Two players jostle for control of the ball
The paddle can be a useful way to extend your reach in order to block an opponent’s shot or pass.
I had my first opportunity to shoot Kayak Polo for the first time this past Sunday.
Gavin Brockway, Hay River’s only participant, races for a loose ball.
The sport is played largely the same as water polo, except the players are all sitting in small specialized kayaks. The ball is played with a combination of hand, paddle and vessel. The object as always, is to score by tossing the ball past a goaltender and into the net, in this case suspended about two meters above the surface of the water.
Fort Smith’s Don Jaque gets rammed.
Much like water polo, the sport is deceptively rough-and-tumble. Hand tackles are allowed – wherein you shove your opponent, often times causing them to capsize. Then there is also the boat tackle, where you ram your kayak into your opponent’s. This can be rib-crackingly painful for the recipient if mistimed.
A Yellowknife player capsized after being tackled by an opposing player.
The sport did seem to be a lot of fun, though, and I’m thinking next time this event comes to town I should strap a GoPro to my chest and join in.
Though a bit unnerving to the casual spectator, a capsized competitor will often wait patiently for another player to help them right their kayak again.
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