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Origins of Water Polo

We have a long history of  Waterpolo at the club, stretching back to the very origins of the game. The game was developed in Britain from 1869 to 1870 and was called "polo" because the first players rode barrels that resembled horses and hit the ball with mallets. Later, it was named "water polo and  in 1877 William Wilson, manager of a Glasgow swimming pool, was asked to devise an aquatic game for the Bon-Accord Swimming Club, in Aberdeen. These eventually became international rules & formed the basis of the modern game.


This illustration from 1881 "obviously with some artistic licence" shows the original idea of horse shaped barrels before the rules of the modern game became more widely used.

In 1890, the first International, between England & Scotland, was played in London, a match which the Scots won by 4 goals to 0. Water polo spread to Hungary in 1889, Belgium in 1890, Austria and Germany in 1894 and France in 1895. The game was included in the Olympic Games of 1900 as an exhibition at the Paris Games. It has long been a major sport in Britain and European countries—especially Hungary, Italy, Germany, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and the Netherlands. It is also popular in Australasia. Hungary has been the dominant force since the early 1930s, winning the Olympic Games six times and the European championships on numerous occasions. World championships were first held in 1973

Brighton SC Waterpolo team 1926