This past Thursday night I played in my first-ever game of Inner Tube Water Polo (ITWP). The game was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to resume playing the rest of the season once I get back from my trip this week.
Instead of wasting time and words trying to explain the game, watch this YouTube video:
It’s more athletic and demanding than I imagined. You’ll notice most of the players are not exactly obese folks trying to escape the exercise of pure water polo. (Granted, real water polo is far more strenuous and demanding, and also harsher / tougher, than this.)
The game was a blast. It was more challenging than I expected in many ways, starting with getting in the tube itself. It’s hard to keep your balance while moving fast, while holding a ball, and while people try to get that ball out of your hands.
I also didn’t read all the rules closely in advance, and it turns out there are some nice twists, at least in our league. The league is organized by Social Boston Sports and takes place (this season anyways) on Thursday evenings at the Boston Athletic Club.
The location itself is a bit of challenge, in that it’s buried far off the road in the Fort Point Channel area of South Boston. It’s a sketchy area between warehouses and other commercial buildings, especially at night when it’s dark.
But the club is clean, well-organized, has great facilities (pools, hot tubs, sauna, tennis courts, etc.), and has a bar with good food and drinks on site! The bar is a natural gathering point after the games, where my whole team got to know each other better. We also hung out with members of the opposite team, which was nice.
Most of my team are rookies like me. Our captain and one other player have played ITWP a bit in the past, but for the rest of us, yesterday was the first time. We got crushed, naturally, but had a blast the whole time. I’m sure we’ll get better as the season goes on. By the end of the match I was actually able to stay in my tube most of the time and move around more easily, so that’s progress.
Sum of first impressions: this is an awesome fun team sport. I look forward to future matches and seasons.