The Basics of Hardcourt Bike Polo

When it comes to the basics of Bike Polo, in general, there are two teams with three players each playing in an enclosed rectangular area. Goals are scored at each long end of the rectangle.

When the game starts, the ball is put in the middle of the court and the players wait behind their own goals. Both teams charge the ball in what is termed the “joust”, following a countdown.

A player may hit the ball in two ways, including a shot or a shuffle. The former is made with either end of the mallet head while the latter is made with the side. A player must hit the ball with a shot into the opposing team’s goal in order to score a goal. The goal does not count and play continues if the player uses a shuffle.

After scoring a goal, the scoring team comes back to their half of the court. After that, the scored-on team may cross the half line and restart playing.

The game goes on until a team score either five goals or a predetermined length of time, typically 12 or 15 minutes.

The amount of contact in a certain match may vary but in general, it is restricted to body to body and mallet to mallet.

The North American Bike Polo Association has given out an official rule set for North America, which has been influential to standardizing rules all over the world.

Mallet and Ball

Originally, Hardcourt Bike Polo players handmade their mallets. Later several companies like Ben’s Cycles, Fixcraft, and others, make mallets particularly for the game of bike polo.

In terms of the ball used in bike polo, it is typically made from PVC. Fixcraft is the first company to have produced bike polo balls and still designs better versions.

Bike

Although any bike is acceptable for the game, low gear ratio single-speed bikes have the most advantages for quick acceleration and control on a small court. Most players customize their bikes particularly for the game and their needs.

Court

Commonly, players play the sport on courts like tennis courts, basketball courts, football courts, or street hockey rinks. These courts are usually customized using boards to prevent the ball from getting stuck in the corners or rolling out of the court.

History of Hardcourt Bike Polo

Hardcourt Bike Polo is a key part of traditional bicycle polo. In order to understand more about it, let’s trace back from the very first day of its foundation to nowadays.

1999

1999 is the year when Hardcourt Bike Polo was established. Seattle may be the hometown of this sport. The first group of bike polo played the sport in alleys, parking lots and on rooftops. After that, thanks to bike lovers and bike culture, bike polo has developed rapidly. Tournaments held as side events in the messenger races named alley cat.

2007

Nearly 20 cities started to set up bike bolo clubs though out North America due to the messenger culture and the internet, contributing to the spread of this game. In 2008, the biggest competition of bike bolo was held in Chicago, which featured 35 teams, it was also the first North American Championship. This tournament was launched at the same time but independently with the 2008 NACCC championships. The event in Chicago stood out and attracted the community of North American hardcourt polo, which was considered as the sole focus for organizing tournaments with hardcourt bike polo.

2010

In early 2010, 21 representatives were chosen along with the birth of the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (NAH). This is the first organizing part whose function is to deal with the rapid growth of constituency. At this time, the first NAH-sanctioned rule set was issued. It shifted the format, the standards, goals, court dimensions, and so on.

Nowadays

In North America alone, about 200 clubs were established, along with around a thousand players competing in the latest format of the NAH Tour Series. It reaches its primetime thanks to the success of North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship in setting the record for viewership as well as competitive fields of any player in any tournament.