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Although Canoe Polo is a recent addition to the activities of the Club, we already have a complete range of equipment to make this a fun and safe sport to play.

What is Canoe polo?

From Wikipedia:

The game is often described as a combination of water polo, basketball and kayaking. It is fast and aggressive, but relatively injury free. The tactics and playing of the game are not unlike basketball or water polo but with the added complexity of the boats. The ball, a water-polo ball, is passed from hand to hand among the players, with some use of the paddle on the ball also allowed. A player can be tackled by being pushed over and can only hold the ball for a maximum of five seconds. Players can 'dribble' the ball by throwing it ahead of themselves or sideways into the water. Most of the rules concern the safety of the players involved.

We have a dedicated Polo area with regulation nets, boats, balls and helmets. A secondary area is set aside for novices for fun non-aggressive Polo.

So whether you’re an experienced Polo player or an absolute beginner we have something to offer. Our aim is to field a team of competitive men’s, woman and mixed players against other clubs in the future.

THCC Polo Rules


  • Start with backs of boats on the goal line
  • Ball to be thrown into centre of field

Paddle foul

  • Paddles are not allowed to be placed within arm’s reach of another player in possession of the ball (Unless you are the Goalkeeper), nor used to lean on a boat for support.
  • If used to reach across the boat, there must be no contact.
  • Paddles cannot be used to reach for the ball once another paddler is reaching for it.

Illegal possession

  • 5 second maximum possession
  • To restart the clock, the ball must travel 1m away from you.
  • Can pass to another player or self (dribbling).

Tackling - kayak

  • Boat tackles are used to disrupt a player’s ability to play the ball/gain possession.
  • The tackled player must be in possession or within 3m trying to gain possession of the ball.
  • Tackling opponents' boats at right angles, and boat body contact are illegal.

Tackling - Hand

  • Should discuss who is okay with being hand tackled at the start of the game.
  • You may only hand tackle if you are comfortable being hand tackled.
  • Allowed if the player is in possession (see above).
  • Open one handed push to upper arm, side or back.
  • Knock the ball out of hand, if only the ball and not the player are touched.

Jostling (obstruction)

  • Jostling (manoeuvring your kayak against an opponent's kayak) is allowed within 6 meters (about 2-3 boat lengths) of the goals or within 3m of the ball


  • Can be anyone – Defined as the defending player most directly under the goal.
  • You must not come in contact with, or push someone onto, the goalkeeper.
  • It is a foul if they are “moved or unbalanced".
  • You must actively try to avoid being pushed onto the goalie.


  • Play is paused until the paddler is safe (not necessarily in a boat, can be out of the water with gear).
  • Possession is given to the opposing team unless a foul was committed.


  • When a foul is committed possession is given to the opposing team for a free shot where the foul was committed.
  • Play continues after the ball is passed or a shot is taken.

These are copied from a document kindly provided by Conor Hickey and are based on the ICF rules.