As water polo continues to grow, so will competition for both roster spots and athletic scholarships. For a chance to compete on one of the 65 NCAA women’s water polo programs or an NAIA program, student-athletes need to understand the college recruiting process, and NCSA is here to help.
NCSA recruiting experts have created a women’s water polo recruiting guide to help student-athletes and their families navigate the college water polo recruiting process and find their college match.
The NCAA released new recruiting rules in May 2019, which will likely lead to the women’s water polo recruiting process starting earlier than it has previously.
A 2017 NCAA survey on the college recruiting experience led to the discovery that early recruiting had become prominent across the majority of NCAA-sponsored sports. In an attempt to reverse the growth of early recruiting, the NCAA announced that, starting May 2019, college coaches and recruits are prohibited from communicating until June 15 after the recruit’s sophomore year. Additionally, water polo recruits must wait until after August 1 of their junior year to schedule unofficial and official visits.
View a comprehensive list of the 2019-20 NCAA women’s water polo recruiting rules and calendar.
While stats such as goals scored, ejections drawn and assists may have once played a large role in the recruiting process, these numbers no longer have a significant impact on the recruiting process. Instead, college coaches prefer to focus on a recruit’s competition experience and position-specific skills that they need to take the team to the next level.
To find out what it takes to get noticed by college water polo coaches, we’ve created a recruiting guidelines section that features position-specific skills, playing experience and swim times that college coaches look for at each division level.
Don’t wait to start the recruiting process until college coaches can contact you. Below are action items that you should take to prepare for the water polo recruiting process, starting freshman year.
• Research water polo programs: Research and identify which schools with college water polo programs best meet your academic, athletic, financial and social needs.
• Build a recruiting profile: A recruiting profile increases your exposure to college coaches as they search recruiting databases to create their list of prospective recruits.
• Create a recruiting video: A first step many college coaches take during the evaluation process is to watch recruiting video. Create a strong recruiting video that highlights your athletic talent with this list of recruiting video tips by position.
• Attend water polo camps: Want access to college coaches during the recruiting process? Consider attending a water polo camps on the East Coast, West Coast or in the Midwest.
• Contact college coaches: College coaches may not be able to contact you until after June 15 of your sophomore year, but you can still let them know you’re interested in competing for their program by sending an introductory email.
Many student-athletes dream of earning an athletic scholarship, but to earn a water polo scholarship you must be an elite-level all-star athlete with the talent to immediately impact a team’s growth and success. While fully funded NCAA Division 1 and 2 programs can award up to eight full-ride equivalent scholarships per team, most women’s water polo programs are not fully funded. What does this mean for your chance of earning a scholarship? Visit our guide to women’s water polo scholarships to learn more.
It’s important to find a college water polo program at a school that meets all of your needs. When building your list of prospective school, we suggest using our Power Rankings, which helps you easily find programs by factoring in size, location, cost and academics, as well as athletics. View a complete list of colleges offering women’s water polo.