Polo is a fast, exciting ball sport played on a 30m pitch by two teams of 5 players. It’s a sort of cross between football, basketball, netball and Olympic handball, with the obvious difference that everyone is in kayaks. Players throw the ball between them, aiming to score goals by throwing the ball into a 2m x 1m rectangular goal suspended 2m above water level. While in possession teams will pass the ball around and try to create enough space near the opposition goal to take a shot. The defending team will set up a ‘zone’ around their own goal which they will try to keep all of the attackers out of. All of this involves a lot of crashing into each other, pushing boats around and you are allowed to capsize people by pushing them on the shoulder when they have the ball!
If all this sounds a bit intimidating don’t worry! We start every year with beginners polo sessions on Thursday evenings, where we’ll work on the skills and tactics with less crashing and pushing. It’s great craic and we’ll slowly build up the intensity until we’re playing the best we possibly can for intervarsities in February/March.