Kayak polo is a dynamic, full-contact sport that combines elements of water polo, basketball and kayaking. There are 5 players on each side, each in their own 10-foot long kayak. The object of the game is to pass the ball hand to hand and score in the opponent's goal. Kayak polo has specialized protective gear, including helmets with facemasks and boats equipped with bumpers, to make it an extremely safe sport.
The Bay Area Kayak Polo Club (also know as the Golden Gate Breakers) was founded in the 90's by Tim Johnson, who brought the sport over from the UK. For information on the club, visit our yahoo page:
The Rhinos were founded in 2013 by coaches Peter Hargreaves and Alexander Izmailov. Comprised primarily of middle school students from REALM Charter School in Berkeley, the Rhinos participated in the 2013 US Nationals in Mountain View, CA, the 2014 Canadian Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta and the 2016 US Nationals in Los Angeles.
Former national team members, Peter Hargreaves and Alexander Izmailov foster teamwork, discipline and paddling skills in each participant. Outside of polo, Peter teaches music in the San Leandro school district and Alexander works in financial management.
From the International Canoe Federation's website:
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.