HaBaWaBa is now playing an important role in the development of water polo, a role that Waterpolo Development has always had the honour of diligently seeking to achieve. The continuous growth in the number of participants and nations involved has generated a new grassroots movement, composed of a large group of children who, as early on as 7-8 years old, can clock up their first water polo experiences, a fact that was unthinkable only 10 years ago.
It is a movement that should be listened to especially in the local area, precisely to further facilitate the expansion of our beautiful sport. For this reason, in 2011 WPD and FIN sat around a table and began to study how to encourage the renewing action of this phenomenon.
In the 2013/14 season, the idea took shape in different regions of Italy, giving rise to numerous tournaments in which children under 9 and under 11 competing for local teams went wild about playing a game that even more closely resembled the one foreseen by the official HaBaWaBa regulations and which saw its consecration in the inter-regional tournaments “Tutti in Piscina” (“Everyone in the Pool”), played in Cremona and Civitavecchia, and the trophy “Campioni domani” (“The Champions of Tomorrow), which has now become a regular event in the Circolo Rai in Rome.
The 2014/15 season respected the trend of the HaBaWaBa phenomenon: growing numbers and participating regions, greater coordination between the official bodies and regional movements and the choice to apply 100% of the official HaBaWaBa regulations.
The 2015/16 season saw the movement taking on an increasingly stable form: matches were on the rise and coordination with regional committees grew increasingly closer. A growing collaboration, that between WPD and FIN; from Piedmont to Sicily, passing through Veneto, Lombardy, Liguria, Tuscany, Marche, Abruzzo, Lazio, Puglia and Basilicata, the most widespread water polo acronym in the world amplified its range of action in the development of this splendid sport by marching through the territories.
The year 2017 marked further progress within the Italian territory, especially in the North where Piedmont, thanks to the experience gained in some regions by some teams, was structured to have its own regional tournament; the same impulses came from Emilia Romagna, where the first club tournaments were to act as the prelude to the organization of a regional event in the coming years.
2018 was the year of Trentino Alto Adige, a region where water polo is historically not very widespread, but where the HaBaWaBa spirit was embraced to have an important knock-on effect and Campania, which became increasingly active with its numerous teams. It was also the year in which club tournaments begin to proliferate, thanks to the interest of individual clubs that increasingly believed in the project, but above all in the HaBaWaBa spirit.
2019 records the consolidation of all of the regional activity that boasts increasing numbers, a clear sign of how the water polo system is drawing energy from the HaBaWaBa activity and thanks to the latter it can hope for a future full of satisfaction.