, starting way back in 1891.

Water Polo in two words: splash ‘n’ grab.

Water Polo takes place at the Water Polo Arena from Sunday 29 July to Sunday 12 August.



London 2012 Guide to…Synchronised Swimming


SYNCHRONISED Swimming was introduced at the London Games in 1948 but was only given competitive status in 1984 at the Games in LA.

It is a women-only event, and 104 athletes will be competing in London this summer.

  • How it works

Pairs or teams of eight perform a short routine accompanied to musicĀ  in front of a panel of 10 judges.

The judges are divided up, with one half awarding marks for artistry, while the other assesses technical merit.

  • Synchronised Swimming in London

Synchronised Swimming events will be held at the Aquatics Centre, with duets and teams performing two routines – technical and freestyle.


And finally…

Look out for: the Russians. They have claimed every gold medal in the past three games.

Not to be confused with: water aerobics.

Useless but informative fact: Synchronised swimmers can were nose clips, but not goggles.

Synchronised Swimming in two words: endurance, flexibility.

Synchronised Swimming takes place at the Aquatics Centre between Sunday 5 August and Friday 10 August.