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February 15, 2014

An Inside Look at

By Aaron Brown


With entering its’ eighth year of covering the sport, I realize it might be helpful to initiate new coaches, fans, parents, and players to what the site provides and how things work. I’ll try to answer typical questions that some people may have as the 2014 season gets into full swing. is basically a one-person operation. I always use the word “we” to describe the work on the site, since I receive many contributions from various coaches, parents, and players throughout the season. Truth be told, the only other person that does any physical work for the site is my wonderful wife Julie, who is a journalism teacher and helps edit my work and updates the site whenever I am unable to do so.


Quite simply, is a voluntary effort done by one person. I am a high school teacher at a school without a pool or a water polo team that has chosen to cover the sport as a reporter instead of coaching it. I started the site as a means of providing simple information that was never available in one place (coaches list, team schedules, team listings) and it quickly blossomed to the point where I was keeping track of scores, standings, and other pertinent information to each water polo season.


I continue to run the site out of habit more than anything else, though I don't want to think of what would happen to water polo coverage in the state of Illinois if I could not continue running the site. My wife should probably get all the credit for the site continuing, since she could tell me that I spend too much time working on the site; instead she encourages me to write more articles and go to more tournaments on the weekends.


Occasionally, I will get a formal e-mail from someone that sounds like they are sending it to some mega-organization with multiple employees in a office somewhere in Chicago. That always makes me laugh because I think of when I was first covering the sport at age 24 and basically living out of my car because I was traveling all across the state to cover as many games and tourneys as possible during the three-month long season.


Trust me when I say that I am not looking for sympathy here, but I just want to provide a little perspective of how the sport is being covered. Last Saturday, for example, I had to delay going to a family party in order to finish posting scores and recaps from tournament championship games. After all, the only other option was to leave the biggest games of the weekend unreported until the next morning, and we can't have that!


Last night, I had to race home from graduate school because I had a handful of texts and e-mails reporting scores that I had to get posted immediately. Some nights, I'll be up well past midnight organizing schedules and standings, writing previews, and getting ready for the next day of games and then getting enough sleep so I can get up at 5:00am and repeat the process.


Things like rankings and All-Illpolo Teams are simply opinions. In most sports (albeit, college or professional), there are numerous other sources which help to provide different opinions that provide some sense of balance. Unfortunately, since there really aren’t any other sources that cover the sport, I am sure most people look to and if they don't agree with what is written, I usually hear about it in a critical e-mail or phone call while I'm teaching at school the very same day.


There are some ways that everyone can help make the coverage of our sport the best. Many people already do provide valuable information or donations that keep the information flowing and the web site running. We can always use more help. And remember, when I am saying "we", I am talking about all of us coaches, fans, parents, and players.

















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