Hardcourt Bike Polo Has Flourished in South Florida (part 2)

Along with Andrew Feher, resident Eric Madrid founded Miami Bike Polo in March of 2010. Weekly games take place Sunday at Jose Marti Park in basketball courts under overpass.

According to Madrid, the crowd seems to grow week by week. Sunday games are known to attract the largest crowds of around 100 people, partly due to the group offering up a barbecue every month as well as welcoming people to sit back and hang out.

Hardcourt Bike Polo has also spread to Weston in West Broward, or what is affectionately called the “Weston Everburbs” by the players.

The world championship attracts the best players from all around the world for a three-day event, putting Broward County on the map. Philadelphia became the first world champion of its kind in 2009 and Berlin followed in 2010, Seattle in 2011, and Geneva in 2012.

The Southeastern Hardcourt Tournament was held in Broward Park last year, attracting players from all over the country.

While the sport is still considered an underground sport, it is becoming more regulated as goes mainstream, but some players say that is an unwelcome change that would ruin its pure essence. Meanwhile, others welcome the surge in popularity.

Palm Beach Bike Polo started up about six years ago.

Heavy cycling has proven local interest in one area in terms of cycling in general. Events such as South Florida’s Critical Mass have attracted new players. There’s a big crossover from Critical Mass, many people coming out to polo.

It is hard to master hardcourt bike polo, but those who can comfortably ride a bike can pick up the basics within two days. Players are friendly so spectators are welcome to come out to any of the games. It’s a welcoming group where you can just show up and hang out with  them.