Thursday, November 4, 2010

Overview for the High School Club State Championship (North)


6 teams are entered into the Championship Tournament for the high school club teams in the north end. The teams are divided into two brackets based on seeding.  Bracket A has #1 CPA, #4 Bellevue, and #6 Bainbridge.  Bracket B has #2 Mercer Island, #3 Roosevelt and #5 Newport.  The objective in bracket play is simple.  If you win your bracket, you advance to the semi-finals.  Otherwise you play a cross bracket elimination game.  So the second place finisher in bracket A will play the third place finisher in Bracket B. In theory, a team could go winless in bracket play and still qualify for the semi-final by winning their cross bracket match and that scenario is not out of the question.
Friday evening will be basically round robin play within the brackets.  In Bracket A, CPA is undefeated in league play and will be the favorite to advance to the semis.  CPA is the strongest team but they do have a tendency to allow their opponents to hang around.  Bellevue might be able to make it close, but expect CPA to punch their ticket directly to the semis.  Bellevue should finish second followed by Bainbridge Island.
In Bracket B, Mercer Island is the strong favorite.  Roosevelt and Newport just don’t have the depth and experience to challenge the Islanders.  Mercer Island should easily advance to the semis.   The game of the night is between Newport vs. Roosevelt.  Even though Roosevelt is the higher seed, the Roughriders have only managed to squeak by their opponents.  Roosevelt defeated Newport early in the season by 1 point with a game winning shot in the closing seconds. This one promises to be a nail biter. The winner of this game has the inside track to the semis and the loser will most likely face Bellevue in the cross bracket game.
Regardless of which teams amongst Bellevue, Newport, Roosevelt, or Bainbridge survive the cross bracket games and advance to the semis, their road to the finals will come to an abrupt end.  You can pretty much count on the championship final to be Mercer Island vs. CPA. 
The finals promise to be an epic battle.  The regular season match between CPA and Mercer Island went the distance with CPA coming from behind to win by 1 point.  Without a doubt, one of the most exciting high level games of the year.   Expect this final match to be every bit as thrilling.  Both teams are loaded with talent but Mercer Island has an edge in one important intangible.  Expect the Islander’s senior leadership to make the difference as they win their 11th straight title.


  1. Where and when are the games?

  2. The tournament games for the High School Club teams take place at the King County Aquatic Center. Bracket play begins at 4:00PM Friday 11/5. Cross bracket play starts Saturday morning 11/6 at 9:45AM. 3rd/4th place game is at 3:00PM. Finals at 4:15PM

  3. At least in the 3A set up, the State Championships were not actually State championships, but rather, let's call 'em regional championships. Any chance in coming years for an actual State Championship play off a la the basketball games?

  4. I wish the answer was as simple as the question. Right now, the only high schools playing water polo in Washington are the South Sound teams and the high school club teams. In total, there are only 21 teams and one of those teams is not affiliated with a high school. Even if the two leagues merged, it is only going to be a regional sport. However, since they're the only teams in the state, I guess it would be a state championship. Unlike basketball, water polo in Washington is not recognized by the WIAA and I seriuosly doubt it ever will be recognized by the WIAA. Will the leagues merge? There has been talk about a merge and it appears to be basically up to the South Sound athletic directors and coaches. The majors concerns or obstacles have been WIAA compliance and insurance. Note to the decision makers and team coaches: Like it or not, you are stewards of a sport that is in a relatively tenuous condition in Washington. Your decision, to merge or not, needs to be made in a context beyond that of your own league or team. The end result needs to increase overall participation in the state and help improve quality of play.

  5. The north and south leagues need to merge and continue to grow the sport of water polo. I am confident this merge will happen next season. The south sound coaches do not vote on the combining of the leagues. The athletic directors are the ones who vote and make all decisions for the league. For the merge to happen, all parties involved need to get together early this off season and work out logistics, divisions, state tournament brackets, etc.

    Although the sport of polo will most likely never be WIAA there is a lot of room to grow the sport, specifically on the boys end. There are a lot of schools in the south sound that have women's teams, but no mens. For example, Gig Harbor, Sumner, and the three other Tacoma Schools all have pools, goals, shot clocks, etc. but no boy polo teams. All of those schools have swim teams with guys who would most likely would love to play polo. 10 years ago there was around 30 boy polo teams and even more women teams. Hopefully the numbers will grow again...

    Thanks for creating and running the blog. It has been fun to read this season, learn about other programs, get score updates, etc.