Go to the SCHEDULE page for up-to-date information about practice schedules. Sundays at North Port Aquatic Center are the main masters practice. Saturdays there are all-team practices at Arlington Park Pool.
Go to the REGISTRATION page for instructions on how to register. There are 3 steps to fully registering but all you need to come to a practice and try it out for the first time is a free 2-week trial membership with USA Water Polo.
The masters program is designed to provide training and playing opportunities for athletes with a variety of goals, from remaining competitive in practice and game situations, to staying fit, to enjoying the camaraderie of participating in a team sport. All levels welcome and encouraged. Practices consist of warm-up, skills/drills, and pure scrimmaging, with players taking turns at refereeing play.
When possible, the group will enter masters level tournaments.
USAWP Bronze membership required.
How much does it cost?
Pay $8 drop in or $40 for an 8-session pass at NPAC.
At Arlington, it's a $10 drop in fee.
Can I try first before registering?
Yes, at Arlington you can just show up! At NPAC you'll have to pay a drop-in fee for $8.
For questions contact Coach Mike.
(USAWP Membership required. 2-week free trial is fine to start.)
Do I need a USAWP Membership?
We are a USAWP sanctioned club(insurance thing). So YES, you must sign up for at least a bronze membership($45 annually). You get a little magazine and tons of emails. Better yet, you are now connected to the water polo community here in the USA.
Are we going to compete and play in tournaments or scrimmage other teams?
I would hope that we can get a few hardy souls together that would want to go and test our skills against other teams (7 in the water, plus a few subs, very doable). The new beach rules (FINA approved) only require 4 in the water, so there are some more possibilities. The good news is that because we are all USAWP, this is only a scheduling issue. If not, no problem, we can still enjoy ourselves and each others company at our practices. Let’s see where this journey leads.
What are we going to do at practice?
First of all, as “Masters” athletes and adults you can do as much or as little as you feel comfortable with at any given practice. In general, expect a 2-hour practice to be approximately 30 minutes of swimming, 15 minutes of passing, 30-45 minutes of drills, remainder is scrimmage. Nothing is set in stone, all variable, contingent upon who, how many, and when everyone shows up, as well as any specific skill set that we want to work on.
My vision is to provide a venue that welcomes any adult(18-80+) that is interested in playing this great sport, whether you have never played or have played at the highest levels.
As with any “Masters” program, my guess is that there will be a wide spectrum of abilities, experiences and conditioning that show up on deck. No problem! We are all on the journey together, some are farther than others. Everyone can learn something every day.
I moved to Sarasota permanently last year from Illinois(Lake County, north of Chicago), where I started playing in 1994 at the age of 38. A group was at the high school near my house and my kids were involved in the sport. I did not play water polo or swim competitively in high school or college. I started attending the practices up there, and then, poof! Here I am today, 25 years later, in Sarasota, in the midst of this exciting kickoff of a Master’s water polo club.
Welcome aboard everyone! My name is Mike Bergquist and I am honored to launch and coach SUWP-Masters.
In Illinois, I officiated high school games for 10 years, and this spring had the privilege of coaching the Venice High School Boys water polo team(that means I have a FHSAA coaching certificate). I also have a coaching/referee certification from USAWP, as well as a current lifeguard credential. I have a solid understanding of the game, but realize there is always something new to be learned. Water polo has taken me to numerous states(10) and a few countries(3). It is a great game filled with great people, and I love it!
A new and very exciting chapter in my life, I look forward to getting to know you and expand my circle of friends in water polo. Tell your friends and colleagues. Let’s play ball(and of course, have fun)!!