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By Aaron Brown


The following article will appear in the February edition of The NISCA Journal:


What are the basics needed in order to start a water polo program? This is a great question that I hear from time-to-time, as it typically means someone might be thinking about helping the sport grow by providing a water polo program where one does not currently exist.


Here is a general list of the considerations needed in order to start a water polo program:


1) Balls

2) Caps

3) Coaches

4) Equipment

5) Goals

6) Membership Fees

7) Officials

8) Pool Time

9) League/Tournament Fees

10) Transportation


There are major differences between starting a local, community-based (club) program versus starting an official high school team. Regulation equipment, coaching stipends, league fees, and transportation are a few of the items a school district might handle for a high school program that might be better explained in a separate article.


So, maybe the better question is: how do you start a water polo program on a shoestring budget? Here are some suggestions:


1) Ask for equipment donations. Established teams or programs may have balls, caps, and other equipment to either lend or donate in order to help a new program get started.

2) Seek out current players or parents who can lend a hand as volunteers.

3) Make homemade goals using PVC pipes.

4) Take a community-based approach and see if the local park district or a community college might help run the program to save on pool rental fees and other costs.

5) Stay local and host scrimmages to avoid transportation costs or tournament fees.

6) Be creative. Starting a new water polo program can be a daunting task, but there are ways to keep costs low with a little bit of creativity, especially in the early stages.


Can you think of any other advice for anyone interested in starting a water polo program? Please send an e-mail to if you would like to comment and possibly be included in a future article.





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