Water Polo is a growing sport in New Mexico, with playing opportunities for 14-and-under, high school, club, college, and masters levels. Coaches Janet Lyon-Huffman and Robbie Bova have worked to promote water polo throughout the state of New Mexico, and their combined efforts have helped make water polo successful in New Mexico.
During the summer, the City of Albuquerque organizes Metro League water polo teams. Children ages five through fourteen practice and play water polo games at pools throughout the city. The pools that offer metro water polo teams include West Mesa Aquatic Center, Eisenhower Pool, and Sierra Vista Pool. Most of these teams are coached by high school and college-level water polo players, many of whom have played for both Janet Lyon-Huffman and Robbie Bova.
14-and-Under water polo is co-ed. Duke City Aquatics offers club, year-round water polo training and competition opportunities for this age group. Janet Lyon-Huffman coaches the 14-and-Under players on Tuesdays and Fridays from five until six in the evening at the West Mesa Aquatic Center.
Club water polo is available throughout the year for players ages 15 through 19. Players can practice with Janet Lyon-Huffman at West Mesa Aquatic Center from five to six in the evening Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. Players are given the opportunity to play at an invitational tournament here in Albuquerque in the spring. In mid-summer a team will travel to Utah for a tournament in Kearns. Later in the summer, elite-level players can be part of a team that travels to California for the Junior Olympics.
Here in New Mexico, high school aged players can play both high school and club water polo. The New Mexico High School Water Polo League was founded by Robbie Bova in 2000. The season runs from the beginning of March until the middle of May. Janet Lyon-Huffman is the main contact for high school water polo, and she has coached the Cibola High School water polo team in the past. There are games on Saturdays throughout the season, ending in a tournament for the highest ranked teams in the state.
The University of New Mexico does not have an officially sanctioned water polo team. However, students can play club water polo. There is both a men’s and women’s team. They practice Mondays and Wednesday from six-thirty to eight-thirty in the evenings at the UNM Aquatic Center. They also travel to different games and tournaments throughout their season, which takes place in the fall and spring. The men’s water polo team has a Facebook page which is linked here, with contact information, but the women’s team does not.
Masters water polo practice is also run by Janet Lyon-Huffman, and takes place at West Mesa Aquatic Center from six to seven in the evening on Thursdays. Masters water polo is specifically for those aged 19 and over, and all skill levels are welcome. Some of the elite high school players also practice with the masters on occasion. Masters is a great opportunity for interested adults to get acquainted with water polo, learn the basics, and play with both other beginners and with elite-level athletes.
There are water polo opportunities for players of all ages and skill levels. For most information, the best person to contact is Janet Lyon-Huffman. Most of the scheduling and information is available on the Duke City Aquatics Water Polo page.