The “game of the ball in the water”
HaBaWaBa is a creation of Waterpolo Development (WPD): discover who we are, our goals and our way to spread sports values and love for waterpolo among kids.
Who we are, what we do
HaBaWaBa is a project by Waterpolo Development, a no profit association founded in 2006 by some of the greatest personalities in waterpolo community as Ratko Rudic, Gabriele Pomilio, Manuel Estiarte, Alessandro Campagna and more: our goal is to spread the love for waterpolo into the 5 continents as well as the noble values of sports and civil society.
HaBaWaBa is an acronym that stands for Happy Baby Water Ball, words that refer to the joy of a child playing the “game of the ball in the water”. Therefor the word HaBaWaBa identifies the game – it’s different from the waterpolo played by adolescent and adults and it’s adapted to the needs of kids – but also the universe of people and events that have been developed from it over the years, all over the world. The HaBaWaBa International Festival is the main event of the HaBaWaBa universe.
For the teams
Waterpolo Development organizes international HaBaWaBa events where waterpolo clubs have the opportunity to meet and face teams coming from far very different realities. WPD also offers its experts’ advice to organize youth waterpolo events and foster the exchange of ideas in order to spread the waterpolo development.
For the parents
HaBaWaBa events allows kids to live unique experiences outside their own family, increasing their sense of responsibility and fostering the encounter with different cultures. Parents can follow their kids’ improvement, making a journey into sports education and living an unforgettable experience in their turn.
For the kids
Fun is the better tools to provide the children values as fair play, respect for others and for the rules. Because of that, beside of the game in the water, HaBaWaBa events also contain recreational and educational workshops. HaBaWaBa strengthens the bond with waterpolo, feeding a passion that will help kids to discover the benefits and the values of sport.
It’s time to discover our events!
That’s how and where we develop the HaBaWaBa project.
Fun & waterpolo
HaBaWaBa International Festival
It’s the biggest and more important youth waterpolo event in the world and it’s dedicated to kids coming from every corner of the Earth.
It’s held at the Bella Italia & EFA Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) which hosts all of the participating teams: for a week kids, coaches and team managers live together into the village in a joyful atmosphere. Since its origins, HaBaWaBa International Festival has been divided into two competitions, U9 and U11, which boys', girls' and mixed teams participate in. Since 2021, in the first edition after Covid-19 pandemic, age group categories were raised to U10 and U12.
Since the 1st edition (2008) to the last one (2019), clubs coming from 25 countries have participated in the Festival: only in 2019, the event gathered 136 teams, more than 1.500 kids and more than 4.000 total attendees.
The next edition of HaBaWaBa International Festival will be held on June, 2022, from 19th to 26th.
Growing up together
In 2016 Waterpolo Development launched another international event that has added to the International Festival: it’s HaBaWaBa PLUS. Born for U13 category, since 2021 HaBaWaBa PLUS is reserved to U14 teams.
As its “older brother”, HaBaWaBa PLUS takes place at the Bella Italia & EFA Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Ita). It has two tournaments, divided by gender: in 2019 HaBaWaBa PLUS was joined by 63 teams, more than 900 little athletes and more than 2.000 attendees.
The next edition of HaBaWaBa PLUS will take place from June 26th to July 3rd, 2022.
Waterpolo and history
HaBaWaBa arrives in Venice, the most beautiful city in the world, to let young players to live an unforgettable experience during the winter holidays: a new HaBaWaBa event, organized by NDV Tour Operator in collaboration with Waterpolo Development, which brings together waterpolo and culture. See you in the "Serenissima", from 26th to 30th December 2021: registration is open.
HaBaWaBa International Circuit
The success of HaBaWaBa format pushed Waterpolo Development to find new partners in order to start local HaBaWaBa events in different countries: that research led to the birth of the HaBaWaBa International Circuit, which is now present in such as 4 continents.
Events of HaBaWaBa International Circuit: HaBaWaBa Montreal in Canada, HaBaWaBa Greece in Athens, HaBaWaBa Spain in Tarragona, HaBaWaBa Belarus in Brest, HaBaWaBa Asia in Singapore, HaBaWaBa Brasil in Bauru and HaBaWaBa Egypt in Hurghada. And more events will be soon available in other countries.
In 2020 Waterpolo Development decided to move the boundaries of HaBaWaBa world even further by creating the HaBaFive U14, a new competition dedicated to Under 14 players. In addition to spreading the values of sport - the first goal of every HaBaWaBa event - it aims to improve the technical skills of young waterpolo players: therefore HaBaFive U14 has some different rules from other HaBaWaBa competitions. The event is divided into two separate tournaments, one for boys and for girls.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first edition of the HaBaFive U14 has been postponed until 2021.
Grassroots activity in Italy
FIN-HaBaWaBa and club tournaments
HaBaWaBa lowered the age of kids approaching to waterpolo and pushed the clubs to create U9 and U11 teams. However those teams needed to play during the whole season and not only at the summer events organized by Waterpolo Development.
In 2011 WPD and FIN - the Italian Swimming Federation - started to cooperate in order to support this “waterpolo fever” and in 2013 they launched the FIN-HaBaWaBa tournaments, played by the HaBaWaBa official rules, in different areas of Italy. Those competitions were more and more due to the coordination between FIN and FIN regional committees.
Also club tournaments, organized by clubs, have spread in parallel. During the years, the HaBaWaBa movement kept growing up: that’s a proof that waterpolo system can be powered by HaBaWaBa and can hope for a great future thanks to it.
HaBaWaBa Official App
Thanks to Delta I.S.O. company, in 2018 Waterpolo Development launched an HaBaWaBa official app that let you know every club, team and player participating in HaBaWaBa events. Using the app, you can also check the schedules and the live results and rankings of the competitions. Free download of the HaBaWaBa App is available on Google Play and App Store.
Since 2008 counting players, coaches, team managers, parents, fans and guests who participate in HaBaWaBa International Festival and HaBaWaBa PLUS U13
The kids aged from 6 to 11 who participated in HaBaWaBa International Festival since 2008. Such as 2.024 little athletes joined the 4 editions of HaBaWaBa PLUS U13
The nationalities of the players at HaBaWaBa International Festival and HaBaWaBa PLUS U13. During the years, all of the 5 continents were represented in the HaBaWaBa events
The teams participating in the HaBaWaBa International Festival record edition in 2018. That time such as 1.555 kids gathered in Lignano Sabbiadoro and 716 games were played in 6 days time
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