by Rob Cox, February 18, 2010
Inner Tube Water Polo
Is it the fastest growing sport in aquatics? Leagues are forming faster than you can imagine, groups spouting up all over the country. We have supported the US Water Polo association for years here at POOLCENTER.com, and have enjoyed providing tubes to organizations and leagues around the county.
I recently stopped by Wakefield Park Pool, here in Springfield, to catch a league game. Facing off in the deep end of the pool were the Sterling Sharks vs. JB's Kickass Inner Tube Water Polo team (really). They didn't really have a full team, each had to play 1 man down, which made the game slow down a bit when players went into the "time out" area. An area reserved for inner tube water polo players that don't mind their manners. They didn't have the cool water polo hats, you know - the ones with the ear covers. They used different colored pool tubes to tell each team apart. Skins vs. Shirts. But they did have fun - seemed like a group of good friends, although most have only known each other through the league.
I spoke with JB, leader of the team aforementioned. "Most of us swam in high school, and this is a way for us to keep connected". I asked JB if he has a pool at home. " Yes, but it's way to small to get a game going, maybe just a little one on one - plus now it's covered and closed for the winter". When I asked him if the rules were different for inner-tube games, he told me "no, not at all - same really, although we may be a bit more leniant with fouls. If you Google "Inner Tube Water Polo" you can find the official rules of the sport."
Here's some highlights: Inner Tube Water Polo teams consist of six people in the water. When the whistle blows the two teams paddle after the ball in the middle of the pool. Points are scored by throwing the ball thru the other team's goalie and into the goal. The main rule is you need to be in your inner tube to pass or shoot the ball, and this is where Inner Tube Water Polo gets interesting. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
I like to think of water polo as having the same rules as hockey. In fact, you might say that its hockey, with the ice melted! The rules are quite similar to each other - so if you like hockey - try innertube water polo! All you need are some...inner tubes, of course, a group of 5 or 6 aging ex water polo players or interested other people. Go down to the local pool, and talk to the programming department about using the facility for your league. No problem.
We did the exhaustive Google research here at POOLCENTER - "so you don't have to!" Here's a nice inner tube water polo video we found at innertubewaterpolo.com. Here's a set of the official inner tube water polo rules, written big for old eyes, from good ol' Arizona State. So give it a twirl, Earl! Get some friends, some water and some inner tubes and get up off the couch and get into a pool tube! The 36" Heavy Duty tube is recommended, or 42" if your players are, well a little ... larger.