Cycle polo

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Cycle polo
Bike Polo AUT-HUN.jpg
Bike polo match in Budapest
Highest governing bodyInternational Bicycle Polo Federation, North American Bike Polo Association, European Hardcourt Bike Polo Association
First playedOctober 1891 - County Wicklow, Ireland. (Rathclaren Rovers V Ohne Hast Cycling Club)
Characteristics
Team membersFive or Three
TypeTeam sport
EquipmentBicycle, Mallet, Ball
Presence
OlympicLondon, 1908. (Demonstration Game – Ireland 3-v-1 Germany)

Cycle polo (or bicycle polo or bike polo, polo-vélo in French, Radpolo in German) is a team sport, similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses. There are two versions of the sport: grass and Hardcourt Bike Polo. The hardcourt game saw a sharp spike in interest in the first decade of the 21st century[1] and new teams are sprouting up across the world in China, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, France, India, Germany, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, England, Scotland, Argentina, Italy, Spain, USA, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Nepal, Brazil and Cuba.

The grass game[edit]

There are two versions of the grass games: the four-player game and the five-player game.

In the four-player game, cycle polo is played in a rectangular grass field, 150 by 100 metres (490 ft × 330 ft) officially, unofficially whatever field is big enough. Moreover, official dimensions can vary between 120 by 150 metres (390 ft × 490 ft) in length on 80 by 100 metres (260 ft × 330 ft) in width. The ball used approximately 2.5 inches (64 mm) in diameter and the mallet is of maximum length 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).

Goals are four metres wide and made with two goal posts without any crossbar.

There are six members in a team, of which four are on field at any one time. The other two are used as substitutes. International matches are played for a duration of 30 minutes, divided into periods of 7.5 minutes known as chukkars. Extra time can be used to determine the winner in the event of the scores being tied at normal time.

A player following the ball on its exact line and taking it on his off side will be entitled to the right of way over all other players.

If a deliberate severe foul is committed at the vicinity of the goal, the team that is fouled is automatically given a goal. Less severe fouls are awarded 15-metre and 25-metre free hits. In the event of deliberate fouls or dangerous fouls, the umpire can issue a yellow card (warning) and in case of repeated or severe fouls a red card (ejection). The ejected player can be replaced by a substitute after the end of the current chukkar if the umpire allows it.[2]

In the 5 player game (mostly used in Europe), bicycle polo is played in a rectangular grass field, 100 by 60 metres (330 ft × 200 ft) officially, such as a football or a rugby field. Moreover, official dimensions can vary between 80–110 metres (260–360 ft) in length and 40–70 metres (130–230 ft) in width. The ball shall be round and may not be less than 32 cm (12.6 inches) or greater than 38 cm (15.0 inches) in circumference when inflated. Tnd the mallet is of maximum length 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).

Goals are 4 meters wide (5 meters in the national French rules) and made with 2 goal posts and a 2.75 meter (3 yards) high crossbar.

There are eight members in a team of which five are on the field at any one time, including a goalkeeper. The other three are used as substitutes. Matches are played for a duration of 60 minutes divided into 4 periods of 15 minutes each. Extra time can be used to determine the winner in case the scores are tied at normal time.

In order for a player to touch the ball or attack an opponent, the player must be holding the mallet in his right hand, the handlebar in his left hand, and must not be touching the ground with any part of his body.

In order to attack an opponent who is playing the ball on their right side, a player shall attack the opponent on the right side of the opponent with the ball in the middle of both players (i.e. the ball shall be on the left side of the attacking player).

In order to attack an opponent who is playing the ball on their left side, a player shall attack the opponent on the left side of the opponent with the ball in the middle of both players (i.e. the ball shall be on the right side of the attacking player).

The right of way is given to the player who follows or possesses the ball. In the penalty area, the right of way is lost in favour of the goalkeeper.[3]

The hardcourt game[edit]

Video of cycle polo

In recent years, an alternate form of the game known as "Hardcourt Bike Polo" has grown in popularity.[1] In this variation, teams composed of three players compete on tennis courts, street hockey rinks, or whatever other surfaces are available. The rules vary slightly by city.

Generally this is a faster game with three members on a team and no substitutions, and with all members on the court at all times. A street hockey ball is used and matches are played until one team scores five points or time has expired, without playing chukkars. During tournament play, a time limit, such as 10 minutes, may be used to maximise the number of tournament rounds possible during the day.

There are three core rules of play:

In the case of a 'foot down' or 'dab' (touching the ground with one's foot) the player must "tap out" by riding to mid-court and hitting a designated area with their mallet. There is usually a tap-out located on either side of the court.

In order to score, the offensive player must hit the ball across the goal line using the narrow end of the mallet, called a "shot" or "hit." Hitting the ball across the goal line with the wide end of the mallet is called a "shuffle".

When a team scores a goal, the opposing team must retreat to their half and wait for the other team (player or ball, whichever comes first) to cross the halfway line before engaging in play again.

The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association has created an official ruleset,[4] which has helped standardise rules across the globe.

History[edit]

The game was invented in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1891 by retired champion cyclist Richard J. Mecredy, editor of The Irish Cyclist magazine.[5] In October of that year the first cycle polo match was played at the Scalp (County Wicklow) between Rathclaren Rovers and the Ohne Hast Cycling Club.[6] Towards the end of the 19th century the game reached Great Britain, France, and the United States where the American Star Bicycle was a popular mount.[7] The first international match was played between Ireland and England in 1901. Cycle polo was a demonstration sport at the 1908 London Olympics with Ireland winning, beating Germany.[6][8][9]

The sport reached its peak of popularity in Great Britain during the 1930s with the introduction of the regional leagues. Cycle polo also flourished in France during this period with the establishment of the French league. Internationals between France and Great Britain were held regularly. However the Second World War marked the beginning of the demise of cycle polo in Britain. The sport remained in France though, with league championships held regularly until today.

The 1980s saw the rise of two new powers in cycle polo, India and the United States. The Bicycle Polo Association of America was created in 1994. International cycle polo matches staged a comeback in the 1990s with the first world championship organized in 1996 in the USA. Today there is organized cycle polo being played in Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. Cycle polo was officially recognized by the Union Cycliste Internationale in 2001.

Cycle Polo in India[edit]

A Traditional Cycle Polo game in CC&FC, Kolkata

The Cycle Polo Association of India was officially created in 1966 it has its office in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The first men's nationals were played in 1970 in New Delhi, with the team from Rajasthan emerging victorious.

In the 2016–17 season, the men's nationals were held in Jodhpur, Rajasthan from 13–16 January 2017. Indian Air Force was the champion and the Indian Army the runners-up. The 2016-17 women's nationals were held at Dundlod, Rajasthan from 21–24 February 2017. Chhattisgarh defeated Karnataka in the finals.[10]

The Calcutta Cricket & Football Club hosted the first Merchant’s Cup Cycle Polo tournament in 1973. In 2012, the CC&FC had organised a Cycle Polo Legend's Tournament where great players of yesteryear such as Vijai Singh, Lakshman Singh and Bikram Das participated. [11] Currently, the CC&FC plays host to the March Mug, the Swaroop Bhanjdeo Memorial Tournament and the CC&FC Trophy. Since 2015 onwards, CC&FC has been hosting the CC&FC All India Invitation Cycle Polo Cup which is organised jointly by the CC&FC along with the Cycle Polo Association of Bengal.

In 2017, the CC&FC All India Invitation Cycle Polo Cup had seven teams in the men's section and five in the women's section. Territorial Army were the eventual champions in the men's section. They defeated Indian Air Force 14:6 in the final. In the women section Chhattisgarh defeating in Bengal in the final. 15:3 was the score line. [12]

In 2018, in the men's section, the defending champions Territorial Army successfully defended their title by defeating Bengal 12:10 in the final. In the women's section, Bengal easily overcame their opponents Uttar Pradesh 15:0 in the final.

International Bicycle Polo Championships[13][edit]

Year Host Gold Silver Bronze
1996 United States
Richland,
United States
India
India (national team)
United States
United States (A.B.P.A. Richland 1)
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
1999 Canada
Vancouver,
Canada
India
India (national team)
United States
United States (A.B.P.A Richland)
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A. 1)
2000 India
New Delhi,
India
India
India (national team)
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
United States
United States (A.B.P.A Richland 1)
2001 United Kingdom
London,
United Kingdom
India
India (national team)
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
France
France (national team)
2002 France
Paris,
France
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
France
France (national team A)
India
India (national team A)
2003 United States
Vero Beach,
United States
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
United States
United States (A.B.P.A Richland)
France
France (national team)
2004 Canada
Vancouver,
Canada
United States
United States (A.B.P.A Richland)
France
France (national team)
India
India (national team)
2005 United States
Aiken,
United States
France
France (national team)
United States
United States (Aiken "green" B.P.)
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
2006 United States
Kennewick,
United States
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
United States
United States (Unionville B.P.)
France
France (national team)
2015 United States
Aiken,
United States
United States
United States (Aiken B.P.)
France
France
Canada
Canada (Jericho C.P.A.)
2016 India
Jaipur,
India
India
India (national team)
United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain (England)
Malaysia
Malaysia

The UK based Pukka Chukkas won the 2012 Acumen Energy Bicycle Polo Cup held at Tiger Tops Karnali on the fringes of the Bardia National Park in Nepal, beating EFG Switzerland in a thrilling final in front of a crowd of over 5,000. The bicycles used in the tournament were donated to local schools and social clubs, and money was raised for the prevention and cure of elephant tuberculosis.

European Championships[14][edit]

The European Championships is an annual Bicycle Polo competition for European club teams. It is held over three legs each year in France, Germany, Ireland or United Kingdom of Great Britain. The competition began in 2007 following the compromise between French and British/Irish traditional rules.

Year Gold Silver Bronze 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
2007 V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) A.S.C. Pessac Alouette (France) Johnstone W.C.C. (U.K.) Oakenden P. (U.K.) Dublin Phoenix (Ireland) Barbarians (Ireland & U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Dublin Obelisk (Ireland)
2008 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Dublin Phoenix (Ireland) Oakenden P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Oakenden P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Turtle B.P. (Ireland) Johnstone W.C.C. (U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) A.S.C. Pessac Alouette (France)
2009 V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) Oakenden P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Oakenden P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Dublin Phoenix (Ireland) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Dublin Obelisk (Ireland) Johnstone W.C.C. (U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France)
2010 V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Dublin Phoenix (Ireland) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Dublin Obelisk (Ireland), Johnstone W.C.C. (U.K.) & Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Chelsea P. (U.K.)
2011 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Chelsea P. (U.K.) Oakenden B.P. "Vigo" (U.K.)
2012 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Oakenden B.P. "Team Pink" (U.K.) & E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Johnstone W.C.C. (U.K.) & Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Vigo" (U.K.) Chelsea P. (U.K.)
2014 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Entente d'Ile-de-France (France) Rebréchien Loiret Cyclisme (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Oakenden B.P. "Tigers" (U.K.) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France)
2015 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Parisis Athletic Club 95 (France) E.S. Gervais-Lilas (France) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Radler-Club 1913 Wendelstein e.V. (Germany) Entente d'Ile-de-France (France) Oakenden B.P. "Tigers" (U.K.)
2016 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Parisis Athletic Club 95 (France) Radler-Club 1913 Wendelstein e.V. (Germany) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Barbarians (France, Ireland & U.K.) Oakenden B.P. "Tigers" (U.K.) & les Gaulois (France)
2017 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Parisis Athletic Club 95 (France) Radler-Club 1913 Wendelstein e.V. "Polonauten" (Germany) Radler-Club 1913 Wendelstein e.V. "Wendelstein" (Germany) & Oakenden B.P. "Belles" (U.K.)
2018 Pédales Varengevillaises 1 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Oakenden" (U.K.) V.C. Frileuse-Sanvic (France) Pédales Varengevillaises 2 (France) Parisis Athletic Club 95 (France) Oakenden B.P. "Amazons" (U.K.) Radler-Club 1913 Wendelstein e.V. (Germany) Entente d'Ile-de-France (France) North Devon B.P. - CIrencester B.P. (U.K.) Oakenden B.P. "Belles" (U.K.)
  • 2013: no organization of the European Cup.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Polo's young punk cousin". BBC. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  2. ^ "International 4 player rules of bicycle polo". www.polo-velo.net. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Rules of bicycle polo - international 5 player set". www.polo-velo.net. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  4. ^ Official North American ruleset
  5. ^ Mahey, Arun; Brand, Jessica (23 July 2010). "Could a lost Olympic sport find its way back to London?". BBC. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b polovelo. "Cycle polo story". Polo-velo.net. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  7. ^ Herlihy, David V. (2004). Bicycle, The History. Yale University Press. p. 372. ISBN 0-300-10418-9.
  8. ^ "Welcome to rediff.com : Sports - Athens 2004 History". Rediff.com. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  9. ^ "BBC SPORT | Olympics 2004 | History | London 1908". BBC News. 9 July 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  10. ^ Cycle Polo Federation of India. "Official Website". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  11. ^ Dey, Sreyoshi (12 June 2012). "The wheels of a royal sport were a turnin' at CC&fc" (The Telegraph). ABP. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  12. ^ Sarkar, Brinda (1 June 2017). "A power-packed cycle polo tourney at CC&FC" (The Telegraph). ABP. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Bike polo's history". www.polo-velo.net. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Bike polo's history". www.polo-velo.net. Retrieved 30 April 2019.

External links[edit]