The US team in Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games. Front L-R: Coach Orho Saari, Harry Bisbey, Ace Burns, Bob Hughes, Ed Jaworski. Back L-R: Jim Norris, Bill Lake, Jack Spargo, Bob Kohler, Bill Kooistra, Bill Dorblaser, Pete Stange and the team Manager John Curran. The Water Polo tournament in Helsinki was unusual in several aspects. It was the largest in Olympic history with 21 entries, including the USSR team which was participating for the first time. Another notable aspect of the competition was the succesful inauguration of a new rule which allowed players freedom of motion after a foul call ans play was speeded up considerably. Although the US team entered the tournament lighlty regarded, earned a spot in the semi-finals after wins over Spain, Belgium, Great Britain and Austria. The US team ended up in fourth place after a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Italy followed by a loss to silver medalist Yugoslavia, 4-2.
Source: A history of USA Water Polo in the Olympic Games.