Canoe polo

From Academic Kids

Canoe polo (called kayak polo in some countries) is a competitive ball sport played on water, in a defined "field", between two teams of 5 players, each in a kayak. The object of the game is to get the ball into the opponent's goal (i.e. to score goals), the team scoring the most goals in a set time being the winner.

The game is played in many countries on all continents, for recreation and serious sport. The sport has World Championships every 2 years. Internationally the sport is organised by the Canoe Polo committee of the International Canoe Federation, as one the disciplines of the sport of canoeing. In 2005 Canoe Polo will be contested at the World Games in Duisberg Germany under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.

Missing image
Practicing on the River Cam

The game is often described as a combination of water polo, basketball and canoeing. It is fast and aggressive, but relatively injury free. The tactics and playing of the game are not unlike basketball or water polo but with the added complexity of the boats, which make excelent "shields" for the ball.

The ball, a waterpolo ball, is passed from hand to hand among the players, with some use of the paddle on the ball also allowed. A player can be tackled by being pushed over and can only hold the ball for a maximum of five seconds. Players can 'dribble' the ball by throwing it ahead of themselves into the water. Most of the rules concern the safety of the players involved.

Canoe polo is played either indoors in swimming pools or outdoors on a "field" approximately 40 metres by 20 metres. The edges of the pitch are marked by the sides of the pool or by floating ropes (similar to lane markers in swiming).

There are two referees (one on each side-line) and they are on foot rather than in boats.

The goals (measuring 1 by 1.5 meters) are a frame with a net, suspended 2 metres above the water. A player, acting as goalie, defends the goal with their paddle by sticking it up vertically, special rules concern the goalie, such as: the attacking team not being able to interfere with or jostle him.

The game is officially played as a 20 minute games consisting of two 10 minute halves. The teams swap ends at half-time. Each half begins with a "sprint" where each team lines up against its goal-line and the ball is thrown into the middle of the pitch by the referee. One player from each team sprints to win possesion of the ball.

External links

Major International / Global Canoe Polo Websites




  • Poloweb The French Canoe Polo website Nr 1 (, Canoe-Polo WebSite & Forum, French Community of Canoe-Polo, National & International Results, Large collection of Pictures, The Nr 1 in France for Canoe-Polo

New Zealand

The Netherlands


de:Kanupolo nl:Kanopolo ja:カヌーポロ


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