Although the English Swimming Association's panel of swimmers developed the rudimentary rules of the game, different versions were in place and sometimes they were not followed and universal.
The focus of the game was not to play at a high level, but rather to entertain the spectators.
It was in this spirit that the first official match was played in the Crystal Palace Swimming Pool.
In the prehistoric days of water polo, injuries were common, mostly due to one of the players being trapped under the boat, upon which the goalie had the privilege of standing.
The goalie, stood in the boat on the pool shore or pontoon (depending on where the match was played) and was allowed to launch himself onto any oncoming attackers.
The goalkeeper was forbidden to be hurt and was protected by the rules.
Newspapers often reported a cases whereby goalkeepers nearly drowned the oncoming strikers, even at times causing serious vertebral injuries.
The spectators loved this new game and embraced the barbaric nature in which it was played.