LONDON 2012: Olympic Games – Water Polo

Water Polo developed during the 19th century as an aquatic version of rugby, played informally in rivers and lakes.

The version of the game that survives today is closer to Handball: a fast, tough and demanding sport, it has featured on every Olympic programme since the Paris 1900 Games.

It is fast, furious and easy to understand, with players needing to combine skill and accuracy with endurance.

Host nation status means Great Britain will have both men’s and women’s team at London, although medals are unlikely to be on the cards.

Both sides will have their work cut out against the powerhouses of world water polo.

The women, already through to the quarter-finals as the group stage is used to determine who plays who in the last eight, will struggle to go further. The men will do well to reach the quarter-finals, with four teams set to bow out after their group games.

Serbia are men’s World League, World Cup and European champions, but Italy beat them in the final of the World Championships last year. Croatia and Montenegro are also strong, while Hungary are looking for a fourth straight gold.

The women’s event is wide open, with USA, Italy, Greece and China among the contenders for the title.

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Developed during the 19th century, men’s Water Polo has featured on every Olympic programme since the Paris 1900 Games.

Women’s Water Polo was introduced at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

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Played by teams of seven in a pool with a goal at each end, Water Polo is a thrilling spectacle. 

Matches are divided into four periods of eight minutes. Starting with a race to the ball at the centre of the pitch, each team has only 30 seconds to attempt to score before the ball is returned to the opposition. 

Players aren’t allowed to touch the sides or the bottom of the pool during play, and may swim as much as three miles during a match. 

Water Polo allows unlimited substitutions, although substitutes (as well as players who have been excluded for a short period for rule infringements) may enter the water only in a designated area in the corner of the pitch near each team bench.

The men’s and women’s competitions at London will both begin with group play.

The teams are divided into two groups, and each team will play every other team in its group.

In the preliminary rounds teams receive two points for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a loss.

From here, the competitions progress through quarter-final and semi-final rounds before the top two teams go head to head for the gold.

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You can watch every match from the 2012 Olympic Water Polo tournament across the BBC’s Olympics channels (details below).

BBC TV
Commentators: Nigel Adderley, Lisa Knights
 
Full list of BBC Olympics TV presenters/commentators – CLICK HERE

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Greece v Croatia | Group A | Start: 10:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 9.50am-11.15am
 
Kazakhstan v Spain | Group A | Start: 11:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 11.15am-12.50pm
 
Italy v Australia | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Hungary v Serbia | Group B | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Romania v Great Britain | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 3 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Montenegro v United States | Group B | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 3 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Spain v China | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Italy v Australia | Group B | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Great Britain v Russia | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Hungary v United States | Group A | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 7.35pm-9.00pm
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Hungary v Montenegro | Group B | Start: 10:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 9.50am-11.15am
 
Croatia v Spain | Group A | Start: 11:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 11.15am-12.50pm
 
Australia v Kazakhstan | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Greece v Italy | Group A | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Serbia v Great Britain | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
United States v Romania | Group B | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Hungary v China | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Italy v Russia | Group B | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Spain v United States | Group A | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Great Britain v Australia | Group B | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 7.35pm-9.00pm
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Spain v Australia | Group A | Start: 10:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 17 – 9.50am-11.15am
 
Kazakhstan v Greece | Group A | Start: 11:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 17 – 11.15am-12.50pm
 
Montenegro v Serbia | Group B | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 17 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Romania v Hungary | Group B | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 17 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Great Britain v United States | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Italy v Croatia | Group A | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Spain v Hungary | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Russia v Australia | Group B | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Great Britain v Italy | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
China v United States | Group A | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 19 – 7.35pm-9.00pm
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Montenegro v Romania | Group B | Start: 10:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 9.50am-11.15am
 
Croatia v Australia | Group A | Start: 11:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 11.15am-12.50pm
 
Greece v Spain | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Italy v Kazakhstan | Group A | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Hungary v Great Britain | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Serbia v United States | Group B | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Quarter Final 1 | Start: 14:50
LIVE BBC Olympics 13 – 2.40pm-4.05pm
 
Quarter Final 2 | Group B | Start: 16:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 13 – 4.05pm-5.40pm
 
Quarter Final 3| Group B | Start: 19:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 6.50pm-8.15pm
 
Quarter Final 4 | Group A | Start: 20:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 8.15pm-9.50pm
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Kazakhstan v Croatia | Group B | Start: 10:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 9.50am-11.15am
 
Greece v Australia | Group A | Start: 11:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 11.15am-12.50pm
 
Romania v Serbia | Group A | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Hungary v United States | Group A | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Great Britain v Montenegro | Group B | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Spain v Italy | Group B | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 7 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Semi Final 5th-8th | Start: 14:10
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 2.00pm-3.25pm
 
Semi Final 1 | Start: 15:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 3.25pm-5.00pm
 
Semi Final 5th-8th | Start: 18:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 6.10pm-7.35pm
 
Semi Final 2 | Start: 19:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 7.35pm-9.10pm
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Quarter Final 1 | Start: 14:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 2.20pm-3.45pm
 
Quarter Final 2 | Start: 15:50
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 3.45pm-5.20pm
 
Quarter Final 3 | Start: 18:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 6.30pm-7.55pm
 
Quarter Final 4 | Start: 20:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 7.55pm-8.25pm
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Classification Match 7th-8th | Start: 14:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 8 – 2.20pm-3.45pm
 
Classification Match 5th-6th | Start: 15:50
LIVE BBC Olympics 8 – 3.45pm-5.20pm
 
BRONZE Medal Match | Start: 18:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 8 – 6.30pm-7.55pm
 
GOLD Medal Match | Start: 20:00
LIVE BBC Olympics 8 – 7.55pm-10.00pm
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Semi Final 5th-8th | Start: 14:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 2.10pm-3.35pm
 
Semi Final 1 | Start: 15:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 3.35pm-5.10pm
 
Semi Final 5th-8th | Start: 18:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 6.20pm-7.45pm
 
Semi Final 2 | Start: 19:50
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 7.45pm-9.20pm
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Classification Match 7th-8th | Start: 10:20
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 10.10am-11.35am
 
Classification Match 5th-6th | Start: 11:40
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 11.35am-1.10pm
 
BRONZE Medal Match | Start: 14:30
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 2.20pm-3.45pm
 
GOLD Medal Match | Start: 15:50
LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 3.45pm-5.50pm
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