If you’ve never played polo before, don’t worry! It has a lot in common with many other team sports, like soccer and ultimate frisbee, and we’re happy to teach new players the ropes. We’re an all-ages club, and have had players between 10 and 70 years old. You can get started learning more about polo here:
Here’s some other helpful general info on playing polo with MKP:
Experience: While previous kayaking experience is helpful, we welcome new players and new boaters and are happy to teach you to paddle, roll, and play polo. Kayak polo is a great way get or stay fit for paddling, and a excellent way to learn to kayak in a relatively safe, controlled environment…at least compared to the river. 🙂
Gear: Kayak polo is a contact sport, and MKP enforces a polo-gear-only rule to ensure fun and safe games. The club provides all gear, including helmets with facemasks, polo paddles, polo boats, and polo PFDs. We recommend that you bring your own sprayskirt, but the club does have some (relatively awful) skirts if you don’t have one. Other than sprayskirts, polo gear is different than whitewater gear for safety reasons, so don’t plan to use your whitewater gear unless you’re sure that it’s suitable for polo. You can learn more about required polo gear here.
Orientation/Skills Clinics: On the first night of each season of polo, we’ll have a rules/reffing/orientation clinic starting at 7:30 pm in the upstairs area at EPIC. This is mandatory for all new players, and highly recommended for everyone else. If there’s sufficient interest, we may also start doing a 15 minute skills clinic at the beginning of each polo night. If you can’t make it, familiarize yourself with the rules, reffing, and strategy pages under How to Play Polo on the website.
Team/Game Structure: Everyone plays together in teams that are randomly assigned each night to create teams of roughly-even skill level. This allows more experienced players to help newer players come up to speed quickly, lets everyone have a chance to play with different people, and ensures that teams are full and everyone gets the same amount of play each night. That said, if you have folks you want to play with and want to be assigned to the same team every night, we can work on making that happen.
After Polo: Since there’s not a lot of time for socialization after polo with the time constraints of pool cleanup, many of us like to meet at The Trailhead Tavern in Old Town FC for a beer (or your cocktail/wine/water of choice — we don’t judge 🙂 ) after polo. It’s fun. Join us!