HEAT Middle School Water Polo 17

Open for Returning Members

2/20/17 - 3/17/17

Open for New Members

2/20/17 - 3/17/17

13 Members

Welcome to the Hudsonville Eagles Aquatics Team Electronic Registration platform for our upcoming middle school water polo season! We are pleased to offer electronic payment processing and registration. This process is simple for both new and returning members, and you will get access to your own private account.

We look forward to having you join the Hudsonville Eagles Aquatics Team (HEAT) Middle School Polo Program and are excited for another great season!

HEAT Middle School Water Polo

Players will be instructed on the skills and strategies of water polo, with a focus placed on fundamentals of the sport.

This is technically a development program for high school water polo, therefore emphasis is on learning the fundamental skills of the game and how to work as a team. Your son or daughter actually learning the sport is a higher priority than “winning at all costs” (but wins do often follow a greater understanding of the game).

Our Hudsonville teams will play games against other area water polo teams on Saturdays.  

Players must be able to swim and tread water to participate (since the sport is played in the pool), however they don’t need to currently be competitive swimmers. With that being said, we do encourage athletes to also participate in Hudsonville swim programs.


The 2017 middle school water polo season starts on Monday, March 20th (first practice), and runs through May 20th (final tournament). Practices—which are co-ed—run from 6:00 – 8:00PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. Tournaments are held at various local schools every Saturday from April 15th – May 20th.


  • 6th - 8th grade boys & girls  

    • Players should be able to swim and tread water, however they don’t need to be current competitive swimmers.

    • If your player can swim in the deep end and play catch with a ball while treading, then they are ready. It is our job to teach them the rest of the skills they will need.

    • Players should be able to successfully swim  at least one lap of the pool using the front crawl stroke (“freestyle”) without stopping.

  • It is important that those students considering playing high school water polo participate in HEAT Water Polo in 6th - 8th grade. Whereas this is not required, players who do not are certainly at a disadvantage at the high school level.



  • $80 participation fee paid online or check to Hudsonville Community Education for those with 10 volunteer hours

  • $110 participation fee for those who do not have 10 volunteer hours.  


Mandatory Parent Meeting

The parents meeting will be held on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the pool balcony. Please review Honoring the Game of Water Polo and the Michigan Water Polo Association Middle School Water Polo Vision and Expectations documents.

Practices (subject to change)

  • Practice times and locations (community pool vs. competitive pool) could vary depending on the high school water polo schedule. (The high school program has highest priority when it comes to aquatic resources.)

  • Players are encouraged (but not required) to attend all home high school water polo games.

  • Players should either come dressed ready to get in the pool, or change in the locker rooms. Deck changing is strictly prohibited.  

  • Please be prepared to pick up your athlete within 15 minutes of practice completion time. A coach will remain at the school until the last player is picked up. Please be courteous of the coaches and make every effort to pick up your son or daughter within 15 minutes of the conclusion of practice.

Practice Location

Hudsonville High School Aquatic Center

3370 Allen St. Hudsonville, MI 49426

Water Polo Suits

  • Whereas team suits were ordered in previous years, it will be up to the parents to decide if they want to coordinate and continue this practice. If so, that is perfectly acceptable. The coaching staff’s main concern is simply that players wear appropriate suits intended for aquatic activity. (The technical “uniform” of a water polo team is the polo caps, which are generously provided by the HEAT Boosters program.)

  • Water polo suits are slightly different than regular swimsuits as they have a different cut, material, and fit more tightly. They are designed this way to prevent an opponent from being able to grab or hold onto the suit underwater.  

  • Water polo suits are not necessarily required for practices, however they are highly recommended for games. 

  • Please be sure your player’s suit fits appropriately and encourage modesty (backsides should be covered). Coaches do not encourage getting the smallest possible fit. Most players who ordered a suit last year will get two years’ worth of use out of their suits.

  • Swim caps are required to be worn by players with long hair under the water polo cap. Navy blue should be worn when playing as the “home” team. White should be worn when playing as the “visiting” team. (“Home” and “visitor” designations are not location dependent, but rather game dependent within the tournament). Red should always be worn by goalies. Girls with very long hair may need to speak with experienced players about how to best tie up their hair to make it possible for the water polo cap to slide over easily.

  • Water polo suits are designed to reduce the opportunity for an opponent to grab the suit, therefore they are tight and boys are offered as brief style only. All elite male players wear brief styles only, however some younger boys are not yet ready for this style. If your player isn’t ready for a brief style suit, a solid navy blue suit is generally okay.


  • Games are played on Saturdays in tournaments at area schools.  

  • Teams typically play 2-3 games per tournament, with a goal of being finished by early afternoon.  

  • Boys and girls will play separately whenever possible, however there may be some exceptions. Younger players may play on co-ed teams, depending on program numbers. (Please keep in mind this is a “learn to play” program.) 

  • Students with anticipated schedule conflicts, or who participate in other sports, should contact Coach Neeb by email before the season begins.

  • Players are typically at tournaments over the lunch hour and are expected to stay at the school, unless Coach Neeb is notified otherwise. Parents typically provide food for the entire team at tournaments and can sign up to bring items (if possible) in the Tournament Food Schedule worksheet online.  

  • Games for middle school water polo are traditionally broken into 5-minute quarters. There is a 40-second shot clock for each offensive possession, and both the game and shot clocks stop for fouls. Each quarter and halftime break is 2 minutes. Each team is able to call two 1-minute timeouts during a game. The course is 25 yards, which is smaller than an “official” championship-style course used at the high school level.


Players need to provide their own transportation to practices and tournaments. Please coordinate with other parents to arrange carpools, if you are so inclined.


  • We have a great overall water polo program here in Hudsonville and you play a major role in that. Being respectful helps give our program and community a sterling reputation. Please review Honoring the Game of Water Polo to find out how you can help us maintain it.

  • It is our goal to be the model team with regard to good sportsmanship. This reputation will be earned through the behavior of our players, coaching staff, parents, and fans.

  • Our team, while a Community Education program, will follow the Hudsonville Athletics Student Athlete Handbook, which is available from the school athletic department.

  • Please note that water polo IS a physical sport. Your player will come into physical contact with other players during games and at practices.

  • At some point, players may be grabbed, kicked, or scratched underwater. You need to prepare yourself and your player to manage these situations without retaliation.

  • The rules of water polo do allow for holding, leaning into players, etc. A foul is typically only called if the contact is considered excessive or if it causes a player with the ball to drop the ball. A defensive player making contact with a player who has the ball and does not drop it should actually not be called for a foul because the ability to hold the ball is seen as an “advantage.” An official should never intend to take an “advantage” away from an offensive player. The concept of “advantage” is not necessarily an easy one to grasp. Please allow the coaches and referees to manage the game and understand that the rule of “advantage” may be the reason a call isn’t being made.

  • The rules of water polo are complex and the view from the deck level (referee's view) is much different than what is viewed from the bleachers. Please give the referee the benefit of the doubt and remember that even our officials need somewhere to learn as well. If we are hard on the officials – who will be left to referee our kids? (Officiating is a difficult, thankless job. We are lucky for the individuals who take this position.)

  • Players will be required to keep their finger and toe nails short and smooth. Players may be requested to trim their nails before practices or games at the request of coaches or officials. Long nails, or artificial nails, are not allowed. Please be sure your player has a pair of nail clippers available to them before each game (a pair kept in their bag is ideal).

  • Coaches from all teams will do their best to teach and encourage good sportsmanship.

  • Unsportsmanlike behavior of our players, or parents, will not be tolerated. Players and parents should prepare to deal with the circumstances of the sport. If you are not comfortable with the potential for physical contact, or find it difficult to control your emotions, then this may not be the right sport for your family.

  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct or aggression towards coaches, players, or officials will result in the parent, or player being asked to leave the tournament and potentially dismissal from the team including forfeiture of the participation fee.

  • We are only responsible for our own team. If there is an issue with players on other teams, their coaches (and, depending on severity, athletic director) will be made aware of the issue so they can address it.

Learn About Water Polo

If you are new to water polo please view this video to learn the basics, then watch this video for another point of view from U.S. Olympic water polo player Tony Azevedo. Many other videos are available on the HEAT Water Polo website.

Concussion Awareness

Water polo is an active sport that involves ball throwing and contact. It is possible a player could forcefully come into contact with another player or a ball could hit a player’s head. Therefore, coaches will closely monitor for situations that could produce risk of concussion. Our official policy is “When in doubt, sit them out.” The coach is empowered and encouraged to remove any player from the pool in the event there is a possibility for a concussion. If your child is removed from play and a concussion is suspected, please support the coaches’ decision and reinforce to your child that it is the right call for their health and wellbeing.  

*** If your player is removed from play due to a possible concussion, they will not be allowed to return to play (practice or game) until they have been released, in writing, by a doctor!***

Please thoroughly review the Fact Sheet for Parents.

What is a concussion?

  • A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

  • You can’t see concussions. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury, or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.

What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

  • Appears dazed or stunned

  • Is confused about assignment or position

  • Forgets an instruction

  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

  • Moves clumsily

  • Answers questions slowly

  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)

  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

Symptoms reported by the athlete:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Balance problems or dizziness

  • Double or blurry vision

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Sensitivity to noise

  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

  • Concentration or memory problems

  • Confusion

  • Just “not feeling right” or “feeling down”

What should you do if you think your child has a concussion?

  1. Seek medical attention right away.

  2. Keep your child out of play.

  3. Tell your child’s coach about any previous concussion.


  • Please see page 17 of the Hudsonville Athletics Student Athlete Handbook.

  • If student-initiated problem-solving has not brought a remedy to an issue, a meeting should be mutually-agreed upon by all parents and coaches involved. Parents should use the “24-hour” rule. Clarity with an issue often comes by “sleeping on it.” The following issues are considered appropriate issues to discuss with coaches:

    • Expectations during practices and games;

    • Strategies for the student athlete to improve;

    • Academic prioritization;

    • Officiating and game situations; and

    • Playing time, but only with the athlete present at the meeting.








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