BIWPA

17 enero 2017

Waterpolo Femení: La Sirena Mataró - CN Sant Andreu Full Video 14.01.2017



15 enero 2017

Jordi Cisneros, se retira

foto de Jordi Cisneros Horrillo.

Jordi Cisneros, nacido en Barcelona el 3/06/1961, se ha retirado del arbitraje en activo llegado el final del 2016.

Jugador de waterpolo en el Club Esportiu Júpiter desde 1977 a 1987, ingresó en el entonces Col.legi Català d´Arbitres de la Federació Catalana de Natació en 1983 y en 1994 fué nombrado árbitro internacional LEN, también fué árbitro FINA y obtuvo las Medallas de Bronce de la RFEN en 1999 y Plata en 2007.

foto de Jordi Cisneros Horrillo.

foto de Jordi Cisneros Horrillo.

Desde aquí, queremos reconocer su trayectoria y agradecer tantos y tantos buenos momentos que con su sonrisa, compañerismo  y simpatía siempre a punto, nos ha hecho pasar. 


foto de Jordi Cisneros Horrillo.


Esta es la relación de sus compañeros de silbato que han colaborado para hacerle un pequeño homenaje :




Aquí teneis algunas imágenes de la cena del pasado viernes 13/01/17 en Barcelona  en la que le entregamos su merecida placa














CN Molins Sintagmia vs C.N Catalunya - Real Canoe NC-WP Navarra FULL VIDEOS 15.01.17




06 enero 2017

Campeonato de España juvenil masculina CE Mediterrani 2015









https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205859504379357.1073742002.1010492327&type=1&l=4e1b9c5e8f





JUV.1C. (BNA)

Calendario

1ªSESION - 24/07/2015
24/07/2015 11:10GRUPO 1C.N. TERRASSA126C.N. LA LATINA
24/07/2015 13:30GRUPO 1C.N. CABALLA614C.E. MEDITERRANI
24/07/2015 10:00GRUPO 2C.N. RUBI135WATERPOLO SEVILLA
24/07/2015 12:20GRUPO 2REAL CANOE N.C.154C. WATERPOLO MARBELLA
2ªSESION - 24/07/2015
24/07/2015 19:30GRUPO 1C.N. CABALLA910C.N. LA LATINA
24/07/2015 20:40GRUPO 1C.N. TERRASSA98C.E. MEDITERRANI
24/07/2015 17:00GRUPO 2REAL CANOE N.C.101WATERPOLO SEVILLA
24/07/2015 18:10GRUPO 2C.N. RUBI124C. WATERPOLO MARBELLA
3ªSESION - 25/07/2015
25/07/2015 11:20GRUPO 1C.N. CABALLA516C.N. TERRASSA
25/07/2015 12:30GRUPO 1C.E. MEDITERRANI98C.N. LA LATINA
25/07/2015 9:00GRUPO 2WATERPOLO SEVILLA1110C. WATERPOLO MARBELLA
25/07/2015 10:10GRUPO 2C.N. RUBI95REAL CANOE N.C.
4ªSESION - 25/07/2015
25/07/2015 16:00SF4C.N. CABALLA97WATERPOLO SEVILLA
25/07/2015 17:10SF3C.N. LA LATINA58C. WATERPOLO MARBELLA
25/07/2015 18:20SF2C.E. MEDITERRANI96C.N. RUBI
25/07/2015 19:30SF1C.N. TERRASSA56REAL CANOE N.C.
5ªSESION - 26/07/2015
26/07/2015 9:00Plazas 7-8C.N. LA LATINA82WATERPOLO SEVILLA
26/07/2015 10:10Plazas 5-6C. WATERPOLO MARBELLA89C.N. CABALLA
26/07/2015 11:20Plazas 3-4C.N. RUBI712C.N. TERRASSA
26/07/2015 12:30Plazas 1-2C.E. MEDITERRANI56REAL CANOE N.C.

01 enero 2017

Nuevo año y nueva etapa en el CNA. Artículo de opinión.

Resultat d'imatges de urnas de votación



Una vez celebradas las elecciones para la composición de la asamblea y una vez renovada la Presidencia de nuestra RFEN, se han dado a conocer los organigramas técnicos de la misma. Mis felicitaciones a todos y la mejor de las suertes y éxitos en sus responsabilidades.

En breve y con el inicio del nuevo año, se convocarán elecciones a nuestro Comité Nacional de Árbitros.

Antonio Ollé, el que ha sido nuestro Presidente durante los últimos 16 años, dejará su cargo para ocupar el puesto de Secretario de la RFEN. A él, también le deseo mucha suerte y aciertos.

foto de Antoni Ollé Dorca.

Sin duda, son muchos hoy los árbitros en activo, al menos en waterpolo, que no han conocido ningún otro Presidente que no fuera Ollé. Lo mismo podía aplicarse con los vocales de nuestra especialidad como Angel Moliner (con José Maria Castellà, Aris Ortega y Kati Sarabia de colaboradores) que estuvo unos 9 años al frente de la vocalia o de Sergio Borrell (con Santi Rodríguez y Aris Ortega de colaboradores) que está es su 3a Temporada.

Los más veteranos que no "viejos", también conocimos a Eduardo Hernández que fué nuestro presidente antes que Toni Ollé o a los que fueron vocales antes que Angel o Sergio, me refiero a Miquel Geli  (con Feliciano Romero ,Eugenio Asencio y Kati Sarabia de colaboradores )  o a los recordados Demestre y Granada. Estos dos últimos que ya no están entre nosotros (EPD).

Toni Ollé durante todos estos años ha llevado a cabo una ingente labor al frente de la Presidencia de nuestro CNA. Toni no ha parado de redactar y preparar circulares, memorias, cursos y escuelas, reuniones, etc... y , por si esto fuera poco, siempre ha intentado estar presente en representación nuestra en infinidad de Campeonatos y Torneos. Una labor, siempre callada y para nada fácil y de ahí su mérito y nuestro reconocimiento. Apoyándose en las diferentes vocalias ha culminado su último mandato, a mi entender y haciendo balance,  con más aciertos que errores . Ha tenido que lidiar con épocas de crisis como la actual y de la que poco a poco vamos saliendo y periodos de fortísimas restricciones presupuestarias y en la que los pagos por parte de la RFEN o las disminuciones en los desplazamientos estaban a la orden del día.

Los más críticos con su gestión ven que han sido tantos años al frente de la Presidencia del CNA que en ocasiones pudiera parecer que se olvidaba un poco de la defensa de los árbitros para contentar a la RFEN. Personalmente opino que no es así y que sólo los vocales y él mismo conocen las enormes dificultades que se han ido presentando a lo largo de estos años y que, al fin y al cabo, los árbitros somos también RFEN y que todos formamos parte, importantísima, de nuestra Federación. seguiremos, seguro, contando con un aliado en la Junta Directiva de la RFEN.

Ahora, llega la renovación. Nuevas ideas y nuevas personas al frente de la Presidencia del CNA. Sabia nueva. El próximo Presidente salido de las elecciones deberá presentarnos sus propias ideas, sus objetivos, sus métodos de trabajo y los diferentes vocales al frente de nuestras disciplinas para ganarse nuestra confianza, voto y apoyo. No tardarán en darse a conocer y esperamos sus nuevas propuestas con las que hacer frente a los retos que nuestro presente y nuestro futuro nos deparan.

foto de Jaume Teixidó.


foto de Jaume Teixidó.





En lo que se refiere a nuestro waterpolo y por extensión a otras especialidades en temas comunes, estos, serían aspectos a desarrollar , en mi opinión, de forma inmediata o en el corto plazo, en colaboración con el vocal/vocales :

- FINA School programada para este mismo en año en Barcelona.

- Revisión exhaustiva de nuestras tarifas para la actividad nacional e internacional. Es totalmente incoherente tal y como están planteadas las tarifas actuales que no se revisan hace tantos y tantos años que un árbitro perciba más del doble por actuar en una fase de Campeonato de España cadete celebrada en su misma provincia que un árbitro internacional que se desplace a 3.000 km de distancia para dirigir un partido de World League o un Campeonato de 1 semana.

-Dignificación y reconocimiento de la figura del árbitro. Este reconocimiento no ha de venir sólo de un aumento de Tarifas o de su reorganización. También ha de venir de la contratación de un seguro que cubra eventuales accidentes en el desarrollo de nuestra actividad. Quiero recordar ahora mismo que , por ejemplo, un compañero sufrió una lesión fruto de un accidente en una Fase y el seguro sólo le cubría las primeras curas. Creo que se tendría que plantear un seguro completo de modo que si alguién sufre un accidente las indemnizaciones cubran, por ejemplo, los días de baja y rehabilitación posterior.

La dignificación puede venir también de una uniformidad más racional y, en especial, de una uniformidad de paseo consistente en americana, camisa y corbata oficiales cómo tienen árbitros de otras federaciones como la Italiana o la Croata. En otros deportes es así hace infinidad de años.

También como reconocimiento, como se hace con el mejor jugador o mejor portero en la liga o en un Torneo tipo Copas... Se podría estandarizar el sistema y que los Delegados y Evaluadores de una fase así como los entrenadores de los equipos participantes pudieran votar cuál ha sido el mejor árbitro. Si no se optara por este sistema sería tan sencillo como premiar con un detalle, en la entrega de premios, a todos los árbitros participantes en reconocimiento a su labor.

Establecer el sistema para que no se repita lo que sucedió hace unos años en que los árbitros no fueron invitados como es de costumbre a la cena oficial en una Copa de la Reina.

Hace ya unos años, a iniciativa de algunos de nosotros, establecimos que con colaboraciones desinteresadas de todos nosotros a razón de 3-5€/persona les haríamos un pequeño detalle para los compañeros que se retiraban. Si así lo hicimos fué por que lo considerábamos correcto y justo. Esto, tendría que oficializarse.

-Jornadas Técnicas Anuales ,  dotarlas de mayor contenido e interés para todos y que se celebraran conjuntamente con los árbitros de toda nuestra geografia y no en sedes distintas cómo en los últimos años.

-Búsqueda de sponsorización para nuestro colectivo. ya sea con publicidad a nuestras espaldas o de otro modo... pero buscar fórmulas para autofinanciar en lo posible el gasto de parte de nuestra actividad.

- Puntualidad en los pagos. Intensificar los contactos con la Tesoreria de nuestra RFEN para que cumplan sin más dilaciones los compromisos adquiridos de pagos de los partidos ya realizados. es inadmisible que sin motivo o explicación alguna se den retrasos en los mismos y que los árbitros, en especial, aquellos que se desplazan tengan que adelantar ellos el dinero. En este sentido, y ya está ocurriendo, a medida que están desapareciendo las restricciones y el número de desplazamientos está aumentando no es correcto que a fecha de hoy, cuando estamos a punto de iniciar la 2a vuelta de las ligas, sólo se hayan liquidado únicamente las 4 primeras Jornadas de la misma. Lo mismo ocurrió la Temporada anterior en que el primer pago tardó más de lo comprometido.

-Costes adicionales. En la revisión de tarifas, podría incluirse el coste de los peajes (presentado comprobantes) o la de coches de alquiler imprescindibles en algunos desplazamientos para el correcto desarrollo de nuestras actividades.

-Exigencia y compromiso, profesionalidad. No todo han de ser demandas de abajo hacia arriba. Los árbitros hemos de ser más profesionales, exigentes y comprometidos. Actuar dónde y cuando seamos convocados (la máxima de los 2 últimos vocales). Colaborar activamente con el área de waterpolo en entrenamientos y stages. Colaborar activamente con las distintas vocalias realizando propuestas de posibles mejoras y proponiendo aspectos técnicos y organizativos de mejora  y comentando jugadas que se van produciendo. Ayudar actualizando o traduciendo manuales.

No podemos ser sólo árbitros 2 horas a la semana, el ser árbitro engloba muchas otras cosas.
Reducción del número de árbitros en función de su nivel de compromiso y su profesionalidad y no sólo por su nivel técnico al cerrarse la clasificación a finalizar la Temporada  al mismo tiempo ser más transparentes en los criterios de designación y/o promoción/descenso  de categorias o a internacional y en las designaciones.
Los árbitros deben hacer propuestas a nuestros representantes en la asamblea.

Cuando más exigentes, comprometidos y más profesionales dentro y fuera de la piscina seamos más respeto y reconocimiento recibiremos.

Es incompatible. a mi entender, que a la vez que reclamamos revisión y razionalización de tarifas algunos árbitros se presten a actuar en torneos o campeonatos sin ser convocados oficialmente y fuera del paraguas de la RFEN.

La seriedad que se nos ha de exigir en toda competición, tendría que incluir forzosamente que nos abstuviéramos de realizar nuestros desplazamientos a arbitrar ya sea a nivel nacional o internacional de ir acompañados de familiares. Vamos a arbitrar, no de vacaciones. Más que medidas de "prohibición" tendría que ser un valor o aspecto que tubiéramos interiorizado y surgiera de nosotros mismos.

-Evaluaciones. Un signo de madurez del colectivo y transparencia de las diferentes vocalias, seria que los árbitros recibieran las evaluaciones (no la parte del informe reservada y dirigida a la vocalia). En todos los deportes, los árbitros evaluados reciben un informe de su actuación.

-Evaluadores y Delegados Federativos, la misma profesionalidad y exigencia ha de reclamarse de  este colectivo. A su vez se han de hacer las oportunas revisiones de las actuales normativas para dotar de más contenido y atribuciones y responsabilidades a la figura del Delegado y Evaluador. Los árbitros han de preocuparse y centrarse en lo que ocurre dentro del agua dejando para las delegados y evaluadores todo lo demás.

-Evaluaciones y aspectos a mejorar, análisis de jugadas,  en video. A dia de hoy, con los tiempos que corren, no podremos evolucionar y seguir mejorando sin trabajar con videos de nuestros partidos, de nuestras decisiones en determinadas jugadas y de su análisis y estandarización. Hemos de reclamar que se trabaje con este sistema de una vez por todas. El CNA ha de disponer de un programa de análisis de videos para poder estudiar nuestras actuaciones y homogeneizar nuestras decisiones en determinadas jugadas.

Estos son algunos de los puntos que me gustaría que los distintos candidatos a ser nuestro próximo Presidente propusieran, seguro que faltan muchos más.

A los valientes que se presenten les deseo la mejor de las suertes y les brindo mi colaboración como he hecho con anteriores Presidente y Vocales. 

Sin duda deberán buscar la colaboración y apoyo de todos nosotros. No es fácil pero si lo hacemos entre todos valdrá la pena !

Se ha acabado aquello del "nadar y guardar la ropa" o el ser "politicamente correcto". se trata de defender los intereses del colectivo y ponerse delante del carro para tirar de él .

Os deseo a todos un Feliz 2017



Jaume Teixidó
árbitro del CNA

28 diciembre 2016

Se presenta en sociedad la Federación Española de Waterpolo

Imatge relacionada

Una noticia esperada hace tiempo.

EFO Redacción 28.12.2016-

  La RFEN y  la Asociación de Clubs de Waterpolo ayer martes ofrecieron una rueda de prensa para dar a conocer los detalles de la creación de la Federación Española de Waterpolo.

 Si hace unos años nuestra RFEN pasaba a promocionar la marca "Aquatics" englobando a las diferentes disciplinas que la integran, el tiempo, ha hecho que en la misma línea que otras importantes importantes federaciones nacionales como CRO, AUS, SRB o USA entre otras, el waterpolo empiece su andadura en solitario.

 Esta noticia, por si misma suficientemente importante, lo es mucho más aún si tenemos en cuenta que en ITA también han empezado los trámites para su creación.

 Inicialmente y hasta la composición de su estructura federativa propia, el nacimiento de la Federación Española de Waterpolo, está previsto coincidiendo con el inicio de la próxima Temporada 2017-2018 y hasta ese momento se mantendrá como hasta ahora integrada en la RFEN.

 La sede de la futura Federación será en los actuales locales de la FCN, en la Calle Diputación de Barcelona, puesto que esta última ha adquirido una nueve sede que se inaugurará en breve y que, a su vez, acogerá las oficinas para el Campeonato de Europa de Waterpolo 2018.


Resultat d'imatges de waterpolo español




19 diciembre 2016

Concerns about the future of water polo, ByDante Dettamanti (waterpology.com)


http://www.waterpology.com/news/concerns-future-water-polo/


Concerns about the future of water polo


As a former coach who has been involved in the sport of water polo for almost 60 years, I am genuinely concerned about the future of our sport. This article is a little lengthy; but please bear with me, as I believe that we have reached a point where we need to start having discussions about what we can do to help water polo compete in the international arena. Should we continue as we always have been, as a small niche sport that is followed by a few loyal fans in only a few select countries and cities around the world; or do we need to start expanding the sport by appealing to more people around the world?
A vast majority of the countries in the world do not sponsor water polo as a National sport; or do not come close to fielding a national team for international competition. There are fewer than ten countries in the world, most of them in Europe, who have a realistic chance of medaling in international competition like the World championships or the Olympic games. Outside of a few European countries, and the United States and Australia, the popularity of water polo among the general population in most countries is barely noticeable. Even in the United States, hardly anyone outside of California has even heard of the sport.
In many countries of the world, there is no organized competition, even at the club or school levels. Even in Europe, outside of a handful of countries, water polo is only played in a few small select enclaves around each country.  It certainly is not a nationally recognized sport in most of those countries, except maybe in Hungary and Italy and a few Balkan countries. Outside of a few countries clustered around the Mediterranean, water polo barely exists in other parts of Northern Europe; and it doesn’t exist at all in most parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South and Central America.
So far, our Olympic status, and support from FINA are the only things that have allowed us to survive as an International sport. This may not be enough, as the Olympic status quo is being challenged every four years with the addition and subtraction of sports. Those sports that cannot make it in the international arena will be dropped from the Olympic program. Water polo is currently on the bubble in regards to Olympic participation, surviving because of support from a few individuals in FINA that still champion the sport. This may not continue in the future as FINA only really cares about the big money and TV sports of swimming and diving. Water polo, with its lack of worldwide popularity and appeal, and its low ranking in competition for the all-important TV dollar, may be one of the sports that is dropped in future Olympics.
The water polo community and the people in charge of administrating and coaching the sport have got to start thinking about what we can do to appeal to more people and countries around the world. A big question about water polo has to be asked. It concerns the game that we are presenting to the rest of the world. Is the game that we are currently playing good enough to allow us to survive as an International sport?
For one thing, we cannot continue to play a game that is good for just the same few countries. We need a game that appeals to everyone, and a game that is fun and exciting to watch. We need a game that everyone can play and everyone can understand. At a meeting called by FINA several years ago in the Caribbean, the consensus of the delegates from around the water polo world was that in order to promote water polo as an international sport, we have to do a better job of marketing our sport. That may be true, but in order to market our sport, we need a better product to market. To get fans we need to first have a product that people will want to watch and participate in; and then once we achieve that, we can build awareness about our product through marketing.
In my opinion, water polo as it is being played today is just not exciting enough to draw the attention of fans around the world. I don’t think that we have a good enough product that will make people want to pay money to watch it on TV or to attend games. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the sport as it is played today is boring and static. I love the game; but I have trouble watching many of the games that I see being played today. We can do better than what we are doing now. We have done better in the past. We can do it again if people will just admit that we need to make some changes in our sport.
I sometimes wonder if we really care whether water polo is viable as an international sport or not. Perhaps we should start caring, because if we don’t do something about reaching more countries and people around the world, we could lose the sport at the Olympic level. So far we have ignored doing something about our status in the world, simply being satisfied with the status quo, and keeping things the way that they are. The only people that are satisfied with the sport are the few countries that win medals in International competition.
Some people think that all we have to do is change a few rules, and all of our problems will be solved. It’s not just rules that have to be changed; it is the attitude of coaches, referees, players, and administrators that needs to change if we are to become a viable sport. We have to change the feeling that everything is all right with our game and the way that we are playing the game. We have to change the attitude that we are satisfied with being a small niche sport that appeals to a small group of supporters and fans. We have to strive to become better!

WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM?

We have to ask what it is about our game that keeps it from gaining worldwide attention? We know some of the causes of the decrease in popularity in our sport around the world. Some of these things cannot be changed. But on top of all of our inherent problems— lack of facilities, lack of money, the game takes place underwater, it’s hard to watch on TV, too many whistles, hard game to understand, etc., we now add insult to injury by presenting a game to the world, that to me and many others as well is actually slow and boring to watch. Where once water polo was a swimming and horizontal game of motion and movement, the game of today is a static game of vertical positioning, passing, and little movement except to get from one end of the pool to the other.
Water polo is a game that is meant to be played fast. People want to see movement. They want to see people moving, not just ball movement. They do not want to see athletes in a static vertical position who are simply passing the ball to each other. Passing a ball is not that exciting to watch. The game has become a “big man’s” game, where size, muscle, length and brawn are more important than speed, quickness, agility and fineness. This emphasis on size and height alone is enough to disqualify millions of people from around the world from ever playing the game.
Where once the fast-moving counterattack was an exciting part of the game, it is rarely executed in today’s game. Where once “natural” goals were a big part of the game, now many of the goals come on the six against five extra-man passing attack. Where once scoring came from the center, from players who attacked the goal by swimming (drivers), from the counterattack, and from perimeter shooting, now almost all of the goals come from perimeter shooting against zone defenders in the front court and in the extra-man attack. Where once we played exclusively in exciting man-to-man defenses, we now play mostly static zone defenses.
Fast movement and swimming in the attack is almost completely gone from today’s game. Where are the smaller, fast and quick attackers of years past, exciting attackers like De Magistris from Italy and Estiarte from Spain? If players like this do exist in today’s game, then they are being hidden by coaches who prefer a static and vertical system of play over a movement/driving game.
What is it about our game that causes us to play this static and vertical style? We didn’t use to exclusively play this style of game in the past. Why do we play it now? To me, the main reason why we play the static and vertical style is because we stubbornly stick to the concept of the static center-forward who plants himself in front of the goal, and never moves from that position. I strongly feel that stationing the center-forward in front of the goal is what inhibits the movement game that fans desire and want to see. To me, the biggest hurdle that we have in this sport is that we have to figure out what to do with the center-forward position.

THE ROLE OF THE CENTER HAS CHANGED

We have always had a center in water polo who contributed to the attack. What has changed about the center’s contribution to the game? How has the role of the center changed from a positive one that encourages motion, to a negative one that inhibits motion? Playing a center directly in front of the goal is a tradition that goes back 75 or more years in water polo. It has been the mainstay of the sport. The only problem is that this tradition has actually become a handicap to playing the game of water polo. This is because the role of the center has changed from when it was first conceived. To put it simply, the center position has outlived its usefulness in the sport.
What actually does the center contribute to the attack except to draw exclusion fouls? The most successful water polo coach in the world Ratko Rudic said after the last European Championships “Several teams were with a single center-forward? This is because if the ball arrives at two meters, the exclusion is called straight away. Therefore, a coach just needs a physically strong center who “pretends” to get the ball, rather than a true center forward who has the technical skill for grabbing the ball, passing the ball, and also scoring goals”.
In the past, if the center was fouled, he could actually pass the ball to a moving teammate who was driving to the goal. But because of rule changes that don’t allow common fouls at that position, the center in today’s game is not even allowed to make a pass to a moving teammate; or even allowed to take a shot for that matter. The game has developed where coaches instruct the defenders to give a major foul on the center and play a man down, rather than allow the center to shoot the ball. Where once the center could score goals, fouling him has now taken away his ability to shoot the ball.
How many sports allow a player to station himself in a static position directly in front of the goal, wrestling with his defender; while the other players station themselves around the center, simply passing the ball while waiting him to get into position to receive the ball? Only water polo does this. Where is the creativity in placing five players in a half-circle around a center and simply passing the ball from person to person? Where is the excitement in watching this kind of game? The resulting extra-man attack now constitutes a third of our game. Where is the excitement in watching six players passing the ball against five players in a zone with their arms in the air?

LET’S LOOK AT BASKETBALL FOR COMPARISON

Let’s compare the role of the center in the fast paced and popular sport of basketball to the center in water polo. The basketball center has many offensive roles, including shooting, passing to drivers, and setting screens and picks. The stationary water polo center does none of these things. The basketball center facilitates the game. The water polo center inhibits the game by sitting in one spot in front of the goal, effectively stopping any other players from entering that area.
The basketball center in comparison is constantly moving around in the area in front of the basket. In fact, there is an area in front of the basket called a lane, where the center (or anyone else for that matter) is not allowed to stop for more than 3 seconds. If basketball can do this, then why can’t water polo? Why does the water polo center have to remain stationary? Why can’t the center become more mobile and move around in front of the goal? I will tell you the answer—-it is because water polo coaches are fixated on the static center, and passing the ball to him to draw an exclusion foul. Until coaches get over this fixation, we will never have movement in our game. It will continue to remain static and boring to watch.
Basketball is a multi-dimensional game of many different ways to score, whereas water polo is very one-dimensional. We do the same thing on every possession—stick the center in front of the goal and try to pass the ball to him to draw an exclusion foul. There is no reason why we can’t create a multi-dimensional attack for water polo that features different parts of the game. We are missing a style of play that makes sports around the world fun to watch and play, a style that involves movement and motion; and has many different facets.

PLAYING SMALL BALL

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Basketball Championships last year without playing a true center in the last two games of their seven game series; as they did many times during their season, setting a record for most wins in one season. This is called “small ball”. It is an exciting game to watch and to play. It is a combination of fast break, passing the ball to attacking teammates, driving to the basket, dunk shots, lay-ups, and perimeter 3-point shooting.
If a sport like basketball, with it’s emphasis on height, can a team play small ball without a center, and win a championship, then why can’t water polo also play this way? At the very least, water polo could play both styles; or at least have the option of switching from one style to another during a single game. It would get our sport away from the “only one way to play the game” vertical style that every team in the world employs today.
The sport of water polo has become a slave to the “big man” center forward vertical style offense and zone shot blocking defense that favors bigger and taller players. To me it is a misuse of some of our sport’s best athletes, the smaller 5’8” to 6’1” players with the physical attributes of speed and agility. Great players of the past, like Estiarte, probably would have difficulty fitting into today’s style of big-man water polo.

WHAT DOES THE CENTER ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH?

In the past few years, I have actually studied the center position in detail. I have taken statistics of eight different games played by the top teams in the 2014 European Championships, two games played between the top four teams in the 2016 European Championships, and closer to home, six games played this year between the top four teams in the MPSF league of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). All of the games (14 games, 28 teams) that I observed in both Europe and the United States were played in the same “center-oriented” style that is common around the world.
In observing these games, I concentrated mainly on evaluating the center position. The question that I was trying to answer—–does playing the center on every possession really accomplish what it is supposed to do in terms of exclusions and goals scored? How many times during a game does the center actually receive the ball, and what are the results of this possession when he does receive the ball. Another aspect of the frontcourt attack that I wanted to look at was what happens when the ball does not get to the center. What are the other ways that teams are scoring goals with involving a center, and finally, what affect does the center have on the other ways that we score in our sport. Does the center add-to or take-away scoring chances from other players.

RESULTS

Keep in mind that the statistics are average figures from 14 games. Any team at any time could be well above or below the average. Most teams have the ball for about 40 times per game, and score about ten goals per game on average. In about 99 percent of the possessions, teams played with a center. The ball actually was passed to the center about 1/3 of the 40 possessions, or about 12-13 passes per game out of 40 opportunities. More than half of the passes into the center were intercepted or stolen by the defense, or the center took a shot and did not score. These all count as turnovers that did not result in a positive outcome, accounting for about 8 turnovers per game from the center position. Of the remaining 4-5 possessions of the ball at center, there were on average about 4 exclusion fouls called per game, and one 5-meter penalty per game.
In addition, other exclusion fouls in a game were called during the counterattack (2 per game), on the perimeter (2-3 per game), and at the center position (1-2 per game) while the ball was still on the perimeter, and before it was passed to the center. This was a total of 9-10 exclusion fouls per team per game. For purposes of this evaluation, we will add all exclusion fouls at center together, whether the ball was present or not; giving us a total of about 6 total exclusion fouls called at the center position, along with one 5-meter penalty.
It has been shown that most teams score goals on about one third of their extra-man opportunities in a game; thus making it two goals from the six exclusions at center (2/6). Adding one 5-meter goal per game gives us three (3) goals scored as a result of the major fouls called at the center position. The final result is that in 40 possessions in which we have a center sitting in front of the goal, we get 3 goals per game. That means that we are getting a positive result (goals) on 7 percent of the possessions (3/40). To put it another way, is it worth putting a center in position 40 times a game for only 3 goals? It seems that this is not really a very efficient way to score goals.

TWO QUESTIONS

Now I have to ask two questions. Is there anything we can do during the remaining possessions that will allow more goals to be scored, to increase our efficiency per possession; and how does the presence of the center affect the other ways of scoring goals besides from major fouls? To answer the first question, we first have to look at all of the possible ways to score goals in a water polo game, and then see how goals were actually scored in the games that I observed. Finally we would like to see if there is a way to increase goal production from other means, besides from major fouls.
The possible ways to score goals in a game include from the extra-man (6 on 5), from penalty shots, from the center position, from outside shots on the perimeter, off of drives, and from the counterattack. In the 14 games that I observed, the primary source of scoring was from the extra-man (6 on 5), penalty shots, and from outside perimeter shooting for a total of about eight (8) goals scored per team per game on average.
From the total of ten (10) exclusion fouls from all sources called in a game, six (6) exclusions came from the center and four (4) exclusions came from other means, resulting in a total of 3-4 goals scored from extra-man if we assume 36 percent (1/3) scoring on the extra-man. Add one goal from penalty shots, and we get most of the remaining four goals caming from perimeter shooting against zone defenders dropping back on the center. These four (4) goals per game came from about 20 perimeter shots, an average shooting percentage of about 25% (4/20) from perimeter shooting. This means that 75 percent of the perimeter shots taken were blocked by a field player or the goalie, or missed the goal entirely.
Almost no goals in the games that I observed were scored from drives, from counterattacks, or from the center position. NOTE: Actual goals from counterattack, front court movement by attackers, or from the center did occur occasionally in games, especially in a few USA collegiate games; but were negligible in terms of having an effect on the statistical analysis of the average from 14 total games and over 550 possessions of the ball. In all reality, goals from other sources besides the extra-man and perimeter shooting, are not an important part of the modern water polo game.
In summarizing, most of the goals in a game came from the least mobile parts of the game, namely shooting from a vertical position in the pool on extra-man and from the perimeter; while hardly any goals were scored from a movement oriented counterattack, driving to the goal, and shots from the center just in front of the goal. I feel that we need to find ways to increase scoring from other more dynamic parts of the game, i.e. counterattack, driving and center shots; and not rely solely on less dynamic extra-man and perimeter shooting. We should be scoring more than 25 percent of our outside shots. Missing 80 percent of our shots, and then swimming in the other direction is again another boring part of the game.

DOES THE CENTER HINDER GOAL PRODUCTION?

Before we look at ways of increasing our goals from more dynamic scoring methods, we have to consider the second question from above, how much does the presence of the static center affect scoring from the other methods? Could we score goals from other methods if the center and his defender were not present in front of the goal? If we took the center outside of the equation and opened up the space in front of the goal, would we get more goals from perimeter shots, from drives to the goal, and from the counterattack, than we are now getting?
We cannot really know the results unless we actually play some games with a more mobile center and a center placed in different positions in front of the goal, similar to basketball. I believe that we could create more goals, and get more movement in front of the goal if we did not cause an obstruction from the center position directly in front of the goal. I strongly feel the reason for this is that the center and his defender and the resulting three zone defenders take up so much space in front of the goal; that it is difficult to penetrate that space with shots and drivers. There simply is not enough room to maneuver or even shoot the ball.
In my game analysis, I actually stopped the video during many frontcourt attacks, and observed that with the center, center defender, the goalkeeper, and three zone defenders, we actually had six bodies stacked up in front of the goal (Coaches should try this sometime just to see how crowded it really is in the area in front of the goal). When teams play a “double-post” offense (two centers), the space in front of the goal is even more crowded, with as many as 7-8 players in front of the goal. Driving and shooting in the double post attack was even more limited than in the single center offense.
It is my contention that the static center actually takes away scoring opportunities from other players because it promotes crowding and places obstruction in front of the goal. Players would be more willing to drive to the goal and shoot from the perimeter if they didn’t have to navigate through the 5 or 6 players now clustered in front of the goal. Even if a team only scored the same average number of goals in a game (8), at least the goals would come from a more interesting and more versatile attack; an attack that would incorporate more movement and add more excitement for the fans. Let’s look at different ways that teams can score goals in a multi-dimensional attack, an attack in which we do not simply place the center directly in front of the goal and pass him the ball.

CAN WE GET MORE GOALS FROM SHOOTING AND DRIVING?

Right now we are not converting on 75 percent of our shots from the perimeter. A lot of these shots are being blocked by the three zone defenders, the center defender, as well as the goalie. In addition to the many arms, we also have to shoot the ball around the bodies of both the center and the center-defender. Their blocking position in front of the goal requires shooting the ball in precise shooting lanes that make it easy to defend, and easy to block the shot by both the defender and the goalie. There is a reason why we only score 25 percent of our outside shots! How much easier would it be and how many more goals could we score if we created more space to shoot the ball by moving the center and center defender to a position on or outside a post; anywhere but sitting directly in front of the goal.
In the past, we could always score 3-4 goals per game from drives to the goal; but right now we do not have a driving game at any level of water polo. Once again, part of the reason is because of the presence and blocking position of the center and center defender. Imagine if we could move the center to one side of the goal; or back out to the perimeter, and we could drive to the open space created in front of the goal. It could become a more exciting man on man driving game with lots of motion and scoring from movement, rather than from static positions. The center himself could be part of the motion attack as well, presenting an additional challenge to the defense.
Can you imagine what players like Perrone of Spain/Brazil, Azevedo of the USA, and Varga of Hungary could do if they were allowed to drive and maneuver in a more open space in front of the goal? Think of how much more excitement they could create with one-on-one matchups similar to the ones that are created by the great one-on-one players in soccer. Scoring from movement is much more exciting than scoring from a static and vertical position on the perimeter. Think of how many more people in the world could play the game if the smaller player who can swim and move could once again get involved in the game. Water polo doesn’t just have to be only the “big-man’s” game that it is now.

CAN WE SCORE MORE COUNTERATTACK GOALS?

I will take the center argument one step further. It is my contention that the position of a static center has been the most important factor in stopping one of the most exciting parts of the game, the counterattack. We are scoring less on the counterattack because of the misplaced notion that teams have to keep the ball out of the center position to avoid an exclusion foul. So defenses have resorted to playing drop back zones in front of the center to prevent the center from obtaining the ball, instead of playing man-to-man defense.
Because of the difficulty of creating an open player on the counterattack from the drop back zone position, the counterattack as a way to score goals hardly exists anymore as an attacking weapon in our sport. Because we start from a defensive position that is back in the zone, we very rarely see 1 on 0, 2 on 1 and 3 on 2 counterattacks anymore. If teams would play more press defense, they could create more of these kinds of counterattacks. Once again, this would increase the excitement of the game with movement and one-on-one matchups; not to mention more goals scored on the counterattack.

INCREASE CENTER SCORING

By making the center more mobile, changing his position in front of the goal, and bringing him into a position in front of the goal later in the shot clock when teams don’t expect it, defenses would not be in position to drop back and steal the ball; and would many times be out of position to deliberately foul the center. This would create more opportunities for a mobile center to shoot the ball and score more goals, again adding more excitement to the game and another way to score goals.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE MEANINGFUL CHANGES TO THE GAME?

There really are only a few things that a sport has any control over; and that is the rules of the sport, and how the game is played. Other sports have helped their game become more popular by changing rules of the game. Basketball, for instance, saw an increase in fast-break scoring, and scoring from drives to the basket, when they passed a rule that didn’t allow hand-checking by defenders. The problem with water polo is that we can’t count on FINA and the TWPC to make meaningful rule changes that will help the game become more popular.