What is Canoe Polo?

Canoe polo is played by two teams of five players on a rectangular playing pitch that can be in open water or in a swimming pool. Matches are played over two halves of 10 minutes with the aim to score into a goal which is suspended above the water at each end of the pitch. The ball in canoe polo is the same that is used in water polo, and can be controlled by hand or by paddle. If a match ends in a tie then golden goal overtime takes place, where the next team to score is the winner.

Canoe ball games have been played in Great Britain since the late 19th century and early forms of canoe polo were played in United States of America and parts of Europe into the first half of the 20th century. A national championships in canoe polo was first held in England in 1971, but it was not until 1986 that the International Canoe Federation (ICF) published its first set of universal playing rules for the discipline. The following year canoe polo was demonstrated at the canoe sprint world championships in Duisburg, Germany, and in 1990 the ICF finalised their international rules for canoe polo.

The first world championships in canoe polo took place in Sheffield, England, in 1994, and consisted of 18 men’s teams and six women’s teams. Australia beat Germany in the final of both genders. The event is held every two years and has grown so that the 2016 edition in Syracuse, Italy, will feature 24 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams, as well as U21 events for both genders.

Since Australia won the first three men’s world titles and two of the first three women’s events, the world championships has been dominated by Europe. The last six men’s world titles have been won by Netherlands or France, with those countries alternating victory at each edition since the Dutch were triumphant in Miyoshi, Japan, in 2004. Germany were runners up in four of those six finals, and still awaits its first men’s world title. In contrast, the Germans have won five of the last eight women’s world championships, losing the other three in that run to United Kingdom/Great Britain. At least one of Germany or United Kingdom/Great Britain has featured in the top two of every women’s world championships.

Canoe polo made its debut at the World Games at the 2005 edition in Duisburg, Germany, 18 years after the modern version of the discipline had been demonstrated at the canoe sprint world championships in the very same city. Germany and United Kingdom have contested all three women’s finals at the World Games, while in the men’s competition Germany achieved in 2013 what they have failed to do at the world championships, win the gold medal.

Information

World Championship Results

Results summary - all world championships

World Games Results

Refereeing

  1. ICF Referee Accreditation and Positioning
  2. Field Setup and Goals
  3. Game Regulations
  4. Shot Clock
  5. Team Identification and Equipment
  6. Game Start, Finish and Tie Breaking
  7. Illegal Possession
  8. Sanctions and Taking Throws
  9. Substitution and Illegal Substitution
  10. Illegal Hand-Tackles and Holding
  11. Illegal Use of Paddle
  12. Illegal Obstruction
  13. Illegal Kayak Tackles
  14. Equipment and Scrutineering
  15. Rule Focus for 2016
  16. Canoe Polo Rules Summary

Administration

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

10 - 11 August 2019
BEBelgium
DIKKEBUS LAKE Details
2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships Welland Canada Day 5
12 - 15 August 2019
IRIran, Islamic Republic of
TEHRAN Details
17 - 18 August 2019
BEBelgium
GHENT Details
ECA European Canoe Polo Championships
28 August - 1 September 2019
PTPortugal
COIMBRA Details
14 - 15 September 2019
ITItaly
TRIESTE - CANALE PONTEROSSO Details
21 - 23 September 2019
KNYSNA Details
12 - 13 October 2019
PTPortugal
SETUBAL Details
26 October 2019
ESSpain
MADRID Details
2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships Welland Canada Day 6
8 - 13 September 2020
ITItaly
ROME Details
14 - 30 May 2021
JPJapan
KANSAI Details
france men on upside down boat icf canoe polo world games 2017
22 - 25 July 2021
USUnited States
BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA Details
2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships Welland Canada Day 3
1 January - 31 December 2022
FRFrance
SAINT OMER Details