Water Polo Age & Playing Groups

** USA Water Polo guidelines NOW state that the age of an athlete will be determined based on their age on August 1st the year of competition. So an athlete that is 12 or younger on August 1, 2013 will be on the U12 team.

Some competitions use divisions by school grade – 8th grade & under, 6th grade & under, etc

Playing Age Groups:

  • 10 & under / Splashball (Ages 6-9)
  • 12 & Under / 6th grade & under (Ages 10-12)
  • 14 & Under / 8th grade & under (Ages 10-14)

U10 – Splashball

The Splashball program is designed for kids ages 6-10 who want to learn about the sport, but aren’t quite ready to be competing. Practices will primarily be held in the small pool where the kids can stand – allowing them to focus on learning the game. The practices will be focused on conditioning, learning the rules and general strategy of the game. Kids will also begin to develop their ball handling skills. This practice group is designed to give our athletes a base of knowledge about the sport before they join our competitive teams.

Requirements:

  • Positive attitude
  • Desire to learn a new sport
  • Comfortable in the water. Practices are held in the shallow pool
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn how to pass and swim with the ball (with a Splashball ball)
  • Learn the basic rules of the game: offensive and defensive fouls
  • Begin to introduce the concept of playing as a team: spacing, man to man defense and communication

U12 – 6th grade & under

The 6th grade group will consist of athletes ages 9-12 who have limited water polo experience. This group is designed for athletes who are either brand new to the sport, or are transitioning out of the Splashball program. In this group athletes will train in the big pool allowing the athletes to master important skills such as passing, shooting and driving.

Requirements:

  • Comfortable in the water – practices in the deep end
  • Positive attitude
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn the rules of the game
  • Be able to make 10 dry passes in a row with a partner (with a Junior ball)
  • Be able to handle the water polo ball
  • Know all the positions
  • Learn how to eggbeater, and be comfortable eggbeatering while playing
  • Compete as a team in local competitions and demonstrate teamwork and good sportsmanship

U14 – 8th grade & under

The 8th grade group consists mainly of players who are either completely new to the game or who are still working to grasp the basic format and structure of play. In this group athletes are taught, among other basic skills, how to eggbeater properly, how to dribble a ball, how to pass and shoot, and how to function and react within a rudimentary offense and defense. While seeking to develop the fundamental skills of the game, this group also focuses its energy on enjoying the sport so that a lasting interest and sense of confidence may grow. Competitions are intended to foster that enjoyment in a low-stress and positive environment.

Requirements:

  • Previous water polo and/or swim team experience highly recommended
  • Positive attitude
  • Attend 50% of workouts – each quarter coaches will translate this into a certain number of workouts (Tue & Th)
  • Make every effort to attend all competitions
  • In the event that there is not enough room for all potential team members, athletes also participating in the Iron Polo Swim Group will get priority
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn/perfect eggbeater
  • Learn how to pass and catch with one hand (with a Mikasa 6009/women’s ball))
  • Learn all the rules of the game including all three types of fouls
  • Know the positions
  • Compete as a team in local competitions and demonstrate teamwork and good sportsmanship
  • Qualify for Junior Olympics each summer
  • Develop a sense of team spirit and camaraderie
  • Develop the following skills: swimming with the ball, hand transfers, turn-side defense, releases, shooting, and passing.

U14 – 8th grade & under – “TRAVEL TEAM” – TPC “A” Team

The 8th grade “TRAVEL TEAM” group concentrates mainly on perfecting and expanding the basic skills necessary to play water polo. A large portion of practice time is devoted to developing effective passing and shooting techniques, situational ball handling, and commonly used offensive and defensive strategies. Players learn how to move efficiently in the water, to economize motion as a team, and to recognize advantage situations. In addition to being exposed to new skills and concepts, members of this group are also challenged to begin understanding how to be a productive member of a team. The ability levels of members frequently encompass a broad range, and the playing environment for this group is competitive yet relaxed.

Players in this group are committed to participate in all tournaments of the season.

Requirements:

  • Previous water polo and swim team experience
  • Attend minimum 75% of workouts – each quarter coaches will translate this into a certain number of workouts (Tu, Th & Fr and/or Sat)
  • Make every effort to attend all competitions
  • Understand that your actions affect the whole team
  • In the event that there is not enough room for all potential team members, athletes also participating in the Iron Polo Swim Group will get priority
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn/perfect eggbeater
  • Learn how to pass and catch with one hand (with a Mikasa 6009)
  • Learn the rules of the game
  • Know the positions
  • Understand the concept of team defense
  • Identify a primary position for each athlete and hone the necessary skills
  • Work as a team to successfully run a basic system of offense and defense
  • Transition fluidly from offense to defense as a team
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Compete at a high level against other local teams
  • Qualify for Junior Olympics each summer
  • Further develop the following skills: wet shots, driving, drifting, reversals, releasing, posting up,, passing under pressure, and playing 2-meter defense.