This just in from Seattle Bike Polo representatives:
“Absolute confirmation” of a bike polo game at Wednesday’s Seattle Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.
From the Seattle Bike Polo website:
What is Bicycle Polo? Well obviously it’s kinda like horse polo except you don’t have to own a horse. The rules differ from city to city, and so do the styles. We have simple rules, we play on pavement, and we host three to four games a week, which you can learn more about here.
What do you need to play bicycle polo? Well first of all you need some bikes. If you’re like the majority of us you hold your mallet in your right hand. This means you’re going to use your left hand to steer and brake your bike. If this is the case, you’re going to want to reroute your left brake lever to control the back brake. Otherwise you’re gonna find yourself on the ground in front of your bike. If you want to hold your mallet in your left hand, then you’re brakes should be set up already. Now you need a mallet. Mallets can be made from all sorts of materials and everyone has their preference. Ski poles, bamboo sticks, axe handles, or even canes make good handles. PVC, black ABS, hard wood, or even aluminum blocks serve as good mallet heads, each of which can be attached to the mallet handle with screws or other methods.
Now that you’ve got your bike running and your mallet ready for action, it’s time to find your polo ground. Parking lots are nice. Tennis and basketball courts are better. Basically you’re looking for an open space with good light and a nonexistent owner. Find some orange cones and a street-hockey ball and you’re ready to play some polo.
Games are played with three people per team. Depending on the size of the court, teams of four to five have been known to happen. The idea of the game is to keep your feet on the pedals. If either of your feet touch the ground, called dabbing, you’re penalty is to ride in a circle before resuming play. This sounds like a simple penalty, but polo happens in split seconds. To score a goal, the ball must be hit with the head of the mallet. Any shot pushed with the broadside of the mallet is considered shuffling and does not count.
Play to three points. Or play to five. If you’re feeling crazy, play to twenty. Either way, have fun. The idea behind polo is finesse and skill. Staying on the pedals and communicating with your team is the goal. Rubbing elbows and shoulders is part of the game, but crashing should be avoided ideally. It’s inevitable, but the more you play, the more your skills develop.
The bottom line is having fun with your friends. Go for it. But don’t forget the beer!
And, of course, there’s a YouTube clip.