As this is around the corner from my house, I see them playing all the time.
When playing bike polo you only use one gear. You don’t move fast. “It’s a game of finesse and balance more than anything else,” explained 30-year-old Josh Kline, who has been playing the game since teams began forming in DC a few years ago. “I heard about the game from friends who knew I’d be interested.”
Bike polo, traditionally played on grass, originated in Ireland and was formally invented by Richard J. Mecredy in 1891.
There has been a sharp spike in interest in the last year, and new teams are sprouting up around the world. Bike polo is now played in the USA, France, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and USA and Canada.
Towards the end of the 19th century the game reached Great Britain, USA and France. The first international match was played between Ireland and England in 1901. Cycle polo was a demonstration event in the 1908 London Olympics with Ireland beating Germany to win the gold medal.
Hardcourt bike polo started in Tallahassee roughly four years ago. Rules, court dimensions, bikes, time frame and mallet construction vary from city to city.
Last year, with donations of materials from Fragers Hardware, Josh said they rebuilt the boards around the rink and the rink itself. “We couldn’t have done the repairs without the help of Fragers.” Local artist John Wye designed tee-shirts for the teams. “We try to care for the rink. We sweep, pick up trash and make sure it stays in good condition.”