Making Waves: Inside Look Into the Girls CHS Water Polo


The Girls’ Water Polo Team gets together for a fun team photo.

For nearly 150 years, water polo has been played worldwide as a demonstration of swimming, strength, and endurance. At Chelsea High School, spring marks the beginning of the girls’ water polo season. The sport is intense, and requires hours of training in order to play at a competitive level. However, many Chelsea students seem to not understand how exactly the sport works. 

The goal of water polo is to put the ball in goals on either side of the pool, much like soccer. However, there’s a catch—players are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool and must tread water the entire time they’re in the game. 

“Games are very physically tiring,” Fiona Stoker (‘23) said. “Even some people I’ve known who are lifelong swimmers are exhausted after just their first period in water polo.”

While players are trying to get the ball into the goal, they’re only allowed to hold it with one hand. With the other hand, they must be constantly fighting off the other team to prevent them from taking the ball.

“People are going to be really mean in the water,” Emma Woodard (‘26) said. “It’s a fun sport to play, but you have to be aggressive.”

On that same note, many have wondered about the safety of a sport like water polo. From a spectator’s standpoint, it looks like the players are sometimes trying to drown each other in the water. 

“It’s a lot of trying to push people under, but you really aren’t supposed to “drown” them,” Woodard said. “Most of the time you’re only underwater for a few seconds. Some people even try to fake being under for too long to get penalties called on the other team.” 

With a sport this exciting, one would assume the spectators would be equally as hyped up. However, this isn’t always the case.

“We’ve had a few students come in to watch,” Stoker said. “Some were very vocal about not liking the sport.” 

Despite some students seemingly disliking the sport, the girls say that the audience still brings the energy to their games. 

“Watching is really fun if you know what’s going on,” Woodard said. “I think more people should give water polo a chance and come watch.”