No. Athletes are encouraged to attend as much as possible, but attendance is not mandatory at every practice. It’s understood that many club athletes may be participating in other sports and activities, and it’s not always possible to make practice.
No. Tournaments are an incredible learning experience and are a lot of fun, but because they are on weekends, it’ not always possible to attend. Prior to each tournament, athletes (and their families) will be asked if they are able to attend to help coaches determine rosters and whether or not they have the minimum needed to field a team. We may even have the numbers to field more than one team in an age group at some tournaments to maximize playing time for athletes.
Yes. Many high school athletes will compete on both a school team (like swimming) and a club team (like water polo) simultaneously because of the flexibility of club sports. It’s best to communicate with your high school coach your extra activities.
While TWPC will make every attempt to attend tournaments in our “zone” (Central California), most tournaments are out of our zone. Southern California, and in particular Orange County, is the heart of USA Water Polo (USAWP offices are in HB), and many tournaments happen in this area.
Visit www.usawaterpolo.org, and click on “membership programs” and then “join USAWP.” Follow the directions for a new or returning member. TWPC members should obtain either a “silver” or “gold” level membership. Both will allow for participation in tournaments, but gold is required to attend Junior Olympics. Silver can be upgraded to gold prior to JOs. The very first time an athlete joins USAWP, there is an extra “age verification” step and fee ($5 at last check).
Junior Olympics is the largest water polo tournament anywhere in the world. Hundreds of teams from across the United States will first attend JO Qualifying Tournaments (Central CA Zone’s are held towards the end of June) in their zone for the chance to qualify for JOs. Junior Olympics are always held in California in late July, rotating between Orange County and San Jose area (home to JOs 2018). Junior Olympics are four day tournaments, with multiple levels (Championship, Classic, Invite) and age divisions (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U). Boys’ and girls’ qualifiers and JOs are held on different weekends.
USAWP establishes “the age you are on August 1st” as the age qualifying date for JOs. For 2018, your athlete’s age on 8/1/18 will determine the lowest age group they can participate in. An athlete that is currently 14 but turns 15 prior to 8/1/18, will play in the 16U (16 and under) division. Athletes can always play “up,” meaning this athlete could participate in the 18U division, since that division is for “18 and under.” Most tournaments prior to JOs use the JO qualifying age, meaning a 14 year old may spend the winter and spring playing in 16U tournaments because they will turn 15 prior to JOs.
Club water polo runs year-round for athletes not yet in high school. TWPC will determine the viability of offering a program for middle school athletes during the high school season (August-November) at a later date. For high school athletes, club water polo starts after the high school season ends and continues through Junior Olympics (December-July). Athletes can join at anytime.