JUN 25


Many of the best water polo players in the world will compete for Olympic medals July 24‑Aug. 8 in Tokyo, notably including the two‑time defending champion United States women’s team.

Another medal or two, including a U.S. men’s team that took silver as recently as 2008, could help build momentum for a sport that is generating waves in Texas.

“In swimming and water polo you always see a bit of an influx of kids after the Olympics,” Jordan High School swimming head coach and West Houston Viper Pigeon Water Polo program director Scott Slay said. “You have to be ready for that. You know kids are going to come in and do it.”

articipation in club and high school water polo projects to increase with it becoming an official University Interscholastic League sport for the 2022 fall season. The transition from club to varsity was originally intended for the fall off 2021 but was rescheduled due to the pandemic.

High school water polo is currently governed by the Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association, which will celebrate 50 years of water polo at the state tournament next spring.

The TISCA 2020 spring season was canceled like all high school sports in Texas, but resumed its postseason in a slightly different format this year. The girls championship, won by Flower Mound for the first time, took place May 7‑8 at the Lewisville Aquatic Center. The boys state tournament, won by Dallas St. Mark’s for the eighth time, was competed May 14‑15 at the Cy‑Fair ISD Natatorium.

“This has been kind of an interesting year,” Slay said. “It’s not a UIL sport yet, but we were hoping to have a state tournament this year. With all we’ve been through in planning it, to actually have spectators in the stands for the state tournament has been great. We’ll have expansion next year and we’ll need to get ready as teams come on board. Hopefully it will be a normal school year.”

Water polo nears the end of an impressive TISCA chapter that included the first state tournament in 1973, won by the Clear Creek girls and A&M Consolidated boys.

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