BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- American Water Polo wishes to offer you
all the best on Memorial Day and offer thanks to the military, past
and present, that serve their country.
I have never been able to think
of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel
that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I
have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those
whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor
placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant
commemoration of what they did.
- Benjamin Harrison
Let every nation know, whether
it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any
burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to
assure the survival and the success of liberty. - John F.
For love of country they accepted death... - James A. Garfield
These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They
are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag
they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the
tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the
shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in
the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars - they
are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they
found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living
and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. - Robert G.
Entering into its 24th season, the league offers summer competition for senior level teams throughout the Northeast and features some of the top collegiate and master athletes east of the Mississippi River.
This season the EWPL will feature both a Senior "A" and "B" Divisions to help maintain equitable competition for all participants. The "B" Division will also be open to high school age teams.
All games will be played at Villanova University located northwest of Philadelphia, PA. Competition will take place during two regular season weekends, June 25&26th and July 16&17th, and will culminate with the championship on August 6&7th.
The deadline to enter your team is set for Friday, June 10th. Visit the Eastern Water Polo League webpage located under the Eastern Region of the Schedules or click on the below links for more specific information.
EWPL 2011: Team Registration Form
EWPL 2011: Senior Division Information
EWPL 2011: League Hotel and Pool Directions
For more information regarding competition available for athletes of all ages, contact Tom Tracey at 610-277-6787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUDERTON, Pa. -- The Souderton Area High School recently finds itself in need of a new Head Water Polo coach.
Infomation regarding this open position and how to apply can be found at:
is a new high school with state-of-the-art facilities, a great
reputation and history of quality Water Polo and Swimming programs, and
a strong parent supported Aquatic Booster organization! This Water
Polo team has developed into a state championship level organization,
and is in desparate need of a new head coach with similar qualities and
experience to continue to build this program.
Applicants should supply a complete application packet, consisting of the following, to be considered for the position:
* Completed Coaching Application (PDF)
* Letter of interest
* Current resume
Complete package should be mailed to:
Tom Quintois, Athletic Director
Souderton Senior High School
41 N. School Lane
Souderton, PA 18964
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- The University of San Francisco Masters, Bay Area Masters and the Olympic Club captured the 20+, 30+ and 50+ divisions of the inaugural Peter J. Cutino Cup hosted by Tri-Valley Water Polo on May 21-22 at at Campolindo
High School (Main Site) Soda Aquatic Center in Moraga, Calif.
In the 20+ division, the University of San Francisco finished the weekend 3-1 to edge out Bay Area Masters (2-2), Contra Costa Masters (2-2) and the Open Masters (2-2) to claim the title.
In the other divisions, the Bay Area Masters 30+ squad captured their division with a 3-1 mark as the team knocked off East Bay (2-2), Contra Costa (1-3) and Napa Valley (0-4), while the Olympic Club (4-0) was the sole undefeated team during the weekend downing Santa Barbara (2-2), Tri-Valley 50 (1-3) and Tri-Valley 55 (1-3) to capture the 50+ division.
Complete standings and results from each division are available by clicking on the links below:
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For Tri-Valley Water Polo coach Jeff
Roy, the Peter J. Cutino Cup is about passion – a love for the game and a
commitment to remember one of the fathers of the sport, longtime University of
California-Berkeley head coach Pete Cutino.
“The idea of the Cutino Cup came about during a
brain-storming session with American Water Polo’s Dan Sharadin and Tom Tracey
as we were looking for ways to create better Masters level events than what was
currently being hosted”, recalls Roy.
For Roy, Sharadin and Tracey, the idea gelled into the
Cutino Cup, an event on May 21-22 hosted
Valley Water Polo at Campolindo
High School (Main Site) Soda Aquatic Center in Moraga, Calif. The unique event will feature
12 teams in three levels of competition for men’s teams as independent
competition will occur for athletes in 20 & Over, 30/40 & Over and 50
& Over divisions.
Like any event in its first year, plans are for the
Cutino Cup to grow and include women’s competition in 2012.
Named for one of the sport of
water polo’s greatest coaches, the 2011 Peter J. Cutino Cup offers more than
premier water polo competition at an affordable price, but a well-organized
event featuring an incredible social atmosphere for interested teams, fans and aficionados
of the sport of water polo.
The inaugural event of the American Water Polo Masters Cup Series, “This event
provides an opportunity for Masters’ athletes to play against competition at
their age-level (20+, 30/40+ and 50+). The only other time this occurs is at Masters Nationals,” Roy notes, “so
this is a very unique event for the sport.”
For American Water Polo and the water polo family, the
Cutino Cup is the first step on a journey to create bigger and better events
for Masters’ athletes; an idea which Roy feels is long overdue.
“This event will grow in time, and being as special as it
is, will provide opportunities that never existed before. This is a stepping stone to create more
events to showcase Masters athletes, and to remember those that paved the way
for today’s game.”
More than the administrator for the event, Roy is also
involved both on deck as a coach and in the water as a player with Tri-Valley
Water Polo, a club program which covers the area around Pleasanton and San
Started in 1997, Tri-Valley now features over 200
members, including former high school, National Collegiate Athletic Association
(NCAA) and AAU champions, in addition former Olympians and active Masters level
athletes that play the sport for one reason – passion for the game.
“Most of our players are from outside the immediate area
around the club,” he adds.
“We include people that played at Cal (University of
California), Davis (University of California-Davis) and Stanford (Stanford
University), and many other collegiate programs, in addition to ones that went
on to play on the National level. But we
are more than just former college athletes, as the club covers a wide range of
ages, from 14 and up. We have had guys
as old as 67 play for us.”
Roy’s involvement with the Cutino Cup also goes beyond
just being the host club for the event.
He remembers and sees daily the impact that Coach Cutino
had on the game.
“They call Cutino the ‘Godfather of Water Polo’ for all he
did to grow the sport and bring us to where we are now. One man touched the lives of thousands of
people, and we want to acknowledge his contribution with an event of this
In part, the Cutino Cup is more than a two-day event to
offer a playing opportunity to Masters players – it is also about honoring the
past and building for the future.
“One of the things we are hoping to do is to put together
an album of the past players – guys that were the first NCAA champions and played
on the AAU teams from which they selected the Olympic teams in the 1970’s. It is an important goal of the event to
remember their contributions, and the contributions of all the guys that played
back when the sport was coming up.”
The event comes full circle as the Cutino Cup will also honor
more than just the name Pete Cutino, but the legacy he created and the vision
he left for what water polo can be at all levels of competition as all proceeds
from the tournament will remain at the host site to benefit the local youth
water polo community.
A legendary coach and
educator in swimming and water polo for over 40 years, during his 26-year
tenure as the head coach of the University of California-Berkeley Cutino won
eight NCAA titles and compiled a 519-172-10 career record to rank among
the all-time victory leaders in the history of water polo in the United States.
Cutino also served as a US
National and Olympic Team Coach as well as a member of the FINA Technical Water
Polo Committee and the chair of the Men’s International Olympic Committee.
"Pete was an instrumental part of so many lives,” according to University
of California head men’s water polo coach Kirk Everist. “Those of us lucky enough
to have been able to call him "Coach" know that our lives where
forever impacted by his presence, his teachings and his never ending pursuit to
bring out the best in all of us. Remembering his legacy with Masters
competition is a perfect tribute.”
A member of six Hall of Fames, Cutino’s legacy is also remembered by the San
Francisco Olympic Club which in 1999 established the Peter J. Cutino Award, the
Heisman Award equivalent presented to the top male and female collegiate water
polo players each year.
In September of 2004, Peter J. Cutino Sr. passed away, a loss felt by all the
athletes, coaches and fellow aquatic enthusiasts who came into contact with him
over his years on deck.
Although gone, Cutino’s
spirit and name continues on to inspire a passion for the game now and in the
future through events like the one that carries his name, the Peter J. Cutino
For more information on the Cutino Cup, visit the official website at www.CutinoCup.com
American Water Polo Director Dan
Sharadin underwent surgery on the morning of May 5 to
donate a kidney to his wife, Danna. The surgery was successful and
both he and Danna were released last Sunday evening, May 8th. The
recovery process will still take some time as neither will be able
to drive for a period of three weeks.
The Director wishes to express
his thanks to everyone that called, emailed, and or contacted the
office. While he will be unable to respond to
everyone, the outpouring of kindness has been really
The doctors have not established a
time when he can come back to the office as of yet, but the Director hopes to begin limited correspondence next week by
email and telephone.
A Note from AWP Director Dan Sharadin
Many of you have requested
information about the recovery process and the details.
To help clear up what has taken
place thus far, as well as what we expect in the next few weeks,
I’ve been asked to give some additional information.
My wife and I will be married 30
years this November and throughout most of that time Danna has had
a disease called IGA Nephropathy. Essentially the disease is a slow
acting one that eventually destroys the kidney’s function,
which is designed to remove poisons from your body. Without your
kidneys your body has no means to rid itself of toxins.
Three years ago it became clear she
was digressing more rapidly and was placed on an active transplant
list. Her condition remained stable for a while until this past
April. During that time I was tested and found to be a match, which
was not only unusual, but a tremendous blessing for a number of
reasons. While we could have waited for a cadaver kidney from
someone that had passed away, the incidence of rejection, life
expectancy afterwards, and associated problems all escalate under
these circumstances. The best chance for my wife’s survival
was a transplant from a live donor that had been pre-matched.
The surgery took place on May 5 and
lasted about five hours. They removed my left kidney and added it
to my wife’s barely functioning two kidneys. They actually do
not replace any of her kidneys since they want to maintain as much
kidney function as possible.
Following the operation they
perform a number of different tests to ensure the kidneys are
functioning and they begin giving my wife special drugs to reduce
the chance that her body will reject the donated kidney.
Unfortunately these drugs also can eliminate her resistance to
infections and viruses, so it is important she be kept in relative
isolation at this time.
The time spent in the hospital was
really a blur. In fact, since the operation, the longest I have
been awake is four hours and I usually average 2-3 hours at a
My day is simply spent sleeping,
eating, and taking some medicine. I have not even watched a full
Sports Center yet, although that has to change soon. I have had
very limited contact with anyone, so please do not be offended if I
do not respond to you for a few weeks. The reality is that I am
simply sleeping all of the time in 2-3 hour naps, 24 hours a day.
The duration is due to the cycle for taking medication.
The pain can be challenging and the
drugs used to lessen the effects are narcotics, so I am attempting
to minimize my usage as much as possible. I am trying to balance
the amount of pain I can tolerate and still be able to eat and
sleep. Recently I tried to go too far off the pain meds too soon
and paid for it over the last three days in discomfort, loss of
appetite, and sleep. However, things seem to be improving today and
I am hopefully back on track.
While the operation was fairly
routine and extremely safe in comparison to most operations,
because of the location of the kidney and the number of organs that
must be moved to perform the surgery, recovery takes a very long
time. Ironically, the donor has a much slower and more painful time
that the recipient. The reason is due to the fact that the
recipient has been functioning on death’s doorstep for some
time and then gets a brand new kidney, improving filtering
immediately. For all my doctor friends, Danna’s Creatinine
went from 5.5 to .9 in a day.
The donor on the other hand goes
from a healthy lifestyle to 50% filtering, as well as dealing with
the side effects associated with major surgery. This means
the donor’s body goes into a kind of shock trying to recover
while the recipient gets a new lease on life. Consequently, the
time out of commission is greater for the donor than that of the
recipient. That is the biggest surprise for those involved since
prior to the surgery they have seen the recipient’s health
steadily failing and naturally assume their recovery will take
longer than the healthy donor.
I am not sure what this will mean
for me. I’ve been told very clearly from all of the surgeons
and kidney doctors that there is no way to shorten the time.
Everyone responds differently. All I can do is rest and hope that
my body heals quickly.
As for my wife, the difference is
truly amazing. She looks 10 years younger and already has more
energy now than she did before the surgery. I am so thankful to be
able to have been a part of this for her.
I hope this summary has given you
some insights into what has happened and I’ll try to let you
know if anything significant changes in the process described
I want to thank you again for your
prayer support and kind words and please know that I read
everything that has been sent. As I begin to get back involved
I’ll let you know my status.
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- American
Water Polo is proud to announce the formation of a new summer league to provide
the highest level of competitive opportunities for top level men’s
student-athletes and Master’s athletes on the West Coast, the Pacific
Coast Water Polo League.
Featuring many of the top teams and student-athletes in
collegiate water polo, including squads from the University of California,
Santa Clara University, the University of California-Davis, Stanford
University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Pepperdine University,
Loyola Marymount University, the University of California-Santa Barbara and
Long Beach State University, along with the top Master’s athletes in the state,
the league will provide competitive opportunities for both current and past
student-athletes in the minimal number of dates while maximizing developmental
Teams are divided into North (Cal, Santa Clara, UC-Davis,
Stanford, Olympic Club) and South (Extreme, Loyola Marymount, UC-Santa Barbara,
Pepperdine, UCLA, Long Beach, Costa Masters) Divisions with both intra and
inter regional competition taking place throughout the summer. All teams play
each other at least once with additional games against opponents within their
respective regions. At the close of the regular season, the top eight teams
qualify for the championship at Pepperdine on July 30. Seeding at the
championship is based on regular season won/loss records, as each goal, field
block, save and game will matter during the course of the season to determine
the championship seeds and pairings.
Competition begins on June 4-5 at UC-San Diego and will
continue during the season along the entirety of the Pacific Coast at Santiago
High School (Riverside, Calif.), Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles, Calif.), Mira
Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.),
Santa Clara (Santa Clara, Calif.), Long Beach State (Long Beach, Calif.),
California Baptist University (Riverside, Calif.), Cal (Berkeley, Calif.) and
Pepperdine (Malibu, Calif.).
A complete schedule of game and competition start times is
available on the American Water Polo website by clicking here.
First published illustration of an American water polo by T. de Thelstrup, Harper's Weekly Magazine, February 28, 1891
History of the Game up to the 1960s
By Chuck Hines
Known as an outstanding rugby player, Englishman J. L. Mayger found himself struggling to survive when he tried his luck at water polo. The report, dating back to the 1880s, said, “A fierce struggle took place near the Leander goal, which was a heavy pontoon moored against the side of a gunboat. The tide was flowing in that direction, and Mr. Mayger, who was playing for England, was pushed beneath the surface and under the pontoon. The rest of the swimmers, in their frantic efforts to score a goal, prevented him from getting clear. It was only when he was nearly unconscious that his rescue was effected.”
From the very beginning, water polo was a rough, tough game. From what we know, it was in the 1860s in England that various attempts were made to create some kind of ball game in the water that was initially called “water handball.” In 1870, a committee appointed by the London Swimming Association drew up a set of unofficial rules for what they called “water football.” The first semi-official matches to be covered by the media occurred in 1876. A ball from India was used, and as the word for ball in the Indian language was “pulu,” the game was called water ball or water pulu and, eventually, water polo.
A Scotsman named William Wilson is credited with formulating the first official set of rules which were used in Glasgow in 1876 and 1877. The goals could be anything that was handy – boats, floats, flags anchored in the water, the walls at each end of the pool – and the number of players per team varied from three to twelve, with seven being the most common. Some games were played outdoors in lakes and rivers, but as more swimming pools were built, the indoor game gradually became more prevalent. Fi
nally, goals that were eight feet wide and six feet high were suggested, and competition continued in the 1880s and 1890s between club teams from England, Scotland, and Ireland.
It’s generally reported that Englishman John Robinson brought the game to the U.S. in 1888, with the first teams being found in Boston and Providence, RI. Well, maybe not. There’s a beautiful engraving of a water polo game being played in front of a large crowd of spectators in New Orleans in 1881 by players sitting on barrels and using twin-bladed kayak paddles to propel themselves forward and move the ball toward the goals, which were anchored boats. Does this qualify as water polo? You tell me.
Back in the Northeast, a type of game that emphasized underwater wrestling was being developed, quite at odds with the swifter surface-swimming style being promoted by the Brits and other European countries. It was called “softball water polo” as the ball was deflated so it could be taken beneath the surface, where there was grappling, holding, kicking, and everything else. A goal was scored when the ball was placed by hand on a ten-foot-wide by three-foot-high panel attached to the end of the pool. The first U.S. “softball” championships were held indoors in NYC in 1889, with the following results: 1st -Knickerbocker Athletic Club, 2nd - New York Athletic Club, 3rd - Duquesne Aquatics of Pittsburgh, 4th - Brookline Aquatics of Boston, and 5th - Univ. of Pennsylvania. A game played at the New York A.C. in 1890 was reported by the newspaper to involve “the swallowing of tons of water by the participants.” Some games were played to large audiences in Madison Square Garden, and in 1895, the New York A.C. hosted the Chicago A.C. in front of a large crowd and defeated the visitors, 4-to-1 and 2-to-1.
This type of rough subsurface water polo continued to be promoted by the Eastern clubs and was sanctioned, somewhat reluctantly, by the Amateur Athletic Union. The game was controversial, and even Gus Sundstrom, the famed New York A.C. Coach, wrote in his 1901 textbook, “I would advise all clubs to adopt the English version.” Interestingly, it was the women and the YMCA that first took his advice. We’ll discuss the history of the women’s game at a later date, so let me only say now that semi-official women’s competition was started in England and the U.S. in 1901 and 1902, with the ladies playing the surface style. Likewise the YMCA, which had teams playing five-per-side in New York City and Chicago in 1908 and thereafter, utilized the surface-style swimming game. An article in The New York Times, in referring to a Y contest, said “There was little roughness” and “only once was there a protest of the referee’s calls, to no avail.”
Water polo was also being played in the western United States. The San Francisco Call newspaper ran a long article on July 20, 1896, complete with artistic drawings, of a rough wrestling type of game played in the Lurline Baths. The article stated that “at the Lurline Baths on Larkin Street, there is no end to the fun and excitement. The swimmers vie with one another in the execution of fancy strokes, high dives, double somersaults, etc., and their exhibitions of aquatic skills are heartily applauded by the admiring spectators. Every Friday evening, there are contests of polo – football in the water – followed by a varied schedule of swimming and diving.”
Walter Camp, the dean of American sportswriters and an astute observer of the sporting scene, included a ten-page chapter on water polo in his 1903 textbook. He wrote “The game of water polo has perhaps done more during recent years to popularize and to cause an interest to be taken in swimming than any other branch of aquatic sport. It is essentially a game for swimmers and one that affords ample opportunity for the exhibition of skill and the development of staying power.”
Internationally, there were now men’s water polo teams scattered throughout Europe – in Germany, France, Belgium, Hungary – and others could be found from New Zealand to Panama to Rhodesia to South Africa. Men’s water polo was introduced into the Olympic Games of 1900. The English rules were followed, complete with goals similar to those used nowadays, and the Brits copped the gold medal by beating Belgium and France.
The 1904 Olympics were conducted in St. Louis, and we, the host nation, insisted on using our “softball” rules which permitted underwater wrestling and excessive roughness. This was anathema to the Europeans, who refused to participate. There were other problems, as well, which we shall not mention here. Thus the U.S. won the gold medal … uncontested … unfortunately.
A review of the 1908 U.S. “softball” championship game said that “rough play and charges of foul tactics marked the bitter contest from first to last. As a result, the AAU dropped water polo temporarily and did not send a team to the London Olympics in 1908.” This trend continued, and at the 1912 U.S. Championships, hosted by Pittsburgh, it was reported that “the New York A.C. and the Chicago A.C. played the roughest water polo game on record. After four men had been carried out of the pool unconscious, pugilist Joe Choynsky, the Chicago coach, hit Joe Ruddy of the New York A.C. in the jaw. Ruddy then hit Choynsky in the eye. A riot ensued. Dr. W. L. Savage, the Pittsburgh physical education director, stopped the game (which hadn’t even reached half-time) and announced that several of the contestants would be barred from the Pittsburgh club house and pool.” When learning of this occurrence, the AAU once again dropped water polo, and no U.S. team was sent to the 1916 Olympic Games in Stockholm.
On a more positive note, a number of Eastern colleges started playing water polo, following the more sedate and safer surface-swimming rules with passing and shooting at goal frames. YMCA records indicate a game called “water football” was played in the Springfield, MA, College pool in 1891 under the direction of the Y’s famed physical education guru Luther Gulick, who that same year encouraged his protégé, James Naismith, to develop a gym game that came to be known as basketball. From 1905 through the late 1920s, there were active teams at Penn, Princeton, Yale, Navy, CCNY, Harvard, Columbia, and Dartmouth. Many photos of those teams still exist.
In the Midwest, there were AAU and YMCA teams in Chicago plus a team at nearby Northwestern University, and the Minneapolis and Duluth Ys in MN were enjoying five-per-side, surface-swimming water polo games at the conclusion of their yearly home-and-home swim meets. In fact, water polo was a nationally-sanctioned YMCA sport from 1916 thru 1926, and in 1922, John Slater, the young director of aquatics at the Fort Wayne, IN, YMCA wrote, “We have an industrial water polo league with four industries represented. We have 44 men taking part in the league games in the Y pool. All of the games are drawing large audiences. Some of the rules in the Swimming Guide are used, and others are changed or added. The changes make the play fast. Roughness and dirty playing are not allowed by the referee. In the twelve games so far, a total of 87 goals have been scored. All of the teams have worked up signals and trick plays.” A report written two years later by Mr. Slater stated that the Fort Wayne YMCA polo program had grown to six teams, then eight, with 78 participants.
Doubtless the best-known polo player in those days in the Midwest, and perhaps in the entire country, was Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller of Chicago, who won five gold medals in Olympic swimming competition in 1924 and 1928 and also performed on Uncle Sam’s Olympic bronze medal water polo team in 1924.
Farther out west, the San Francisco Olympic Club was playing the game by 1920, if not earlier, and collegiate teams popped up at Stanford, Cal, Long Beach State, Fullerton and elsewhere, including UCLA. There were several high schools playing in southern California, and a photo still exists of the Long Beach High School boys’ team which won the SoCal prep league in 1912.
By the 1930s, Hungary had supplanted Great Britain as the world water polo power. California was fielding most of the best teams and producing most of the U.S. players who were capable of playing the British/European/Olympic style of game with its emphasis on swift swimming and adept ball-handling. In both 1932 and 1936, it was mostly Californians who represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games. However, after earning a bronze medal at the LA Games in 1932, the U.S. did not make the final eight at the Berlin Games of 1936.
The lingering depression of the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s put a damper on most sports worldwide. When the Olympics resumed in 1948, in London, the U.S. sent a water polo team but once again did not make the top eight.
It was California that really picked up and promoted the sport in the 1950s, with other states jumping onboard in the 1960s, and in next month’s history report for American Water Polo, we’ll look at the how the game has progressed over the past 50 years.
Disclaimer by writer Chuck Hines. The history of water polo remains somewhat obscure. There are numerous versions of what took place in the last half of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century. Accounts differ. The above is what I’ve been able to glean from my studies. Further info is available from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale and from several web-sites devoted to water polo history, perhaps the best of which is the www.waterpololegends.com web-site.