Welcome to El Capitan Girl's Water Polo! Somehow or
another you have found yourself in the Vaqueros happy family, and now that you are here
it's important that you know some of the history behind the game and our program. Water
Polo was first played in the 1800's. It was played in a lake with a partially deflated
ball. It was deflated to make it easier to take the game under water, which was not only
legal and expected. The game was very physical, even more physical then it is today,
which may be hard for some of you to believe. Unfortunately for the sport, in the 1800's
women were not a part of the game. In fact, girls were not even a part of the game in
1970. Girls that were silly enough to get involved with the sport were told they had no
place trying to play a boy's game. Despite the obstacles encountered by the girls, women's
water polo found a way. Since 1972 because of the Equal Rights Amendment, schools have
been required to provide the same funding and opportunity for women as men in sports. The
cheapest solution to the new law was to make one school team for girls and boys combined.
The problem with this solution, as many girls discovered, was the girls that were
interested were not always given the opportunities to join and were in fact discouraged
from joining the coed team. It was also made very hard on them because they were expected
to compete on the same level as the boys and it was still a more physical sport than it is
Girls, attending schools like Monte Vista, were cut right after tryouts or basically told
by the coaches not to bother and this was in 1996! There were schools where girls could
play, but even at those schools the girls rarely got the opportunity to play on Varsity.
Coach Sanchez, who started coaching in 1982 at El Cajon High, had his first female player
on the team in 1983. In 1985, he coached his first varsity girl player, and that same
year, she was the first girl ever to be picked for a boy's all league team. Around this
time more emphasis on girls water polo was starting to take place. Many people felt that
girls had no place on a boy's team, a statement that is not only understandable, but
completely legitimate. Girls didn't and shouldn't have a place reserved for them on a
boy's team, they deserved a team of their own. However most people didn't want to do the
extra work to put together a separate girls team.
Fortunately, there were a few people willing to try to get girl's water polo going. Coach
Robin Sanchez, in 1986, put together and ran the first girls only San Diego Area Camp
sponsored by United States Water Polo . Area Camps have been held for many years for the
boys. There was never one held for the girls and the girls had not been allowed to attend
the boys camp. San Diego coaches said it wouldn't work, but Coach Sanchez tried it anyway.
In 1986 the first Girls Area Camp boasted 3 players. The next year were 3 more. Coach
Sanchez had to get in the water just to make a full team.
Today there are enough girls in Area Camp to be split into two groups, and even then the
pool is overflowing, no pun intended, with girls. Another Coach who helped the girls
movement was Dan Rupp. He ran a year round program out of Allied Garden for quite a few
years. This club allowed girls from around the county to get together, learn the game, and
compete with other clubs. To compete however, they had to travel out of town to Los
Angeles and Santa Barbara. This club allowed the girls to meet and make friends with