Hardcourt Bike Polo

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Beavers vs Guardians, NAHBPC 2013
European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship 2013

Hardcourt Bike Polo is a variation of traditional Bicycle Polo in which teams of players ride bicycles and use mallets to strike a small ball into a goal. It may also be referred to as "Hardcourt", "Urban Bike Polo" or simply "Bike Polo".

The game[edit]

There are two types of hardcourt bike polo. One is the traditional style called "3v3", which is a team consisting of 3 players and games are usually around 10–15 minutes in length. The other form is "Squad". Squad is a team of 5-6 players and games are between 30–40 minutes, allowing for substitutions. Typically, players play in an enclosed rectangular area, called a "court". Goals are placed at each long end of the court.

At the beginning of the game, the ball is placed in the middle of the court while the players wait behind their own goals. Following a countdown or a whistle, a player from each team charges the ball in what is termed the "joust".

A player may hit the ball in two ways: a "shot" or a "shuffle". A shot is made with either end of the mallet head whereas a shuffle is made with the side. In order to score a goal, a player must hit the ball into the opposing team's goal with a shot; if the player uses a shuffle, the goal does not count and play continues.

Following a goal, the scoring team returns to their own half of the court. After the scoring team returns to their half, the scored-on team may cross the half line and resume play.

The game continues until a team reaches either a limit of a predetermined length of time, depending on the format. 3v3 games are typically 10–15 minutes, while Squad games are typically 30–40 minutes.

A player who "dabs", (touches a horizontal surface with their foot), must undertake some form of remedial penalty before making contact with the ball again. This usually involves "tapping out" (riding to a designated point on the court and touching it with the mallet). It is also common to have to say "foot down" or "dab" to let other players know you are out of play, but not required. You should avoid affecting play of the game at all cost after a foot down occurs.

The amount of contact in a particular game may vary but is generally restricted to "mallet to mallet", "body to body". A "check" is allowed as long as it's "shoulder to shoulder" and deemed safe by the referee.

As a decentralized and organically growing game, the rules and styles of Hardcourt Bike Polo may vary substantially from city to city. The North American Bike Polo Association has created an official set of rules for North America, which has been influential to standardizing rules world-wide.

Since 2009, various governing bodies have been created within the polo community for the purposes of advancing the sport and creating rule sets. The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (NAHBPA) and European Hardcourt (EHBP) are the prime organizations, but there are others such as the Australasian Hardcourt (AHBP) and Bici Polo Latinoamerica (BPLA) organizations coming up as Bike polo spreads to other continents and countries all over the world.

Tournament format[edit]

There are currently two types of tournament formats in hardcourt bike polo: 3v3 and Squad.

3v3 is the more traditional format of hardcourt bike polo, where 2 teams of 3 players play against each other.

An alternate format is Squad, where 2 teams of anywhere from 5-6 players play against each other. In Squad format, there are still 3 players on each team on the court at one time, but there is a bench of players that can be substituted throughout the game. Squad format games tend to be longer in duration, typically 30–60 minutes. There is usually a team captain in charge of substitutions, who may or may not be a player.

Equipment[edit]

A well-used Street Hockey ball

Rather than use traditional wooden polo mallets, Hardcourt Bike Polo players started making handmade mallets in the spirit of the DIY ethic. Since then, a number of companies have appeared, which are producing more distinct equipment, specifically for bike polo. Typical mallets are constructed using heads made from UHMW, and aluminium shafts similar to ski poles.

The ball used in bike polo is typically made from PVC and is identical to a Street Hockey ball. In 2012, the company, Fixcraft, team up with D-Gel, makers of hockey products, to produce the first official bike polo ball.

Some players make wheel covers out of corrugated plastic, polycarbonate, plastic netting, or even thick fabrics to protect spokes and create solid blocking surfaces. Many of these covers are painted with elaborate designs to help identify riders or their city's club.

Freshly painted wheel cover

Low gear ratio single-speed bikes have advantages for quick acceleration and control on a small court. Although any bike is acceptable for the game, eventually most players customize their bikes especially for bike polo and their playing needs. Most riders prefer a short wheelbase for tight turning and a smaller "5-hole" as well as a medium to long stem for better turning. Front brake or dual brake setups are the most popular.

Courts[edit]

Players commonly play on courts such as tennis courts, street hockey rinks, basketball courts, or football courts. These are often customized using boards to keep the ball from rolling out of the court or getting stuck in the corners. The NAH currently mandates goals be 3 ft x 6 ft and must be placed no closer than 6 ft from the backboard. Court size does vary, but for a court to be used in an official NAH event it must be no larger than 155 ft x 80 ft (47.25m x 25m) and no smaller than 120 ft x 60 ft (37m x 18m), and have 4 ft high solid boards.

Polo Specific Courts[edit]

Some cities have worked with their local Polo club and have built facilities specifically for polo or suited for multi-use activities like Polo. Some courts like New York City's "The Pit" are repurposed spaces, while other courts like East Vancouver's court in Grandview Park, are specifically designed to meet the needs of the sport.

History[edit]

Modern Hardcourt Bike Polo has roots in early 2000s Seattle[1][2] Originally started by messengers who had downtime in between deliveries, the game developed in Seattle and some of the earlier rules were founded (3 on 3, scoring with the end of the mallet). As people moved and traveled the game branched out. and is currently played in over 30 countries and 300 cities.[3]

Tournaments[edit]

NAHBPC 2013

Since 2004, cities across North America have thrown inter-city tournaments such as the East-, West-, and Northside Polo Invites.

The first annual North American and European Hardcourt Bicycle Polo championships were both held in August 2009. The European tournament drew over 40 teams from Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Germany and was won by L'Equipe, a team from Geneva. The North American tournament featured 36 teams from Seattle, Vancouver BC, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Ottawa, Portland, Washington DC, and elsewhere and was won by Team Smile from Seattle. First prize for each tournament were tickets to the 2009 World Championships.

The first ever world championships where held in Toronto in 2008 as part of the Cycle Messenger World Championships. There were representatives from Europe, however, hardcourt polo was still relatively new and the European teams elected not to play in the elimination bracket after seeing the level of play from the North American teams. Heat Lightning (Doug Dalrymple, Paul Rauen, and Zach Blackburn) became the first ever world champions, using a high energy "die by the sword" playing strategy. The following year, 2009, featured teams from the US, Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. The winners were the current North American Champions, Team Smile, who defeated the team from East Vancouver in a repeat of the North American final.

National championships have been held in countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, and Germany.

In 2016, the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association announced that they were changing the format for all of their sanctioned tournaments from 3v3 to Squad.[4]

World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2008 Toronto Canada Heat Lightning United States Balls Deep Canada Hunter Brothers + Kev United States
2009 Philadelphia United States Team Smile United States Balls Deep Canada Faceless Emotion United States Wisconsin A United States
2010 Berlin Germany Beaver Boys United States 5-1 [5] Machine Politics United States L’Equipe Switzerland Toros Germany
2011 Seattle United States Crazy Canucks Canada 5-4 [6] Call Me Daddy France Guardians United States Iron Ponies Switzerland
2012 Geneva Switzerland Call Me Daddy France 3-2 [7] Guardians United States Clobber Politics United StatesCanada Dead Rappers United KingdomRepublic of Ireland
2013 [8] Weston United States Beavers United States 5-1 Call Me Daddy France The Assassins United States Edisons FranceGermany
2014 [9] Montpellier France Call Me Daddy FranceUnited Kingdom 5-3 Beavers United States Outlawz SwitzerlandHungary The Control United States
2016[10] Timaru New Zealand Outlawz Birds FranceHungary 5-4 Call Me Daddy FranceUnited Kingdom The Control United States Temoilesnichons France
2017 Lexington, KY United States Mongrels United FranceHungaryRepublic of Ireland 4-1 Call Me Daddy FranceUnited Kingdom Bob Ross United States Geneva Alley Cats Switzerland
2019 Córdoba Argentina Mongrels United FranceHungaryRepublic of Ireland 2-1 Prendi la Mira FranceItaly Bob Ross United States More Sugar United States


European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2009 London
United Kingdom Great Britain
L'Equipe
Switzerland (Geneva)
5-3 Malice International
United Kingdom (London)
Toros
Germany (Munich)
Discordia
FranceUnited Kingdom (Paris/London)
2010 Geneva
Switzerland Switzerland
L'Equipe
Switzerland (Geneva)
5-4 Cosmic
United Kingdom (London)
El Club
Spain (Barcelona)
Rotten Apples
United Kingdom (London)
2011 [11] Barcelona
Spain Spain
L'Equipe
Switzerland (Geneva)
5-2 Polosynthese
Germany (Germany)
Hooks
France (Rouen)
El Club
Spain (Barcelona)
2012 Paris
France France
Call me Daddy
France (Paris/Toulouse)
Edisons
Germany (Frankfurt/Munich)
Hooks
France (Rouen)
L'Equipe
Switzerland (Geneva)
2013 [12] Kraków
Poland Poland
Call me Daddy
France (Paris/Toulouse)
2-5, 5-3 Edisons
GermanySwitzerland (Frankfurt/Geneva)
Spring Break
United Kingdom (London)
Lhooks
FranceSwitzerland (Rouen/Geneva)
2014 [13] Padova
Italy Italy
Call me Daddy
FranceUnited Kingdom (Paris/Cambridge)
4-5, 5-3 Edisons
Germany (Frankfurt/Munich)
True Danger
France (Paris/Lyon)
Sophie
Switzerland (Basel/Bern)
2015[14] Zaragoza
Spain Spain
Call me Daddy
FranceUnited Kingdom (Paris/Cambridge)
3-5, 2-5 Octopussy
Germany (Frankfurt/Nurnberg)
Megadrive
Switzerland (Geneva)
Temoilesnichons
France (Annecy/Lyon)
2017[15] Perpignan
France France
Mongrels
FranceGermany (Paris/Annecy/Munich)
2-1 Mohawks
Germany Republic of Ireland(Gießen/Hamburg/London)
Monstars
France (France)
Rasta Rocket
France (Montpellier)
2018[16] Pescara
Italy Italy
Octopussy
Germany (Nuremberg/Hamburg)
3-2 Excuse The Mess
Poland (Warsaw/Krakow)
Mongrels XL
Republic of IrelandGermanyUnited States(London/Munich/Milwaukee)
Call Me Daddy
France (Paris)
2019 Zurich

Switzerland Switzerland

Mongrels United FranceHungaryRepublic of Ireland 2-0 Rasta Rocket
France
Call me Daddy
FranceUnited Kingdom
Superbe
France Italy

North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2008 Chicago, IL United States That's What She Said
Canada(Ottawa)
Philadelphia
United States
East Vancouver
Canada
Madison
United States
2009 Seattle, WA United States Team Smile
United States (Seattle)
Balls Deep
Canada (Vancouver)
Beaver Boys
United States (Milwaukee)
DD Booster Club
United States (New York)
2010 Madison, WI United States The Odds
United States (Richmond/Philadelphia/New York)
Team Smile
United States (Seattle)
East Van
Canada (Vancouver)
Super Polonics
United States (Seattle)
2011 Calgary Canada The Guardians[17]
United States (Seattle)
Clobber Politics
United StatesCanada (Chicago/Ottawa)
The Crazy Canucks
Canada (Vancouver)
The Outsiders
United StatesCanada (Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver)
2012 Milwaukee, WI United States Beaver Boys
United States (Milwaukee)
The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Means
United StatesCanada (Richmond/Ottawa/New York)
Portland United
United States (Portland)
2013[18] Roseville, MN United States Beavers
United States (San Francisco)
The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Assassins
United States (Seattle)
Portland United
United States (Portland)
2014[19] Roseville, MN United States Beavers
United States (San Francisco, Milwaukee)
Portland United
United States (Portland)
The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Ringers
United States (Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco)
2015[20] Lexington, KY United States MF Monster Truck
United States Republic of Ireland (Portland, London)
The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
Prospectors
United States (Portland)
The Control
United States (San Francisco)
2016 Folsom, CA United States The Control
United States (San Francisco)
Albatross
United States (Seattle)
Wood Rats
United States
Prospectors
United States (Portland)
2017 Frederick, MD United States The Control
United States (SF)
Bob Ross
United States (SEA)
Crunchy
United States (POR/HOU/SLC)
Mosquito
Canada (SKS)
2018 Milwaukee, WI United States The Control
United States (SF)
Bob Ross
United States (SEA)
Superpolo
Mexico (MEX)
Mosquito
Canada (SKS)
2019 Seattle, WA United States Mosquito
Canada (SKS)
Bob Ross
United States (SEA)
More Sugar
United States (SEA)
Snake Oil
United States (SEA)

North American Club Bench Championships[edit]

The North American Club Bench Championships was discontinued after 2015, when the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship changed formats from 3v3 to squad.[4]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place
2014[21] Lexington, KY
United States USA
Portland 13-5 Milwaukee Lexington, Boston
2015[22] Guadalajara
Mexico Mexico
Guadalajara 8-5 Kauyunamari Guadalajara B de buenos

Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2009 Melbourne Meat & Two Veg
Australia (Melbourne)
Scheisse Katze
AustraliaGermany (Melbourne/Germany)
Bush League Bushrangers
AustraliaCanada (Melbourne/Toronto)
Jailbreakers
Australia (Castlemaine)
2010 Brisbane Johnny Crash
Australia (Melbourne)
The Screaming Baguettes
AustraliaFrance (Sydney/Paris)
German Bells
Australia (Brisbane)
That's What She Said
Australia (Adelaide)
2011 Adelaide Storm Boys
Australia (Perth/Sydney/Melbourne)
That's What She Said
Australia (Adelaide)
L.S.V.
Australia (Sydney)
Neil La Robolution
Australia (Adelaide/Melbourne)
2012 Perth NASFWG
Australia (Perth)
1-5, 1-5 Triple Dutch Rudder
Australia (Brisbane)
Dog Soccer
Australia (Sydney)
L.S.V.
Australia (Sydney)
2013 Timaru NASFWG
Australia (Perth)
Melbourne Anchor
Australia (Melbourne)
Triple Dutch Rudder
Australia (Brisbane)
C4
New Zealand (Christchurch)
2014[23] Sydney The Fist
AustraliaUnited States (Melbourne/Seattle)
5-2 Alchemists
Australia (Perth)
The Sentinels
Australia (Brisbane)
C4 Christchurch
New Zealand (Christchurch)
2017 Melbourne Spectres
Australia (Melbourne/Perth/Sydney/Brisbane)
The Huntsmen
Australia (Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane)
Inspectre Keanu
Australia (Brisbane/Melbourne)
Timaru Bike Polo
New Zealand (Timaru)

Asia Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Runners-up Third Place
2015 Kaohsiung, Taiwan Yattarus
Japan (JPN)
Country Boy
TaiwanThailand (TWN)/(Bangkok)
Homamon
Japan (JPN)
2016 Kaohsiung, Taiwan UZUUZU
Japan (JPN)
Country Boy
TaiwanThailand (TWN)/(Bangkok)
262
Taiwan (TWN)

Latin American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2011 Santiago de Chile Monopolientos
Chile (Santiago)
Underdogs
Brazil (São Paulo)
Hágame Famoso
Colombia (Bogotá)
Viveza Criolla
Ecuador (Quito)
2012 Buenos Aires Underdogs
Brazil (São Paulo)
5-0, 5-3 Monopolientos
Chile (Santiago)
Jinetes del Apocalipsis
Argentina (Buenos Aires)
Viveza Criolla
Ecuador (Quito)
2013 São Paulo Mala Pata
Chile (Santiago)
Untitled
Argentina (Buenos Aires)
Hágame Famoso
Colombia (Bogotá)
Underdogs
Brazil (São Paulo)
2014 Bogota RompeBolas
Mexico (Mexico City/San Luis Potosí)
5-3, 4-0 Underdogs
Brazil (São Paulo)
Vandalos
Mexico (Mexico City)
Hermanos Korioto
Mexico (Mexico City)
2015 Quito Las Viudas del Loco
ArgentinaChile (Buenos Aires/Santiago)
2-1, 4-1 Dios los Cría
Argentina (Rosario/Buenos Aires)
Korioto
MexicoUnited States (Guadalajara/Portland)
Tres Gallos
Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)
2016 Rosario Mucho Niño

MexicoUnited States(Guadalajara / Houston)

5 - 3 Super Polo Team

MexicoUnited States( DF / Houston)

Pulp Fiction

Chile(Santiago)

Guacamaya

Colombia(Bogotá)

2017 Guadalajara Mucho Niño Mexico 3 - 2 Marabunta Mexico KRT Mexico El Dorado Colombia

Ladies Army[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2009[24] Vancouver Canada Bushwackers
Canada (Vancouver)
In my back pocket
Canada (Ottawa)
Vagic Moments
Canada (Vancouver)
Killer Ladybugs
Canada (Victoria)
2010[25] New York City United States Delta Force
CanadaUnited States (Philadelphia/Toronto/Portland)
Beer, Bacon & Babes
United States (Seattle/Minneapolis)
2011[26] Austin United States Cunning Stunts
United StatesCanada (Toronto/Milwaukee/Seattle)
The C.L.A.P.
United StatesCanada (Seattle/Vancouver)
2012[27] Lexington United States Cunning Stunts
United StatesCanada (Toronto/Milwaukee/Seattle)
3-1 Bear Hugs
CanadaSwitzerland (Toronto/Geneva/Vancouver)
Hot Links
United States (Lexington/Athens)
Tornadoes
United Kingdom (London)
2013[28] Vancouver Canada Valkyries
United StatesSwitzerland (Vancouver/Cincinnati/Geneva)
Hot Honey Biscuits
United States (Seattle/Mobile/Athens)
Great White North
Canada (Ottawa/Toronto)
Cobble Polotics
United KingdomUnited States (London/Lexington/Seattle)
2014[29] Toronto Canada Cunning Stunts
Canada (Toronto)
5-4, 4-3 Hot Honey Biscuits
United States (Seattle/Mobile/Athens)
Valkyries
United StatesSwitzerland (Vancouver/Lexington/Geneva)
The Cuntrol
CanadaUnited States (Vancouver/San Francisco/Oakland)
2015[30] San Francisco United States Valkyries
United StatesSwitzerlandCanada (Lexington/Geneva/Vancouver)
1-0 Hot Honey Biscuits
United States (Seattle/San Francisco/Salt Lake City)
Shit Twins
United States (Madison/Raleigh)
Ruckus
GermanyFranceUnited States (Frankfurt/Strasbourg/Seattle)
2016 Guadalajara Mexico Peligrosa
United StatesCanada (Salt Lake City/Seattle/Saskatoon)
2-1 Ruckus
GermanyFranceUnited States (Frankfurt/Strasbourg/Seattle)
Dropbears
United States (Santa Cruz/Oakland/San Francisco)
Feliz Accidentitas
United StatesCanada (New York City/Vancouver)
2017 Grand Rapids United States Weirdos
United States (New York City)
4-3 The Annie Oakleys
United StatesCanada (San Francisco/Oakland/Saskatoon)
OK
United StatesCanada (Salt Lake City/Seattle/Toronto)
Yes Mum
United StatesUnited Kingdom (San Francisco/Madison/Bristol)
2018 Los Angeles United States Cool Sports Team
United StatesUnited KingdomSwitzerland (Milwaukee/London/Geneva)
2-0 Brujaja
MexicoUnited States (Mexico City/Raleigh/Seattle)
Notorious
United States (San Francisco)
Baba Yaga
United StatesCanada (Seattle, Saskatoon, Toronto)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Hardcourt forum discussion". Leagueofbikepolo.com. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  2. ^ Messenger, Matt. "History". 321polo.net. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Map of Hardcourt Bike Polo clubs around the world". Leagueofbikepolo.com. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Squad Is Here!". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Video: Beaver Boys vs Machine Politics". Brooks. Retrieved 7 August 2010. Final Game at WHBPC 2010
  6. ^ "Video: Crazy Canucks vs Call Me Daddy". Vimeo. Retrieved 11 September 2011. Final Game at WHBPC 2011
  7. ^ "Video: Call Me Daddy vs Guardians". Vimeo. Retrieved 19 August 2012. Final Game at WHBPC 2012
  8. ^ "Podium: WHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. Beavers 5 - 1 Call Me Daddy
  9. ^ "Podium: WHBPC 2014". Hardcourt Podium. Retrieved 10 September 2014. Call Me Daddy 5 - 3 Beavers
  10. ^ "THE 7TH WORLD HARDCOURT BICYCLE POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  11. ^ Carrilo, Alejandro. "We have a winner". Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011. It might not come as a surprise (or perhaps the biggest surprise there is), that for the third consecutive time L'Équipe wins it all
  12. ^ "Podium: EHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. Call Me Daddy 5 - 3 Edisons
  13. ^ "Podium bike polo - EHBPC 2014". www.podiumbikepolo.com.
  14. ^ "EHBPC 2015". ehbpc.org/2015/. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  15. ^ "EHBPC 2017". docs.google.com.
  16. ^ "EHBPC 2018".
  17. ^ "NAHBPC 3: CALGARY". Fleetvelo. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Podium: NAHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013. Beavers 5 - 0 The Guardians
  19. ^ "Podium bike polo - NAHBPC 2014". www.podiumbikepolo.com. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Podium bike polo - NAHBPC 2015". www.podiumbikepolo.com.
  21. ^ "Podium bike polo - NAHBPC 2014". www.podiumbikepolo.com. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Podium bike polo - NAHBPC 2015". www.podiumbikepolo.com. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Podium bike polo - AHBPC 2014". www.podiumbikepolo.com.
  24. ^ "League of Bike Polo - THE LADIES ARMY PRESENTS.... 1st EVER ALL WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT". leagueofbikepolo.com.
  25. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army II June 25, 2010". leagueofbikepolo.com.
  26. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army III, May 2011". leagueofbikepolo.com.
  27. ^ "League of Bike Polo - 4th Annual Ladies Army & Coed Tourney Apr 27-29". leagueofbikepolo.com.
  28. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army III, May 2011". leagueofbikepolo.com.
  29. ^ "Podium bike polo - Ladies Army 2014". www.podiumbikepolo.com.
  30. ^ "Podium bike polo - Ladies Army 2015". www.podiumbikepolo.com.

External links[edit]