Bike Polo is a real insider tip not only for passionate cyclists and team sport enthusiasts. Anyone who likes to try out a cool new sport in their free time with friends should definitely give Bike Polo a try! This is how to play Bike Polo.
Sun, 4 cyclists and laughter on the Spree: on the largely empty meadow, two bearded cyclists with rackets chase the ball, a woman catches the ball with the rear wheel of her bike and skillfully hits it into a makeshift goal. Just watching makes you want to get on your bike and join in. And it’s not just me!
Urban bike polo is currently conquering New York and in cities like Berlin, Karlsruhe and Munich, the first people are jumping on their bikes and taking up the racket. This team sport is not new at all – it was invented in Ireland in the 19th century and is played passionately in Ireland and England, just like classic polo on horseback. For a long time, bike polo was played mainly by women in gyms – and now, rediscovered by bike messengers, it is becoming an urban sport trend!
Here you can learn how to play bike polo with little effort in many places. There is a fixed set of rules for professionals that varies from region to region. But with the simplified, general rules described here, anyone can try out bike polo without having to read long rule books! Sie orientieren sich frei an den anerkannten London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association Regeln.
Bike polo combines elements of cycling ball and polo in that it is played while riding horses. A team of 2 or 3 players each rides after a ball equipped with rackets and tries to skillfully shoot it into the opponent’s goal. Of course, the opposing players try to prevent this and intercept it with their bicycle tyres and skilful driving manoeuvres. If you can ride a bike safely and well, you have an advantage in this sport!
Two teams with 2, 3 or 4 players each on wheels face each other on a rectangular grass pitch like a football field or in an indoor arena. Ideally, the area is no smaller than 30 m x 15 m.
The playing field and the centre line are best marked outdoors with spray chalk. At the height of the centre line, attach so-called tab outs on both sides, e.g. 2 plastic bottles or a horn, which you attach to a string, e.g. to a marker cone. At the end of each pitch, place 2 pilones in the middle about 1.80 m apart – they mark the goal height with their tips.
At the start of the game the ball is in the middle on the halfway line and all polo players are at the same height as the goal line. One calls out loudly: 3-2-1-Polo! and this is the starting signal at which all feet must be on the pedals. During the game, the feet must not touch the ground with impunity and he must not rest his foot on anything horizontally! If this does happen (dab or foot down), the player is out of the game and is not allowed to participate in the game in any way until he has driven to the sideline and knocked off the Tab Out or sounded the horn.
Now the Biek Polo players drive into the middle, try to win the ball and playtowards the opposing goal. The attacking team may only cross the centre line if at least one player of the other team is in its half, otherwise the opposing team gets possession of the ball. The player in possession of the ball guides the ball with the ends of his stick or with his side. He must pass the ball to another player before the team can attempt a goal kick – otherwise the opposing team is awarded possession. A bike polo match is divided into 4 quarters, each lasting 7.5 minutes – so it goes for 30 minutes in total. The team that has 5 goals first or has scored the most goals after 30 minutes wins.
If there is any confusion, the ball goes back to the centre line and a new start is made.
Goals may only be scored with the ends of the club head. If a player pushes the ball into the goal with the head of the stick (Wrist Shot) or scoops it in with the head of the stick (Scoop Shot) the goals are invalid. In the normal course of play, however, players may pass balls to each other with Wrist Shots and Scoop Shots.
If you shoot or push the ball with the broad side of the stick, the goal is a so-called shuffle and is also invalid – unless it is an own goal! After a goal, the team that scored the goal must retreat to its half of the field. The other team now has possession of the ball and is also only allowed to be in their half. Then it goes on!
Looking for more ideas for activities with friends? Ultimate Frisbee is our hot tip for the park – or do you already know these outdoor throwing games?
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Image source Cover photo: German Bikepolo WM Qualification-54 by tetedalacourse at CC BY-SA 2.0.
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