(7 votes, average 4.29 out of 5)


First of all, the modern definition (briefly described) of Canoe Polo, is a that of ‘a sport played by two teams of 5 players, each sitting in individual kayaks, engaged in a competitive ball sport game on water in a defined playing area’. The object of the game is to get the ball into the opponent’s goal (to score goals). The team scoring the most goals is the winner of the game.

The name of the game is a misnomer in my opinion, as it should have actually been called kayak polo. According to the International Canoe Federation (I.C.F.) Canoe Polo Rules, the primary playing equipment used for this sport is a kayak and not a canoe. As a matter of fact the word ‘canoe’ is not mentioned even once in the entire document!

The difference between kayaks and canoes, is that a kayak is an enclosed boat where a person is seated inside with their legs stretched forward, braces his/her feet on a footrest for better stability, and uses a paddle with a double feathered blade held in his/her hands for propulsion; whereas canoes are open styled ‘Canadian’ boats where the paddlers usually sit or kneel, and use single bladed paddles for propulsion. Closed canoes are used mostly in slalom racing or in wild water activities, whereas open canoes are used for more leisurely activities.

This game can be loosely said to use as a combination of canoeing, water polo and basketball skills. The game is fast and aggressive, but it is also relatively injury-free. The tactics and playing are not unlike that of basketball or water polo. The ball, which is identical to the kind used in the game of water polo, is passed from hand to hand amongst the team players (with some limited use of the paddle on the ball), and thrown directly at the opponent’s goal. A player in possession of the ball can be tackled by being pushed over into the water by an opponent, in the latter’s attempt to “capture” the ball for his/her own gain. The ball can be in the possession of a player for not more than 5 seconds, but it can “dribbled”, by a player throwing it ahead (or behind) in the water, to regain control again, so as to re-start the time clock.

Canoe polo can be played in indoor or outdoor swimming pools, in slow moving rivers, lakes, or any “pitch” approximately 35 meters by 23 meters in size. The goals measuring 1.5 meter wide by 1 meter high, consist of a metal or wooden frame with a net, suspended vertically over the water at each end of the pitch. A player acting as the goalkeeper defends the goal with his/her paddle held vertically in front. There are special rules that prohibit the attacking team from touching the goalkeeper whenever he (or she) is in a defending position.

A game lasts a maximum of 20 minutes, divided into two half periods, with each side changing ends at the interval. Two referees preside over the game, one on each side of the pitch. Players use helmets with metal face grills for protection and use padded buoyancy vests for upper torso protection.


#3 Guest 2009-11-07 23:20
:) grande articolo!
venite questo weekend per il torneo a praga?
a presto
#2 the deacon 2009-11-07 23:19
In return for your compliments, I would like to add that it was a pleasure to have my article published on the best canoe polo wesite on the WWW today!
Sincerely, I would not have chosen any other!
#1 TheMasterG 2009-11-07 23:18
Wow, I just got through reading this properly from start to finish, excellent!
Great job Reza :thumbup:

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