I really like bike polo. Actually, I love it. It’s a relatively new sport, and in Cape Town we played for the first time on Saturday the 21st of July 2012. About 10 people came together at The Lock Stock Market at the Palms Centre, Woodstock. Luckily the venue was inside as it was pouring outside. Most people played for the first time, and after about 3 hours of playing non-stop the sport had some new converts and I had people to play polo with. Win win.
For those of you new to Bike Polo (or “Hardcourt”, or “Urban Bicycle Polo” to give it its full name), it is very similar to its stuffy cousin, horse polo, but played on a hardcourt (like tar or cement) about the size of a basketball court. Two teams of three attempt to hit a hard plastic ball through a set of goals on either end of the court, using mallets. All this while staying on their bikes and without their feet touching the ground. See more on the rules of the game.
The type of bike is not important, although lots of polo players customize their bikes – normally making them single speed (it’s unlikely you’ll have a chance to shift gears during the game) and with a very low gear for fast acceleration. The mallets can also be made of pretty much anything – the handle is normally made out of some type of metal pipe and the head is usually plastic piping. I’ve seen bamboo, ski poles, a beach umbrella stick and golf club handles used, all to good effect.
Last Saturday saw 10 of us tearing around the court, about 4 broken mallets, a few grazes and no serious injuries. It was crazy fun. Stay tuned for upcoming bike polo games in Cape Town on our Facebook page. We’d love you to come and play, or just watch if you want to get into it slowly!
A guest post by Glen Tyler (co-founder of Cape Town Bike Polo) takes a look at the fun, exhilarating team sport called urban bike polo and the beginnings of Cape Town’s community Bike Polo games!