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Playing Marco Polo

People have been playing Marco Polo for years, and kids still play it today. Essentially a game of Blindman’s Bluff, but played in a pool, the game has fairly simple rules and can be played with three or more people. So, what are the rules of Marco Polo? One player is designated as the caller, and must close his or her eyes and try to tag other players. In order to find people, even with closed eyes, the caller calls out “Marco” and the other swimmers must respond by saying “Polo.” If someone is suspected to have gotten out of the pool, the caller can say “fish out of the water,” and the person who is not in the water must switch places and become the next caller.

Kids Playing the Marco Polo Game in Maryland

Where Did the Marco Polo Name Come From?

There are several different theories about where this game got its name, though no one knows for sure the correct answer to this question. All of the theories, though, revolve around the 13th century Italian explorer who shares his name with the game. Marco Polo traveled to China, met Kubla Khan, and wrote a book, The Travels of Marco Polo, which offered Europeans one of the first glimpses of China. The book, in fact, was an inspiration for Christopher Columbus when he planned his voyage 200 years later.

What Does the Explorer Have to do with the Swimming Pool Game?

The game may have originated as a way for sailors to pass the time on ships, and there are several different stories put forward as connections to the game.

  • Marco Polo was said to have no clue as to where he was going, much like a blind man. This is the most popular explanation for the name of this pool game, with the caller being the “blind man” with closed eyes.
  • It is said that Marco Polo once became lost in the desert when traveling through China with his family, and he thought he heard voices calling his first name. He responded with Polo, in hopes of being found, but when he eventually was found, he realized he had hallucinated the call and call back.
  • Kubla Khan, the Mongol emperor, liked the Polo family and wouldn’t let them leave China. Then, one of his daughters was getting married, the Polos were part of the wedding party, and during the journey to the wedding, the ships in which they were traveling encountered a severe storm in which all but 18 passengers were lost. The princess and the Polos were among the survivors, and since visibility was low, they found each other by calling their leader (Marco) by his first name, and having his respond with his last name.

No matter how the game and its name originated, Marco Polo is a pool game that has stood the test of time!

Play in Your Pool and Leave the Maintenance to Us

No matter what kind of games you like to play in your pool, it helps to have a swimming pool cleaning company to take care of maintenance so that you can relax and play with your family. When you’re seeking a swimming pool maintenance company, look to Millennium Pools and Spas. With over 30 combined years of experience in the pool industry, we provide a comprehensive range of pool services for both residential and commercial customers in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. When you hire Millennium Pool Service, you get a well-qualified, industry-trained staff of pool contractors and technicians, services that are tailored to your needs, and a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. Contact us for more information.

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