Statement on UIL Approval of Water Polo Pilot

I wanted to send an update as water polo has officially been approved as a UIL pilot program for the beginning of the Fall in 2021! Here is an article released by TXWaterPolo on the approval. And a podcast featuring James Smith and Joe Linehan discussing the news.

At this time we know there are many questions with how the next season will work and our plans moving forward. For now, we anticipate the upcoming season for the Spring of 2020 will operate similar to how it has in years past. Updates will be sent as we hear more from the UIL.

Troy Goddard, North Region Rep, is collecting questions you may have at this google form.

You can also view additional resources at the new TISCA Page under the water polo tab.

Last, below is a message from Scott Slay, TISCA Water Polo chair:

I am sure you have heard from others or through social media that the UIL has approved a pilot program for Texas HS Water Polo beginning in the fall of 2021. We are very excited moving forward and I am sure many of you have questions.
More details to follow but get ready for a very exciting time in the history of Texas Water Polo.


Thank you so much to everyone who has pushed this over the past few years and a special shout out to Melissa Howard and the TISCA board.



Scott Slay
TISCA Water Polo

Please feel free to reach out with any questions and/or concerns,
Thank you,

Ms. Allie Hill
Pre-AP Biology
Water Polo Coach
Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA)
7309 Lazy Creek Dr.
Austin, Texas 78724

Allie Hill is New West Region Representative

The TISCA Water Polo Board approved a change in leadership in the West Region on Wednesday. James Smith has stepped down to be replaced immediately by Allie Hill, LBJ High School Girls’ Head Coach and former State Championship winner with Baytown Sterling High School.

TISCA Water Polo bylaws stipulate that a “member of the TISCA Water Polo Board that resigns… will be replaced by a new officer appointed by the remaining members of the TISCA Water Polo Board.”

West Region Water Polo coaches are slated to elect a regional representative at the annual TISCA Clinic on Friday, September 5. Given the low number of West Region coaches attending recent TISCA meetings the Board suggests that Allie Hill be appointed as regional representative until 2021.

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]

West Places Four on 2019 All-state Teams

The West Region placed four athletes on the 2019 TISCA Water Polo All-State Team, as announced at the conclusion of Saturday’s state championship matches in Austin. Aldo Ordoñez of LASA and Makayla Keating of Cedar Ridge earned Second-Team honors, while Ordoñez’ teammate Michael Wallace and Round Rock Junior Callie Scott received Honorable Mention.

Foster High School swept the top honors with Coach Scott Slay receiving Coach of the Year honors for both his boys’ and girls’ teams. Two of his stars, Maddie Jacks and Michael Colmenares, were picked as Players of the Year.

See the entire list of all-state team honorees here.

Final results for tournament are here.

LASA Earns Historic Win at States

The West’s top ranked boys from LASA recovered from a three-goal deficit to defeat Friendswood 7-6 on Sunday at the TISCA Water Polo High School Championships in Austin. The win is the first for any boys’ team from the West at State Championships since 2011, according to state officials, and the first ever by an Austin-area boys’ team.

Anderson did the same for Austin-area girls in 2016. They defeated Denton 6-3 in a ninth-place match at Texas A&M.

In 2015 Round Rock became the first Austin-area squad not to lose a game at the State Championships when they tied Westside of Houston 5-5 to finish the tournament 0-1-1.

Follow all the results from this weekend’s State Championships here. Live statistics and results are available via