Canoe Polo: An Exciting Water Sport You Never Heard Of

Canoe Polo Singapore

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As a canoe polo player, I truly believe that this sport is one of the most exhilarating water sports you can experience!

From fast-paced action to strategic plays and teamwork, canoe polo has everything you need for a thrilling and fun-filled day on the water.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing everything a slight overview of what is canoe polo and how you can try it in Singapore.
If you’re lazy to read about canoe polo, check out the short introduction to this exhilarating sport.

What is Canoe Polo?

Credits: SP Videography Club

Canoe polo is a water sport that combines elements of canoeing, water polo, and basketball… WOW right? It is played in a pool or on a flat water surface with two teams of five players each. The objective of the game is simple! Score points by throwing a ball into the opponent’s goal, while defending your own goal from the other team.

How is Canoe Polo Different from Water Polo?

Although canoe polo and water polo share some similarities, such as the objective of scoring goals, there are some key differences between the two sports.

Firstly, canoe polo is played with kayaks instead of treading water, which makes it a more dynamic sport. Secondly, the goals in canoe polo are suspended two meters above the water, whereas, in water polo, the goals are fixed at the ends of the pool.

What Equipment Do You Need to Play?

To play canoe polo, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. Kayak: You’ll need a specialized canoe polo kayak designed for agility, speed, and durability. These kayaks are typically shorter and wider than traditional kayaks and have a spray deck to keep water out.
  2. Paddles: You’ll need a set of paddles that are specifically designed for canoe polo. These paddles are lightweight and have a smaller blade to allow for quick and precise movements.
  3. Ball: You’ll need a regulation-sized ball that is designed for use in water.
  4. Helmet: You’ll need a helmet to protect your head from potential collisions with other players or the kayak.
  5. Personal Flotation Device (PFD): You’ll need a PFD to keep you afloat if you fall into the water.
  6. Protective Gear: You may also want to consider wearing elbow and knee pads, as well as gloves to protect your hands from paddle blisters.

What are the Rules of Canoe Polo?

A canoe polo team consists of five players on the field, including a goalkeeper and four outfield players. Each team is allowed up to three substitutes, who can be interchanged during the game.

Canoe polo has a set of rules that are designed to keep the game fair and safe for all players. Some of the key rules include:

  1. Fouls: Fouls occur when a player engages in dangerous or unsportsmanlike behavior. Examples of fouls include excessive physical contact, intentionally hitting an opponent’s paddle, or impeding an opponent’s progress.
  2. Free Throws: Free throws are awarded to a team when a foul occurs. The team that receives the free throw must pass the ball before taking a shot at the goal.
  3. Time Rules: Each game is divided into two halves, each lasting ten minutes. There is a one-minute break between halves. If a tie occurs, the game goes into overtime.
  4. Goal Rules: A goal is scored when the ball passes completely through the goalposts. If the ball hits the post or crossbar and bounces back into the field, it does not count as a goal.
  5. Penalty Throws: Penalty throws are awarded for severe fouls, such as deliberate physical contact. The player taking the penalty throw has a direct shot at the goal with no defenders present.

Canoe Polo Skills

Honestly, there is a wide range of skills in canoe polo which revolves around the kayak and the paddle! Here is a short introduction to what you can expect in canoe polo training!


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Where can I watch Canoe Polo in Singapore?

If you’re a frequent reservoir goer, you’ll see people playing canoe polo on Saturdays and Sundays at Pandan & Bedok Reservoir. If not, drop by NUS on Tuesday 7-9 pm, or Thursday 7-9 pm, and Saturday 1-7 pm to find out more!
You can also Look out for the news on the Singapore canoe federation for upcoming events/competitions such as the upcoming Asian Canoe Competitions that are held in Singapore.

Where can I play Canoe Polo in Singapore?

Canoe Polo at Pandan Reservoir
Credits: Singapore Canoe Federation

So far, there is only one place to play/learn canoe polo for the public which is Pandan Reservoir- Hosted by XNSA.

They have programs that cater kids to and adults interested in learning a new water sport in Singapore.

Canoe polo is an exciting and challenging water sport that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or completely new to the sport, canoe polo is a great way to stay active, improve your skills, and meet new people. With the right equipment, rules, and tactics, you can become a skilled canoe polo player and enjoy all the benefits this sport has to offer. If you like our intro to canoe polo, check out our other sports in Singapore.

Frequently asked questions about canoe polo

Is Canoe Polo a Contact Sport?

Yes, canoe polo is a contact sport, but there are rules in place to prevent excessive physical contact. Players are not allowed to intentionally hit or push an opponent, and any contact that occurs must be incidental to the play.

Are There Different Positions in Canoe Polo?

Yes, there are different positions in canoe polo, and each player has a specific role on the field. The goalkeeper is responsible for defending the goal and has a larger paddle to make saves. The outfield players have a smaller paddle and are responsible for passing, shooting, and defending.

Can I Play Canoe Polo if I Don’t Know How to Kayak?

Although some experience with kayaking can be helpful, you don’t need to be an expert kayaker to play canoe polo. Many clubs offer beginner classes and equipment rentals for those who are new to the sport.

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