The splash of water resonates in the gym as players throw elbows to gain position on their guard in the pool. Helmets and a fluorescent yellow ball are the most visible things in Lewellen Pool as the water polo practice match begins.

“You have the water element of swimming and the physical element of football,” said Keaton Osborn, senior urban planning major and president of the Water Polo Club. “Pretty much in water polo, the underlying quality is that essentially everything under the water is legal, as long as the ref doesn’t see it.”

The club, which began in the early ‘90s, currently has over 20 members and hosts practices from 9-11 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Joseph Johnson, a freshman elementary education major, said the club is different from typical sports because of how it structures its practices.

“We do swim laps and do drills, but most of the time we are scrimmaging or playing other types of games,” Johnson said. 

Any age, gender and level of experience is encouraged to attend a practice; the only requirement is that a waiver is signed by each participant. The amount of experience each current member has with water polo varies, but Lori Wiegner, a freshman aquatics major, said it doesn’t matter. 

“They work with me calmly and they always have faith in what I do. They never get mad or upset when I mess up,” Wiegner said. “You don’t have to know anything because all the other members will teach you and help you through it.”

While members may be new, they work toward tournament competition. Because the pool at Ball State is not regulated for water polo, the club holds several fundraisers in order to travel to tournaments in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. 

Contact Justice Amick with comments at jramick@bsu.edu