2024 Sunshine State Games Events

Championship Sunday at SSG Water Polo

Eight age group champions were crowned on Championship Sunday at the 2024 Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships.

Championship Sunday was held on 2024 Olympic Day. Water Polo has been held continuously in the Sunshine State Games since 2000.

In the closest Championship Game of the Day, Lynn Rose, of the Barcelona Lions connected on a penalty shot with :02 remaining to give the Barcelona Lions a 7-6 win over the Orlando Thunder in the 18 and under Girl’s Division (pictured at right).

It was one of the lowest scoring games of the tournament. Barcelona held a 4-1 halftime lead, but Orlando came back to tie the game at 5-5 at the end of the third quarter. Barcelona seemed to hit a game-winning shot with :02 remaining, but an exclusion penalty was called on Orlando, setting up Rose’s game-winning shot.

Another tightly-contested game saw South Florida Water Polo pull away in the fourth quarter for a 20-16 win over the Miami Whitecaps in the 16 and under Boy’s Division.

At the end of the third quarter, South Florida held a slim 17-16 lead. The tide turned at the 4:00 mark of the fourth quarter when goalie Marcel Vahalmi blocked three shots on a Whitecaps possession. He blocked another one down the stretch, while South Florida scored three more goals to secure the win.

The 2024 Water Polo Championship featured 63 teams playing over 140 games between Friday, June 21 and Sunday, June 24. The Water Polo Championships were held in conjunction with Visit Lauderdale.

12 and Under Coed Division
Championship Game: Team Orlando 14, Miami Whitecaps 11
GOLD: Team Orlando; SILVER: Miami Whitecaps; BRONZE: Florida East Coast (FEC)

14 and Under Coed Division
Championship Game: Orlando United 20, Orlando Thunder 11
GOLD: Orlando United; SILVER: Orlando Thunder; BRONZE: Miami Riptides

16 and Under Girls
Round-robin play. No Championship Game
GOLD: Orlando Thunder; SILVER: Patriots Water Polo; BRONZE: Orlando United

16 and Under Boys
Championship Game: South Florida Water Polo 20, Miami Whitecaps 16
GOLD: South Florida Water Polo; SILVER: Miami Whitecaps; BRONZE: Hialeah Storm

18 and Under Girls
Championship Game: Barcelona Lions 7, Orlando Thunder 6
GOLD: Barcelona Lions; SILVER: Orlando Thunder; BRONZE: Seminole Water Polo

18 and Under Boys
Championship Game: Miami Whitecaps 13, South Florida Water Polo 5
GOLD: Miami Whitecaps; SILVER: South Florida Water Polo; BRONZE: Seminole Water Polo

Women’s Open
Championship Game: Miami Riptides 15, Golden Gals Black 6
GOLD: Miami Riptides; SILVER: Golden Gals Black; BRONZE: South Florida Water Polo

Men’s Open
Championship Game: Miami Riptides 15, Team Orlando 12
GOLD: Miami Riptides; SILVER: Team Orlando; BRONZE: South Florida Water Polo

Sportsmanship Awards (Nominated by Referees for Good Sportsmanship)
12 and Under Coed Division: Carlos Padron, Coach, Miami Whitecaps
14 and Under Coed Division: Zack Kappos, Coach, Next Level Water Polo
16 and Under Girls: Jenny Metzdorf, Patriot Water Polo
16 and Under Boys: Gal Ben Tiki, Coach, South Florida Water Polo
18 and Under Girls: Daniel Cercols, Coach, Barcelona Lions
18 and Under Boys: Ryan Ackerson, Coach, Seminole Water Polo
Women’s Open: Paloma Szivos, Player, South Florida Water Polo

The 45th Annual Sunshine State Games is a program of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. The Water Polo Championships is presented in conjunction with Visit Lauderdale. Since 1980, the Games provide amateur sports opportunities for athletes of all ages in an Olympic-style Sports Festival. The Sunshine State Games are the longest continually-running State Games in the U.S.