• Calpaddle A paddling forum for the Calgary and surrounding areas. Plan, discuss, share information about our rivers.
  • Polo Fun, friendly, exciting winter pool fun. A way to keep in shape and continue to develop boating skills during the winter.
  • Kanfest The Kananaskis Whitewater Festival is a weekend of fun events and competition August 8 - 10, 2014.

The Calgary Kayak Club organizes Kayak Polo throughout the Fall and Winter as a way to keep in shape, enjoy some friendly competition and improve upon our paddling skills.  It gives us an opportunity to paddle during when there is not enough daylight or water flowing in the rivers.

We have several different polo opportunities available, including weekly evening sessions, Sunday night Polo development, and our yearly Red Beard Tournaments.

Polo Rules



We like to keep our rules nice and simple. Our version of ‘Yukon’ polo is based on the ICF game but dumbed down to encourage less stops and more play. Remember the rules are also there to keep players safe and not break the equipment.


To keep things simple, any foul or rule infraction will result in the game stopping and possession being handed over to the other team.

In this case all defending team players must be at least 1 metre away from the player taking possession. The player with the ball must briefly hold the ball in the air to indicate they are about to start.


General rules


Don’t be a jerk. There are no stats being kept, there is no MVP – we’re all here to have fun.


Retaliation solves nothing. If somebody makes a rule infraction on you, it is not a license to do it back or infract on somebody else.


Come on time. Arrive and change before your designated start time, so there is time to change and set the pool area up. The faster this happens, the sooner we can start playing.


Leave on time. The lifeguard has stuff to do outside of our pool time. Please respect that and hustle when the time is up so that we can vacate the building on time. Take your stuff and exit through the change rooms when possible, this allows us to ensure we are out of the lifeguard’s hair on time.


Team picking. 5-a-side. 1 or 2 subs. Random teams or ‘Captains’ pick in order. It doesn’t matter, just try to keep it even, pay attention and make it quick. 


Subs. Once team is picked, players are to agree subbing-off order. Remember who’s in front and after you and make sure you all rotate fairly. 


The game is self-refereed. If somebody commits an infraction, CALL IT by yelling ‘STOP’ (even if it’s yourself). Anybody can make a call. If you are called on an infraction, ACCEPT IT. Disagreements can be handled after the game.



Safety Rules


Use the proper kit. Wear PFD and helmet with face cage at all times when on water. Paddles with smooth rounded edges. Use tape, electrical or duct or car door bumpers on edges if not using polo paddles.


Keep your blades off other players’ hands. If someone’s hand is near or on the ball, keep your paddles away from them. 


No T-boning. Ramming other boats at a 90º angle is not cool. It hurts and damages equipment. 


Rescue. If somebody needs a T‑rescue, help them out. It’s the right thing to do. If you push somebody over and make them swim, be nice and help them sort their stuff out. Keep the teams even strength as play continues.


No tackling near the pool edge or onto another boat. If you are going to tackle/push someone and it’ll make them land on/hit another player or the pool edge, please don’t.


1 metre space When blocking a player from passing the ball, a 1 metre distance should be kept between your paddle and the ball.



Game Rules


Game start. The game starts with all players lined up on their goal line . When the ball is thrown into the centre of the pool players may sprint for it.


Out of bounds. The edge of the pool is considered the boundary of play. If the ball bounces back into play from the pool edges, it is deemed still in play. If it bounces back in off the ropes or anything on the pool deck, it is out of play. The team that touched the ball last before it went out of play loses possession. Side of pool: throw in. End of pool: goalkeeper ball or corner throw.


After a goal. Play starts with the team just scored on, having possession from centre of the pool. Play starts when 3 or more of the defending team are back in their own half. No attacking team in opposing half. Ball is held briefly in the air before start.


Don’t hang onto the ball for more than 5 seconds without either passing it to another player or throwing it at least 1 metre from you. 


Do not carry the ball. The ball cannot be carried on your sprayskirt or under your arm while you are paddling.


Reaching across another player’s boat to get the ball is permitted as long as there is no contact with the player or boat. No reaching across the cockpit area though.



Tackling Rules


Hand tackles may be made with one OPEN hand push to the shoulder or [armpit if arm is raised]. Note: No grabbing, pulling hitting is allowed. No contact with the head.


Hand tackles are allowed if the tackled player is holding the ball or is within 1 metre of the ball or is playing the ball with their paddle.


No tackling near the pool edge or onto another boat. Tackling is only permitted if there is room for them not to hit another player or the pool edge.


Jump ball. If two players have their hands on the ball for some time, without either gaining possession, a jump ball is called. 

The two players line up with the noses of their boats at the side of the pool and one boat width distance between them. The referee (or another player) throws the ball between them and they compete for the ball.  A jump ball can be taken by anyone on the team, it doesn’t need to be the ones involved in the initial scrum.




Boat contact

There are different rules for different areas of the ‘pitch’. Think of the pitch as divided into 4 sections. The end two sections by each goal are the ‘end zones’. The central two are the ‘neutral zone’.


In the Neutral Zone

Players cannot block or impede the progress of a player without the ball. This is ‘obstruction’.

Players that are going for the same ball may use their boat to shield the ball when within 1 metre of it.


In the End Zone

Players may jostle for position. There is no ‘obstruction’ in the end zone. 


Goalkeeper foul [Goalkeeper has to be under the net and not paddling. If more than one defending player is under the net, the one most directly under is considered the Goalkeeper].

Attacking players may not make boat contact with the goalie while they are under the goal. Note: As soon as the goalie has possession of the ball they are deemed to no longer be ‘goalie’ and may be tackled as a normal player.


It is still deemed to be a goalkeeper foul if an attacking player pushes a defending player’s boat into the goalie.























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