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Natalie Golda's Guide to Watching Water Polo

Natalie Golda's Guide to Watching Water Polo

smithsonian.com
Introducing the Expert

Name: Natalie Golda
Location: Long Beach, California
Games and Medals: Athens 2004 (Bronze); Beijing 2008 (Silver)
Key Quote: “The game always presents different scenarios and you have to read each situation as it comes. I also love the physicality. You have to be smart, but you have to be fit and tough as well.”
Favorite Olympic Moment: “Walking in the Opening Ceremonies and standing on the medals podium are memories and feelings I will never forget.”

Equipment

Cap - the funny hat players wear. The cap protects a player’s ears from any kind of impact (fist, elbow, foot), dictates what team you are on (light or dark), and shows your number for the referees.

Tank/Course - our field of play (the pool)

Goal – At either end of the tank is a goal, 3 meters wide and 0.9 meters tall, floating on the water.

Ball – The ball weighs 400 grams to 450 grams. The circumference of the ball used in women’s games is slightly smaller than the one used by men.

Maneuvers
Slang

1. Weak - When a player is open on the opposite side of the pool, you yell “weak” to get the attention of the player with the ball and make them pass it to the open player.

2. Hockey Sub - You can substitute during play if the player that needs to come out swims to the penalty box; the new player can then swim into the field of play.

3. Donut/Bunny - When the shooter shoots the ball in between the goalie’s arms directly over the goalie’s head.

Turn - On offense, you may “turn” a defender either by using her momentum against her or by using your off-arm to hold and spin to gain an inside water advantage.

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