About and FAQs

Dartmouth Water Polo is a student-run club sport. The team competes in the New England Division of the Collegiate Water Polo Association, and maintains a varsity-level intensity and schedule during the six-to-eight-week main fall season.

The team practices daily in-season and during the summer-fall interim preseason, weekly during the winter quarter, and somewhere in between the two extremes during the spring and summer quarters.

The season starts at the beginning of fall quarter and ends around the beginning of November, depending on whether the team qualifies for Nationals. The preseason training trip happens during the summer-fall interim and is required for current members of the team or prospective players. The location of the trip is determined yearly, but most likely will be on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What water polo teams does Dartmouth have?
Dartmouth has both a men's and a women's club team. For more information on the women's team, please head here.

How much experience do I need to join the team?
None! Previous experience in the water, either on a swim or water polo team, is helpful, but not necessary. We encourage everyone who is the least bit interested to contact us.

When do the teams compete?
Men's Team - The men's team primarily competes in the fall. Its season begins with a training trip in early September. Past trips have been to Northern and Southern California, but are usually on campus. Games and tournaments occur from September to November, concluding with National Championships in mid-November. The winter (January-March) is primarily an offseason for the men's team to accomodate for the varsity swim season, with weekly scrimmages. During the spring, the team practices daily and competes in several scrimmages and tournaments. The summer quarter is dependent on how many players are still on campus.

Women's Team - The women's team's primary season is in the spring. Training begins in the winter term with swim conditioning and intensifies late in the term and over spring break. Tournaments and games begin in late March or early April and continue through May. During the fall, women also practice and compete.

All players are encouraged to work out over the summer, either at home with local teams or during their sophomore summer at Dartmouth.

How much of a time commitment is the team?
In the preseason, the team is on campus purely to train and has daily double-days. In season, practices run two hours daily and the team will travel to off-campus tournaments on some weekends. During the offseason, the time commitment is significantly less.

Is it difficult to balance athletics and academics?
Dartmouth is a challenging school, and academics are always the top priority. The men's and women's water polo teams each has one of the highest GPAs of any Dartmouth athletic team. Both teams train seriously. As the current team members demonstrate, with planning and discipline you can play competitively and still be an academic leader.

Can I swim and play water polo at Dartmouth?
Traditionally, men's water polo players have been able to participate in both sports, with the approval of both head coaches. Women's players normally are able to participate in both as well. Several players each year play both sports, and sometimes the captain of the water polo team has also been the captain of the swim team. Both teams take their sports seriously, so an equally serious commitment must be made to both.

Is either Dartmouth water polo team varsity?
No, Dartmouth competes as club teams. But it makes little difference, since the each team runs similarly to a varsity team. The Dartmouth polo teams have a coach, travel, and train intensely, similar to a varsity team. Dartmouth teams train and compete to win, not just to play. Joining the team means you make a commitment to come to all team practices, meetings, and games. It is expected that water polo be your second highest priority, next only to academics.

Does Dartmouth plan to go varsity?
It's not currently planned by the College. However, as a club team, Dartmouth is free from the NCAA restrictions on recruiting, training times, and competition schedules, among other regulations.

Do the teams compete intercollegiately?
Absolutely. Both teams play other school teams, both at home and away.

Does the team have double-days and/or morning practices?
Double days and morning practices are almost exclusively during the preseason training camp.

Am I required to join the swim team in the offseason?
No, but the club swim team is a great option for those looking for regular offseason conditioning.

Since Dartmouth is not a varsity team, how much does it cost to play?
Team members pay dues, about $100 a year. That is enough to cover less than a third of the team's total expenses. The team raises money each year and receives donations from generous alumni and parents. These funds cover equipment (suits and balls), travel, lodging, and other expenses. Some financial support available for those who have difficulty paying team dues.

When can I join?
Anytime, no matter what year you are. Just email us at water.polo@dartmouth.edu for current details.

I have more questions
Feel free to email us at water.polo@dartmouth.edu and we'll be happy to answer any additional questions.