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This is the season that Long Beach boys’ water polo fans have been waiting for because it’s been two years since the Moore League has had a full schedule, and it’s the last year for an impressive group of Wilson seniors who’ve started since they were freshmen.
“They’re bigger, stronger and coming back with a lot of experience,” Wilson coach Jeff Nesmith said. “There’s been a lot of build up, excitement and desire to win. We feel like we’ve got the right pieces in place.”
This season will be a little different because of the CIF Southern Section playoff breakdown and some offensive rule changes. Wilson is the only local team on the CIF Division 1 preseason watch list, but this year the top eight teams will be put into an Open Division like they do with the basketball playoffs.
The rule changes will also increase the pace of play and increase offensive output. Classically a foul within five meters of the goal resulted in a penalty shot, but now that area has been extended to six meters. When a player is fouled outside that six meter area they can quickly restart play by just popping the ball up instead of waiting on a referee whistle.
Finally, teams will also be able to substitute players during the run of play like in hockey instead of having to wait for timeouts.
CLICK HERE to see the schedule for the tournament in Long Beach this weekend hosted by Poly.
Here are full previews for all of the Moore League teams.