Understanding of the SKWIM goals evolution

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SKWIM Goals

Premier Goals

SKWIM's Premier Goals are wonderful, but an investment for an aquatic center or school. The Premier Goals are not expensive, as they'll last for years and are of tremendous value. However, they are not for a backyard pool nor easy for a school, YMCA nor community pool to purchase at a moment notice. 

  • The Premier Goals are ideal for tournament play.
  • Manufactured for 10+ years.
  • Available for sale via eLifeguard.

SKWIM without Goals 

SKWIM can be played without any goals. Official SKWIM goals are not required to get into the game. 

  • SKWIM can be played into the pool's gutter, slot style. And, 
  • SKWIM can be played with an end zone, ultimate style. 

Over the years, we've played lots and lots of SKWIM games at many pools without the use of any goals. Goals are a great enhancement. But, don't make the lack of goals a hinderance for playing. 

The quest for a new and different goal option has been years in the making.

SKWIM needs an additional option of a different goal, beyond the Premier Goals, to fuel in the game's growth and expansion. 

The new goal should be light-weight, easy to move, less expensive to ship, more affordable and yet keep an integrity with the game so a transition to the more expensive premier goals can occur. 

Three different goals other than the SKWIM Premier Goal, have been tried and are in different stages of development and testing.

  • The Recreational Goal
  • The Ohio Goal
  • The Foam Creation / pedal goal.

SKWIM's Premier Goal

Many photos of the premier goal are on this site. Here are a few.

SKWIM's Recreational Goal

A few SKWIM recreational goals were made in the summer of 2019. However, they were not put into production beyond the prototypes due to the cost of the investment for the initial order requirements. 

Two of the goals were sent to Pittsburgh for testing. 

Recreation Goal in eLifeguard sales page
SKWIM goal in the catalog

Huddle

The Ohio Goal

The name, "Ohio Goal," is used because these goals were made in Ohio and look a bit like the mostly square shape of the outline of the state of Ohio. 

Some advantages:

  • These square goals allowed the scoring from any direction (front, back, side). 
  • They are light weight.
  • They are safe and would not hurt if accidently banged into.
  • Can be moved in a car.
  • Have great durability, UV protection from sun. 
  • Can hold a leash or cord easily that can be adjusted with length to keep it on an anchor or even attach to a backstroke flag above.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy enough to ship. 
  • No pieces to put together or have come apart.

The Ohio Goal is a foam table on four foam legs. The concept is to slide the disk under the table for a goal. The legs are like a post in hockey. Once more than half the disk is under the table, "GOAL!" Then the players are to raise both arms into the air. 

The goal is kept in place with a cord that goes from the middle of the table to the bottom of the pool. Or, if there are backstroke flags, the cord can be from the middle of the goal to the backstroke flags. Hooking upwards is nice as long as the backstroke flags are not super light-weight. 

SKWIM prototype goals

These goals were floppy. 

The foam table didn't have the necessary firmness to stay flat. When the spine is put into the goal's structure to keep it flat, the cost rise. And, the goals can't be bent for putting into the backseat of a car to take the goals to the pool. 

We also used the goals on the side of the pool, more slot style, if a pool didn't have ideal gutters. 

Some pools have small gutters or no gutters at all. These Ohio Goals were then able to be put halfway in the water and halfway out and on the deck. Then the disk can go between the legs in the front or sides to score a goal. 

Visual tour of various solutions. A new design and solution is expected in 2022.

Alternative Goals

Water polo sometimes happens without the goals.

When you want to play water polo at a pool, but are without regulation goals, you make do and find alternatives. Put down a big target area at the gutter and at edge of the pool. When the ball touches the target, count it as a goal. See the photo with the orange piece of plastic, a slide toy. A beach towel, blanket, traffic cones, bench, table work too. Placing a picnic table on its its side can work, but that isn't so good as the ball can rebound off the object and bounce into a person playing goalie. 

Orange tarp serves over the gutter and sitting on the deck serves as a goal at the Thelma Lovette YMCA Pool. 

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Coach Mark, the executive director of the nonprofit 501(c)(3) of SKWIM USA, lives and coaches in Pittsburgh, PA, USA where he helps to lead swim, SKWIM and water polo activities for a wide range of participants.

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Playing well with others is a skill that needs to be taught, nurtured, rewarded and permitted to unfold in organic ways.

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