Alberta Canoe Polo Association

Alberta Canoe Polo Association supports youth development within the Alberta club system as well as high performance training.

Canoe Polo is one of 11 paddling disciplines of the International Canoe Federation (ICF).

cp pool

What is Canoe Polo?   

Canoe polo, sometimes referred to as kayak polo, is a fast paced, dynamic game of 5 v 5 played on a rectangular pitch with nets suspended above the water at either end. The teams are made of 8 players (5 on the pitch - 3 substitutes) and a game is played over two 10 minute halves (3 min halftime). Players can use their paddle to control the ball but mostly move the ball around by passing hand to hand. The canoe polo ball is the same as the one used in water polo.

Canoe polo has been described as a mix of kayaking, basketball and rugby. Players develop great paddling skills as well as the ability to work within a team. Canoe polo players gain ball handling skills and the ability to pivot their boat quickly for changing directions. Teams have to speedily transition from offence to defence where a goalie positions below the net ready to block shots with their paddle. Teams typically set up a zone defence prepared to keep attacking paddlers out of the area directly in front of the net they're defending. New players soon become very comfortable paddling in close proximity to others and learn to stay upright despite being bumped and pushed around. Matches that end in a tie after 20 minutes of play go into overtime and then the "golden goal" wins. All of these things make canoe polo a very interesting and exciting sport to watch.  

In some countries, canoe polo is played as a high school sport and in universities and colleges, much like basketball or football here. Many tiered leagues exist in Europe and Asia. World Championships, World Cups and Pan American events are major international competitions. 

In Alberta, canoe polo is played in many clubs recreationally by both adult and youth alike. In the Alberta Youth Summer Games, canoe polo is one of 3 paddlesport disciplines represented, slalom and slalom cross being the other two. Young players between the ages of 11 and 17 compete to represent their zone at the ASG. The top 8 athletes from each of the 8 Alberta Zones convene for 3 days of competition in all disciplines. This makes for very well rounded paddlers with versatile paddling skillsets. Often, many of these canoe polo athletes continue on to compete internationally representing Canada on U21 National squads and then ultimately, on our mens or women's Canadian National teams. On route to competing internationally, players compete in various tournaments and events around North America. One of the largest events happens every February in Edmonton, Alberta. The Cup of the North attracts players from all over Canada, the US, the UK and Wales.

Great places to learn more about Canoe Polo are with the various clubs across the province who have either youth development programs, drop in fun focussed games and high performance training. 

Edmonton Whitewater Paddlers                                                                              Cottonwood Kayak Club in Innisfail

Wapiti Whitewater Kayakers in Grande Prairie                                                       Rocky Canoe Club in Rocky Mountain House

Pinch-O-Crow Creekers in Pincher Creek                                                                The Whitewater Paddling Club in Calgary

Stay up to date on events, programs, funding opportunities and exciting developments in the world of canoe polo by checking out the Alberta Canoe Polo Association's facebook page.

Facebook Page                                                                                                         (Older FB Page)


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