Water Polo Approved as Pilot Program in Texas High Schools

by SwimSwam 18

October 21st, 2019 News, Water Polo

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas – Water Polo was approved today as a pilot program at the high school level by the UIL Legislative Council in the state of Texas, with play to begin in Fall 2021.

“USA Water Polo would like to congratulate TISCA Water Polo for all their hard work on this initiative including: Mac McDonald, Scott Slay and Chris Cullen. In addition, we’d like to thank the UIL, UIL Legislative Council, and TISCA. We are grateful to the UIL’s Dr. Charles Breithaupt, Dr. Jamey Harrison, Dr. Susan Elza, and Brandy Belk in their continued support and encouragement to TISCA Water Polo throughout the sanctioning process.  Additionally, Melissa Howard and the TISCA Board have been supporting water polo every step of the way.  As is stated in our mission, we support and encourage the growth of water polo. This includes at all levels in Texas and across the country and we will continue to support Texas through education, referee/coach development, etc. as programs transition from club to a sanctioned sport.” – Joe Linehan, USA Water Polo Texas Regional Manager

“The adoption of water polo by the UIL is literally a game-changer for our sport and for Texas. It will result in hundreds of new polo programs across the Lone Star State, while recognizing the achievement of current club players by conferring coveted UIL varsity status. It’s more evidence that water polo is becoming a truly national sport. We are working with the UIL to expand coach and referee development opportunities across Texas to meet demand. We also want to give a ‘shout out’ to Texas swimming and water polo coaches, who worked together to bring about this tremendous new opportunity for Texas athletes.” – Christopher Ramsey, USA Water Polo

“This is a great day for water polo in the state of Texas. So many dedicated people between TISCA, the UIL and UIL Legislative Council have worked to make this happen. USA Water Polo has made growing the game of water polo a priority in Texas and we are thrilled with today’s news. Again, thank you to all those that worked on this initiative and we look forward to the first season of UIL sanctioned water polo in Texas!” – Houston Hall, Member – USA Water Polo Board of Directors

USA Water Polo will share more details in the months to follow.

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I wonder how it will work for pool time given swimming is a winter sport also?

TX swim/polo

Probably Sept-Nov with a weekend look. Big question is the water polo coach not coaching the HS athletes as in uil swimming.


They’ll work it out. Other states manage sharing pool time for swimming/diving/water polo so Texas can, too. It’s great to see the growth of Water Polo and the support of aquatic and Olympic sports. Hopefully everyone will cooperate and do what’s in the best interest of all the kids and aquatic programs.

Water Polo Guy

Just to add on here, in many California pools you have a large swim club, a smaller water polo club, Fall Boys Water Polo, Winter Girls Water Polo and Spring Swimming. Things can get pretty crazy schedule-wise but it works out.


Bad Idea.

Old Lobo

Why? The only potential downside is pool time in my experience. Swimmers at many levels of the sport that want to play water polo as well as swim can benefit from the cross training; and, swimmers who think they don’t want to swim anymore might stay with it for the benefit to their water polo game. And for the high school-only swimmer it adds to their training time in the water.


Why is that? Are you one of the foolish swim coaches out there that doesn’t think water polo helps swimmers?


Water Polo is great for Swimmers & Triathletes


As a high school teacher and 10-year water polo coach, who happens to be moving to Texas Spring 2021-from California, THIS IS AMAZING!!!! 🙂 #poloislife

Working Swim Mom

This is great. The coaches work it out as the seasons in Texas have been adjacent to each other. Scott Slay has done a great job at building a program from scratch at Foster High School. Those kids have done well in swim and polo. It can be done with the right coach and administrative support.

TX swim/polo

As I said earlier a HS club coach can not coach the same kids in UIL. It will be hard to find enough water polo coaches unless that rule changes.

Corn Pop

Surely they don’t coach the diving so they can get a WP coach too .


Do you think divers actually have a high school diving coach or even diving practice at their school?

ReneDescartes – many do have high school coaches and practice there, and many do not, similar to swimming. My swim team in high school had a two-time Texas state champion diver who went on to Indiana. Here’s a news article about his relationship with his high school diving coach. This was about 15 years ago, but in my experience as a coach, the shift since then has been minimal – many still train with their club diving coaches almost exclusively, others certainly train with their high school coaches as well – https://www.chron.com/sports/article/Taylor-s-Weyermann-wraps-reign-in-style-1664759.php


I would say it’s rare to have an actual diving coach on staff at a high school. None of the coaches in CFISD are actual diving coaches. The divers on my high school team (who didn’t dive club) would just mess around on the diving board while the swim coach sat in his office.

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