All girls water polo programs in Orange County are encouraged to use their OCVarsity school passwords to report stats and their opponents' stats after each game this winter.
Reporting duties start with the coach, under the supervision of the athletic director, and can be delegated throughout a program in various ways. Coaches or team representatives, who have the approval of their coach, can contact Dan Albano at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a password.
Some of the benefits of posting stats on OCVarsity.com are:
* Allows players to receive recognition in areas of scoring, assists, steals, field blocks (please list under saves) and goalie saves. This also allows me to provide coverage and follow a large landscape of water polo.
* Promotes the sport, creates interest and places water polo on par with other sports that report their box scores.
* Reporting provides helpful organization for league standings and CIF qualification
* College coaches around the country follow our coverage. This is a certain because they tell me every season.
A well-respected prep coach recently argued against posting stats, saying the stats promote selfish play. Sports provide many teaching moments and challenges for coaches and teams that should be embraced as opportunities.
Maybe if the challenge of reporting stats is too great, teams, athletes and coaches aren't mature enough or ready to compete at the varsity high school level. Or maybe they won't be ready for college sports. Will they tell their college coach/program, 'Can we not keep track of stats? I didn't learn how to handle that in high school? I'm not prepared for that.'
What if they pick a career that uses stats to judge performance?
The same coach and others often site that posting stats gives the competition an advantage in scouting. I contend that reporting stats didn't hurt the Orange Lutheran or Santa Margarita boys this past season in water polo as they won CIF titles. OLu and SM, in fact, posted far more stats than the teams they beat.
Mater Dei's boys water polo posts stats year after year and I doubt it hurt their chances of winning CIF.
Don't like the private school/powerhouse examples? Troy water polo has raised its profile in recent years, starting with ex-coach Justin Link, by posting tons of stats that helped me and others notice all their hard work, team progression and great players to watch. Their efforts, and efforts by other under-the-radar programs, haven't been wasted.
I can't be at every pool. I need help.
Many know how many TD passes Chase Garbers and JT Daniels have this season for CdM and Mater Dei football. I contend water polo players around the county are due the same chances to be recognized at least in the box scores, and thankfully, there is a website that can handle the stats.
High school sports are about high school athletes. WE should strive with them in mind. Recognize them, share about them and teach them. Every day.