Canoe Polo is basically water polo, in canoes! Teams of five players pass the ball in order to move closer to the opponent’s goal, ultimately to achieve good shooting positions and score a goal! Participants speed the length of the pool, weaving through their opponent’s lines of defence and spinning in their craft to receive passes. It makes for a fast and thrilling event. Canoe Polo can be played indoors or outdoors and is a great spectator sport because all the action takes place in a confined area.


Many canoe clubs play canoe polo for fun in a variety of craft. Some clubs have specialized boats and equipment and take part in organized leagues.

There are three polo leagues in operation in Ireland, in Limerick, Belfast and Dublin. The Irish Open Canoe Polo Championships is held in Kilcock each year and utilises the Royal Canal as a superb outdoor venue. In addition, Ireland sends teams to European and World Championship events.

Type of Boat

For official competitions, all competitors use an internationally regulated type of kayak. The design combines sprinting speed with aggressive manoeuvrability and is usually padded at each end to prevent injury. Other injury prevention measures include thicker paddle blades and face guards.