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Q.  When can I join OHANA Water Polo?
A.  We welcome you to our OHANA anytime.  Go to our website, and register for an account. You can then register your child for a full session or you can register for a free one-week trial.  You will need a USA Water Polo Membership ID before you can register for either type of session. USA water polo offers a free 2 week trial membership on their website. Here is a link.   You will use Club ID 33664 when you register.


Q.  Why do I need to register for both USA Water Polo and for Ohana WPA?

A.  USA WP is our national amateur governing body. It sets the rules for eligibility and competitive play, it handles national athlete registration, and it provides us with our athlete insurance. If your athlete is injured during a sanctioned water polo activity there is a claims process through USA Water Polo to seek reimbursement for your out-of-pocket costs. Annual dues are paid directly to USA Water Polo to cover these services and insurance.

Ohana Water Polo Academy is a local, non-profit organization, run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Ohana Water Polo Academy collects quarterly dues, tournament registrations, and donations. We pay for professional coaches, tournament fees, pool time, and equipment.

USA Water Polo registration is a pre-requisite for registering with Ohana Water Polo Academy, and you will be asked for your USA WP membership number and expiration during signup.


Q.  What are the seasons?
A.  Ohana Water Polo has divided its sessions into Four quarters: Fall from August 1 to October 31, Winter from November 1 to January 31, Spring from February 1 to April 30, and Summer from May 1 to July 31.  These quarters coordinate with our competition schedule.  Youth compete quite a bit in the Fall and Summer.  Winter is more about development for youth and less about competition. High school players, especially those from the local areas can find a home in the off-season at Ohana.  We encourage our players to swim competitively to improve their water polo.  Just check the Calendar section of our website for practice times and get a sense of the flow.  Feel free to show up at the practices and say hello to the coach.  


Q.  Do you teach kids to swim?

A.  No, we teach them to play water polo. Beginning swimmers can go to Seal Beach Swim Club located at the Joint Forces Training Base to learn how to swim or join the base's summer programs. 


Q.  How old do you have to be to play water polo?

A.  Being comfortable in the water is the primary criterion for playing water polo.  We have players as young as six playing with us.   Please approach your coach and determine how to ease into our sport.  Remember, we have fun Splash Ball program that give young players a great foundation of the sport while they are doing other sports, or getting ready for water polo.  Contact us for more information about entry-level programs.


Q.  What is Splash Ball?

A.  Splash Ball is a non-contact kid friendly version of water polo played in a shallow pool and/or with a noodle for support. All the fundamentals of water polo will be taught in a fun and safe atmosphere.  We have Splashball programs for 5th Grade & Younger athletes.  Splashball is designed to introduce the sport of water polo to children who are under 10.  The intent is to provide basic skills and understanding of the sport in a recreational format.  Although water polo is known for its toughness and endurance, Splashball harnesses all the fun, dynamic aspects of the game in a safe, easy to learn aquatic experience that will motivate kids to swim and stay fit.


Q.  Why water polo?

A.  Water polo is a small sport with great opportunities in high school. There aren’t tons of 8th graders vying for limited training spots in high school their freshmen year like in other land sports.  Water polo is an Olympic sport.  Many colleges offer water polo. Many of OHANA’s  athletes play water polo in high school.  Almost all of OHANA’s athletes have splendid high school water polo careers.   Water polo is a great background for participating as a lifeguard at pools or the beach during summers. Water polo athletes are the best physical specimens in sports.  No one is better conditioned than water polo players. Games last 45 minutes.  When the game is over, your athlete is clean, exhausted, and hungry.   That’s much different than America’s other past times, where game times are longer, very sweaty, and sometimes not always active. Oh, and it's FUN!


 Q.  What are the age groups in water polo?

A.  Quite simply, your age in water polo is determined by your age as of August 1st of the next year.  For example in September 2018, someone born July 1st, 2008. is considered to be water polo age 11 and would need to play for the 12&under team.  Age groups are currently divided into 18&under, 16&under, 14&under, 12&under, and 10&under.  So every player spends two years in one age group.  So if your child is water polo 11, for example, he/she will be playing with 11 and 12 year olds for two years.


Q.  What are the Attendance requirements for OHANA WPA?A.  Youth water polo is most intense in the Spring and Summer Quarters.  For the travel teams, those going for championships, attendance requirements are strict and subject to the individual coaches’ rules.   We recommend that every player, NOT THE PARENTS, call/text the coaching staff directly to arrange their schedules.  This begins to develop maturity in the younger athletes


Q.  When should we schedule vacations?

A.  Never take a vacation in July. The best times for vacations are August (after Junior Olympics) and anytime from mid-November through April.  If you are on a team that is competing in JO’s, advise your coach about vacation plans months in advance of obligations and commitments. 


Q.  What are the basic skills of water polo?
A.  Comfort in the water is the most fundamental water polo skill.  Swimming is part of that but swimming is considered to be "horizontal."   Being able to stay high above the water "vertically" using a leg skill called the “eggbeater” is vital to success.  We teach the eggbeater.  Learning to handle the ball with one hand is another skill that is important.   Water polo is like soccer and basketball played in the water.  The object is to score the ball in the goal on offense and prevent the ball from going in the goal on defense.  OHANA WPA believes that understanding defense before offense is vital to a player’s ultimate success. 


Q.  How do I learn the rules of water polo?

A.  Unlike other sports, water polo action does not stop when the whistle blows.  Action begins when the whistle blows.  The object of the game is to throw the ball in the goal.  Goalies can touch the ball with two hands.  All other players can only touch the ball with one hand.   Fouls create free throws for the person fouled.  In some instances, when the person fouled is grossly impeded, the defender has to leave the game for 20 seconds and the offense has a “power play opportunity.”  In the worst fouls, a penalty throw is awarded.  Sit back, relax, enjoy and learn.  The player’s learn the rules faster than the parents!!!!! 


Q. So how does it work?

A.  Water Polo combines skills from many sports including swimming, soccer, basketball, and wrestling. It is a sport which requires speed and endurance, finesse and power, individual ability and team strategy.

There are 6 field players and a goalie on each team. Field players swim up and down the pool, playing both offense and defense, trying to put the ball past the goalie into a goal which is 1-meter high and 3-meters wide.

Field players may use only one hand to pass and shoot the ball. The goalie is allowed to use both hands to defend the goal. Players are not allowed to touch the bottom or sides of the pool. A regulation playing area is 30 meters by 20 meters and at least 8 feet deep, but many pools are smaller than this. Our locations are roughly 25 yards long and 6 lanes wide. Some venues have pools, which are shallow at one end. In such pools, the shallow-end goal is larger and the goalie is allowed to stand on the bottom. Field players are not supposed to touch the bottom of the pool and the ball at the same time, or use the bottom to gain advantage.


Q.  What’s with all the whistles?

A.  Referees walk along the sides of the pool to watch the game. There are numerous ordinary fouls called throughout the game. The ref will blow the whistle often pointing to the spot of the foul with one arm, while showing the direction of play with the other. Unlike many sports, where play stops on the referee’s whistle, players will keep swimming or wrestling for position at this time. The player who was fouled is awarded a free pass. The defender must give them roughly an arm’s length of space to make their free pass. If the person earning the foul is outside of the 5-meter line, he or she may shoot if they do so immediately.


Q.  They can’t do that! a.k.a. What happened to my child?! 

A.  Water polo involves a lot of contact. You may often see something that not only looks like a foul… it looks like a bad one! If the offensive player is holding the ball, the defender is allowed much more contact. Strong offensive players will often absorb this kind of contact while working for a shot. This happens frequently right in front of the goal in a position known as the hole or set position. If the offensive player cannot get off the shot, they will often release the ball, with the defender draped around them, to then earn a free pass or exclusion.


Q.  And this is fun, right?

A.  Athletes who try this game soon start to love it. We keep hearing two reasons: 1) the challenge and combination of skills required for the game, and 2) the camaraderie of this team in particular. We, as coaches, often talk about how well these team members get along and how welcoming they are to new players.

Q.  Does Ohana Water Polo Academy have a Code of Conduct?  

A.  Yes, and they are under the Code of Conduct tab on the main web page at Upon registering your player with Ohana WPA you will need acknowledge both the Parent and Athlete Code of Conduct pages.


Q.  Does Ohana Water Polo Academy Offer a Masters Water Polo Program?

 A.  No. Ohana is a youth Water Polo Academy with teams in 10U, 12U, 14U 16U and 18U


Q.  Do we need to make it to every training offered per week?  

A.  All levels are different, but we understand that as student athletes each player has a variety of activities that may conflict with training times. Depending on the goals of your child and level at which they wish to play, they should try to make as many training sessions as possible. Please communicate with your coach on the days that you cannot make training.


Q.  What can a player do to maximize his or her potential?

A.  Make sure to attend as many practices and competitions as possible. A player will develop skills, as in all sports, by working hard, having good attendance, really listening to the coaches, and asking questions.  We have the best coaching staff around. They all know what they are talking about!  The coach’s goal is to not just coach a player what to do but to also teach the player WHY they are doing skills, drills, team concepts, etc


Q.  What happens if I only want to train and not enter tournaments yet?

A.  Athletes are free to play as much as they want.  We encourage participation in as much as possible.   Bear in mind though, that one of the best ways to learn the game is to play in it


Q. What kind of equipment do I need to start out? 

A.  Boys just need a speedo style suit or jammers while girls just need to bring a regular swimsuit and a swim cap.  Goggles are optional for the athletes (we are not a swim team).  We will do swimming at the beginning where goggles could be used.  Goggles do need to come off once the balls are in the water polo.  


Q.  What if my player or I as a parent has questions? 

A.  Ohana WPA’s coaching staff works very hard at building and strengthening the relationship between the coach and player.  Coaches encourage and value open communication with their players.  If your player has questions about the team he or she is placed on or would like to talk about his or her progress, the first step is for the player to speak directly with his or her coach.  If your player feels his or her questions were not answered, the next step would be for the parent and player to meet with the coach.  Parents should start with their team coordinator if they have any questions or send an email to


Q.  Who do I contact if I have an administrative question? 


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