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Mar 07

Inner tube water polo now offered

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 3:30 PM by Ben Schorzman

Inner Tube Water Polo-2

The days of city recreation departments offering the same sports leagues year after year are gone.

Sure, you’ll still find the ever popular softball and volleyball leagues after a quick perusal of the City of Eugene’s Athletics website, but in an effort to appeal to more people and to continuously provide new experiences, the Rec Athletics staff is trying something new this spring.

Enter inner tube water polo, a family oriented game played with adapted water polo rules. Designed to promote maximum fun in the pool, the inaugural season opens for registration March 6 and goes through March 17.

“I’m excited to get people from all age and ability groups out and participating in an inviting but physical activity,” Rec athletics programmer Matt Peters said. “It’s a new activity around here, so every team is starting from square one.”

The simplicity of the game is what makes it attractive, Peters said. Throw two coed teams with seven players on a side into the pool, give them inner tubes and two goals and watch them go. The spring season, which runs for six weeks from April 9 to May 14 will be at Echo Hollow Pool.

“I’m excited to open up a new facility for people to recreate as a group of family and friends,” Peters said of using Echo Hollow for a Rec Sports offering for the first time. “I expect most people will leave exhausted with a smile on their face and looking forward to the next week’s game.”

The idea behind offering something like inner tube water polo is something Peters, Athletics Program Supervisor Ethan Wing and the rest of his team talked often about. Wing and his staff want to offer alternative sports so those who may not play the core team sports like softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer or Ultimate Frisbee might still have a little fun.

“The recreational nature of the game and the novelty creates an environment for fun and not competition,” Peters said.

The need to innovate and try something outside of tradition is something Wing, Peters and Rec Athletics program assistant Jayson Beaty want to be known for just as much as being known for having quality leagues, well managed programs and a strong commitment to participants. That’s why people got to enjoy 7-on-7 rugby last summer and things like 16-inch softball, wood-bat leagues and smaller tournaments of Spike Ball or Sneaker Hockey are being discussed.

“The new sports we try are the cherry on the top,” Peters said, “and is a way to appeal to more people. “Our goal is to get people off the couch and outside enjoying some friendly competition. If getting people active means putting tubes in the pool, throwing 16-inch softballs or modifying leagues to promote more participation, that’s what we’ll do.”

And don’t worry if you missed the inaugural spring session, look for more offerings this summer at a pool near you. Contact the Athletics office or visit the website, for details on all future leagues.


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