NYKP New Player Rules & Tactics

Very Basic and Amended Kayak Polo Rules For Newer Saturday Night Players at NY Kayak Polo

  • Kayak polo is played 5-on-5 (each team can have subs)
  • The aim is to get the ball in the net – the team with the most goals wins (but who counts on Saturdays?)
  • To start – teams line up with the stern (rear) of their boats on their goal line
  • The ball is thrown onto the mid-line
  • One player from each team sprints to gain possession of the ball
  • Whoever gains possession of the ball is in attack
  • Whoever does not have possession of the ball is in defence
  • After a goal is scored, the game restarts at the mid-line with each team’s players on their own side; the attacking team holds the ball in the air and play begins
  • When the ball goes out of bounds (side lines or goal lines), play resumes at that point with the team that last touched the ball in defence; the attacking team holds the ball in the air and play begins
  • Breaking the game rules (see below) leads to fouls – this means a stop in play and change of possession

Simple Defence

  • One player under the goal with their paddle up – this is the goalie
  • Anyone can be the goalie and the goalie can change throughout the game
  • Three defenders sit in front of the goalie – the 2 wings (right and left) and the center
  • Their job is to maintain a zone and not let attackers get through the zone
  • Defenders need to talk to each other – call positions, call when they need help, call when it makes sense to switch positions, etc – it helps if the goalie calls some instructions too
  • One defender sits in front of the zone – the chase
  • Their job is to plug holes that form in the defence and stop drives on goal from attackers
  • All 4 defenders jostle attackers with their boats to keep them out and can put paddles up to block shots

Simple Attack

  • Can’t hit people with your paddle blade – absolutely no hand chopping – paddle blades have to be out of arms reach (very important when players are reaching for the ball on the water)
  • No pushing people over on Saturday nights – so that means no hand tackling the opposition players
  • No driving your boat into another player’s cockpit area, riding up on their sprayskirt or hitting their body with your boat
  • No T-boning – driving a boat hard at 90 degrees into another boat

Other Important Game Rules

  • No attacking player can touch the goalie’s boat with their boat or push a defender into the goalie
  • No attacking player can prevent someone who is trying to be goalie from getting to goal
  • Have to get rid of the ball within 5 seconds – pass to another player or dribble to yourself (has to
  • move 1m horizontally if dribbling)
  • Can’t touch or lean on the other team’s boats – you can reach across the bow or the stern to get the
  • ball, so long as you don’t touch the boat
  • Can’t block the opposition getting to the ball so that one of your team can gain possession
  • No paddling with a ball on your sprayskirt or under your arm