Mid-July has become a prominent if unconventional date on the prep water polo calendar. Three important tournaments are under way this weekend all of which feature nearly- or semi-official high school programs.
The California State High School Water Polo Championships are again in Villa Park and feature a slate of the most prominent teams in the state. The unwritten rule among participants is that clubs must adhere to regular season roster rules or else risk banishment from the tournament in the future. The result is a competition that yields an accurate if unofficial state high school champ, a result that cannot take place during the high school season for reasons unique to the Golden State.
In Pennsylvania, American Water Polo is host again to the National State Challenge featuring prep-age teams from the East and increasingly from the south. Georgia and Tennessee are represented this year.
And in Michigan the Great Lakes Classic spans the weekend in Lansing. Less directly linked to high school water polo the competition still features high school-age teams from many of the most well-known clubs in Michigan and Ohio.