European Hard Court Bicycle Polo Championships, 1st & 2nd August 2009
28.07.09 by Buffalo Bill
What a mouthful. It’s called hard court to distinguish it from the grass version, which has been played for over a hundred years, and once featured in the Olympics as a demonstration sport. The hard court version, which originated in the parking lots of the West Coast of North America, is played by teams of 3, and has been popularised by bicycle messengers, although the majority of the 40 teams coming over to London this weekend will not be messengers. The favourites, L’Equipe of Geneva, are, I believe, messengers, but most of the teams will be made up of non-messengers. Amongst the London teams, only James Brown, of Malice, is currently working as a messenger, the Moving Target team having failed to make it through the qualifying tournament.
However, that really is neither here nor there. Polo is ideally suited to those spectators with a short attention span. Most of the games last 10 minutes or less, there are few complicated rules (the main ones are: don’t put your foot down, and goals can only be scored with the short end of the mallet), and spills are guaranteed. There’s a reception party at Tour de Ville Friday evening, with a Polocat to follow, and over 150 games, starting 9am Saturday at Marlborough Gardens (on Union Street, at the Borough end) SE1. More details on teams, schedule, rules, prizes, sponsors and everything else on the official EHBPC site.
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