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National Secondary School Regional Qualifiers

The weekend of 19/20 March saw the remaining 3 regions hold their qualifying tournament.

In the North Island over the 4 regions we had 58 teams vying for a place in the championship and from the feedback I have received there were some tightly contested games.

At the time of writing this article I am still trying to organize wild cards therefore I cannot give you a definitive list of those teams attending, however I think we should congratulate the winners in each grade:

Junior Girls -Horowhenua College (C.West) Hastings Girls (C.East) Middleton Grange (Southern)
Junior Open Feilding (C.West) St. John’s College (C. East) Wai Coll (C.South)
Senior Girls – Palmerston North Girls (C. West) Karamu (C. East) Mags (Northern) Otago Girls (Southern)
Senior Open – Feilding (C.West) St John’s College (C East) Onslow (C.South) Te Puke (Northern) Dunstan (Southern)

Congratulations to all.

The South Island schools hold the SISS Champs in August and from there we have 5 teams coming up to NZSSSC this year, this is the most we have had come up in the 12 years I have been involved with schools and it is such a pleasure to host them.

The qualifers are organized by the regional coordinators who once again have done a great job, both in terms of organizing the comps to getting their results in early with their take on grades and wild cards. They are Andy Candy (Northern) Kirsten Demanser-Wilson (Central East) Angela Shailer (Central West) Lynne Russell (Central South) and Peter Anderson (Southern) to all of you my thanks.

The champs this year might have been more expensive, if not for the terrific job done by Megan Bolton who is the funding officer for NZCPA and so far she has been successful from Sport Manawatu and Blue Sky. We have also secured major spot prize sponsorship from Polo Mania and JC Polo and to a lesser extent Ferg’s Canoe and Kayaks Wellington and Classic Uniform and Sportswear. A massive thank you to all of you.

Please remember to watch the website and facebook page for further news.


Schools Director

Thank you to our sponsors:

JC polo



sport manawatu


Blue Sky Community Trust

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Selector position applications

NZCPA is calling nominations for Selectors for the Men’s and Women’s Squad to assist in selecting teams to attend the 2016 World Championships. Applications close 17th March 2016.

· The roles will involve selecting teams in coordination with the respective Head coaches and assistant coaches.

· The Women’s coaches have requested that the successful applicant for the women’s squad attend part of the upcoming camp over Easter (25-28th March)

· Any reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed.

· Final selections are to be held over the finals weekend of the 2016 National League A-grade (May 7-8th )

· Applicants for the Men’s Selector are to be sent to Andi FearRoss (due to conflict of interest with Executive Director)

Selectors appointed should ideally:

· Know the game, skills and tactics involved.

· Be familiar with other requirements (such as dynamics of a tour) for Teams competing at international level

· Be flexible to the requirements of the Team Coach.

· Be able to assess the Applicants in an unbiased and impartial manner.

NZ Selector Application Form _2016

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NZ Secondary School Championships

New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council Canoe Polo Championships will be held the 8-10 April at the Lidi Aquatic Centre in Palmerston North. However before you get there schools must qualify at the regional competitions or be granted a wild card.

NZCPA are really pleased to have commitment from 7 South Island teams and we look forward to their participation, 7 is the most we have had compete in one year, we congratulate Peter Anderson and his team for working so hard for so long.

2016 Regional Qualifying Comps

Northern: 19 March at Waikato Dio Pool in Hamilton

Central East: 12/13 March at Frimley Pool in Hastings

Central West: 19/20 March at Horowhenua College Pool in Levin

Central South: 20 March at Rongotai College pool in Kilbirnie, Wellington

To answer a some of the questions that arise every year

•It is the school which qualifies not the team therefore if you wish/need to change players (providing they meet the criteria) you may
•All players must be full time students at the school they represent
•Age Under 15 as at 01/01/2016 for Junior grades
•Age Under 19 at at 01/01/2016 for Senior grades
•Yes a girl can play in the open grade
•1 player x 1 team – No a girl cannot play in the open and girls grade at this competition

For the next newsletter I will have some points regarding scruitineering as we will be adhering to the rules as sent out by NZCPA for schools this mainly involves the helmet/face-guard changes as prescribed by ICF.

Any questions/issues please do not hesitate to contact me.

Schools Director

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NZCPA 2016 Equipment Guidelines

NZCPA Equipment Guidelines for 2016

Applies to DOMESTIC competitions only (Does not apply to Worlds/future Oceania Championships).

The NZCPA Board has spent some time discussing the scrutineering of Canoe Polo equipment for competitions in New Zealand. This has become topical following the issues at the 2014 World Championships and the rule changes since then.

2016 National league A grade


Colour uniformity is required for helmets, bib/PFD, rash top, kayak deck covering.

Helmet numbers are required. Kayaks must be uniform from a deck colour/design perspective, 20% minimum not black.

Black gelcoat and Black carbon weave will both be considered Black for domestic competition.

Full compliance with all the ICF scrutineering rules for:
Helmets and facemasks and positioning
PFD/Buoyancy aid
Kayaks* (bumpers, sharpness, bolts, colour requirements)

* Kayak technical specifications may be checked and if scrutineers determine that the kayak is not legal, but the infringement is minimal, not unsafe or can be easily rectified (by the next competition), the kayak will be allowed for domestic competition only.

We would like kayaks to be made legal where possible and we would like illegal boats to start to diminish for sale, however don’t wish to penalize anyone who purchased a new kayak just prior to the specifications changing, and thus have allowed a greater time period before these kayaks will not be allowed for use in A grade. National team players must use a kayak that is completely legal.

Full technical specifications must be met for all players in 2018 competition.

As most players in A grade were scrutineered in 2015, we expect the standards to be increased and leniency will be reduced.

Check your gear and if required repair paddles in advance eg edges, add extra padding to PFD’s securely and wear them correctly, get a new helmet/facemask or fix if required and make sure bumpers are in very good condition!

2016 National League B & C grade/Schools grade


Colour uniformity is only required for bib/PFD’s, however it is encouraged for helmets, rash top, and kayak deck covering.

Helmet numbers are not required but if they are on the helmet, they must match the bib/PFD number.

Full compliance with all the ICF scrutineering rules for:
Helmets and facemasks and positioning (ask your club if you are not sure)
Paddles (may need repair if they are sharp or not thick enough – look at getting a permanent fix with Kevlar edge taping)
PFD/Buoyancy aid (may need to attach more padding to the sides of PFD’s if they do not meet minimum requirements)
Kayaks* (bumpers, no sharp bits or sharp bolts)

* Technical specifications may be checked and if scrutineers determine that the kayak is not legal, but the infringement is not deemed unsafe the kayak will be allowed for domestic competition only. Players that may move from B grade to A grade and/or onto National teams, need to be aware of the rules, to ensure any future usage or boat purchase is made in keeping with the new ICF rules.

Full technical Kayak specification compliance for B/C/Schools grade has not yet been determined, but will be 2018 or later.


There were changes to the requirements for various equipment. Just because your equipment has passed before does not mean it will now comply. If you are buying new equipment CHECK THAT IT COMPLIES first. A brief summary is detailed below, please check the ICF rules for full specifications (In appendix 2 (pg. 76) of the 2015 rules)

Helmets – need to cover to the base of the skull

Facemasks – need to protect face from temple to jaw and lower chin, and be at least 1cm from nose. Gaps must be less than 8.5cm** wide/tall – **changing to 7cm in 2018.

PFD’s – padding must be at least 2cm thick, side padding must protect to within 10cm of the armpit, PFD must not leave a gap from boat to base of padding of more than 10cm (measurements as worn).

Bumpers –Different requirements for integrated vs non-integrated boats. Please check the rules for full details. Don’t just expect that a new bumper equals a legal bumper. Don’t chop them down excessively or compress them with tape. There is one estimate that bumpers lose 10-20% or their volume per year…..

The final judges are the scrutineers, but it is YOUR responsibility to ensure your equipment complies with the standards as outlined
– they are the MINIMUMS!

Sean Thomson and Andi Fear-Ross
On behalf of the NZCPA Board

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NZCPA Executive Director Appointment

I am pleased to announce the appointment of James Mitchell to the role of Executive Director of the New Zealand Canoe Polo Association. James has significant experience within the sport of canoe polo at all levels and we are excited to have him on board. James has been involved in NZCPA for a long time, most recently in the role of Competitions Director. Please join me in congratulating James when you see him next. As Executive Director James is responsible for the day to day business of NZCPA. Please feel free to contact him at

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience as we progressed thrugh the recruitment process.

Emma Manohar
NZCPA Chairperson

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Restart after goal, 2015 rules.

For all refs and players – below is a clarification put out by the ICF canoe polo committee chairman. The short answer is our current application of the rule is correct…

The defending team (that just scored) must still be given a minimum of 10 seconds to get 3 players back- The referee must still be in control and restart with a whistle.

Any deliberate delay results in a team warning.

The player taking the throw must be somewhere along the centre line and stationary (or close enough to it) with none of his teammates crossing the line until the whistle blows.

The defenders (who have just scored) have a right to take 10 seconds to get back without deliberately delaying so there needs to be some fairness to both teams.

The only time a referee should restart the game before 10 seconds is if both teams and referees are ready.

The intention is to not allow the defending team to delay the restart but also to give the referees time to signal numbers and award cards.

The rule was bought in to prevent excessive delays- not to turn us into handball or basketball. 10 seconds is not much time and the referee needs to complete their tasks and the defending team have a right to some reasonable time to get back.

Andrea Donzelli, ICF Canoe Polo commttee

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Executive Director resignation and interim arrangements

Anita Sharratt has resigned from her position as Executive Director of NZCPA. Anita’s resignation is effective as of 8 July 2015.

The NZCPA Board thanks Anita for her contribution to the sport and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.

We will be advertising for a replacement shortly and will advise you all of the new Executive Director when an appointment is made.

There will likely be some time between 8 July and the appointment of a new Executive Director. In the interim, the current Executive Director email address ( and existing PO Box address will remain active and will continue to be the primary point of contact for you. They will be cleared and responded to by Emma Manohar (nee Matheson) until a new appointment is made.

We appreciate your understanding through this period as responses may take slightly longer than normal. We are working to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible.

Emma Manohar
NZCPA Chairperson

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5 time champions Viking Black take out National League A Grade finals

Viking Black - A Grade Winners

Palmerston North based canoe polo team Viking Black managed to retain its national title for the 5th consecutive year by winning the New Zealand canoe polo A grade national league tournament in Hamilton over the weekend.

Going down to their second ranked team Viking Gold in one of their finals captain James Mitchell said ‘Black have some very hard questions to ask themselves’ however as one of the key development people in the club Mitchell also said that he was ‘ stoked that gold made their first final here in Hamilton and that black got to play them’.

Viking Black managed to have enough points from previous rounds to send them directly to the finals against another Palmerston North based team Expose.

After a hard fought game with unlimited thrills, spills and a few sanction cards, the final score was 4-3 to Viking Black.

From here some of the squad are off overseas to play in European competitions and the majority will be working towards selections for the NZ teams who will be playing at the World Championships which are being held in Italy in 2016. Four of the seven man team represented NZ at the 2014 World Championships which were held in France late 2014.

Information on other final results will be posted once available.

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