The California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school sports in the Golden State, has taken a step toward establishing a state water polo championship. The body’s Federated Council approved regional water polo championships for both boys and girls in Northern and Southern California according to OCVarsity.com.
The giant Southern Section was one of two to vote against the championships. The other eight sections voted to approve it. The week-long tournaments will be played after sectional finals, typically punctuated by Southern Section championships.
After a three-year run the Southern Section voted to eliminate the Masters boys’ and girls’ water polo tournaments in 2009. For many the Masters tournaments were hoped to expand eventually to serve as a California championship, but never found sufficient enthusiasm among coaches and athletes who aimed primarily for section titles.
The state is unique in ending each prep water polo season without an official champion. Currently the girls seasons are split between the fall in Northern California and winter in the South, which by rule prevents them from holding a single state tournament. The boys, who play entirely in the fall, are not currently allowed to have a state final for reasons of equity.
There is growing speculation about a switch to the winter for Northern California girls though no official word of such a move exists. Such a change would force girls teams to play in the region’s predominantly outdoor pools during the coldest time of the year.