The English Schools’ Swimming Association (ESSA) has been providing an opportunity for all schools in England to engage in competitive water polo since 1976. Water polo has become increasingly popular within schools for boys, and now girls since 2003, and there are now a significant number of competitions that reflect this.
Both boys’ and girls’ groups compete at U18, U15 and U13 age groups culminating in a 6 team national final for all three age groups and for both genders following several rounds of competition.
Cadet competitions aim to attract new players into competitive water polo for those who haven’t already competed in the main competition. There are now two age groups for the Cadet competition at U11 (Year 6 and below) and U13 (Year 8 and below).
The Duke of Cambridge Cup is a one-day tournament for the best 39 boys and best 39 girls, nominated by schools and England Water Polo, from a specific age group (identified at the start of the academic year by the ESSA Council). To be considered for this competition a pupil must attend a school in England. Following the Duke of Cambridge Cup tournament, schools’ international honours can be achieved following selection by the ESSA Head Coach, which is usually for the best 16 players for both gender teams. Since 2015 International teams have represented the ESSA at tournaments in Malta, Hungary and in 2018 we welcomed Australia and Romania to England for a Home International tournament.
Click on the relevant links below for more info re ESSA representative events:
University water polo competitions in the UK are provided by 2 organisations...
October has been yet another topsy-turvy month with rules about training changing regularly depending on which tier your club is in, and now we are facing another country-wide lockdown starting on Guy Fawkes night which will close pools and suspend polo (at least indoors!) for 4 weeks. As ever, the water polo community has shown great spirit and determination to train wherever possible and it is a great credit to all the coaches and helpers that so many clubs have been able to offer covid-secure training facilities which are so important to keeping the sport alive.