For the sake of safety structure and fun we play kayak polo according to the following rules.

Rules of Play

  1. Play with respect & have fun! (Good Sportsmanship is Mandatory.)
  2. The object of the game is to score goals by getting the ball into an opposing teams goal.
  3. Paddle to ball contact is allowed to assist in scoring, shooting, passing or blocking passes and shots.
  4. Contact with the ball is only allowed while you are in control of and on top of or in your kayak!
  5. Players in decked kayaks may keep ball possession while upside down, assuming they are able to come back up in control of the ball and have not exited their kayak.
  6. Ball possession is governed by the 5-second rule. You have 5 seconds to shoot, pass or dribble the ball.
  7. Paddling with the ball is not allowed.
  8. Dribbling the ball consists of throwing the ball into the water away from yourself and then paddling to it. Putting the ball back in the water with your hands off of the ball for at least two seconds is a way to reset the 5-second rule.
  9. Players in possession of the ball can be tackled. A ‘tackle’ is when a player uses an open hand to push on a shoulder of a player in possession of the ball. A player with the ball can push back in the same way, with an open hand to the shoulder. This is the only hand to player contact allowed. Grabbing jackets, kayaks or paddles is NOT ALLOWED!
  10. The ball can be stolen from a player by knocking the ball loose with the hands, but in this case – hand to ball is the only contact allowed. Hand to hand contact is not allowed.
  11. Wrestling for the ball is not allowed.
  12. Pulling on any part of a kayak or player or equipment (helmet, life vest or paddle) is not allowed.
  13. Bumping and pushing a kayak with another kayak is allowed.
  14. Games commence by teams lining up on opposite ends of the court. The ball is thrown into the middle of the court and both teams then rush to obtain possession of the ball.
  15. When a goal is scored, that team must clear to at least the half court line, the same as in basketball.
  16. When the ball goes out of bounds on a sideline, the other team takes possession at that spot.
  17. When the ball goes out of bounds on a goal line, the other team takes possession at the closest corner of that goal line.
  18. Sitting under and blocking the goal for an extended time is discouraged. Follow the flow of the game and the ball.

Note: Rules are subject to change at Lincoln Kayak Polo’s discretion. Lincoln Kayak Polo staff acts as referee during games and reserves the right to penalize, take disciplinary action and/or eject players who do not adhere to these rules.


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