History of the cycling polo and basic game. The history of this game is poorly documented, and no one can say with certainty how it began. According to one version, shortly after the invention of the pneumatic tire in the late 1800s, the English Foreign Ministry sent a batch of bicycles to one of the Indian rulers. However, he said that the royal status does not allow him to pedal, and gave the bikes to his subordinates. They could never afford to buy horses to play popular equestrian polo and started playing this game on bicycles.
The English privates, also unable to use the pony to play polo, brought a new game with them home. Later the game spread throughout the UK, Europe, and America. Later, when the popularity of cars increased, the bicycle polo disappeared.
Irish American sports
According to another version, the Irish cyclist Richard McReddy invented this game at his club in Dublin. Then the sport immigrated to America through Irish sports clubs in Boston, Massachusetts, however, due to the spread of cars, it gradually disappeared.
In one form or another, the game still persisted in the UK, Europe, America, India, and Southeast Asia and was often used as a training game for young players in equestrian polo. Prior to Dodge, a bicycle history researcher, provided the United States Bicycle Polo Association with copies of old photographs from Ireland, France, and America. The National American Historical Bike Archive has similar evidence of the existence of this sport in its collection. Since the 1930s, women have been playing polo bike.
Cycling popularity statistics
In the 1970s and the very beginning of the 1980s, a group of equestrian players engaged in the popularization of cycling polo in Central Park in New York and on the East Coast. Unfortunately, its members dispersed just before the mountain bike appeared. The development of mountain biking and the revival of the popularity of cycling in all its manifestations led to the fact that the bike was again on the rise. The first World Cycling Championship took place in 1996 in the USA, the Indian team won.
International cycling union
5 Russian teams are registered on the website of the International Cycling League – from Moscow, Pskov, Voronezh, Volgograd and Kursk. Total registered 453 teams around the world.
John Kennedy, a member of the United States Cycling Polo Association, explains the reasons for the revival of this sport:
“Bicycle polo is suitable for everyone who is able to pedal on a bicycle. The ability to predict and rotate smoothly here means more than pure speed and brute force. This is great for mass sports, and I am sure that this is one of the reasons that led to the revival of cycling polo lately. A large number of young people can get together and spend time in a safe and fun team game. In addition, it allows you to bring to riding those people who otherwise would not even think about it. In just a few years, the cycle polo turned from practically unknown entertainment to a new significant sport in the public mind. Currently, this game is practiced in schools and universities; there are also public parks and recreational areas offering access to the playing fields.”
The basics and rules of the game “bike polo rules” or “urban bike polo”
1. Parallel rule
A parallel rule helps to ensure the safety cycling polo of players of all levels, and it is easy to explain to riders, parents, and administrators. In order to hit the ball, the player must travel at least three bike lengths parallel to the sideline before taking the kick. Think of it as a right triangle. The ball can travel through the hypotenuse, but you must ride the legs! Thus, everyone approaches the ball from the north and from the south, and the probability of collisions decreases sharply. In addition, riders must respect the distance between the bikes of 1 meter.
2. Playing with a high stick
No one would like to get a stick at the jaw. Therefore, if two players go to the ball from different sides, and both are within three bicycles, they are not allowed to raise their clubs above the road bike wheels. In any case, a small inflatable ball, used in this game, will fly even from a gentle blow with a club.
3. Size of field
The ideal field size is 90 by 55 meters, although you can use any space that you have — parking, the roof of a building, or a clearing. If the field is too small, you can release some air from the ball so that it does not bounce so hard when struck. Best of all, if the field is covered with grass: when you fall, it is much nicer than artificial turf or asphalt. A collision and falls in the cycle field cannot be avoided.
4. Mixed teams
If you want to drive more, then reduce the number of players to three by three or two by two. A great idea is to play with mixed teams, and be sure: girls can beat guys, this happens regularly.
5. Duration of games
Usually four 10-minute quarters (chunks) are played, but you can choose any format of the game.
6. Contact after no contact
All you can do is pick up another player’s stick. You cannot put sticks in the wheels, hit riders with them or drive into someone else’s bike. Play honestly, and no one will suffer!
Free kicks make their way from the scene of the violation. If it is close to the goal, then the defending team can build all four players in them; Bicycle frames should be parallel to the sideline, and the front wheels should be rotated across the goalie area. To stay in place and not touch the ground, you can use a stick as a support.
8. Do not touch the ground with your feet
If your foot touches the ground, you must move out of the field to the point nearest the breach and then re-enter the game. If you have blocked a kick or pass, while standing with your foot on the ground, then a free kick is awarded to the opposing team. If this happens, when you are in your own penalty area, or when you can see that the ball should have hit the goal, a goal is counted.
9. Fixed gear bicycles
Most players use fixed gear bike or single speed bikes. But any bike is suitable for cycling games and cycling polo – this is the advantage of the game. It is enough to customize it for you. Some put protective discs on the wheels so as not to damage the spokes, and so that the ball does not slip through them. Some people cut the steering wheel to make it easier to maneuver between the participants.
10. Have fun!
Get crazy, wear weird stuff and have fun!