A pool that is not deep enough or wide enough to meet National
Collegiate Athletic Association regulations in a state without any
Although CSU swimming and diving coach and new water polo coach
John Mattos and the CSU athletic department say the women’s water
polo team could be competitive when it begins varsity play in March
2005, the team will have to start with some competitive
The Moby pool is not regulation size in length or depth. The
NCAA Water Polo Rules state that there must be 75 feet between
goals, 45-feet wide and a minimum depth of 6 1/2-feet.
Campus Television measured Moby pool as 75-feet long and 45-feet
wide. The depth ranges from 10-to-13 feet in the diving area to
four feet around many edges of the pool. The Rams will have to have
goals on the walls instead of floating goals.
“It will put us at a minimal disadvantage when we go into a
proper-sized pool,” Mattos said.
CSU media relations director for the athletic department, Gary
Ozzello, said the Rams will be able to get a waiver from the NCAA
and have matches at Moby.
Kaia Hedlund, chair of the NCAA water polo committee, said that
while the pool is a disadvantage for the CSU team, the NCAA allows
it because it is trying to expand the sport.
“We want the sport to grow,” Hedlund said. “It’s legal for
competitions, but it’s not ideal.”
Jackie Charlesworth, coordinator for Resources for Disabled
Students and co-founder of the CSU women’s water polo team in 1998,
said the low depth hurts CSU when practicing because touching the
bottom is a foul in water polo.
“When you get tired, you put a foot down, even though your coach
will tell you not to,” Charlesworth said. “If you’re consistently
doing something wrong in practice, then you will end up doing it in
Ozzello said that tournaments and other matches played at CSU
would likely be played at the Edora Pool and Ice Center. However,
CSU has not contacted EPIC about the possibility.
“We haven’t (talked to EPIC) at this point, but we will really
soon,” Ozzello said.
Jackie Gold, vice president and co-captain of the women’s water
polo club team, said the club team had played matches at EPIC and
is trying to get a tournament scheduled there. However, she also
said having matches at EPIC is much more costly than having them at
Another problem for the team could be in-state recruiting. There
are no varsity women’s water polo teams in Colorado, according to
the Colorado High School Activities Association.
“It will be a little more difficult (to recruit) in state,”
Mattos said. “(But) there are not a lot of scholarships out there
for water polo teams. We may not be able to get the highest-level
players. Denver University runs all over us as facilities go, but
we’re a better program.”
There are 29 Division I NCAA women’s water polo teams, and none
of them are in the Rocky Mountain region. Mattos said CSU should
have a good recruiting base in California.
But Charlesworth said CSU will have to prove themselves before
high-level recruits come to CSU.
“If I had a chance to play varsity a long time ago, I would have
gone to a California school,” Charlesworth said.
Gold said the club team has some California players with a lot
of talent that have been playing most of their lives.
While a majority of the club players will probably not be on the
varsity team, Mattos is going to come watch the club team soon,
Although the majority of Mattos’ career has been as a swimming
coach, he has been a college water polo assistant coach for a year
and a half and a high school coach for two years. He also played
water polo at CSU in the 1960s.
He said he made the proposal to add water polo at CSU when the
NCAA first announced the requirement that Division I-A football
schools had to have 16 varsity sports by Aug. 1, 2004.
He knew it would have little effect on the finances of the
athletic department. Mattos said adding a sport like women’s soccer
would have forced the department to make cuts in the budgets of
“I just don’t think the general public understands the
ramifications of adding ‘popular’ sports,” he said. “How do you
tell a sport that’s working their butt off trying to represent
Colorado State that they will have $10,000 to $20,000 cut out of
Collegian reporter Jason Kosena contributed to this article.