Playing Groups

Water Polo Playing Groups

BAC structures its groups first and foremost with the goal of having athletes train in the environment that best matches their skill level. In combination with age groupings, we have set the groups on this page with that focus in mind. The main criteria used in the process of placing a player in the correct group are:

  • Water polo experience level and commitment to both practices and games
  • Swimming ability:  good demonstration of swimming skills, eggbeater, and endurance
  • Water polo proficiency

During some seasons when the teams compete in high level tournaments we may need to adjust our training groups to fit the age requirements of those tournaments, so there may be times when an athlete is not always competing with the full group they practice with.

Note that for age based tournaments, USA Water Polo guidelines state that placement of an athlete is determined based on their age on August 1st in the year of competition. For example: an athlete that is 16 or younger on August 1, 2016 will be on the 16U team.

Group placement is decided by coaches. Players are placed in the group where they have the best opportunities to improve and develop their individual and team skills. This is a dynamic process, and over the season, players may be asked to move between groups as their skills and commitment levels evolve.

** USA Water Polo guidelines NOW state that the age of an athlete will be determined based on their age on August 1st the year of competition. For example, an athlete that is 16 or younger until August 1, 2016 will be on the 16U team.

 

Seals

This group is for players new to water polo who have sound swimming skills in freestyle and breaststroke and who are comfortable playing in the deep area of the pool. Seals are generally aged 8-11. Seals train in the big pool, where they can get used to treading water and master other important skills such as passing, shooting, and driving. The Seals group generally does not enter competitions, and that is the main distinction between this group and the Yellow group. From time to time a player on the Seals team may be asked to participate in local competitions, but that is up to coach discretion.

Requirements:

  • Comfortable in the water – practices in the deep end
  • Positive attitude
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn the rules of the game
  • Be able to make 10 dry passes in a row with a partner (with a Junior ball)
  • Be able to swim one 25 yard lap head up with the ball
  • Know all the positions
  • Learn how to eggbeater, and be comfortable eggbeatering while playing
  • Compete as a team in local competitions and demonstrate teamwork and good sportsmanship
Yellow Group

This group is for players who are still working to grasp the basic format and structure of play. Depending on their age and swimming proficiency, players in this group may be entirely new to water polo. In this group athletes concentrate on developing their fundamental skills, including a strong eggbeater (treading water), ball handling skills, and functioning and reacting within a rudimentary offense and defense. This group enters in local competitions that seek to foster enjoyment and confidence in a low-stress and positive environment.

Requirements:

  • Be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle without stopping
  • Be able to swim 25 yards backstroke without stopping
  • Comfortable in the deep end of the pool
  • Positive attitude
  • Make every effort to attend all competitions
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn/perfect eggbeater
  • Learn how to pass and catch with one hand
  • Learn all the rules of the game including all three types of fouls
  • Know all positions
  • Compete as a team in local competitions
  • Demonstrate teamwork and good sportsmanship
  • Qualify for Junior Olympics each summer
  • Develop a sense of team spirit and camaraderie
  • Develop skills, including: swimming with the ball, hand transfers, turn-side defense, releases, shooting, and passing.
Blue Group

This group focuses on perfecting and expanding basic skills. Players learn how to move efficiently in the water, economize motion as a team, and recognize advantage situations. Members also learn how to be a productive member of a team, effective passing and shooting techniques, and offensive and defensive strategies. Ability levels may vary. The playing environment for this group is competitive yet relaxed.

Requirements:

  • Be able to swim 50 yards freestyle without stopping
  • Be able to swim 25 yards backstroke without stopping
  • Attend 70% of workouts
  • Make every effort to attend all competitions
  • Understand that your actions affect the whole team
  • NEW ATHLETES ALWAYS WELCOME!

Goals:

  • Learn/perfect eggbeater
  • Learn how to pass and catch with one hand
  • Learn the rules of the game
  • Know the positions
  • Understand the concept of team defense
  • Identify a primary position for each athlete and hone the necessary skills
  • Work as a team to successfully run a basic system of offense and defense
  • Transition fluidly from offense to defense as a team
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Compete at a high level against other local teams
  • Qualify for Junior Olympics each summer
  • Further develop the following skills: wet shots, driving, drifting, reversals, releasing, posting up,, passing under pressure, and playing 2-meter defense.
16/u (primarily HS JV players)

Learn how to apply basic skills into a broader context and hone skills specific to individual positions. Players will also learn more about teamwork, strategy and advanced styles of offense and defense. The main goal for each player is to develop an extensive knowledge of water polo as a whole by way of breaking it down into parts.

Requirements:

  • Be able to swim 100 yards of freestyle 
  • Be able to swim 50 yards of backstroke
  • New Athletes welcome, provided that swimming skills are sufficient

Goals:

  • Work as a team to successfully run a basic system of offense and defense
  • Be comfortable with individual skills: head up free style, head down free style, fingertip dribble, hand transfer, wet shot, grab ‘n go, turn side defense, drifting, reversal, shot blocking, and releasing.
Photo- Michael Takamoto
18/u (Primarily HS Varsity Players and select JV players)

Experienced players interested in taking the game to the next level. All club members participating in this group are expected to demonstrate a strong degree of competence in the core fundamentals of the game. The practice environment is highly competitive, focusing on complex tactics and a high standard of efficiency, leading to greater awareness, skill, strategy, and ability to handle various playing styles.

Requirements:

  • At least one season of water polo HS Varsity experience
  • Full knowledge of the rules of the game
  • Dedicated to attending the all practices and all competitions
  • Can eggbeater for 5 minute with hands out of the water

Goals:

  • Identify a primary position for each athlete
  • Work as a team to successfully run a basic system of offense and defense
  • Become comfortable skills: head up free style, head down free style, fingertip dribble, hand transfer, wet shot, grab ‘n go, turn side defense, drifting, reversal, shot blocking, and releasing.
  • Further develop individual skills necessary for each athlete’s primary position
  • Qualify and compete effectively at the end of summer season: National Junior Olympics Tournament
 
Links
Burlingame+Parks+%26+Rec
Twitter
USA+Swimming
USA+Water+Polo
Hero+Fuel+Bars
US+Masters+Swimming
Instagram%3A+BAC_Swims
TYR
ROKA