UIL Update: TISCA Needs Your Help

For the past seven years representatives of only one sport not currently sponsored by the body have attended every UIL Legislative Council Meeting. On June 10 representatives of TISCA and USA Water Polo again took part in the meeting with some encouraging results. But there’s more work to do and TISCA, including the West Region Committee, strongly encourages families and supporters of the sport to act on the information presented below.

Joe Linehan, Director of Texas Growth for USA Water Polo, has sent most members of the water polo community the following email regarding UIL sponsorship of water polo. You may have already received it. If not, we urge you to read it and act.

On Tuesday – June 10th, TISCA Water Polo attended the annual June meeting of the UIL Legislative Council (Council meets every June and October). In an attempt to pursue the UIL sanctioning of water polo, TISCA Water Polo has been attending the UIL Legislative Council meetings every June and October for the past seven years (Chris Cullen, Mac McDonald, and Joe Linehan). Much progress has been made toward the UIL sanctioning of the sport through organized and deliberate presentations at the UIL meetings, grass roots development at the high school level throughout the state (including Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Paso in the West Region), TISCA support of adding water polo as a sanctioned sport, and conversations throughout with the UIL Staff and Superintendents that attend the annual meetings.

At [the June 10] meeting, the UIL Legislative Council decided to send a survey to all Superintendents throughout the state of Texas in August and September  of 2019. This previously occurred in 2014 and again in 2016. The initial survey in 2014 showed there was enough support to “continue to monitor” the sports growth. The survey in 2016 showed a tremendous increase of school district interest of wanting to participate in the sport, but the support fell just short of the majority of Superintendents (came in at 47%). Since 2016, the sport has continued to grow state wide with the total number of schools playing at some level this past spring at 170+ schools (most playing both boys and girls). Just ten years ago, there were less than 50 schools playing the sport in Texas.

In anticipation of the UIL survey in August/September, we need former players, parents, supporters of the sport, masters players, etc. to contact their local Superintendents and encourage them to support the addition of water polo as a UIL sanctioned sport on the upcoming survey (contact Superintendents via email, letter, in person meeting, etc.).

Please use positive and area-specific language when contacting your local Superintendent. Below is a list of the major talking points that support the addition of water polo for the UIL. Please select 2-3 of below bullet points and elaborate on the why these issues are important for your area/school district (no need to copy/paste the entire list). If possible, please encourage friends/family to also contact their local Superintendents in their area of the state. The more positive support from parents/supporters of the sport the better.

Top Reasons to Add Water Polo as a UIL Sanctioned Sport:

  • Low Cost to Implement and Maintain the Program
  • Low Athlete Injury Risk; Low Organizational Risk
  • Attracts High Achieving Student-Athletes, High Character & Education Driven Athletes
  • Promotes Team Concept, Builds Camaraderie, & Increases Self-Esteem
  • Excellent Sport for Both Genders (Year-Round Aquatic Season)
  • Grow All Aquatic Sports by Attracting Athletes to Aquatic Facilities
  • Utilize Pools After Swim Season (Does Not Require Additional Facilities)
  • A Place for Athletes Offseason/Cross-training
  • Education Mission: Minimum Missed School Days
  • TISCA Water Polo Already Adheres to UIL Standards
  • Regulation of the Fastest Growing High School Sport in Texas
  • Proven NCAA Opportunities for Student-Athletes & Olympic Success
  • USA Water Polo Education & Technical Assistance
  • Spectator Friendly Sport, and IT’S FUN!

Thank you in your support of TISCA Water Polo’s/USA Water Polo’s efforts in making water polo the next UIL Sanctioned Sport in Texas.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks and take care.

Joe Linehan
USA Water Polo – Texas Development
[email protected]