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    CIF: Season of sport alignment is ‘largest obstacle’ for state championships in water polo
    • February 22, 2024

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    The normal grumblings in water polo circles about the CIF Southern California Regional surfaced before the girls tournament began earlier this week.

    Some coaches don’t see the purpose for an event that for the sixth consecutive occasion won’t crown a state champion.

    This season, two of the Southern Section’s best girls teams — Division 1 champion Corona del Mar and Division 1 runner-up JSerra — opted out of the regional for various reasons.

    Two replacement teams were quickly found, including San Clemente that has reached the semifinals Friday at Mt. SAC in Walnut.

    So what’s the main barrier for hosting state championships for boys and girls water polo?

    “The largest obstacle is the Southern, Los Angeles and San Diego sections play girls water polo in the winter,” said Rebecca Brutlag, spokesperson for the CIF State in Sacramento. “We will not have a state championship in either boys or girls water polo until all genders in all sections play in the same season of sport.”

    In sections in Central and Northern California, girls and boys play water polo in the fall.

    In SoCal, the boys play water polo in the fall while the girls compete in the winter.

    In state aquatics, only swimming and diving align in the spring for a state championship.

    The SoCal regional for girls water polo continues Friday and Saturday at Mt. SAC.

    Players and coaches will find motivation to claim titles. An Orange County team will win the Division 1 title for a sixth consecutive time.

    Here’s the weekend schedule at Mt. SAC for the divisions involving O.C. teams:

    Division 1

    Friday: Foothill-Mater Dei, 5; Orange Lutheran-Newport Harbor, 6:15

    Saturday final: 2 p.m.

    Division 2

    Friday: San Clemente-Centennial of Corona, 2:30; Alta Loma-Clairemont, 3:45

    Saturday final: 12:30 p.m.

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    ​ Orange County Register