About canoe polo
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.
Matches are controlled by referees and the fast, explosive action from players encompasses a wide range of canoeing skills including the Eskimo roll. This is incredibly useful when a player is in possession of the ball and their opponent pushes them over. Overtime (golden goal) is used to decide tied games that require a result.
Canoe Polo is a game for everyone. At club level thousands of players – boys, girls, men and women – compete against each other in competitions graded according to skill level. It is ideal for paddlers who wish to improve their all-round canoeing skills.
Highly skilled players at national and international level display exceptional kayak control, fitness and ball skills which provide some superb sporting action for spectators.
Canoe Polo is now played by 50 countries in all continents of the world with increasing press and television interest. Europe provides the fiercest and closest of competitions with international tournaments nearly every weekend throughout the year.
Rules for 1st-time-viewers
A game of Canoe Polo lasts 2 x 10 minutes / three minutes half-time break and changeover. Five players, including flying goalkeeper, find themselves on the field and up to three substitutes may at any time be exchanged. The ball can be played by all players with hand or paddle, but time of holding the ball in hands is restricted to five seconds. To give the goalkeeper a chance to fend hanging goals in 2 meters height the ball on a roll on the 1.5 mx 1 m, his boat must not be touched by an opposing player.
Fouls are punished by direct free throws that are performed in accordance with instructions of the referee. In a challenge during a promising shot on goal there is a penalty, a litter of six meters on the undefended goal. Serious foul or unsportsmanlike actions against opponents or referees have a green card (warning) result. In case of recurrence or in severe cases, players with a yellow, which involves a time penalty of two minutes or even punished with a red card, which means the field of play.
At one of the most spectacular scenes in the Polo Sport it comes right at the beginning of each half-time. The ball is released by inserting the referee in the middle of the playing field. Coinciding with the start each throw one player from each team from its baseline and tried first to reach the ball and secure.