Equipment and Gear
A water polo ball is constructed of waterproof material to allow it to float on the water. The cover is textured to give players additional grip. The size of the ball is different for men's, women's and junior games. ($20-$50)
A water polo cap is used to protect the players' heads and ears, and to make them identifiable from afar. Home team field players wear numbered white caps; Visiting team field players wear numbered dark-colored or black caps. Both starting goalkeepers wear red caps (sometimes quartered), numbered "1" (substitute goalies' caps are numbered either "13" for FINA international play or "15" for NCAA play) Caps are fitted with ear protectors. ($10-$20)
Two goals are needed in order to play water polo. These can either be put on the side of the pool, or in the pool using floaters.
A mouth guard is not mandatory in most tournaments, but is recommended. ($10-$20)
Male water polo players wear either swim briefs or jammers (thigh-length trunks). Female players must wear a one-piece swimsuit. Suit-grabbing fouls are common, so players often wear tight-fitting suits, and may layer on several suits at a time for additional security. Many swimwear labels also sell specialized water polo suits that feature reinforced stitching and tougher fabric. Female water polo suits are generally one-piece outfits which do not have open backs, but zip securely up the back so as to not have straps that can be easily grabbed.