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]

Typically, two teams of three players play in an enclosed rectangular area (ex. parking lot, tennis courts, or roller hockey rink). Goals are placed at each long end of the rectangle.

At the beginning of the game, the ball is placed in the middle of the court the players wait behind their own goals. Following a countdown, both teams charge 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 five goals or a predetermined length of time, usually 12 or 15 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".

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 South American Hardcourt (SAHBP) organizations coming up as Bike polo spreads to other continents and countries all over the world.

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

Balls are typically made from PVC and are similar to a Street Hockey ball.

Some players may 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 are held in countries around the world, including Australia, United Kingdom, and Germany.

Timaru has officially put in a bid to host the world championship in 2015.

World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2008 Toronto
Canada (CAN)
Heat Lightning
United States (USA)
Balls Deep
Canada (CAN)
Hunter Brothers + Kev
United States (USA)
2009 Philadelphia
United States (USA)
Team Smile
United States (USA)
Balls Deep
Canada (CAN)
Faceless Emotion
United States (USA)
Wisconsin A
United States (USA)
2010 Berlin
Germany (DEU)
Beaver Boys
United States (USA)
5-1 [4] Machine Politics
United States (USA)
L’Equipe
Switzerland (CHE)
Toros
Germany (DEU)
2011 Seattle
United States (USA)
Crazy Canucks
Canada (CAN)
5-4 [5] Call Me Daddy
France (FRA)
Guardians
United States (USA)
Iron Ponies
Switzerland (CHE)
2012 Geneva
Switzerland (CHE)
Call Me Daddy
France (FRA)
3-2 [6] Guardians
United States (USA)
Clobber Politics
United StatesCanada (USA/CAN)
Dead Rappers
United Kingdom (GBR)
2013 [7] Weston, FL
United States
Beavers
United States (USA)
5-1 Call Me Daddy
France (FRA)
The Assassins
United States (USA)
Edisons
FranceGermany (FRA,DEU)
2014 [8] Montpellier
France (FRA)
Call Me Daddy
France (FRA)
5-3 Beavers
United States (USA)
Outlawz
SwitzerlandHungary (CHE/HUN)
The Control
United States (USA)
2016[9] Timaru
New Zealand (NZL)

North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2009 Seattle, WA
United States USA
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 USA
The Odds
United States (Richmond/Philadelphia/New York)
5-2 Team Smile
United States (Seattle)
East Van
Canada (Vancouver)
Super Polonics
United States (Seattle)
2011 Calgary
Canada CAN
The Guardians[10]
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 USA
Beaver Boys
United States (Milwaukee)
3-1 The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Means
United StatesCanada (Richmond/Ottawa/New York)
Portland United
United States (Portland)
2013[11] Roseville, MN
United States USA
Beavers
United States (San Francisco)
2-5, 5-0 The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Assassins
United States (Seattle)
Portland United
United States (Portland)
2014[12] Roseville, MN
United States USA
Beavers
United States (San Francisco, Milwaukee)
5-3, 5-4 Portland United
United States (Portland)
The Guardians
United States (Seattle)
The Ringers
United States (Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco)
2015 Lexington, KY
United States USA

European 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 [13] 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 [14] 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 [15] 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 Zaragoza
Spain Spain

Australasian 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[16] Sydney The Fist
AustraliaUnited States (Melbourne/Seattle)
5-2 Alchemists
Australia (Perth)
The Sentinels
Australia (Brisbane)
C4 Christchurch
New Zealand (Christchurch)

New Zealand Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2015 Auckland

South American 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)
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)

Latin American Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2014 Bogota Rompebolas
Mexico (Mexico City)
5-3, 4-0 Underdogs
Brazil (São Paulo)
Vándalos
Mexico (Mexico City)
Hermanos Korioto
Mexico (Mexico City)
2015 Quito

Professional Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place
2015[17] Topeka
United States USA
Guardians
United States (Seattle, Milwaukee)
13-12 Corgoyles
United States (Seattle)
Beavers, North West Pioneers
United States (San Francisco), United States (Portland)

The Ladies Army[edit]

Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
2009[18] Vancouver Bushwackers
Canada (Vancouver)
In my back pocket
Canada (Ottawa)
Vagic Moments
Canada (Vancouver)
Killer Ladybugs
Canada (Victoria)
2010[19] New York City Delta Force
CanadaUnited States (Philadelphia/Toronto/Portland)
Beer, Bacon & Babes
United States (Seattle/Minneapolis)
2011[20] Austin Cunning Stunts
United StatesCanada (Toronto/Milwaukee/Seattle)
The C.L.A.P.
United StatesCanada (Seattle/Vancouver)
2012[21] Lexington, KY 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[22] Vancouver 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[23] Toronto 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[24] San Francisco Valkyries
United StatesSwitzerlandCanada(Lexington/Genf/Vancouver)
1-0 Hot Honey Biscuits
United States (Seattle/Mobile/Athens)
Shit Twins
United States (Madison/Raleigh-Durh)
Ruckus
GermanyFranceUnited States (Frankfurt/Strasbourg/Seattle)

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. ^ "Video: Beaver Boys vs Machine Politics". Brooks. Retrieved 7 Aug 2010. Final Game at WHBPC 2010 
  5. ^ "Video: Crazy Canucks vs Call Me Daddy". Vimeo. Retrieved 11 Sep 2011. Final Game at WHBPC 2011 
  6. ^ "Video: Call Me Daddy vs Guardians". Vimeo. Retrieved 19 Aug 2012. Final Game at WHBPC 2012 
  7. ^ "Podium: WHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Retrieved 18 Oct 2013. Beavers 5 - 1 Call Me Daddy 
  8. ^ "Podium: WHBPC 2014". Hardcourt Podium. Retrieved 10 Sep 2014. Call Me Daddy 5 - 3 Beavers 
  9. ^ "THE 7TH WORLD HARDCOURT BICYCLE POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "NAHBPC 3: CALGARY". Fleetvelo. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Podium: NAHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Retrieved 18 Aug 2013. Beavers 5 - 0 The Guardians 
  12. ^ "Podium bike polo - NAHBPC 2014". https://www.podiumbikepolo.com/nahbpc2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Carrilo, Alejandro. "We have a winner". Retrieved 28 June 2011 quote=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.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ "Podium: EHBPC 2013". Hardcourt Podium. Retrieved 8 Jul 2013. Call Me Daddy 5 - 3 Edisons 
  15. ^ "Podium bike polo - EHBPC 2014". https://www.podiumbikepolo.com/ehbpc2014. 
  16. ^ "Podium bike polo - AHBPC 2014". https://www.podiumbikepolo.com/ahbpc14. 
  17. ^ "Podium: PHBP Momentum". Podium Bike Polo. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "League of Bike Polo - THE LADIES ARMY PRESENTS.... 1st EVER ALL WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT". https://leagueofbikepolo.com/the-ladies-army-presents-1st-ever-all-womens-tournament. 
  19. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army II June 25, 2010". http://leagueofbikepolo.com/ladies-army-ii-june-25-2010. 
  20. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army III, May 2011". https://leagueofbikepolo.com/ladiesarmy3-thread2. 
  21. ^ "League of Bike Polo - 4th Annual Ladies Army & Coed Tourney Apr 27-29". http://leagueofbikepolo.com/ladiesarmy4-thread2. 
  22. ^ "League of Bike Polo - Ladies Army III, May 2011". http://leagueofbikepolo.com/la5-thread2. 
  23. ^ "Podium bike polo - Ladies Army 2014". https://www.podiumbikepolo.com/ladiesarmy. 
  24. ^ "Podium bike polo - Ladies Army 2015". https://www.podiumbikepolo.com/ladiesarmy.