It has been such a pleasure to be back at the pool with our athletes and to see some of our parents as well. Water polo in the entire country is changed. And we are probably the first club in the US to get back in the pool, for which I’m extremely grateful.
So, some updates regarding how we’ll be going forward given the covid circumstances, and the change in schedule we experience every summer as Micki is opened to the public.
Plus, this update is for many people from throughout the country who have asked asked for information related to getting back to practice.
For the week beginning May 25 waterpolo training will take place from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We have changed from Monday/Wednesday/Thursday in order to maximize the amount of time we can train in deep water.
That schedule is likely but not certain to continue the first week of June. Another update forthcoming.
We have had several coaches, athletes, and parents contact us about training with AquaTex while their own local clubs are shut down. I should have a better answer about if and how we can help in the next week. Given the new distance restrictions we will have to see about numbers. Thanks for getting in touch with me.
Given that our version of masters water polo is 99% scrimmaging we will not have it on the calendar any time soon. There is some chance of organizing a shoot-around, but distancing rules will apply and be enforced.
Hosting Splashball is theoretically much easier. The issue is simply finding time on the calendar. The pool is in very heavy use during the summers. But given the interest in it we will do our best to find a time once a month for our youngest athletes.
Training Under Covid-19 Rules
As mentioned to our families a week ago Wednesday the rules under which we are operating are provided by the City of Round Rock. In general, we are simply following the local guidance as has been conveyed to Coach Mark. For water polo here’s what we’re doing.
We have set up many lounge chairs, each of which is located at least two meters from the next, for each athlete. As they enter the facility they are required to stay at or around their lounge chair. It is the same for dry-land work and conversations with coaches. You can see the setup in one of the attached photos.
No parents are allowed on the deck and masks are optional and up to each family.
During swim sets we copy the swim team. To keep athletes two meters apart we try to limit each lane to two swimmers located at opposite ends of the pool. If there were a third swimmer, he or she would have to remain somewhere two meters away, half tank for example.
Our water polo training rules are pretty simple: stay two meters away. Given that simple rule we have found it relatively easy to do individual skills, pass, shoot, do front court offense work, and even scrimmage under some unique covid-19 rules.
We held our first “scrimmage” on Thursday (photos attached) with mixed results. Those rules:
- touching another athlete means expulsion – get dressed and go home
- violation of the two meters rule is an exclusion.
- 20 seconds possession, five consecutive possessions per team (front court only)
- any shot block or goalie save = 1 point for the defense
- offensive shots earn 1, 3, 5, or 7 points depending on distance
- shots that miss the cage entirely (not caused by a deflection) are punished – the shooting team must sprint to the goal wall and back to the perimeter.
- we were going to give defenders noodles to both play defense and keep distance but they were missing.
- I barely blew the whistle at all for 20 minutes
- Our scoring system was very unbalanced. Athletes (almost exclusively boys…) nearly always chose to shoot from the 7-point distance with poor results.
- The scoring system discouraged movement, something we will change.
- Not a single expulsion or exclusion took place. Our athletes respected the distance rules.
- It was so good to even mimic “normal” competition. It was a good day.
See you on the deck,