Club water polo makes a splash on campus

Grant Barnes, Copy Editor

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Hanson Dai | Associate Artist

If you were not raised as an avid pool-dweller, chances are you are not well-versed in the sport of water polo. Tulane’s club team, however, seeks to change this dynamic, bringing this fascinating and unique sport to the pools of the Reily Student Recreation Center.

For those unfamiliar with water polo, it can be likened to an aquatic combination of soccer and basketball. The object of the game is to score goals, and teams are made up of six field players and a goalkeeper.

While the object of the games may be similar, club president Isabella Johnson was adamant about the energy and speed of the game.

“I’d say it’s more exciting than soccer because it’s more fast-paced,” Johnson said. “You’re sprinting back and forth, there’s a lot of exciting plays that happen … it’s definitely a contact sport, so I think that adds another level of excitement to it.”

The club currently has around 30 active players, most of whom hail from the West Coast and have played the game in the past. It does, however, have members who swam in the past but, until recently, never had the opportunity to take up the sport.

Water polo engages in two types of competition, scrimmages and tournaments. Scrimmages are held with nearby teams such as Louisiana State University and give the club an opportunity to fine tune for its four tournaments. Johnson emphasized the importance and excitement revolving around the upcoming tournament it is hosting, the aptly named Mardi Gras tournament.

“It’s Feb. 16-17, and that’s bigger, 10 teams total,” Johnson said. “Teams travel from all over, so we have a few from the West Coast, East Coast and then a few from the South as well.”

In addition to the Mardi Gras tournament, the team has traveled to tournaments at Auburn University and other various universities across the South. For now, the team will place its focus on performing in the Mardi Gras tournament. Games will be hosted all day Feb. 16-17 in the Reily Center Natatorium.