Canoe Polo also known as Kayak Polo is one of the competitive disciplines of canoeing, known simply as “polo” by its aficionados. Polo combines canoeing and ball handling skills with an exciting contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes.
The game requires excellent teamwork and promotes both general canoeing skills as well as a range of other techniques unique to the sport. Each team has 5 players on the pitch (and up to 3 substitutes), who compete to score in their opponents goal which is suspended 2 metres above the water. The ball can be thrown by hand, or flicked with the paddle to pass between players and shoot at the goal. Pitches can be set up in swimming pools or any stretch of flat water.
The canoes are specifically designed for Polo and are faster and lighter than typical kayaks which give them fantastic manoeuvrability. Paddles are very light weight and designed with both pulling power and ball control in mind. Nose and tail boat bumpers, body protection, helmets and faceguards are all compulsory.
Canoe Polo, a spectacular and rapidly growing discipline of the International Canoe Federation, is unlike other Canoe sports. Canoe Polo is a game of two halves of 10 minutes where two teams of 5 players battle it out with a water polo ball. The aim is to score into a goal, which is suspended above the water at each end of a rectangular 'playing pitch'. These pitches can be on open water or they can even be on a swimming pool.