What kind of bathing suit will my child need?

We recommend a tight fitting suit either jammers (tight fitting swim shorts that goes to the knees) or speedo style swim suits for boys. Loose beach shorts are not recommended.

For girls we recommend a one piece athletic swim suit or a water polo suit.  Thin strapped suits are not recommended wear for games.  Water polo suit with club design can be purchased from the club.

(Back to top)

Must my child wear a swim cap?

Girls must absolutely wear a swim cap. Swim caps are very necessary. Warm ups may include long swim sets, therefore hair needs to be out of the way. It is disruptive to frequently stop to retie a ponytail. During games, a water polo cap is worn. The water polo cap stays in place much better with a swim cap underneath. Swim caps keep long hair out of your face, essential for swim sets and crucial during games.  For trial athletes, long hair braided or tied away from the face will be sufficient.

Mako has swim caps with team logo available for purchase. We have both silicone and latex.

(Back to top)

Can my child wear goggles?

Yes during warm ups and swimming lengths (swim sets), your child may wear goggles.  However, goggles are not considered safe to wear once athletes are training with a ball in the event the ball hits them in the face. During a game situation, goggles are most definitely not recommended!

If your child is allergic to chlorine, we recommend getting prescription drops from your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to help those athletes with chlorine sensitivity.

(Back to top)


Can my child wear prescription goggles?

Even though goggles are not recommend to wear during games, if the athlete requires them to see, then it is necessary. 

(Back to top)

What other equipment needs will my child have?

Water polo equipment is basic.  Required:  swim goggles, water bottle, towel, swim caps for girls, water polo suit (custom Mako waterpolo suits will be available for purchase starting end of Sept – October).  Mako also has some attractive team merchandise such as backpacks, tees, sweat pants, sweat shirts, hoodies.  There will be a club wide ordering end of Sept-Oct. 

(Back to top)

How many times a week should my child practice?

For children under 10 years of age we recommend they only practice 2-3/week @ 45mins each practice. Kids at this age still benefit from taking swim lessons including being involved in a water polo programme. Better yet, we highly endorse registration into an intensive summer swim club program (Calgary Tritons Summer Swim Club) if they wish to continue playing water polo. Water polo is a challenging sport, learning would progress quicker if the child already possessed excellent swimming skills.
Calgary Mako Water Polo also follows Sport Canada’s guidelines outlined in their Long Term Athlete Development Programme. We believe children under the age of 15 yrs should be involved in multiple sport disciplines to enhance proper brain and physical development. 

For children between the ages of 10-12 years, Mako club intends them to practice 3/week @ 1.5 - 2 hours each.  Kids older than 12 years old may see practice 3-4/week @ 1.5 – 2 hours each.

(Back to top)

Is 100% practice attendance mandatory, we ski every weekend in the winter?

No, 100% practice attendance is never mandatory. However, it is the family's obligation to clearly communicate your athlete’s participation limitations to the coach. Please notify the coach in writing, via email, if your athlete will be missing from practice or games. Example:  Athlete belongs to a ski club and will not attend all practices and games on Fridays and weekends.  Example:  Athlete will be missing from practice or game this Wednesday due to competing schedule with their volleyball team.  Etc.

Mako Water Polo Club and its coaches believe that children should enjoy participating in a variety of sports throughout the year.  Our coaches happily support your child’s other sport commitments.

Naturally, regularly missing practices and games all season may result in slower progression of individual water polo skills or cause them to miss out on team tactics.  Therefore we remind parents to be sensitive to this and temper their own performance expectations of their athlete and his/her coaches.

(Back to top)

Is 100% tournament participation mandatory, my child is not ready to play competitive games?

We encourage all athletes to indicate their readiness to their coach. Indeed the coaches are sensitive to that already, having observed them regularly at practice. If children are not yet comfortable in playing games, then this can and should be communicated to the coach.

The athlete has full control over this. If they are not ready, then it should be communicated to the coach. 

(Back to top)

What if it doesn't work out, can we get our money back? What is your refund policy?

Pls review our refund policy under the REGISTRATION tab on our website.

(Back to top)

Can my child bring a friend, a classmate or a sibling to a water polo practice?

Absolutely!!  Bring more than one!  During the early weeks of the water polo season (Sept-mid October), we welcome drop ins.  It is the best way to promote our sport and potentially gain more athletes.  Drop ins, must fill out the “Bring A Friend” waiver form. The form must be signed by a parent/guardian.  See website REGISTRATION: Bring A Friend.


Any other time during the season, please obtain your coach approval if you will be brining a visitor to practice.

(Back to top)

What are these age groups 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 17U, Atoms, Bantams, Cadets?

-Pups 10U: Athletes younger than 10 yrs old as of Dec 31
-Atoms 12U: Athletes younger than 12 yrs old as of Dec 31
-Bantams 14U: Athletes younger than 14 yrs old as of Dec 31
-Cadets 16U: Athletes younger than 16 yrs as of Dec 31
-Youth:  Athletes younger than 18 as of Dec 31 

(Back to top)

My child is in the 10U group, but playing with a 12U group. Why?

If your child is a fairly strong athlete in one age group, your child may be invited to "play up" to the next older age group. If this is the case, your child may be asked to commit to games and tournaments for both age groups.

(Back to top)

Why don't the coaches teach the children proper swim techniques and strokes?

Calgary Mako Water Polo Club has hired water polo athletes to teach our children basic water polo skills. Water Polo coaches and swim instructors are often not interchangeable.  At the moment, Mako lacks the pool time to devote to swim lessons or swim skills enhancement.

We strongly recommend that children that require further development of their swimming skills take lessons in addition to training with Mako. We strongly recommend that in the spring season athletes register in a summer swim club. (Calgary Tritons Summer Swim Club) The Tritons offer an intensive 3.5 months of swim training. The improvement resulting in these few months is equivalent to 3 years of city lessons! 

(Back to top)

When do the children start playing real games?

They will start playing Calgary city league games in October with the other Calgary Clubs. Mako athletes will play informal games (scrimmages) at the Repsol Centre, typically Sunday nights and Seton YMCA Friday evenings. There are other community water polo clubs in the Calgary area: Seawolves (NW Cgy), Wild (Cgy), Dolphins (Okotoks & High River), Destroyers (Cgy),  Polominos (Strathmore).

City league games are very informal games. It is primarily a teaching environment for both athletes, referees in training and parents training for minor official positions.

Rules and the field of play are modified to facilitate instruction of novices. 

(Back to top)

Is there a lot of physicality to water polo?

Yes!  Water polo is a contact sport. It is essential to wear a tight-fitting swim suit and a water polo protective cap during games. It is imperative that athletes are strong swimmers and can tread water for a long time. It is also imperative that the athlete possesses great confidence and comfort in deep water in the event that they are dunked or bumped.

However, roughness and physicality is usually experienced in the 14U and older age groups.  It is not seen in the 10U and 12U age groups nor is it tolerated. 

(Back to top)

Do athletes train in co-ed groups?

Yes, the girls will share pool space with the boys.  However they do break up according to sex, so your son will partner up with another boy when working on drills.

Boys age groups and Girls age groups do have their own coaches. 

(Back to top)

Are games played in a co-ed environment?

10U Pups games are co-ed.  Kids in the 12U and older age groups do not play co-ed games, typically. There are separate games organized for boys and girls. 

(Back to top)