By Kylie Deng
Women’s water polo is one of the many Las Lomas sports that has been discussed about reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the spread of the coronavirus has lowered, all sports have been constantly given news and information involving the rules and regulations the CIF has set up to ensure a safe playing environment. Women’s water polo has had another thought for the season involving the NCS Championships for the fall school year of 2021-2022. The North Coast Section Championships involve teams from across California in addition to Las Lomas. Teams including surrounding local high schools, Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte in the first out of the two divisions.
The junior varsity coach for women’s water polo, Amanda Sheehan, said, “We have a schedule, we have to take certain precautions based on what tiers we’re in. If we’re not into the orange tier we might have to make sure we’re spacing out and not share equipment.” As stated, the Las Lomas team is preparing for the possibility of players getting back into the water and have started getting ready for next season. In person practices are not fully confirmed but a set schedule has been released for this year.
Another large part of how COVID-19 affects the water polo schedule is the fact that water polo is a very high contact sport. “We keep getting new information and easing up a little bit on protocols. I know for the past six months, they’ve been doing camps, which is a maximum of 12 kids usually and they can’t share equipment, obviously you can’t wear a mask in the water…since in water polo there’s a lot of contact,” Coach Mandy described when talking about the behind the scenes of getting practices set up.
As COVID-19 has not properly ended with everyone still in their homes, sports still have many rules when reopening. When asked about what procedures the team will potentially have to follow and the problems of social distancing, Coach Mandy said, “When we want to do drills and we want to get better at things, it’s such a physical sport…the whole game you’re touching someone, you’re making sure you’re in good positioning, you have to know where they [opposing team members] are. So there’s huge obstacles with having to social distance right now, not to mention we can’t scrimmage against other teams because we have to wait for that to be passed.” The Las Lomas women’s water polo team is excited to have a proper season this year, the coaches are working hard for the upcoming practices for the year and if COVID-19 lets up, the team will eventually be able to play against other schools in the near future.