You might have never heard of hardcourt bike polo, but it has got rapid growth recently. It is inclusive, has a few simple rules, and requires just a little investment. Although it is very exciting to watch, it takes some serious skills to handle the bike and at the same time play the game. Here are five things that you might not have known about hardcourt bike polo.
1. Bike polo is an actual sport
It has been around in some form since 1891 as Richard J. Mecredy – an Irish fellow – invented “horseless polo.” The resurgence of the sport took hold in America and then around the world when Seattle residents start playing Hardcourt Bike Polo (meaning that playing bike polo on an asphalt court opposed to a grass field) in 1999.
2. It is played around the world
There are 473 bike polo clubs in 56 countries on every continent.
3. It was featured in the Olympics
It was featured under the name “Cycle polo” as a demonstration sport in the Olympics 1908 when Ireland beat Germany for the gold. Unluckily, the popularity of this sport declined during WW I and II and didn’t get steam again till the 1980s.
4. There is an actual Hardcourt Bike Polo World Championships
A Hardcourt Bike Polo World Championship started in Philadelphia in 2009 has been held every year since. Teams qualify by winning national and regional tournaments. Last year’s tournament, The Beavers (San Francisco, the US) beat Call Me Daddy (Paris, France) for the championship.
5. It has only a few simple rules
Hardcourt bike polo games are played with 3 players on a team, with no specific positions.
In order to score a goal, you have to hit the ball with one of your mallet’s ends, not the side.
If you touch your foot to the ground, you have to touch your mallet next to the center of the court to be allowed back in play.
“Like contact” (including bike-to-bike, body-to-body, mallet-to-mallet) is allowed.