So you’ve heard of this strange ‘sport’ called canoe polo and you’re wondering what in the heck it was. Well the easiest way to picture it is to imagine a water polo game….. now pop all those players into kayaks….. now raise the goals 2 metres out of the water….. and there you have it, that’s a canoe polo game! Or just check out this video
Now to explain the carnage you’ve just witnessed.
The pitch itself can consist of any flat piece of water with no current, in the winter the matches are generally held indoors, in lovely heated pools. The pitch itself is 35m by 23m and the goals hang 2m above the water at each end. That generally leaves the goal keeper with just enough reach to cover the goal with his paddle!
Each team in canoe polo has five players in it, with up to three rolling subs. Unlike football there are no set goalkeepers so it basically uses rush goalkeeping. Each player obviously has to sit in a kayak and hold a set of paddles. For safety reasons everybody wears a helmet with a face guard and buoyancy aid with extra padding, handily these are also in team colours with numbers on them so you can distinguish between people.
As far as the game goes it starts with the ball being thrown into the middle and one player from each team sprinting forward to try and grab it first. The ball can be picked up with either your hands or with your paddles if you’re skilled or cocky enough, although you have to be careful as you can’t put your paddles within arms reach of another player or you’ll be penalised.
The attacking team can then begin their assault. The attacking team will then charge forward and try to clear out the defenders to leave a clear path for a shot to be taken. Though they have two dangers to watch out for: You can’t be in control of the ball for more than five seconds and you can’t touch the opposition’s goalkeeper at all or you’ll lose the ball.
Of course the defending team isn’t going to sit back and let the other team score. They can push back as well perform the best move of canoe polo. Any person with the ball can get pushed over!! Often times the bloodthirsty yells of the crowd will be calling for binnings rather than goals as they’re much more amusing!!
Hopefully your interest has been piqued by this if so sign up on the forum for one of our Wednesday afternoon training sessions or drop me an email if you still have questions.