The U.S. Olympic Water Polo Team impressed television viewers last summer with its splashy moves.. Yet for all the acclaim, the sport did not enjoy the resurgence of popularity common to other Olympic events in a post-Olympic year. This area offers a typical example.
Water polo is largely ignored as a serious sport, yet an all-star team from the Potomac Valley Water Polo League won the George Washington Invitational last September at George Washington University by beating teams from Philadelphia, the District and Northern Virginia.
The players were chosen from the 10 teams in the league based in Montgomery County. Affiliated with no area swim league -- summer or year round -- the water polo league draws most of its talent from former Montgomery County Swim League swimmers.
"It's really a learn-by-doing process," said league chairman Bob Greenleaf. "Some of the players have gone onto college and played on the teams there and have brought the skills back and taught them to us."
The league has doubled in size to 10 teams in four years. It is divided into two divisions of five teams each and the season is also divided into two sessions. The first session will begin June 23 and end July 9. For the second session, which will last through the first week of August, the teams are regrouped according their win-lost standings. The site for the championship Aug. 10 is as yet undetermined. Area swim leagues will begin competition this weekend. MCSL and Prince-Mont teams will face off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Country Club swim league teams will begin the following Tuesday.
An all-star meet attracting the top swimmers in each event for the MCSL is scheduled for Aug. 3. Prince-Mont will end its season Aug. 10. Country Club championships get underway the weekend of July 29-31.