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Water Polo Canada's National Championship League Overview


The National Championship League (NCL) was created in 2014 to bring the domestic club age group programs under a country wide umbrella that promotes the development of the sport. The NCL offers four categories of play: Senior, 19U, 17U, and 15U.

The 17U NCL season runs from November to May and features both a regular season, and a playoff component. The regular season spans from November to April with the participating clubs playing a series of games against the teams in their region. The regular season standings determine the playoff seedings. The first round of the playoffs is split between the Eastern and Western Conferences with the top four teams at each conference championship qualifying for the final stage, the 17U National Finals in May.

The 19U NCL Category consists of an Open National Championship held in July of each competition season. The 19U Open National Championship is open to any properly sanctioned club in the country.

The Senior category, also known as Major League Water Polo (MLWP) runs from December to early May and features a similar format to the 17U category. The country is split into Eastern and Western conferences and the regular season conference standings determine who qualifies for the Senior National Championships, where the Canadian champions are crowned.

For the 15U category, there are two Championship events, an Eastern National Championship and a Western National Championship. The top 15U teams from each province, as determined by each provincial sport organization, qualify for either the Eastern or Western National Championships depending on their region. The Eastern and Western National Championships are hosted by WPC in April/May of each year and determine the top 15U team in each half of the country.

 Benefits of the National Championship League
  • Staggered and lengthy competition season develops athletes, coaches & referees at all levels of play
  • Coach and official education linked to competition
  • Better coordination and communication between WPC, provinces and clubs
  • Similar competition models to other team sports will help clubs with recruitment
  • Better branding and marketability of the sport
  • Partnerships with cities – sell and market water polo to the sport tourism industry

What’s been said about the new NCL:

“This is a watershed moment in the history of water polo in Canada.”
– David Hart, 4-time Olympic athlete and coach

“The National Club Championship games will be played over several months instead of 4 days.”
– John Csikos, former National Team Head Coach

“Gender-specific 15 and under National Championships will increase our membership overnight, as it did for us in Saskatchewan.”
– Cyril Dorgigné, Provincial Team Head Coach and Water Polo Saskatchewan Executive Director

“We can now develop athletes to meet the needs of international water polo and grow our sport here at home at the same time.”
– Nishant Damani, Mavericks Head Coach and Youth Boys National Team Assistant Coach

Stay informed regarding new developments

More information is made available regularly to participating and interested clubs. Please email Neil Trousdale, League and Events Manager, for additional information.



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