Canoe Polo is a paddle sport played by two teams of five players in open water or a pool within a rectangular enclosure (marked by buoys). The games are split into two halves of 10 minutes. The objective is to score in the opponent’s goal, which is suspended above the water at each end of the pitch. The ball used in canoe polo is the same as in water polo but can be controlled by hand or by paddle. If the match ends in a tie, the teams play sudden-death overtime, meaning the first team to score after regulation time wins.
The kayaks used in canoe polo are lighter than typical kayaks to help with quick movement and maneuverability, and paddles have a thicker rounded edge to prevent injury.
Canoe polo games have been played in Great Britain since the late 19th century and in the U.S. since the first half of the 20th century, although it was likely different stylistically from the modern game.
The world championships for canoe polo have taken place every two years since 1994. As of May 2021, Germany is the reigning champion on the men’s and women’s side and has the most overall medals: nine for men and twelve for women.
The World Games for canoe polo occur every four years and the United States is set to host the event in 2022.