The development of North American Hardcourt Bike Polo

Although bike polo is more than 100 years old now, hardcourt bike polo occurred only 21 years ago, in Seattle, a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States, by a group of bike messengers trying to pass time between jobs.

Hardcourt bike polo, which used to be played in alleys, parking lots and even on rooftops, quickly grew with the love of bikes and bike culture. Tournaments were held as side events in messenger races, known as alley cats.

In 2007, there were about 20 cities through North America that claimed  established clubs thanks to the spread of the game through the internet and messenger culture. The next year, the largest competitive tournament to date and also the first North American Championship (featuring 35 teams) was held in Chicago. This competition was run in conjunction with the 2008 NACCC messenger championships, but it is independent. The Chicago tournament exploded the scene as well as galvanized the North American hardcourt polo community, which quickly made it the right time to start organizing tournaments with hardcourt as the sole focus.

Early in 2010, democratically elected 21 representatives from North America, established the North American Hardcourt (NAH), which is the first organizing body that would start to address the concerns of a rapidly growing constituency. NAH has since been instrumental in influencing and encouraging a change to standards: a set of rules and refereeing, familiar court dimensions and goals, a swiss-round tournament format, and much more.

Nowadays, there are around 200 hartcourt bike polo clubs in North America alone, with about 1000 players competing in the most recent version of the NAH Tour Series. This culminated with the most successful NAH Bike Polo Championship up to now, setting records for viewership of the sport and perhaps the deepest field of competitive players in any tournament.