Frequently Asked Questions
1.) Why should I play water polo?
Water Polo is the most exciting, challenging and demanding of all team sports. It combines a swimmer’s endurance with a wrestler’s strength while incorporating elements of soccer, football, basketball and baseball. But unlike soccer, there’s no downtime (everyone plays offense and defense); unlike football, size isn’t the most important factor; unlike basketball, height isn’t the most important factor; unlike baseball, everyone touches the ball. If you like to swim, enjoy constant action and love team sports, water polo is the perfect sport for you.
2.) What basic skills do I need to play water polo?
Prospective athletes should be able to swim 100 yards and tread water for at least 1 minute without stopping.
3.) Is water polo safe?
Yes. Despite being a physical, high-contact sport, water polo is quite safe. Concussions and major head injuries may be common on the field, but they are incredibly rare in the water. Coaches (and several athletes) are First-Aid, CPR and lifeguard certified.
4.) What season is boys water polo?
Boys water polo is a fall sport.
5.) Is water polo a no-cut sport?
Yes. Water polo is one of the few no-cut team sports at Bellevue High School.
6.) I’m an incoming freshman. How do I sign-up?
To sign-up for water polo, please contact the BHS Athletic Department at (425) 456-7000 and email the coaches at email@example.com.
7.) I played a different sport last year. Now I want to play water polo. Is it possible to switch?
Yes. Some of the best players in school history — team captains, All-State selections, future college players — played other sports their freshman year.
8.) How do I know if I am eligible to practice?
In order to practice, athletes must (a) complete a BHS Sports Packet (available at BHS); (b) have a current physical exam on file with BHS; (c) pay all outstanding fines with the school, district and Athletic Department; (d) sign and adhere to the BHS Purple Policy code; (e) register with USA Water Polo (see #10 below); and (f) follow all WIAA eligibility rules outlined here.
9.) How do I know if I am eligible to play in games?
In order to play in games, athletes must satisfy the requirements outlined above and (a) maintain a cumulative GPA above a 2.0; (b) maintain passing grades in six classes; (c) have passed six classes in the previous semester.
10.) What is USA Water Polo? Why do I need to join?
USA Water Polo (USWP) is the national governing body for the sport of water polo. All athletes must register with USWP because USWP provides important insurance coverage. Memberships are $70 per calendar year. Click here to register (Silver Membership is adequate).
11.) I’m already a USA Water Polo Member with a year-round club. Do I need to register again?
No. As long as you are a current USA Water Polo Member, you are all set.
12.) I live within the Bellevue High boundary but attend a private school. Can I play for Bellevue High?
Yes. As long as your private school does not offer water polo, you are allowed to play for Bellevue High School per WIAA eligibility rules. If your private school has a water polo team, you must play for your private school.
13.) I live within the Bellevue High boundary but attend the International School. Can I play for Bellevue High?
Yes. Per WIAA eligibility rules, you are allowed to play for Bellevue High School.
14.) I live outside of the Bellevue High boundary, but my high school does not offer water polo. Can I play for Bellevue High?
No. Per WIAA eligibility rules, you are not allowed to participate for Bellevue High School. If your high school does not offer water polo, you can participate on a club team such as Rain City Water Polo. Or even better, start your own team! To find out how, contact John Jacobson, Executive Director and Head Coach of Rain City Water Polo, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 229-4830.
15.) Who do we play?
There are 23 water polo teams in Washington. We compete in the Kingco Division against Inglemoor, Mercer Island, Newport, Roosevelt and Shorewood. At the end of the season, the top Kingco Division teams compete against the top North, South and Narrows Division teams for the State Title.
16.) What tournaments do we attend?
Varsity attends two out-of-state tournaments and the State Tournament (if we qualify). Junior Varsity attends 1 or 2 regular season tournaments. For more information about tournaments, click here.
17.) What equipment do I need to purchase?
All you need is a swimsuit, goggles and a towel. During preseason practices, athletes will need running shoes and athletic shorts. Team suits are available for purchase at the beginning of each season.
18.) I’m a future Wolverine in elementary or middle school. How can I prepare for high school water polo?
The best way to prepare for high school water polo is to participate on a youth club team such as Rain City Water Polo. For more information, visit their website.
19.) How much does it cost to play?
Because water polo is a club sport, we do not receive funding from Bellevue High School. A typical season costs ~$400-$500 per athlete, not including Fort Warden, tournaments and team apparel.
20.) Are there fundraisers to help offset the cost to participate?
Yes. Each offseason, the team holds 1-2 fundraisers (typically car washes). During the season, the team holds the Cougar Mountain Cookie Dough fundraiser, in which athletes sell cookie dough on their own to offset their dues. In some years, a few exceptional salesmen have covered 100% of their dues through this fundraiser.
21.) Are scholarships available?
Yes. Scholarship requests are handled on a case-by-case basis by the team treasurer.
22.) I still have questions. Who should I contact?
Contact the coaches at email@example.com.