ACM – Annual Council Meeting

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This year’s ACM will be held on the 9th December at Warwick University, a short drive (or the 12X bus) from Coventry.

The ACM is our opportunity as a committee to review the last year and discuss plans for the future with players and supporters of all levels. Our sport is run by the work of a very small number of volunteers and needs greater involvement and support from the wider polo community.

There are volunteer positions up for election: the major roles this year are Chairperson and Treasurer. However, if you don’t have the time for a regular volunteering commitment, please attend this meeting to air grievances/praise so that constructive plans can be made moving forward.

We strongly encourage players and coaches of all levels to attend.

Room MS.04 in the Maths department, lunch will be provided.

The first division 1 tournament follows 3pm Coventry – giving the opportunity to watch the best teams in the country compete afterwards!

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Referee Theory Courses

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We encourage clubs or individuals looking to improve their refereeing standard or who are pushing for promotion this season to attend theory courses:

4th November grade 3/4 theory course at Cherwell: 9.30 till 4. £20 inc ref pack £12.50 without.

Contact to book on.

A practical assessment is also required, these must be actively set up by the individual by contacting a suitable assessor and matching to a suitable competition. In general practical assessments are performed over the summer, such as the availability advertised at the National Championships. Within the season assessment is possible at suitable standard (for example Div 2 practical assessment at a Div 3 competition).

The following are excerpts from the 2017/18 National League rules (currently being updated to remove playoff references and match the new formats):

Team Refereeing Commitment

Teams will be required to provide the following minimum grade of referee for all tournaments they are required to attend:

Failure to Provide a Referee

If a team is unable to provide a referee of the required grade for a given tournament, the Divisional Organiser must be notified as soon as possible.

Any team failing to provide a referee will be subject to the following sanctions:

If at least 14 days notice is given, a fine of £50;

If less than 14 days notice is given, a fine of £70;

If less than 24 hours notice, or no notice, is given, a fine of £100 – in addition the team will be reported to the Committee which may, depending on the circumstances, levy an additional fine and/or points deduction;

Where a team fails to provide a suitably qualified referee in more than one tournament they will incur a point penalty of one point for each game where they have failed to provide a qualified referee.

If a team makes no attempt to find or get one of their team qualified as a referee they will have all their points deducted for the season.

The above sanctions can be avoided by providing a suitably qualified replacement; this individual can be from another club.

Development Academy Introductory Weekend

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Dependant on the interest we shall hold an introductory weekend for those wishing to participate with the Great Britain Canoe Polo Academy on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October at the Collingwood Liverpool Canoe Polo facility. The weekend will consist of a number of assessments of the individual’s personal core skills, fitness and game play. The aim of the academy is to promote wider participation in Youth Polo at the same time providing a potential pathway to the Great Britain Squads.

Further information and entry forms via this link:

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Polo Coaching Award Provider Applications

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Anyone interested in becoming a provider of the new polo coaching award please apply by this Monday!!

British Canoeing launched the Coach Award on the 3rd July, which aims to create discipline specific pathways across all disciplines.…/british-canoeing-laun…/

The closing date for Provider applications is this Monday (21st August) at noon. If you know of anyone who hasn’t yet applied and should, please prompt them.

Full details of the Coach Award and application process can be found here:

National League Entry – Winter 2017

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The committee has been working hard to prepare the details for the updated 2017/18 season. The greatest challenge was to manipulate the advanced pool bookings to the new formats.

First and foremost we want to take this opportunity to thank Sally and Rob for their hard work across all their seasons and especially for taking on this year’s challenge (for the last time!). Sourcing and booking all the dates is a massive undertaking every year, the national leagues would not have functioned without them. We welcome Peter Webb on board as the new National Leagues Organiser.

Online entry form:
Alternative entry document to download:…/d/0B3HUJ8VLSJ4PUEU0ZjVIUmlPTkE/

Within the form, you will see further links to the provisional league rosters and calendars, the National League rules (16/17, update coming soon) and the original restructure proposal.

Important: as significant changes are being made this season we can only truly finalise the dates and rosters (across all divisions) once entries are received. We ask for your continued patience and understanding in this transition year.

Deadline for entry including payment (£120 deposit per entry): 31/08/17. This is also the entry deadline for the National Championships weekend in September:

National Championships Sept 9th – 10th!

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This competition marks the return of the National Championship event to the British Canoe Polo Calendar! Now that we have a central permanent location we hope to grow this event into one of the highlights of the year.

The 2017 competition will have 3 leagues: 

Open: £50
Ladies: £50
Youth: FREE!

The Open league will run on a Double Elimination format leading to a grand final. The Ladies and Youth league format will be decided with the number of entries. 

The winners of all three league will receive the National Championship trophies!

Please fill in the online entry form:

Or alternatively, fill in the paper form and email to 

Payment is to be made online to:
Bank: Natwest
Name: BCU Canoe Polo Committee
Account number: 67085962
Sort code: 60-02-35

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Chairperson’s Blog – July 

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Congratulation to Viking on being crowned Open Div1 champions and Friends of Allonby Y Ladies team on being crowned Ladies Div1 Champions. Viking had a number of changed paddlers in their team from last year and still managed to be 8 points clear of Friends of Allonby. 

In the ladies competition Friends of Allonby Y (FOA) and Meridian finished on equal points with FOA winning by goal difference by just two. All four teams will be invited to play at the European Club Champs on the 23rd – 24th September in Essen, Germany. The Div 1 Open battle at the bottom of the table ended with Meridian B relegated to Div 2 whilst Bedford Raiders are promoted with five wins in the playoff games. The playoff game between Div1 Nomad and Div2 Avon was a fantastic game finishing three all at full time with Nomad finally winning with a golden goal in extra time , scoring a penalty shot to make it an exciting finish to the weekend. In the Div 3 / 4 playoff Viking D won and will remain in Div 3 with all the other teams playing Div 4.

I would like to pass on my personal thanks to all the people who helped at the weekend. It was great to have so many non-playing refs to support the Open Div 1, the Ladies Div 1 and also the playoff games. It also made it easier to have the ref committee convene together to deal with a couple disciplinary red cards. So everyone is clear we will not tolerate any verbal abuse towards a ref. Two players received 5 game bans as a result of continual verbally abusive following red cards. I understand that sometimes people over step the mark but they also have to accept the consequences of the rules, which are very clear for red card offence and verbal abuse towards a ref, volunteer or official will not be tolerated. If we don’t have refs and protect them, then we don’t have polo competitions. 
The competition rules for the season past can be found at the following link and the red card regulations are worth a read… Luckily we don’t get too many red cards, let’s hope this remains the case.…/0Bz9sDVEo0czQZHRpUU43X2lpSU…/view

Last year we delivered over 350 ref assessments and we will continue to support people wanting to be assessed. The committee will continue to organise grade 1 and 2 courses with regions and clubs leading on organising grade 3 and 4 courses. If you or your club members need assessing for next season polo then why not organise a course? Contact if you need advice on how to do this.

The League entries for next season will be opening next week and the dates will be released as soon as we can get confirmation from a couple of pools.

Important dates for your diary ….
On 9th and 10th September we will be holding the British Canoe Polo National Championships at Nottingham. We would like the event to be a fun event with all standards of teams entering.
Again entries will be opening soon. We have the fantastic National Championship trophies for the competition.

At the London International Polo competition we will also be doing a consultation on our four-year plans. Please feel free to discuss the plans and give us your thoughts on what we are planning and what we can achieve.


Have a great summer.
Chris Arrowsmith

Playoffs and Div 1 playlist + camping

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Playlist here:…/Div%201%20Weekend%20and%20playoff…

In Excel format:…/Div%201%20Weekend%20and%20playoff…




At the HPP campsite – the price will be £5 per person per night.

Payment will be made to the polo committee who will be in the office next to the polo pitches.

There will be a designated area for Polo 🙂


Expect HPP to be very busy, there is a major Rowing event on and the Cricket test match. Arrive in plenty time. Parking should be free by the pitches and campsite. 

Div 1 and Playoff weekend 2017

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Latest news on the Div 1 and playoff weekend.

The playlist can be found here Excel playlist and a pdf version here pdf playlist

Camping is available for £5 per person per night, please let Steve Watts know ASAP if you want a space. Payment can be made on Saturday at the buildings next to the pitches.

For anyone who has not been before the location of the pitches are: in terms of Satnav use the postcode NG12 2LU and that will get you close. There will be signs out to direct you the last bit.

The site will be busy as there is a Rowing regatta on and Cricket at Trent Bridge just down the road. Also for those travelling from South East there is also an event on at Silverstone.




National League Restructure and 2016/17 Playoff revision

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At the beginning of December we shared the reasoning behind, and our current progress towards, the restructuring of the National League to ask for your feedback. I’m pleased to say we received some good constructive feedback, thank you to everyone that took the time to send in their thoughts! We have since consulted updated proposals with the league organisers, before discussing and agreeing final recommendations as a Canoe Polo Committee. After careful consideration over the last five months we now have a structure that we wish to implement for the winter 2017 season onwards. 

Please find the league restructure document here: (

Please find the 2016/17 Play-off information here: (

Some of the key factors considered in the later stages of the process following your feedback:


·           Div 1 Open – playing everyone in the division and having the highest quality of competition was the priority over costs.

·           Prioritising better value for money across pool costs and distance travelled in all other divisions.

·           At all levels players and teams wanted to increase the number of games played at a single tournament, so you don’t “have to travel long distance to only play three games”.

It was also noted that:


·           There are currently no Youth leagues running. To encourage the development of youth competition, we will be financially supporting a new youth league on a geographical basis in a similar way that we support the ladies development league (reduced entry fees and other educational support). 

·           In the ladies class it is clear that the development league is still evolving, teams are not currently always willing to take automatic promotion. We have listened to this; promotion will only be automatic if a development team wins two years in a row.  

o   However, as there are currently only 9 teams in Ladies Div 1 league we would like to strongly encourage one more team to make 10. If we cannot encourage another entry, then we will consider drafting a team consisting of stronger players from across the development division. These players would also continue to play with their own teams in the development league. We will keep you posted on this once entries are received.


Finally, a crucial consideration was that this restructure did not penalise Clubs within the current promotion/relegation provisions and that the weekend in July become obsolete from the advertised playoffs. Therefore:


·           We have kept 10 teams in Div 1 and increased Div 2 to 12 teams in each of the leagues, promotion and relegation between Div 1 and Div 2 will be exactly the same. 

·           Between Div 2 to 3: all 1st and 2nd placed teams in Div 3 will be promoted and will no longer be required to play-off  (Yay I hear them say). We will organize for teams to play each other if they wish to on that weekend. 

·           Between Div 4 to 3: All 1st placed teams in Div 4 will be promoted. The 9th placed div 3 and 2nd placed Div 4 teams will play-off for the final Div 3 place. This is only for this season to achieve the right number of teams in each league and normal promotion and relegation will be implemented from the 2017 / 2018 season. After careful consideration this is the only promotion process we have had to alter. Please refer to the document for further details on who will be involved in the play-off.


Thank you to all the paddlers, league organisers and committee members who have all given their opinions and views on how they would like things to change and improve. All the options have been discussed by the committee on numerous conference calls to ensure we are implementing a new structure with minimum impact whilst achieving our aims of increasing participation, improving the quality of British polo and delivering better value for money.

If you have any further feedback please send to . If there are no major objections in the next month with this new restructure then we will confirm its implementation for the 2017/2018 Winter Season.