Combat water polo: Marine Corps Air Station triumphs over defending champs
By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions
| Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | September 18, 2012
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The playing field was shallow, but the competition was deep as active duty service members battled for victory during the USAA Camp Pendleton Cup Series Combat Water Polo Tournament at the 13 Area Pool, Sept. 12.
Marine Corps Community Services' Pendleton Cup Series provided Marines and sailors an opportunity to build unit cohesion and camaraderie while competing for monetary prizes that will be awarded to their respective units.
The traditional sport of water polo is a game consisting of two teams, both with six field-players and a goalie, requiring athletes to continuously tread water while attempting to score goals. Combat water polo modifies that for military members by adding combat boots and utility uniforms in a shallow pool, allowing for an added degree of difficulty with a higher level of safety.
"We came out here with little expectation, but it turned out to be a really great event," said Todd Crawford, team captain for the Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton "Mid-life Crisis." "It was definitely a lot of fun and I think that everyone had a good time, win or lose."
To the competitors' surprise, former USA Men's Water Polo Team Olympians Omar Amr, Ryan Bailey and Dan Klatt made an appearance and watched the action, vowing to get a team together for next year's tournament.
"It looks pretty violent; I've even seen some blood in the water. It reminds me of Olympic water polo," said Bailey. “It's awesome. There is a lot of great sportsmanship going on and everybody's having fun.”
Teams from the 3rd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 9th Communications Battalion, Wounded Warrior Battalion - West and MCAS participated in the tournament. Mid-life Crisis took first place by advancing through an elimination bracket then beating the defending champions, 9 - 7.
"Communication is always a big assets and that's what helped us out on defense," said Crawford. "We definitely came together as a team and I think that's why we got the victory."
For more information about future USAA Camp Pendleton Cup Series events contact the MCCS Athletic Department at (760) 725-6614 / 6806.