ODP Youth Championships

USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program
polo-fan-9
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 12:37 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Player, Fan, Coach.

ODP Youth Championships

Postby polo-fan-9 » Tue May 26, 2009 12:56 pm

So...the tournament's over. Let's hear the thoughts from those that were there or connected to people who were there.

All in all, I think the ODP championship tournament/selection process is an excellent idea, and I think that with each passing year, we will see better and better execution of that idea. Congratulations to all athletes who participated, both those who made and did not make the training camp roster.

As always, there will be a few areas to focus on.

1) Team selection/the process (minimum 2 players from each section)
2) The way the teams played the game/coaches coached the games.
3) Officiating and the process of selecting officials (my understanding was it was each zone had an official present at the tournament?)
--> I wanted to weigh in on this first. The first day and a half were stellar. However, I thought that the rest of the tournament was verrrry iffy, starting with the semi final games. It was a shame that the referees felt the need to determine the course of the last minute of two huge games between Sunday night and Monday's championships. The SoPAC/Pacific Zone semifinal was taken over by the officials in the last minute with a series of questionable calls that completely altered the outcome of the game. Likewise, during the championship on Monday between SoPAC and Coastal, a referee's call determined the final outcome of the game, rather than a kid in the water with the ball. It left me feeling more than little frustrated to see the outcome of the games taken out of the kids hands and put firmly on the blow of a whistle and, judging by conversations I overhead or partook in throughout the weekend, many other people felt the same way. Maybe the Fischer Cup officials should have been brought over to observe, instruct, train, or even officiate the championship on Monday? After all, their games were finished. Just a thought.


All in all though, great weekend, amazing experience for the athletes, and can't wait to see it again next year. Thanks to all the staff, officials, coaches, players, and fans who made it possible!

polo1
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:57 pm

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby polo1 » Tue May 26, 2009 1:12 pm

I thought it was a minimum of 1 player per zone?

Backofthenet
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby Backofthenet » Tue May 26, 2009 3:51 pm

ODP Youth is two per zone. Junior is one per zone. Here is quote from the ODP manual on how the training camp teams are selected

"How are the Junior and Youth National teams chosen? Youth level, 44 athletes (at least 2 per USAWP Zone) from the ODP Championships will be invited to attend a National Youth Training camp. Those 44 athletes will form the 2009 Youth National Training Team.
Junior level, 33 athletes (at least 1 per USAWP Zone) from the ODP Championships will be invited to attend a National Junior Training camp. Those 33 athletes will be the 2009 Junior National Training Team. From those 33 athletes, 13 athletes will be selected to represent the USA at the Junior World Championships in August 2009."

axehero
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:30 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: ex-player

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby axehero » Tue May 26, 2009 6:57 pm

First, to all of the players chosen to be on the Training squad and to all of the players participating this weekend-CONGRATULATIONS!

The development of athletes requires constructive input from coaches. As an outsider, looking in, I am curious as to the ODP process, and have a short question for all players that were not chosen for the Training squads this weekend.

If you were not chosen for the Youth or Junior Training squad did you receive any specific feedback from the coaches involved in the selection process as to your strengths and weaknesses as a water polo player?

eltorocharge
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:15 am

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby eltorocharge » Tue May 26, 2009 7:10 pm

Who was chosen? Could someone please post the list?

User avatar
T rav init
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:34 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: fan.ref
Location: Southern California

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby T rav init » Wed May 27, 2009 1:05 pm

russel

ValleyPolo
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:58 pm
Location: LA

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby ValleyPolo » Wed May 27, 2009 1:41 pm

polo-fan-9 wrote: It was a shame that the referees felt the need to determine the course of the last minute of two huge games between Sunday night and Monday's championships. The SoPAC/Pacific Zone semifinal was taken over by the officials in the last minute with a series of questionable calls that completely altered the outcome of the game. Likewise, during the championship on Monday between SoPAC and Coastal, a referee's call determined the final outcome of the game, rather than a kid in the water with the ball. It left me feeling more than little frustrated to see the outcome of the games taken out of the kids hands and put firmly on the blow of a whistle and, judging by conversations I overhead or partook in throughout the weekend, many other people felt the same way.


Funny you should mention this happening at the youth site. The Junior girls championship (also between SoPac and Coastal) was also decided by a referee. Tie game and the ref called a 5 meter on Coastal as time expired because of a pullback (i think) on a girl who had NO CHANCE of getting to the ball for a shot. Would have been nice to see an overtime - or a shootout between the two top teams!

Oldpoloplayer
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:26 pm

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby Oldpoloplayer » Wed May 27, 2009 9:25 pm

According to another thread Loren said this:

ODP Championships
by LABertocci on Sat May 16, 2009 1:45 pm

I will be the HR at the Junior ODP Championships next weekend at J Serra HS in San Juan Capistrano. Any and all referees, or non-referees who want to join in, are invited to come sit with me as I watch each game and interact with the referees whistling the games. Over the years, I have found this kind of careful attention to a game you are NOT whistling is the fastest path to being able to internalize theory and turn it into practice.

I know that Jack Horton, who will be the YR at the Youth ODP Championship at Capo Valley HS in Mission Viejo, will be similarly available.
Loren A. Bertocci
Director, Water Polo Academy


Maybe Loren can shed some light on this situation although he was not at the youth pool. I do agree with the above, this being such an elite event only the utmost qualified should have been allotted the honors. These kids deserved the full treatment and experience USAWP has to offer. We look forward to hearing from you Loren or other high level officials about the events that took place at the Youth pool.

Here is a question I have for USAWP, the organizers for the Youth team(s) and coach Lynch. In the final game a player struck another with a closed fist injuring an apposing player, (although the ref's did not call it, we all saw it including the table and evaluators) whom isn't actually an apposing player but a fellow teammate from last years youth team and now this years youth team. Is this a first-time-offense for this player and overlooked because of it, or, has this been a standard MO for this young man? I don't think it was the first time and here is why... when this happened you could hear the opposing team including his own yell out "Come-on and the players name," and for the parents in the stands to remark about this player stating "this is the exact reason why he was booted from his HS and was no longer allowed to participate in certain tournaments." Well to me this speaks volumes and if I witnessed this and heard the comments then the people named above must surly know.

What kid of background checks is done on all players? Why, with such a violent track record would anyone promote his actions, unless of course it was for counseling to redirect this youth’s energy?

User avatar
LABertocci
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:08 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Professional Educator
Location: Indianapolis IN

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby LABertocci » Wed May 27, 2009 11:01 pm

Sorry, I was not at the Youth pool. And had I been there, my only comments would be about the refereeing. The rest is the responsibility of others. At this point, with regard to the refereeing, the referees at the MNYT ODP Championships had the opportunity to get input from Jack Horton, who is one of the very best observers and trainers of referees in the entire world. In that I was not there, everything else is beyond my arena of knowledge.
Loren A. Bertocci
Director, Water Polo Academy

User avatar
LABertocci
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:08 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Professional Educator
Location: Indianapolis IN

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby LABertocci » Wed May 27, 2009 11:05 pm

polo-fan-9 wrote:So...the tournament's over... Maybe the Fischer Cup officials should have been brought over to observe, instruct, train, or even officiate the championship on Monday?

With all due respect, the HR at the MNYT ODP Championships (Jack Horton) is one of the finest trainers and instructors of referees in the world. I was not there and did not see anything there, so I don't know if there was, or was not, a problem with the whistling. But if there was a problem, the problem was NOT with the instruction. If Jack Horton is instructing referees, the instruction is NOT a problem.
Loren A. Bertocci
Director, Water Polo Academy

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 3910
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm
Location: All Planet All The Time
Contact:

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby Moderator » Thu May 28, 2009 9:01 am

A couple of unsolicited remarks:

The ODP Selection camps are just that-National Team selection camps. This is the method that Guy Baker and his coaching staff uses to choose the 40-50 player roster who will represent the USA in international competition.

This end result requires that PURE FINA rules be used to determine how each player performs under the different interpretations (30 second clock among them).

The FINA game looks different to many of us-there is less "rescuing" of players, more time is allowed to work throgh defenders and there are far fewer offensive fouls. Is it possible that we are condemning bad refereeing rather than looking at the game under FINA interpretations? I was not there so do not know, just asking.

pologod88
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:52 am

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby pologod88 » Thu May 28, 2009 10:37 am

The FINA game looks different to many of us-there is less "rescuing" of players, more time is allowed to work through defenders and there are far fewer offensive fouls. Is it possible that we are condemning bad refereeing rather than looking at the game under FINA interpretations? I was not there so do not know, just asking.



I was just thinking the same thing. What's the difference HS, NCAA or Fina???? Most parents and a good majority of players don't know the difference between them. Shocker that someone in America today would blame their ineptness on someone else. These people are the same people that scream foul and ridiculous things at children in the water and want to fight officials in the parking lot. NOT much credibility there.

Jack Horton
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:22 pm
Location: Central Florida

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby Jack Horton » Thu May 28, 2009 2:08 pm

All,

I was the head referee at the ODP Mens Youth Selection Tournament. I did not referee. I assigned, evaluated the referees, and worked with them ... all day long (Sunday: first game at 7am, games on the hour, last game at 9pm, lots of work for me but I really enjoy it).

In no particular order:

1. I was supposed to have 12 referees, one from each zone. I had 7. This is being addressed for next year.

2. One of my officials was brand new to officiating. He learned a lot and progressed very nicely with all of my suggestions. I kept him on “safe” games with an experienced partner. This is being addressed for next year as well.

3. FINA/USAWP playing rules are different in many ways from NCAA playing rules. There are differences between NCAA playing rules and NFHS playing rules, but these two books are very similar. Our national teams play under FINA/USAWP rules, so officiating during and after the team selection process should reflect this.

4. The FINA game and the colligate game and the high school game are whistled: at times the same, at other times very differently.
An example: If a player goes underwater … and they never come up … that is OK in FINA rules, read: if they go under … fine … they are on their own and they have taken themselves out of the play … so no foul should be whistled. With NCAA rules this could be a Contra.

5. The way the game is whistled changes often. Sometimes these changes are due to new interpretations (what do the rule book words mean) and sometimes they change due to changes in the actual rulebook (this summer FINA will more than likely adopt many of the suggested rule changes that the FINA Bureau has recommended, this will happen in Rome at the FINA World Championships). Some recent “changes”:
i. When looking at a Contra Foul … reverse the situation, would you exclude the defender for the same thing? If so, then whistle the contra. If not the referee is to “see and forget.”
ii. With a standard 6 on 6 offense, do not whistle quick minor fouls on the perimeter (this is not an absolute). By whistling the quick outside foul the defense benefits by “fouling and dropping”, this would be a violation of the advantage rule (WP7.3). The first two sentences of the Advantage Rule reads: “The referees shall refrain from declaring a foul if, in their opinion, such declaration would be an advantage to the offending player’s team. The referees shall not declare an ordinary foul when there is still a possibility to play the ball.”

6. The referees at these events were under a lot of pressure to whistle correctly. I’m sitting at a table taking notes on what they did good and what they did not so good (with suggestions for corrections). Next to me on the table were members of the National Team Coaching Staff. Lots of pressure for the referees to referee perfect. The referees could care less as to who won or lost; they are busy trying to whistle correctly. At the end of each game I spoke with the two referees in a closed-door room, sometimes I was happy, sometimes I was not happy. I always give solutions to the problem(s) I observe.

7. My take on the concept of a referee deciding a game:
i. Referees should be trained to be consistent from the beginning of the first quarter to the last second of the last period. Changing how one whistles a particular situation is usually good (an indication that the referee has learned something), but should not be done during a game, between games is OK, between tournaments is OK too. We all want referees to learn and become better.
ii. So, a penalty foul whistled correctly three minutes into the first period … given the same situation with 6 seconds remaining in the fourth period (tie game or slaughter game it does not matter) should be whistled too. That is consistency, and consistency for the entire game is something the coaches and players rely on (as they must adapt to different referees, remember they have both referees in their front court for two periods of regulation play).
iii. Thinking that a referee should match his partner is typically incorrect. For example: If your partner botches a situation you should do the same at your end of the pool? No. If you do you are proving you can cheat, and the next question is when aren’t you cheating. Through proper and consistent referee training we can bring all referees closer together as far as how they view the game and how they whistle the situations that occur during a game.
iii. Perhaps look at the player who committed the foul with 6 seconds remaining in the game … perhaps that is were the “problem” lies. But, it is easier for most that care about the outcome of a game to blame “the others”. Whether “the others” are: the opposing team or the game referees or the shot clock operator, or the exclusion secretary, etc.

8. I am not saying that some mistakes were not made in some games by the game referees. I can assure you that those mistakes were addressed to the referees that made them. I have sent a document to the National Referee Chairman with my breakdown of each referee ... what they did good and what they should work on. This weekend I will be sending emails to the individual referees with similar information.

On Monday I had an early flight and only sat for the 7 am and 8 am games. Another evaluator came in for the 9, 10, 11, and 12 o'clock games. The last three games were all one goal games (5th place, 3rd place, and 1st place).

I hope this helps.

Sorry for such a long post.

-Jack

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 3910
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm
Location: All Planet All The Time
Contact:

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby Moderator » Thu May 28, 2009 2:50 pm

Jack is correct.

The ODP manual calls for each Zone to appoint 1 referee for each of the selection teams (4 zone teams=4 refs). The purpose of this is to ensure that regional players as well as referees are developed to feed the National Team system. The National Team office recognizes the fact that zone teams cannot develop to international competition standards without referees who are able and trained to call international FINA rules and interpretations.

There are a couple of different ways zones can aproach this; appoint experienced refs to ODP teams who probably bring an NCAA bias OR appoint beginning referees who have no bad habits but a large desire to learn. Both have drawbacks----but the selection camps are not primarily competitions: they are selection camps using a competition STRUCTURE to help coaches choose a national squad. A 5 meter penalty called or not called in the last minute of play on the final game of the weekend is NOT going to force the National team staff to choose the wrong player---trust me on this. If I were king (which I am not), I would opt for the beginner.

I do not know how any of the zone numbers panned out but do know that the Northeast Zone only sent 1 referee who went to Junior mens, leaving Jr Womens, Youth Men and Womens at least 1 short.

The Southwest referee for the Mens Youth broke his ankle the night before the event and there was no time to replace him leaving the Mens Youth another referee short.

If Youth Mens was 4 refs short, it stands to reason that at least 2 other zones failed to send at least 1 referee.

polo-fan-9
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 12:37 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Player, Fan, Coach.

Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby polo-fan-9 » Thu May 28, 2009 3:22 pm

Jack-

I wanted to take a second to say thank you for that post, it was extremely informative. As a former soccer referee, I know how much crap gets directed towards officials, often times simply out of frustration by the losing team.

I do have a question for you (or any other official who cares to answer). How exactly are coaches supposed to approach officials to ask questions as to the logic behind a call? I know players cannot talk directly to officials at all or risk an ejection (which is a great rule, by the way. I hate watching the NBA and all the players yelling at refs, terrible sportsmanship IMHO). The coach obviously doesn't understand the call if he's up in arms disagreeing. The vague hand signals occur occasionally but not always and sometimes just look like mumbo-jumbo without any words attached. Too many times I see referees just pretend they don't hear anything being said to them and refuse to answer any questions. Could the coach approach between quarters, perhaps, for an explanation? If the coach doesn't understand the call, the player doesn't understand the call, and the referee won't explain the call, then how will anyone ever learn?

However, I do see problems with the coaches approaching, if it's done in the wrong manner. So I'm curious: What is the best way to get the explanation behind calls, so as to prevent further transgressions in the future? (obviously, this is just for players/coaches. Fans need to stay in the stands for a slew of reasons).
Last edited by polo-fan-9 on Thu May 28, 2009 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “Olympic Development Program”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests