Injury & Medical Advice of Water Polo

Water polo is a demanding game that requires players to tread water or swim for the whole match. Standing on the bottom or hanging onto the sides of the pool is not allowed. A variation called ‘flippa ball’ permits standing up and is suitable for younger players. Water polo is a low-risk sport.

Common injuries include:

  • eyes – irritation from pool chemicals such as chlorine
  • hip and knee – overuse injuries from the constant treading of water
  • shoulder – injuries including sprains and strains
  • scratches – from the fingernails of other players. abrasions, cuts and bruises can also occur when wrestling for the ball
  • facial injuries – such as black eye or split lip, caused by contact with other players or the ball
  • hypothermia – dangerous and potentially fatal drop in body temperature caused by cold conditions
  • sunburn – from playing outside without sunscreen
  • warts – a skin growth caused by a viral infection. Swimming in public swimming pools is a known risk factor for warts.

Some of the factors that can increase your risk of injury include:

  • Lack of fitness – an unfit person with poor stamina and flexibility is much more likely to get hurt playing any type of sport.
  • Inexperience – beginners may be more likely to be injured because they do not have the skills to meet the demands of the sport.
  • Poor technique – puts unnecessary strain on joints and muscles. For example, poor throwing action or shooting the ball awkwardly.
  • Lack of protective equipment – neglecting to wear protective equipment, such as a cap with ear guards, or a mouth guard, makes injury more likely.