Polo Paddles

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Kokk
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Polo Paddles

Post by Kokk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:15 am

In my club we are just starting up with polo training and currently investing in new gear.

When it comes to paddles, more and more of the seakayakers in the club are using 0 degrees feather, and some of those are those who gonna be leading the trainings.
So my question: Is it normal for polopadlers to use 0 feather paddles?
If not, what argument is there for the featherd paddles? is it vital for good polo technique?

What we have discussed so far is to buy: 5 paddles with 45degrees feather and 5 in 0 feather. Is that a good or bad idea?

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biketastik
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by biketastik » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:07 pm

Weve just replaced the paddles in my home club, the old ones were 90 degrees and the new ones are 45 degrees.

michielv
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by michielv » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:26 pm

I guess it all comes down to personal taste but to me the best angle for goal keeping is about the classic 80 - 85 degrees. Although my wing paddle is set to about 70 degrees but I don't have to stop any balls during a marathon ;)

Most top players I know have feathers between 70 and 80 degrees.

chrism
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by chrism » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:10 pm

I'd suggest that 0 degree feather certainly isn't ideal for the goalie!

Given you have to do more with your paddle in polo than just propel the boat - and frequently take your hands off - 0 degree actually seems non-ideal for any player for a variety of reasons.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by Kokk » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:28 am

Can you please elaborate on those reasons?

I paddle with 45 - 60 degrees myself, but some of those 0 feather paddlers is very keen on using 0 in polo also, so i need some good argument to get them to use other than neutral paddles.

It would be bad to buy paddles with a feather that we later finds out that is not any good for polo use.

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biketastik
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by biketastik » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:49 pm

when your in goal the strongest position for the paddle to be in when vertical is flat against your forearm, if there is zero degree feather that would mean that the defending blade up in the air would be presenting its edge to the on coming ball as aposed to the flat of the blade, it would also make the blade slower to move through the air whening swinging it into position allthough only very slightly, for the other players zero feather is probably fine but deffinately not for the goalie

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:36 pm

biketastik wrote:when your in goal the strongest position for the paddle to be in when vertical is flat against your forearm,
I agree. Standard practice is (to the best of my knowledge - certainly my practice) to have the bottom blade held with its edge pointing into the pitch - lower hand on the bottom-furthest-from-me corner of the blade. This means that the top blade is sitting with its face to the pitch (and incoming ball).

With this position a pushing of the top hand and pulling/resisting of the bottom hand moves the top blade towards the pitch/ball.

Not sure how easy this would be with a 0 degree feather. That's not to say it's impossible - just not standard practice (again - to the best of my knowledge as a relative beginner).

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biketastik
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by biketastik » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:16 pm

WaterStillScaresMe wrote:
biketastik wrote:when your in goal the strongest position for the paddle to be in when vertical is flat against your forearm,
I agree. Standard practice is (to the best of my knowledge - certainly my practice) to have the bottom blade held with its edge pointing into the pitch - lower hand on the bottom-furthest-from-me corner of the blade. This means that the top blade is sitting with its face to the pitch (and incoming ball).

With this position a pushing of the top hand and pulling/resisting of the bottom hand moves the top blade towards the pitch/ball.

Not sure how easy this would be with a 0 degree feather. That's not to say it's impossible - just not standard practice (again - to the best of my knowledge as a relative beginner).
Precisely

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by chrism » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:27 am

The issue then for other players is that they also have to block shots/passes, in which case the same issues can apply as with the goalie (personally having played as a specialist goalie for a while, when I was playing mainly as an outfield player I still expected to need to jump into goal when circumstances required if we were playing 5 men out).

Of course the other point is that when playing polo you'd expect to be using a more dynamic paddling style than that which is suited to 0 feather - you don't see too many slalom paddlers using 0 feather.

Given all considerations, if I was to take up polo again I'd be back to 85 degree feather, despite using ~70 degrees with wings (I'd probably also choose ~70 for slalom if I did that again - would be optimum for the paddling required for polo were it not for the other issues).

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:24 am

chrism wrote:The issue then for other players ....
In our team everyone is expected to be able to take 'goalkeeper' as and when required (although some people specialise in this). Again, I'd regard this as reasonably standard practice - certainly with better teams.

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biketastik
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by biketastik » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:14 am

WaterStillScaresMe wrote:
chrism wrote:The issue then for other players ....
In our team everyone is expected to be able to take 'goalkeeper' as and when required (although some people specialise in this). Again, I'd regard this as reasonably standard practice - certainly with better teams.
We did the same.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:58 am

Anyone find a good source of polo paddles (cheap/durable/polo-legal for a club rather than top quality for an enthusiast)? My club is currently making do - and we need at least a couple of new or second hand ones.

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morsey
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by morsey » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:09 am

I've played goal for a couple of seasons with 60degrees. I find it the best compromise for goal keeping, ball control and paddling. I use 30 degrees for river paddling. Zero degrees would put your lower hand at an odd angle for goal keeping, out field ball blocking tends to be done with hands on the shaft rather than with the lower one on the blade so it matters less about the feather.

As said above whoever gets back first is goalie, and you only rotate to your dedicated goalie if there is a break in the attack, normally that can be several phases of play or until you regain possession.

All the club polo paddles we have are 60degrees. The only difference is the length ranging from 198cm to 204cm, the longer ones being chosen by the dedicated goal keepers.

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biketastik
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by biketastik » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:53 pm

My club recently replaced their polo paddles with ainsworth ones that looked good, I didn't get a chance to use them before heading off for uni but they did look like nice polo blades.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by chrism » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:22 am

WaterStillScaresMe wrote:
chrism wrote:The issue then for other players ....
In our team everyone is expected to be able to take 'goalkeeper' as and when required (although some people specialise in this). Again, I'd regard this as reasonably standard practice - certainly with better teams.
It's a long time since I've played polo at a high level (though it was then at a very high level) - back then, whilst anybody would pop into goal if necessary, there were normally only 2 or 3 on the team who'd happily go in unless they were the only option. Then again, the way the game panned out those people tended to play further back anyway - was only towards the end of my polo career that we moved on from a more static formation with a goalie who if they came out still stayed the furthest back behind half-way to the more fluid 5 man out system I presume is mainly used today (we did play in some little pools back then - I remember once scoring from well inside my own half when the opposing team's goalie had strayed!)

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:20 am

chrism wrote:the more fluid 5 man out system I presume is mainly used today (we did play in some little pools back then - I remember once scoring from well inside my own half when the opposing team's goalie had strayed!)
Can you say more about this? I'd be really interested in any views on the advantages of different 'systems'. My team is currently still learning (in a big way). We were caught out the other day by a goal thrown from a very long way back - which made me think again about having all 5 out. Although I should say that the player doing this seemed unusually skilled - and we then put enough pressure on him to make this harder.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by chrism » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:57 am

As I say, it's a long time ago now. Certainly at the highest levels I played at just before I stopped (national div 1 and 2), 5 man out had become the norm, but then we were playing in decent sized pools - all div 1 was in a 50m pool the one season I played in that! One of these things where it's easy to see the top guys playing like that and think that's how you should play, but you have to appreciate it takes a lot of all-round skill in the team and an awareness of what everybody else is doing. That and you still have the issue of long range shots in small pools - even top teams would keep a goalie back given a small enough pool (and opponents who can score from 20m). As beginners you may be better off playing a more fixed formation - though you're better off getting advice from somebody who's played seriously in the last 15 years, as whilst I can probably still manage the technical stuff given a little practice (I'd love to have another go if there was a convenient team) I'd be well out of touch with current tactics.

The one I remember scoring was my last year as a junior when I was probably the best player on the team, but playing goal on that occasion - in a 25m pool and I must have been nearer my end than the middle! Then again I always was a better long range shot than close-in scrapper - sometimes ended up playing as a forward if I was playing on a team with another dedicated goalie, but it didn't really suit me.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:14 pm

Hmmm... yes we, no doubt like many others, suffer from cramped practice conditions. Always a bit of a surprise when we have access to a full sized pitch - we don't know what to do with all the space.
Bet there is a team somewhere near you if you ask around...

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by Myles » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:56 pm

I prefer 80 degree paddles for polo but then I tend to end up in goal a fair bit. I use 30 degree cranks for WW and I dont find it too much of an issue to switch. I would suggest a selection between 60-80 for club polo.

Tactics wise from a defence point of view you'll probably want to look at '2 and 2' or '3 and 1' depending on what teams you are playing against. From my experience 5 out is only used if one team is a lot stronger than the other or if you're chasing the game and need the ball to score.

My old Uni website has some advice about tactics and training drills which might be useful.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:51 pm

Hey there Myles:
I'd thought something similar, but particularly remember noticing the team which won the Scottish Championships having everyone out - at least at the point I was watching them - when they were in the finals.

If you are still in contact with anyone at Warwick please pass on my thanks for the content of their website. I didn't get to look at the tactical stuff (but may do now) - but the abridged rules were really helpful when trying to get to grips with the rules.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by morsey » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:37 am

3 and 1 against strong teams, 2 and 2 if you get caught on the attack. 5 out that is the norm for defensive play not to be confused with bringing all your team, including the goalie, up the field to attack. You never just throw the whole team down the pitch you always leave one person goal side of the opposition. As you attack you try and force the defence back by sending two attackers, if they go to 3 and 1 you then move your whole back three up, if they go to 2 and 2 you move your back three up using a triangular system of passing always to a paddler in the clear. One player camps up inside the oppositions half as the prime defence, the moment you lose possession that person hauls back to goal to cut off all long shots. Whilst in attack that person can always offer a safe pass back and they track the ball from one side of the pitch to the other always giving the back pass. By back passing to them they can watch the flow of the four attackers and gauge when and where to send the ball. They can also swap with the recycling attackers going into the goal zone as the others come out, at this point they are no longer the prime goal keeper! And this is where you need all players to be able to defend goal, because if you lose possession in this instance you furthest back player has to go back and defend. Or, you go five out. Five out is where you mark one player with one player and you have to do this fast to stop them being able to give passes. Each player gets right next to there opposite player and follows them everywhere and tries to get between them and any passes. If a team does this to you try and get close to your player with the ball, and at this point you cannot do passes to hand as you will be pushed in the moment you catch the ball. Pass into the water right next to your player on the side away from the attacker so they can guard the ball and keep balance from the push. Several options here try and pass, or dribble and try and beat your opposite, get close enough to the goal that you can score 80% and shoot.

Lots of tactical info available from Australia canoe polo.

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:30 am

morsey wrote:3 and 1 against strong teams..... (etc).....
*££$!@! :-)

So the real question is going to be how do we get our team to a position where we can even begin to think like this??
You've emphasised for me quite how much we're beginners.
Lots of thinking to do I think.

Thanks....

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by TomWardill » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:40 am

Track down a copy of this:

http://www.kayaksplus.com.au/CanoePolo- ... actics.htm

It's Australian, so copies in the UK are fairly rare. I imported one once, but I've since lost it.
It has drills, training, tactics and a very good explanation of the basics of the sport.

The slight downside is that it is now slightly old, and has the Australian rules, which had a couple of local differences to ours. Always compare any rule/law it states with a recent copy of the BCU rules.
The tactical explanations and other features are well worth a read.
Tom Wardill

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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by WaterStillScaresMe » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:55 am

Might do that. Thanks for the suggestion.
Anyone else know of other good resources on tactics?

michielv
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Re: Polo Paddles

Post by michielv » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:04 pm

WaterStillScaresMe wrote:
morsey wrote:3 and 1 against strong teams..... (etc).....
*££$!@! :-)

So the real question is going to be how do we get our team to a position where we can even begin to think like this??
You've emphasised for me quite how much we're beginners.
Lots of thinking to do I think.

Thanks....
Also, start reading http://canoepolo.com/forum

Loads of information, tutorials, drills etc.

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