Canoe Polo

About the Sport

Canoe Polo is one of the eight disciplines of canoeing pursued in the UK, known simply as “polo” by its aficionados. 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.

Kayaks are specifically designed for Polo; they are shorter 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.

There are internationally agreed rules for the game, World and European Championships are held every two years. Great Britain is one of the world’s foremost nations and the Nomad Kayak Club develops players that have been selected for several GB squads.

If you would like to know more about the sport, Ian Beasley has written a brief history of Canoe Polo.


Canoe Polo at Nomads

The Club has a number of squads, both Adult and Youth, who compete both nationally and internationally, there is also a development squad for beginners. Members have in the past represented Great Britain at both Senior and U21 levels.

We are lucky enough to have our own training facilities and have hosted both local and national ranking tournaments on behalf of the BC Canoe Polo Committee.

The Club invests in polo specific equipment that allows complete beginners to experience the game; we also have a large number of experienced players on hand to coach.

Training sessions:
  • Sunday @ 10:30 (all year)
  • Wednesday @ 18:00 (all year)

Opportunities to Compete

If you join the Nomad Kayak Club you are then eligible to train with our squads and, if selected, represent the club across the UK and Europe.

Want to have a go?

If after reading this you are keen to get involved, please make contact with our Committee’s Canoe Polo Officer by emailing