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Statement from the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Committee

The NCAA Women’s Water Polo Committee regrets that fans will not be able to attend the preliminary rounds of the 2021 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championship May 12-16 at the Spieker Aquatics Center on the campus of UCLA. The decision was made after consultation between the committee, NCAA staff and UCLA athletics administration due to COVID-19 protocols set by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. If fans attended the preliminary rounds, the venue would have to be cleaned to meet local health and safety protocols, creating a delay of at least two hours between games. This could have caused the final quarterfinal game to be played after 10 p.m. Pacific time on Friday. 

The committee thinks having a game end that late creates a competitive equity issue for the advancing team because it would not have enough recovery time before playing in the national semifinals of the tournament the next day. The game times for the semifinals could not be moved due to the time needed for COVID-19 testing protocols and practice times. Again, there is concern about adequate and equitable recovery time for the teams that reach the championship game.

Both opening round games on Wednesday will be streamed live at https://pac-12.com/live/ucla-2. The remaining games of the championship will be streamed live on ncaa.com. Teams advancing to the championship game of the tournament on May 16 will be allocated tickets so family and friends can attend.