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Canoe Polo is one of the eight disciplines of canoeing persued in the UK, known simply as "polo" by its officionados. Polo combines paddling and ball handling skills with an exciting contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes.
The game requires excellent teamwork and promotes both general canoeing skills as well as a range of other techniques unique to the sport. Two teams each with five players on the pitch at any one time (and up to three substitutes) compete to score goals in their opponent's net which is suspended 2 metres above the water. The ball can be thrown by hand, or flicked with the paddle. Pitches can be set up in swimming pools or any stretch of flat water.
Boats are specifically designed for Polo and are shorter (3m) than typical kayaks which gives them fantastic manoeuvrability. Paddles are very light weight and designed with both pulling power and ball control in mind. Body protection, helmets and faceguards are all compulsory.
Kirkwall Kayak Club competes in the Scottish Canoe Polo Leagues.
Canoe polo training will restart in the new swimming pool at Picky in November 2013 when paddlers of all abilities will be invited to come along and try this exciting sport.
Click HERE for a video introduction to Canoe Polo
Click HERE to download the Canoe Polo Yearbook
Click HERE to download the Canoe Polo Rules
Click HERE for a YouTube video of Orkney playing in Division 2 in 2011/12