© USAWP 04 Feb “water polo one of the fastest growing sports in the USA” By: Administrator International Water Polo USA (USAWP), the body in charge of the sport in the U.S, has published encouraging stats about water polo growth in the country.The association recently stated that “water polo has become one of the fastest growing sports in the USA”, leaning on figures released by the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS). By: USAWP & FINA Communication Department According to USAWP, nationwide membership jumped 25 percent in the last five years, from 35,750 in 2011 to 44,773 in 2016. In the past eight years, membership rose nearly 67 percent, from 26,873 in 2008 to the current number, which is an all-time record registered. While the women’s water polo team has seen very successful years, winning the 2012 and 2016 Olympic titles as well as the World title at the FINA World Championships in 2015 in Kazan (RUS), the team has begun preparations for the Tokyo 2020. It is no doubt that the great performance and dominance of the U.S lady squad in the recent years has led to sport participation growth across the country. “High school water polo participation is also growing nationwide. The NFHS reported that women’s high school water polo grew 7.9 percent, while men’s water polo increased 5.5 percent during the five years from 2011/12 to 2015/16.” Recent data from the Collegiate Water Polo Association also shows growth among college club teams nationwide, a big part of sport participation in the USA. Colleges have seen 32 more men’s programmes and 25 more women’s programmes than in 2006. The USA Women look to repeat their fantastic fate at the upcoming FINA World Championships this summer in Budapest, while the men, who ranked 10th at the 2016 Olympic Games, aim for their first-ever medal at a World Championship tournament after winning their first major FINA medal in eight years last summer, at the 2016 FINA World League (silver medal). The women’s and men’s programs are boosted by the return of Head Coaches Adam Krikorian and Dejan Udovicic, both of whom recently signed new four-year contracts through the quadrennial. Photo: The national women’s team was awarded with the FINA Best Water Polo Team of 2016.