Canoe Polo

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['Canoe polo' (International Canoe Federation terminology) refers to kayak polo.] 

The game includes 2 goals, a rectangular water-pitch, 2 teams, 10 paddlers and a water polo ball! Expect Eskimo rolls aplenty as players collide trying to steal the ball from the opponent in order to score a goal of which is suspended 2m above the water-line.

A fast and furious game of 2x10-minute halves that tests physical agility, technical ability within a kayak, ball handling, control and accuracy, speed, strength along with tactical play. One paddler must also sprint from each goal-line to gain possession as the referee starts each half by throwing the ball middle-bound.

Teams can have up to 3 substitutes and if drawing or at a stalemate after 20 minutes the 'Golden Goal' rule comes into play.

Kayaks differ from slalom boats; they are lighter and more manoeuvrable – helmets, face guards, body pads and boat bumpers are all compulsory.

Quickly soaring in popularity globally where pitches can be set up easily on swimming pools or on flat water, over 50 countries now compete internationally. Every two years the ICF hosts the Canoe Polo World Championship, Continental Championships are sandwiched between them.

Not an Olympic discipline, but kayak polo is currently contested at the World Games, of which the majority of medals have been won by European teams. Canoe polo also features as a canoeing discipline at the inaugural Sport Accord World Beach Games in 2017.

 

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