What is Canoe Polo?
Canoe Polo is one of the best ways to refine your kayaking skills in a safe environment. Rough to the eye, it has all the action of a football game and yet is injury free. It is a fast, energetic and extremely skilful game that is played in swimming pools, combining the ball skills of basketball and water polo with kayaking skills for manoeuvrability.
Each team has up to eight players, with up to five being on the playing field at any one time. The field is 35 x 23 metres in size, with a goal suspended at each end, suspended 2 metres above the water. The rules are based on safety, allowing fast, exciting play, that is very entertaining for spectators.
Each player paddles a specially designed kayak called a "polo bat" that is up to 3 metres long. Players in possession of the ball can be "tackled" by the opposition's kayak, or "hand tackled" on the shoulder and capsized. The ball is passed hand to hand as in water polo, or flicked using the paddle. Paddles can also be used to intercept passes and block shots at goal.
Canoe Polo has been played in Germany since the early 1920's. The sport, like all other canoeing disciplines, really took off with the advent of fibreglass. Canoe Polo is played in every state of Australia in all major cities and many country regions. The Australian Canoe Polo Committee holds National Championships each year, for both Club and State teams. A National League is also held each year with modified rules to make the game even more spectator friendly. The best place to get local information about the game, is from your local canoe association or canoe club.