The ‘What If?’ Series Part II:
What If Fantasy Water Polo Existed?
By Aaron Brown
IL -- Over the past ten years,
we have seen Fantasy Sports come to exist for nearly every sport. I won
a couple of fantasy football titles when I was in college, know someone who was
upset because he would have to take a hit with Tiger Woods not currently
competing for his fantasy golf team, and I currently toil over every
transfer I need to make with my fantasy soccer (real football) team in the English Premier
League. The list goes on for fantasy sports, especially considering how
millions of people will enter into an NCAA Tournament pool for college
basketball this coming March and April. Which begs the question -what if
there was such a thing as Fantasy Water Polo?
Now, I know the biggest issues that would exist for such a
thing. A player might avoid making an extra pass in order
to shoot and try to get more points for scoring a goal. After all, if I
was a player, I would probably put myself on my own fantasy team. This is only a
'What If' scenario, but it's one that I have received an e-mail or two
about in the past asking if I would be interested in starting such a
Side note - I'm not interested, by the way, as it would be way
too much work and there would be some ethical issues involved, but this is
a 'What If' scenario, so lets all pretend it could happen.
Imagine you head into the third week of the season, but your top scorer is
Oak Park's Tommy Poulos and his team is not playing for seven days because
of Spring Break. You now face a critical decision...should you transfer
him and bring in a major point scorer like Mark Menis, who has two games
this week, or should you grab Loyola's Frank Toops because the Ramblers
have a four-game tournament over the weekend and seven games this week?
Imagine you are relying on Naperville Central's Claire Fleming to rack up
major points this Saturday, only to find out that she is taking an ACT
test and won't be playing. You better hope you have a solid bench option
that would automatically replace her in the starting lineup, but who
should you choose...do you go for the possibility of getting defensive
points from St Ignatius' junior Yvette Leon or go with the offensive firepower of Conant's Hannah
If you care about the potential details of the game, it would work
something like this:
In fantasy water polo, you would have to select seven starters and four
You would select two goalies, one designated as a starter and the other as a
backup, in the event your starting goalie does not play that week.
You would need six starting field players and three bench players, with
the backups automatically replacing any starter who does not play during
You would get one free transfer per week; any other transfers would cost
you a certain amount of points per week.
You would also get one wild card per season, allowing you to wipe your
team out and start from scratch, but you must choose when to use the wild
Success will be dependent on checking the weekly schedules to see who is
playing who and how many games each team is playing. You will need to pay
close attention to the stats from each week's games, though to make things
official, we will need box scores from every game around the state done by
an official scorer.
We will even have bonus points given in each game in addition to the
points available for goals scored, assists, steals, field blocks, saves,
and so on. The top player in each game, as chosen by a panel of experts,
would receive three bonus points, while two other players would receive
two-point and one-point bonus tallies for their efforts.
You will also need to designate a captain for each gameweek. The captain
scores double points, so it will be important to choose a captain that
either plays a lot of games or one that you expect to have a huge
performance in a given week.
I could probably continue with the rules and explanations for Fantasy
Water Polo, but let's be honest, it is simply a fantasy to think it could
happen. Of course, if it does, I might be the first to sign up, but