Special Olympics Aquatics




As a non-competitive sport, poi has no standardized rules.


Poi is an individual or group activity where participants swing hand-held, weighted ropes in various circular patterns. Poi is a traditional Maori performance art that has been modernized for recreational pursuits. Participants spin a pair of matching balls suspended from a flexible cord in order to create a variety of patterns. These patterns can be enhanced through the use of fire, LED's or glow sticks.


Evidence of poi being practiced by the Maori people of New Zealand has been found dating back hundreds of years. It was introduced to western culture in the early 20th century. Traditionally made poi are crafted and sold to tourists, while poi used in performance are now made from modern materials to ensure longevity and performance. Today poi is popular in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and parts of the United States and Canada.