ODP’s future, Campagna in CA, Push to Increase College Programs

Some news and observations from the American water polo scene presented here on occasion.

  • Pomona’s coach of the year Alex Rodriguez gave an impassioned presentation at the recent WPCA conference in Las Vegas. His drive to grow the game at the collegiate level is explicitly meant to increase coaching opportunities. His first task is to try to resurrect the Division III national championship tournaments which could help make it more attractive to colleges, especially Eastern ones, to establish Division III varsity programs.
  • The conference also featured open debate on the future of the Olympic Development Program. That discussion and other recent conversations with TWp have revealed widespread disapproval of the program among coaches. There will be increasing pressure on USA Water Polo to revamp or scrap the ODP in its current form. Anecdotally, coaches favor the Zone program that existed prior to the implementation of ODP. Biggest gripes? Scheduling conflicts with club team events, costs, and the false perception that ODP participation plays a significant role in who plays on senior national teams.
  • A source says Monmouth College in Illinois will be announcing its varsity men’s and women’s teams “in the near future.” Placement of the men’s team within the CWPA is still being debated, while the women will compete in the women’s Division III conference.
  • World Champion coach Alessandro Campagna of the Italian men’s senior national team is said to be speaking at a Southern California event in January. It’s not confirmed whether this will be at or during the USA Water Polo Assembly in Los Angeles between the 18th and 20th.