Ordinarily the water polo players of Cerritos Junior College in California play fair, but in the picture opposite they are intently mauling each other in accordance with the rules (or, rather, lack of them) of the '30s.
In the beginning water polo took two forms. Using a well-inflated ball, Europeans developed the present international game that outlaws underwater mayhem and stresses swimming and ball handling on the surface. Americans evolved their own brawny game, a frothy turmoil of gasping, purple-faced men thrashing after a half-inflated ball that could be carried underwater where the referee could not see and only one rule applied: do unto your opponent as you know he hopes to do unto you. The American sport died before World War II, victim of its own excessive violence. U.S. teams today play the orderly modern game (following pages). But the old rough game is still in their blood, and the men of Cerritos, by indulging in it now and then, preserve lively memories of the sporting past.
With a powerful downward kick an attacker rears half out of the water and gets set to ram the ball past the goalie