An underground activity is becoming a full-fledged international sport.
The Good Blog reports on the rapid evolution of the sport of Bike Polo that perhaps started as a mere leisure activity, then rose to become a popular underground pastime, and is now quickly emerging as a full-fledged international sport. The game is played by two teams of 3 players on customized bikes, using handmade mallets to strike a ‘goal’ with a plastic ball. The sport now has a big following in US and Europe with clubs, international tournaments like the Greif Masters in Germany and even the World Championships to be held in Berlin next month.
Good’s Zach Dundas talked to Jonny Hunter and Kevin Walsh of the League of Bike Polo to get their insights on the sport. On asked about the future of Bike Polo:
Well, there are definitely some barriers. One is, the equipment needs are very individual and specific. The mechanic at your local bike shop isn’t going to know how to work on a polo bike. There have been a couple of bikes manufactured specifically for bike polo—the Fleet Velo Joust and Milwaukee Bike’s Bruiser—but the sales, so far, are low. So I don’t see it becoming commercialized.
On the other hand, we have a major sponsor involved in this tournament [the upcoming North American championship], Trek, and that has been fantastic. We have an organizing body now, and I think that within the community we have enough organizing talent and potential to steer the sport in the direction we, as players and fans, want it to go.