USA Water Polo recognizes that the coronavirus has been affecting different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing. Therefore, we understand that clubs in some cities and states may be able to return to the pool sooner than others. Return to practice is the first step towards the new normal. Sanctioned events continue to remain suspended until further notice.
The Federal Government issued guidelines on April 16 for “Opening Up America Again” at WhiteHouse.gov/OpeningAmerica. By following these guidelines, as well as those of local governments and health agencies, facilities and clubs will be able to make informed decisions as to when water polo activities can recommence and what modifications to the manner in with those activities were conducted prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic might be required. While there will be an increase in participation opportunities, we want to encourage all to continue to be good stewards of the community – being mindful that there are many factors to consider before returning to play, even if a facility may be open.
If you live in a community where stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders have been lifted or modified, and if your locality meets the standards in the Federal Guidelines, then some activities and training might be appropriate and provide an opportunity to get back to the pool, get some exercise, and see some of your teammates. However, should you be able to return to some water polo activities, we highly recommend all players ease their way back into play, given the layoff from participating and competing. In addition, participants must reside in a city and/or county that has lifted restrictions in order to return to a training location that also has lifted restrictions. Participants that live in a city/county/state that have not lifted stay in place orders should not travel to a facility in a location that has lifted its stay in place order.
Depending upon what your locality might allow, the primary concern is to establish guidelines that will minimize the risk of you contracting the COVID-19 virus. No guidelines or precautions can be 100% effective. As a result, there is an inherent risk of contacting the COVID-19 virus as a result of participating in water polo activities and USA Water Polo has recommended to its member clubs that they seek waivers and releases of any claims that their members may have should a member contract the COVID-19 virus.
Not all clubs in your location may be able to return to play as quickly as others. For example, differences in the layout of different pool facilities used by different clubs in the same locality may affect when and how the clubs are able to return to water polo activities. We have asked our clubs to prioritize the health and safety of our athletes and their families, but USA Water Polo cannot control how its individual club members elect to return to play or police its club members to ensure that they are following any guidelines that a particular club may establish. As a result, each of our members and their families are responsible for making their own judgment as to the degree of risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus that they are willing to take in order to return to water polo activities based upon their individual circumstances, including the prevalence of the virus in their locality, whether a particular member is particularly vulnerable to the virus and the precautions that their club elects to employ.
According to the USOPC Chief Medical Officer, although the young and healthy tend to have less severe cases of COVID-19, every case of this disease is potentially life-altering or deadly. Until COVID-19 is eradicated, even if an effective vaccine is developed, or a cure is found, there is no way of completely eliminating the risk of a serious or fatal infection. This should always be in the forefront of your mind when deciding whether to return to training.
As always, DO NOT PLAY if you:
- are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus: mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing, or other symptoms identified by the CDC.
- have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- are a vulnerable individual according to CDC guidelines and/or those of your state or local government. Vulnerable individuals include the elderly, individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy. Vulnerable individuals should speak with their physician prior to resuming water polo activity.
Waiver & Release Access
To complete the electronic USA WATER POLO COVID-19 RETURN TO PLAY RELEASE AND WAIVER please LOGIN to your membership. For current members, a pop up will appear on-screen to allow you to accept the waiver. Once completed, your club will receive notice that you have agreed to the terms. Parent/guardian acceptance is required for members under the age of 18. To complete the waiver at a later date, you can dismiss the pop-up window and select COVID-19 Return To Play from the left-hand navigation.