Villa Park, CA is home again beginning Friday to the huge, prestigious, and under-hyped (in our opinion) 2014 California High School State Championships, a tournament that nearly accomplishes what the state’s interscholastic federation cannot: crowning whole-state boys’ and girls’ champions.
Unlike nearly every other state in which water polo is a sanctioned high school sport, California maintains its decades-old system of sectional championships. Each determines its own schedule, though all boys teams play in the fall and girls’ seasons are divided between the fall and the winter. That asynchrony prevents the girls from holding a state championship. Thus, the boys are prohibited from doing the same for reasons of equity.
So emerged the summer invitational tournament, this year hosted by Villa Park Aquatics. As the schedule indicates, tournament organizers invite the state’s big hitters and request they submit rosters that include only athletes who are eligible for the upcoming 2014-15 school year. Only one team so far has attempted to circumvent the rules and has not been invited back.
(Irvina Kahuna and its real-time scoring database is where you can find live scores from the CA State High School Championships, linked here.)