Just like traditional polo, cycle polo is an active team sport the only difference is that it is played while riding bicycles instead of being on horseback. There are two different versions of bike polo, one being played on grass and the other on a hardcourt. The hardcourt game really caught on in 2007 when new teams were sprouting from all areas of the world including Malaysia, China, Hungary, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, New Zealand, India, France, Sweden, Pakistan, Germany, England, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Spain, Argentina, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Brazil, Nepal, Cuba and the USA.
Irish Cyclist Magazine Editor, Richard Mecredy, Retired Champion Starts Cycle Polo in 1891
Yet the game originated way back in 1891 in County Wicklow, and it was started by Richard Mecredy a champion retired at that stage, and The Irish Cyclist magazine’s editor. The first cycle polo took place in 1891, October and was played between two clubs named the Ohne Hast Cycling Club and the Rathclaren Rovers. As the 19th century was nearing its end, cycle polo became quite popular in France, Great Britain and the US. Not long after international matches took place between England and Ireland in 1901 and cycle polo became a demonstration sport during the London Olympics in 1908 when Germany was beaten by Ireland taking the gold.
The Bicycle Polo Association of America Launched in 1994
During the 1930s cycle polo reached a new popularity peak in the United Kingdom due to the regional league introduction and it also flourished due to established leagues in France. New powers in cycle polo surfaced in the 1980s as both the US and India entered the competition, and by 1994 the Bicycle Polo Association of America was formed, the very first world championship took place in the USA in 1996. Now big matches and championships take place yearly and quarterly in many countries including Argentina, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, India, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland as well as the USA.
Cycle Polo the Game
Grasscycle polo is played on a rectangular field of 150 meters x 100 meter and dimensions could vary between 80 meters to 100 meters in the width of the field or 120 meters to 150 meters in the length of the field. The ball used in cycle polo is around 2.5 inches, and the game is played with teams of six members internationally while teams in France are normally seven members strong. The duration of the game is 30 minutes when international matches take place and these 30 minutes are divided into several periods, each period called a chukkar is 7.5 minutes long. Fouls lead to the issuing of a yellow warning card, while repeated fouls can lead to the umpire issuing a red card, which ejects the player for either the rest of the game or the current chukkar.