New sport makes a big splash

Imagine floating down a lazy river. Now mix it with the athleticism of water polo. That is what people are experiencing during Northern Kentucky University’s newest intramural sport, inner tube water polo.

In the inaugural season there are only three teams in the league, but they go out and battle with each other every Monday night.

The rules of the game are fairly simple.

The games are made up of two 12-minute running halves. There can be anywhere from eight to 14 players on the water at anytime, depending on how many people each team has. So far, most of the games have been five-on-five.

During the course of play, getting physical with the other team is not allowed. If that happens, the ball will be turned over to the opponent. It might be tempting to flip, dunk, or even block the opponent, but that’s a big “no-no” during water polo competitions.

The game begins with both teams lining up along opposite walls of the pool. Then the referee will throw the ball in between the teams. From that point on, it’s nonstop swimming, throwing and passing action.

The games stay relatively calm, except for the occasional splashing of water or bumping into opponents, but the competition is ferocious. After the games end, the teams will have a good laugh about playing, exchange comments with each other and say good-bye until next week.

NKU is not the first school to have inner tube water polo offered as an intramural sport. Among colleges in this area, University of Louisville also has a program like this. Although the league is bigger there, students say they still have the same amount of fun as they did when the league was first starting.

If you would like more information on the inner tube water polo league check out Campus Rec’s Web site or just stop by the rec center pool on Mondays from 8 until 10 p.m.