Canoe Polo

Canoe Polo

Braintree Canoeing Club has a Canoe Polo team called Braintree A.

Braintree A is a team that has been running over eleven years. They play in the Eastern region, with effort and determination they won the semi finals in Div 3 in 2010.

Braintree Canoeing Club hold Wednesday evening practice sessions for Canoe Polo. The club provides all equipment needed for Wednesday practice sessions.

By coming along to practice you are not committing to play for a team, some club members use the  Wednesday evening sessions to keep fit and improve paddling skills for other canoeing activities. All club members are welcome to attend Wednesday evenings 8:30pm – 10:00pm

Below Braintree Canoe Polo team in competition at Hull 2004

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is canoe polo?

Canoe Polo is a fast and exciting full contact team ball game that combines paddling with ball handling skills. Tactics, team work and positional play are as important as individual skills, as five players per team attempt to play the ball around the pitch in order to score more goals than the opposing team.

How do you play canoe polo?

The players move the ball, equivalent to a water polo ball, around the 35 m by 23 m flat-water pitch by throwing or paddle flicking. The goals are 1.5 m by 1 m rectangular nets suspended 2 m above the water at either end of the pitch. During defensive play, the goalkeeper defends the goal using their paddle held vertically, whilst the other players help to defend or regain possession by using a variety of tactics, such as a ‘zone’ in front of the goalkeeper. During offensive play, the team play the ball around the opposing team’s zone whilst players attempt to make space for a shot at goal.

What is the format of a canoe polo match?

A canoe polo match takes place over two halves of around 10 minutes, with a short half time break. At the start of each half, the players from each team line up along their respective goal lines. The referee starts play and throws the ball into the centre of the pitch, where two players sprint to gain initial possession of the ball. The same happens at the beginning of the second half, and at full time, the winner is the team that has scored more goals than their opponents.

Do you need specialist equipment?

Boats are specifically designed for canoe polo and conform to ICF rules. They are rounded and padded at the bow and stern and are around 3 metres long – shorter than marathon canoes, but longer than white-water canoes. This allows a balance of speed and manoeuvrability. The construction varies from plastic, to glass fibre and carbon Kevlar. Paddles are also specifically designed for polo; plastic or lightweight carbon construction with blade profiles and shaft lengths designed for goal keeping or sprinting in mind. A helmet with a faceguard, a buoyancy aid and spray-deck are also required.

Q. How is the sport made as safe as possible?

A high priority is placed on safety, as canoe polo is a full contact sport. Many of the rules are safety orientated, and kit is also adapted to be as safe as possible. Helmets are mandatory, as are faceguards, and paddles are required to have a minimum thickness of 5 mm, and restrictions on radius of curvature are also enforced to save people’s fingers! Buoyancy aids protect the torso whilst also providing buoyancy if required, and boats are padded at stern and bow and kit is subject to scrutinising at official competitions.

Useful links: Official BC Canoe Polo website – newly updated! Official British Canoeing website.