The Water Polo Club was temporarily banned at the beginning of November from playing at BYU-Hawaii’s swimming pool, but the possibility of intramurals giving water polo an hour of free play a week next semester gives hope that water polo will be able to continue again.
Despite multiple warnings from life guards, Water Polo Club members failed to adhere to a Red Cross regulation that prohibits diving into water at a depth of less than 8 feet, explained Annie Johnson, a freshman from Texas studying biomedicine and a lifeguard at the pool. “At the end of the day, it really is just a liability having students diving into shallow water. And if something were to happen, it would look really bad on us.”
Understanding the frustration of the club members, many of which are lifeguards and swimmers themselves who are accustomed to diving into shallow water, explained Kessa Greding, a freshman in elementary education from Utah. She said, “The rule that only allows diving into a pool at a depth of 8 feet or greater is not our rule but is in the American Red Cross manual, and we are required by American Red Cross to comply and we must enforce it.”
Connor McCombs, a junior in business marketing from California and avid water polo player, explained how he saw the whole situation as being unfair, feeling as though the water polo players were not given a sufficient warning to deserve being banned. “We dove in one time. Upon that dive, the lifeguard blew her whistle. … She exclaimed, ‘No diving! If you dive, you guys can’t have water polo here.’ So we stopped diving, but by next week we were not welcomed back.”
During free swim, individuals constantly dive into the pool and are given more than one warning before being kicked out, explained McCombs, who doesn’t feel the club was given the same courtesy.
Tanner Beherens, a sophomore in business finance from California and an intramural referee, explained the Intramural Department’s plan is to accommodate the Water Polo Club by starting to have free play for an hour once a week after intramural innertube water polo.
Katy Larson, a freshman in communication from California, expressed excitement at the intramurals plan. “It’s about time water sports are better represented here at this school. It would really start to even the playing field as far as letting us play our sport as much as everyone else.”
Larson shared her love for water polo and her belief that the club should be allowed to play. “Everyone else has their sports that they get to play like basketball and volleyball. Why can’t we play?
“Although I definitely think we should be more respectful and more careful about following the rules in the future, we can let them do their job and still have a great time!”