AQTX Scorps Polo (almost) Weekly 1/26

James Smith

The start of 2020 has been so busy that we're behind on the newsletter. So time to catch up.

ODP Recap

Two AquaTex athletes, Luca and Riley, were selected to play for Southwest Zone teams at USA Waterpolo's Olympic Development Program West Region Championships in Salt Lake City on January 11-12. Luca competed for the Development Stripes, which went 3-1 in the tournament with one tough loss to a strong team from the Pacific Northwest. Riley was a member of the Cadet Stars, which went 2-2. It was a great experience for both of them and a point of pride for the club! Congratulations to both of them. Click here for much more about the tournament, the upcoming ODP National Championships, and playing water polo in the snow.

Events

Referee and Water Polo Newcomer Clinic

There's a USA Water Polo-sponsored referee clinic on Sunday, January 26 at Micki. From noon until 2 PM will be classroom instruction for anyone, newcomers in particular, interested in refereeing. From 2 PM to 4 PM we will ask all high school-age or masters athletes from the Austin-metro area to scrimmage while the referees train. Newcomers to the (newly UIL-approved!) sport are also encouraged to attend to watch the scrimmage from the deck with a coach describing the action, and/or hop in and try it out for real. Read more here.

Cowtown Rodeo

AquaTex has entered a 14u team for the Cowtown Rodeo in Keller on February 8-9. There are seven other 14u teams entered so we'll have a great chance to compete against teams from all over Texas. We'll have Longhorn and Austin Water Polo athletes joining us. Danny Dixon is looking in to blocking hotel rooms near the facility. Due to scheduling conflicts we are currently not planning to enter the Thunder Spring Invite beginning on February 29.

Junior Olympics

Based on feedback from our families AquaTex is planning to enter its first ever 14u boys team in Junior Olympic qualifying. Our athletes have competed at JOs in prior years with Longhorn, but this would be the first time under the AquaTex banner. ALL our athletes are encouraged to participate and those not on the 14u boys roster will be placed on teams with Longhorn.

This is a very big step for the club. Families that plan to take part can expect additional communications about deadlines, fees, travel expectations, etc. The Southwest Zone qualifying tournament begins on June 6 at a location in Texas to be determined. If our 14u team qualifies it will then travel to Northern California on July 18 for NJO's National Championships.

New Splashball Program

We're very pleased to introduce Splashball for kids age 5-11 on Saturday, February 22 at 10:00 AM. There will be another on Sunday, March 29 after which we will update the calendar based on when and how long we practice at Lake Creek. The first is at the same time as our Masters scrimmage so bring the kids! Read more about the USA Water Polo sponsored program that we will be following. From USAWP:

Splashball (TM) is designed to introduce the sport of water polo to children 5-11 years old. The intent is to provide basic skills and understanding of the sport in a recreational format. Although water polo is known for its toughness and endurance, Splashball harnesses all the fun, dynamic aspects of the game in a safe, easy to learn aquatic experience that will motivate kids to swim and stay fit.

AquaTex will charge $5.00 per session per athlete. Participants are also required to register with USA Water Polo - a $10.00 charge that covers the athlete for the calendar year. Click here for the USAWP Splashball registration page.

Parent Meetings

We are holding two mandatory parents' meetings this winter to cover items important to the club. There are two dates on the calendar so you can attend one in case the other is inconvenient: Wednesday, February 5 and Wednesday, February 19, both at 7:15 PM. It should last no more than 30 minutes and will cover several things, like: Junior Olympics, team philosophy, goals for the club, fees and logistics, volunteering, events we are hosting, communications, and more. Coach James and Danny Dixon will lead the conversation.

AQTX Spring High School Tournaments

As in 2019 we are hosting two high school tournaments this spring at Micki: the Spring Opener on March 6-7, and a Mini Tournament on Saturday, March 28. We are excited to have high school teams from all over Central Texas visiting us and will look to our athlete and parent volunteers to help. These are extremely important fund-raisers for the water polo club and plans are to direct those funds toward some much needed new equipment. Mark your calendars.

New Rules

USA Water Polo has installed a new set of rules based on those set by FINA. All our upcoming tournaments will be played using the new rules. Take a moment to check out this (dense) powerpoint deck that details the changes, including videos of do's and don'ts.

Winter Schedule Reminder

Beginning in January the practice schedule is (in general):

  • Youth/HS athletes: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 7-9 PM
  • Masters: Wednesday, 9-10 PM, Saturday, 10:00-11:30 AM. AQTX high school athletes are encouraged to come scrimmage with the Masters.
  • Splashball for 5-11 year olds: Select Saturdays or Sundays, 10:00 - 11:00 AM.

As always there will be exceptions to the schedule which we'll try to keep up to date as best as possible on the calendar. The schedule for high school athletes will likely change when the prep season begins in February/March.

Playbook

Athletes will be tested for their knowledge of the base offense and defense. Here you go.

#BallSide

Get ready for a whirlwind winter/spring!

James