Saturday, July 19, 2008
The Rules of Waterpolo
Waterpolo, born in Scotland as a rougher variation of rugby played out in a river, is the bloodiest olympic sport around. In the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, when Russian tanks were invading Hungary, the Hungarian team was seized by such a vengative mood that at the end of the game the pool was red with blood. The result was Hungary-Russia 4-0. No Hungarian waterpoloist dared to go back to occupied Hungary and all asked for refugee status. According to the rules, a defender may hold, block or pull an opponent who is touching or holding the ball. Simply put, the very instant you get hold of the ball, you become free prey, you may legally be drowned or dismembered should the naked opponent in the water able to do that. From experience I say that no one can see what goes on under the water. I for one was always full of blue, green and yellow spots on the body. I gave as good as I received, probably more. A man without the ball is untouchable. That is, in the rule-book, not in the water.