If you’re from Southern California, you’ve probably heard of or even played water polo. If not, you’re definitely missing out. Water polo is probably one of the easiest games to watch and appreciate – a very low barrier to entry, if you will, compared to football’s arcane regulations or the plodding pace of baseball. I would compare it to soccer or basketball – it’s mostly intuitive and you can “get it” with little background or introduction – the point of the game is to put the ball into the goal. There’s lots of continuous action, it’s physical, and athletic “wow” plays abound.
That being said, you don’t hear much about water polo in most of the United States except during the Olympics or if you’re from areas that support it (weather-wise, mostly) – California, Texas, some private schools in the East Coast. Luckily, at UCLA, you have a great chance to see this sport in person played to very high standards; we have great water polo teams. In 2007, our women’s team earned the Four Letters its 100th NCAA title, the first to that number in the nation. Our girls have won two more since then. Our men’s team is consistently a championship contender, and are currently (as of 10/23/2011) ranked #1 in the nation after a blanking of Whittier and a beat-down of Pomona-Pitzer. USC is ranked second, meaning the 11/18/2011 home matchup between the two will have playoff implications. So come watch!
(Not that it matters as much, but another draw is the beautiful, newly constructed Spieker Aquatics Center that our teams play in, located above the Sunset Village tennis courts and below the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center/Field.)