Club sports: Water Polo

Sadie Layher, Staff Intern

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Students gather every week in the University Rec Well’s pool to play the swimmer’s answer to soccer: Water polo.

Oakland University’s club team is run by president David Krauss. He says the sport itself seems complicated, but scoring is not as difficult as it looks.

Krauss described the sport as similar to hockey and soccer. To get a point, one must pass the ball into the goal area, points are earned one by one. Except for the goalie, teams are only allowed six other field players at a time. Also, players are only allowed to use one hand to pass what Krauss calls the “yellow soccer-sized ball.”

Water polo requires an extreme amount of leg strength and physical endurance and this takes time and very difficult sets to build properly,” he said.

In order to build leg strength and create endurance, the club participates in various practice routines which include sprint sets, tread sets, passing drills, shooting drills and scrimmages.

Treading is the one of the most challenging tasks each player must do, as they are not supposed to touch the bottom of the pool. However, teams can substitute players because a standard match lasts about 45 minutes with four seven minute quarters and a 35 second shot clock with a two minute rest between quarters.

Besides being an audience member, there are different ways to get involved with water polo at Oakland.

“To become involved in water polo there are a number of opportunities, one could join the team, one could volunteer at a match or one could come out to our tournament and support Oakland,” Krauss said.

Furthermore, water polo is a club sport on campus, which means it requires fundraising for different events. Ihavf students want to get involved, there is a variety of ways to help benefit the club.

“The most recent [fundraiser] was t-shirt sales and we hope to arrange a bake sale soon,” Krauss said.

With all of the fundraising and hard work in practice, the water polo club has been improving year to year. Krauss said he is very glad for his vice-president to help him lead everything.

“My vice president, Alyssa Ruggirello has been working extremely hard to better organize and maintain the team than it was in previous seasons,” he said.

Krauss and Ruggirello have seven new players this season and only one has never participated in water polo before. It is also important to note that water polo is co-ed so anyone can participate.

During the season, Krauss says that “the most fun to play is most likely Michigan Tech, they are extremely friendly and very courteous throughout the entire match.”

Oakland’s water polo biggest rival  is Bowling Green State University. It is not an incredible intense rivalry mostly because the Bowling Green is known for defeating Oakland. But, Krauss hopes that will change very soon.

The water polo club has been at Oakland University since 2010 and is continually growing. Krauss stresses that “if you work as a team, anything is possible.”

The next home tournament will take place in February, the exact date is to be determined.