Canoe Polo

Where and When

We play polo on the Clyde between the old piers at Craigendoran throughout the summer on a Wednesday or Thursday evening. Meet on sea front (Middleton Drive)

Game Description

Two teams of between 3 and 6 on each side aim to get polo ball (basketball size) between posts. The ball is normally thrown from the hand but may be projected forward by paddle or boat.

Main Rules

  • Pitch Dimensions:
    Length between the goal lines (piers); width not determined
  • Start/Restart after goal:
    Both teams on their own lines. Team with ball initiates action by throwing forward.
  • Hold:
    A player can only hold the ball for a count of 3 before passing. The count is initiated by the other side.
  • Pass:
    After a player has touched the ball they may not touch it again until it has been held by another player.
  • Fumble:
    An attempt to collect the ball which results in only a brief touch. The player cannot try again before it is touched by another player.
    This rule causes most problems as often a player trying to collect a ball from the water nudges it forward. This is a fumble, there is no chance to retry and potentially makes the ball available to the opposition.
  • Blocking:
    Blocking the opposite teams boats is an important part of the game.
  • Holding:
    The opponent, his boat or paddle must not be held or pushed or otherwise interfered with at any time.
    There are two exceptions to this rule
    1. To remove a boat from the top of your own
    2. To prevent imminent capsize.

    A player cannot, therefore, lean across another boat.

  • Goal Throws:
    If a ball is put through the goal line by the attacking team then
    1. Attackers retreat to half way
    2. Defenders go to their own line
  • Corners:
    If a ball is pushed behind by defenders then it is restarted by an attackers throw on the goal line some 6m from the goal.
  • Capsize:
    The game stops whilst the player rolls or is rescued.
  • Restarts:
    Normally by the team not responsible for the stoppage but in dispute cases can be restarted by a blind throw (one player lobs the ball high behind him)
  • Free Throws:
    Where a player has infringed, a free throw may be given. Opponents must provide enough clearance for a clean pass.
  • Dangerous Play:
    Violent striking with the paddle, attempting to dislodge the ball from the hands with the paddle or deliberate high speed ramming are all examples of play that could have nasty consequences and are consequently illegal.

We have found that a referee is useful but not essential.