Kayak-polo – learn about the rules of the game and interesting facts related to non-Olympic sport

Low-key sports
Chandler Lee
Kayak-polo – learn about the rules of the game and interesting facts related to non-Olympic sport
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Kayak-polo is a relatively young and rapidly growing sport. With this article you will learn what it is and what are the rules of this interesting game.

What is the game about?

This game is similar to handball, but on kayaks and with paddles, although not necessarily. There are two methods: throwing by hand or bouncing with special paddles. The canoes are small and maneuverable. There is no goalkeeper in the game – his role is taken over by the player closest to the endangered goal.

Are there any fouls in the game?

The question is even more interesting when it is noted that the rules allow collision kayaks, pushing hands opponents. Even tipping the opponent is allowed (unless it is not the goalkeeper). Overturned player must perform the so-called “Eskimos”, which simply means that it must independently return to its former position. Surprisingly, however, infractions do occur, and they are:

  • pushing the opponent away with an oar,
  • paddling against the kayak,
  • pushing into the water a player who is not close to the ball (at least three meters),
  • touching a player, who is currently acting as a goalkeeper, kayak.

In kayak-polo can be punished as on a normal football field, although with slightly different rules: green (warning), yellow (two-minute suspension) and red card (leaving the field); the ball gets the opposing team (in football analogous situation is called “free”).

Length of the match

A match is divided into two halves, each lasting ten minutes. Between them there is a short break of only three minutes. The total duration of a match is twenty minutes. The entire match is supervised by 8 referees, the most important being the referee controlling the game and the referee controlling the score. The match starts with a whistle and throwing the ball in the middle of the field.


In terms of scoring, the game does not particularly differ from other games. The rule is simple – the ball must fully cross the line. The size of the gap is 1 × 1.5 meters. When a goal is scored, everything starts as in other games – from the middle.

History of the discipline

If you dig into history, it would turn out that the origins of this sport go all the way back to the 19th century. The sport was born, indeed (taking into account the obvious similarity to soccer and handball) in England. However, it took some time for this discipline to cross the Odra River and settle in Poland, because the beginnings of this sport in Poland date back to 1996. And this is not a date without history. In this very year, a group of our kayakers went to Portugal, which was just to get acquainted with this interesting game. When they returned kayak-polo immediately found a wide circle of supporters, especially among kayakers.

Where can you play in Poland in kayak-polo?

In the country on the Vistula River is as many as ten places that concentrate adepts and amateurs of the sport. These centers include: Kaniów, Choszczno, Kalisz, Leśna, Księżpol, Rzeszów, Skierniewice, Małomice, Katowice and Chelmża.

Where did the name come from?

Few realize that the word “kayak” etymologically derives from the name of an Inuit dugout boat, formed from only one trunk.

Main photo: Paul_Henri/pixabay.com

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