AquaTex Waterpolo Families,
Some very good news about JOs to share with everyone, including our friends from Austin. It looks to be a very busy and competitive summer with our most ambitious plans ever for JOs in July. Plus a TAGS roster call and an upcoming Zoom for everyone interested in playing collegiate water polo. Read on.
A reminder that we’re planning on combining with Longhorn for 8th/6th/4th grade and younger for the 2021 Texas Age Group Water Polo Championships, April 24-25 in Pearland. There are several Longhorns already signed up. So far Ava, Tristan, and Jacob are committed. If you’re interested in participating contact me.
USA Water Polo 2021 National Junior Olympics
will be copied to another page is now available here and will be updated as necessary.
Many of you have noticed that Junior Olympics are now on the national calendar, a great sign that competition is returning to something approaching normal. We’re very pleased to start sharing information with everyone regarding our ambitious plans for 2021 JOs and Southwest Zone Qualifiers.
- June 11-13, Southwest Zone Junior Olympics Qualifiers, TBD, TX
- July 17-20, National Junior Olympics Session 1 (boys), Irvine, CA
- July 22-25, National Junior Olympics Session 2 (girls), Irvine, CA
Longhorn and AQTX have begun accounting for all the athletes who are eligible for which teams this summer at JOs. And the news is good. Based on the total number of our players, plus some estimates regarding who is interested in going, we are aiming to field the following teams at JOs and SWZ Quals. The numbers take into account the ages of our athletes as of 8/1/2021. We can enter multiple teams per age group if the numbers of athletes are sufficient. Athletes CAN play up with older age groups as long as they are listed on all relevant team rosters.
|Age & Gender||# Eligible (est.)||Likelihood of Entering||Likely Team Lead||Notes|
|10u coed||5||Low but increasing||LH|
|12u girls||3||Low||LH||Possibly 12u coed?|
|14u boys||17||Very high||AQTX||Includes some 12u athletes|
|16u girls||7||Medium||LH||Includes 14u girls|
|16u boys||12||Very high||AQTX||Does not include 14u athletes who could play|
|18u girls||18||Very high||LH||Number does not include several 16u athletes|
|18u boys||17||Very high||LH||Number does not include several 16u athletes|
Most dates for the following are still forthcoming.
|TBD||Commitment Deadline: Athletes/parents will need to register online for the event|
|TBD||USA Water Polo registration, club affiliations, and age verification deadline|
|Wednesday, May 26 (est.)||Commitment deadline for the Southwest Zone Champs (NJO Qualifier)|
|Fri-Sun, June 11-13||Southwest Zone Champs (NJO Qualifier). Location TBD. Boys and girls all age groups.|
|Monday, June 28 (est.)||Deadline to email flight information for athletes/parents|
|Saturday, July 3 (est.)||Final payment due for NJO’s trip costs|
|Saturday, July 10 (est.)||Final rosters, schedules, detailed itinerary, etc. will be emailed|
Some Answers to Possible Questions
- Athletes must compete at Southwest Zone Championships on June 11-13 to be eligible to play at JOs in July.
- USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) has no connection with Junior Olympic competition. There is no requirement to participate in one in order to compete in the other.
- USA Water Polo allocates limited numbers of spots for each Zone to compete at JOs. The number of teams per age/gender category are yet to be published but based on past experiences we are confident that at least one of each of our teams will qualify.
- Athletes will need to be Gold members of USA Water Polo prior to Southwest Zone Championships.
- Athletes are required to be affiliated with the club for which they are competing. We will provide a deadline for families to make necessary changes depending on which club will be the “lead” for each team.
- AQTX and Longhorn will not be making travel arrangements for participating families, including ground transportation in California. It’s expected that athletes lodge somewhere reasonably close to where we will be competing in Orange County.
- Costs per athlete will cover coaches’ travel and time, tournament entry fees, and miscellaneous costs associated with participating. Amount and method of payment TBD.
- Athletes will likely be required to have team gear (suit, shirt) for the trip (check out our online store!)
Zoom Seminar on Water Polo in College
All our parents and athletes are encouraged to join my podcast partner Joe Linehan on Tuesday, April 6 at 7:30 PM. Joe will cover everything you might want to know about playing in college, whether varsity or club. He is among the most knowledgeable people in Texas, maybe the US, on the subject. He will do a presentation followed by an extended Q&A session (I’ll be there to answer whatever I can as well). You’ll get an email with Zoom info as soon as I get it. But put it on your calendar!
We’ve replaced our splashball program with Swim2Score, a program for those age 5-11. Coach Sam Smith is leading the charge and will work with athletes for 30 minutes on swim stroke technique, followed by 30 minutes of fun water polo games. All AquaTex Novice athletes are invited to join us for free. Pricing for new athletes is forthcoming. We are on the calendar tentatively for Sunday, April 18 at 10:00 AM. Stay tuned!