I found the FIFA Big Count about soccer/football, but no similar number for water polo by FINA or any other source.

What is a reasonable guesstimate?

(If it improves the question, I can be more specific that I am most interested in counting all players from both genders, not only professionals, preferably also counting unregistered [but regular] players of all ages, alive and playing in 2016.)

  • 1
    So, just to be clear, you do not want to include zombie players. – PoloHoleSet Mar 31 '17 at 13:47

Here's a start, three ideas:

Top-down: which countries play waterpolo (check WC results/qualifiers?). Then guess the % of inhabitants playing WP.

Bottom-up: find the amount of pools where they play WP or amount of teams and then combine that to a total number.

Alternatively: look up the stats for all the (biggest) countries individually: for example USAWP organisation had 44773 members in 2016 according to https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/water-polo-one-of-fastest-growing-sports-in-u-s-according-to-nfhs/ and is growing (+25% since 2011) while apparently many states are not yet included in the stats due to their "club status". So I would say +100k worldwide at least after including Europe & Australia. (Minor in rest of the world apparently)

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