USAWP Texas Development: Announcements and Upcoming SWZ Tournaments

The Welcome to Texas Shootout on May 26-27 at the UT Swim Center is the first of five weekend tournaments this upcoming summer in the Southwest Zone.  As everyone transitions to the summer season from the busy high school/age group club season, clubs need to make sure their athletes are registered with USA Water Polo not only for insurance purposes but also to make sure the number of NJO allocated slots for the SWZ increases each year (see more below about allocations and USAWP membership below).  Additionally, all clubs should be working on their team entries and rosters for the Southwest Zone NJO’s Qualifier/National NJO’s on June 8-10.  A reminder email on will be sent to everyone later this week regarding these events.

USAWP Texas Development Announcements:  List of upcoming SWZ Weekend Tournaments is at the bottom of the email.

North Texas – Harvard Water Polo Camp, May 19-20:  Ted Minnis, the Harvard University Head Coach for Men’s & Women’s Water Polo Head Coach, will be coming to North Texas on May 19-20 for a two day water polo camp at the Keller ISD Natatorium.  The camp starts on Saturday at 1:00 pm and ends on Sunday around 2:00 pm (athletes/parents can drive from out of town on Saturday morning and have plenty of time to drive home after the camp on Sunday).  Athletes in 7th-12th Grade are eligible to sign-up for the camp.  The cost of the camp is $175 per athlete, includes all water sessions and a College Meeting on Sunday (Discount Coed for $25 off is “Harvard25”… code only good through this Wednesday, May 16th).  Online Registration:  5meter.com/Harvard.

Southwest Zone NJO Qual’s/National NJO’s:  On April 5th, specific information was sent to all clubs/club admins regarding the Southwest Zone NJO Quals/National NJO’s.  The Southwest Zone NJO Qualifier will be in Pearland on June 8-10.  I will be sending out a reminder email later this week as the team entry deadline for BOTH the NJO Qualifier and the National NJO’s is Thursday, May 24th (Roster Deadline is also Thursday, May 24th).  If you have specific questions, please email joelinehan@usawaterpolo.org.

USA Water Polo Memberships:   It is very important that clubs/teams make sure their athletes are USAWP registered for weekend tournaments/club practices not only for insurance purposes but also to help make sure the number of NJO allocated slots for the SWZ increases each year (see allocations process outlined below).   Additionally for sanctioned USA Water Polo events, hosts need to make sure participating teams enter rosters thru the USAWP online roster verification system.  Lastly, please go to the following website to view the other USAWP Membership Benefits, http://www.usawaterpolo.org/membership/benefits.html.

NJO Allocations:  You can view the USAWP National Junior Olympics (NJO) Preliminary Allocations at http://www.usawaterpolo.org/juniorolympics/allocations-seeding.html.  Many coaches/club admins have asked about how USAWP determines the allocations for NJO’s each year.  The number of NJO slots the Southwest Zone (SWZ) is allocated each year is dependent on the SWZ memberships of the previous year.  Each USAWP Zone is guaranteed at least 1-2 slots for each age group/gender.  The remaining slots are formulated by a percentage of membership specific for each age group/gender in each Zone.  Therefore, the Zones with a larger membership will get more allocated slots then the Zones with a smaller membership.

Combination Teams/Recruiting Players:  At the USAWP Texas Development Summit in December and throughout the spring season there has lots of discussion on recruiting players and combining teams for events.  The consensus has been that club coaches should NOT be contacting individual athletes/parents from other clubs about participating in tournaments/leagues without first reaching out to and discussing the issue with the athlete’s club coach.  As for combining teams, I believe all clubs are working toward having their own teams in the various age groups/genders.  Of course, there may be a need to combine teams for an event/here there.  I suggest reaching out to those clubs in your Region area first and then reaching out to clubs in other Region areas second.  We all want to see athletes play, compete, and gain as much experience as possible.

Upcoming SWZ Weekend Tournaments:  Below is the listing of the upcoming SWZ Weekend Tournaments this summer.  All clubs should attempt to play in and support the “weekend tournaments” in North Texas, Houston, Austin/SA.  The events listed below are listed online at Southwest Zone Calendar (click here).  Please contact each tournament host directly for more specific information on their event.  Tournament hosts, please sanction your weekend tournaments/events with USA Water Polo and arrange referees through TAWPO.

  • Welcome to Texas Shootout:  May 26-27 at the UT Swim Center (Austin)
    • Club Host:  Viper Pigeons and USA Water Polo
    • Age Groups:  18U Boys, 18U/16U Girls, 16U Boys, 14U Boys, 12U Boys
    • Tournament Contact:  Katie Wieber, events@usawaterpolo.org
  • Southwest Zone NJO’s Qualifier:  June 8-10 at the Pearland ISD Natatorium (South Houston)
    • Club Host:  Southside WPC and Southwest Zone
    • Age Groups:  18U Boys, 18U Girls, 16U Boys, 16U Girls, 14U Boys, 14U Girls, 12U Boys, 12U Girls
    • Tournament Contact:  Joe Linehan, joelinehan@usawaterpolo.org
  • Dallas Summer Classic:  June 23-24 at the Southlake-Carroll ISD Aquatic Center (North Texas)
    • Club Host:  Thunder Water Polo
    • Age Groups:  18U Boys, 18U Girls, 16U Boys, 16U Girls, 14U Boys, 14U Girls, 12U Boys, 12U Girls
    • Tournament Contact:  Chris Cullen, CoachCullen@ThunderPolo.com
  • T-Shot Invitational:  June 30-July 1 at the UT Swim Center (Austin)
    • Club Host:  Longhorn Aquatics
    • Age Groups:  Men’s Open, Women’s Open
    • Tournament Contact:  Tom Andrews, tom.andrew@austin.utexas.edu
  • Southside Suns Out/Guns Out Tournament:  July 7-8 at the Pearland ISD Natatorium (South Houston)
    • Club Host:  Southside Water Polo Club
    • Age Groups:  18U Boys, 18U Girls, 16U Boys, 16U Girls, 14U Boys, 14U Girls, 12U Boys, 12U Girls
    • Tournament Contact:  Taylor Barnett, SouthsideWPC@gmail.com