Canoe Polo is one of the eight disciplines of canoeing pursued in the UK, known simply as "polo" by those who play. 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 with rounded and padded ends. 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 and World and European Championships are held every two years. Great Britain is one of the world's foremost nations. British Men have held the top spot twice since the year 2000 and our Under 21's women have finished within the top three and the men's under 21 are the current World Champions. The next World Championships are in 2018.
Baldock & District Canoe Club has an active polo squad,competing in both National League Division 4 and Local League Division 2.
Most of the team also follow other disciplines of paddling, whitewater, playboating, and a strong following of slalom and they play polo as something to do out of season to keep their skills up and to work on their fitness levels.
We are always keen to have new people come along and try and we usually play polo on the last Sunday of the month on our usual club night. We also have a number of people train weekly for those that are really keen.