Welcome to Bike Polo is above all, great fun.

Monday Night Battles - drone video here!

Enjoyed as much by beginners as seasoned players - it involves all the ball skills and technical play of the likes of hockey or football, combined with the camaraderie that comes with playing in a team.

Competitive, silly, sweaty, funny, challenging - as well as being an incredible workout: two hours of sprint peddling will leave you extremely well exercised! And there is a high degree of emotional involvement given there is so much to do, in a fast moving five-a-side sport.

We play every Tuesday evening in the Summer, from 6:30pm, at South Cerney football pitches - please join our facebook group to be kept up to date.

Newcomers warmly welcome - please come along and give it a try!

Pedal Fast, die happy

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    JUST BEHIND MIDDLE
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    Just behind the back
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    Left Back
    in the chaging room

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Associations and Sponsors

Where, When?

Every Tuesday evening May to Sept, Including bank holidays 6:30pm start at the South Cerney football pitches Just pitch up, grab a bike and play!

Q&As

Is it fun?

Bike polo is a magnificently fun team sport, with all the ball skills and physicality of ice hockey, combined with the camaraderie that comes with playing in a team. There is a high degree of emotional involvement given there is so much to do, in a fast moving five-a-side sport.

It has a long history dating back 125 years starting in Ireland.

The sport has developed over the years in many places around the world to become only a distant relative of horse polo.

Who Can Play?

Everyone!

Girls or boys, 7 or 70, bicycle polo is as much fun for beginners as it is for seasoned players.

French Vs Canadians in 2003 World semi finals

Is this an exclusive sport?

Absolutely not! Anyone can just pitch up and play to the Cirencester Bike Polo Club, rotating around – and you will find the entire ethos is a warm welcome and encouragement for those wishing to give the game a go.

Personally owned bikes are helpful, but there is a pool of 10 bikes to be used by anyone.

The cost of bikes in the past has been a barrier to take-up (in excess of £600 for a hand built bike) but working with Halfords of Cirencester, they have bespoke adapted a production bike suitable for play, retailing at £199 – a real breakthrough.

After a bike purchase (where bikes by the way are pretty cheap to feed, with remarkably few vet bills) pitch hire is the only other cost, for us around £2 per head if a full five-a-side team is playing.

Is it a made up sport? Are there any rules?

28/6/16 update - after huge experimentation, we now feel one of the earliest sets of rules actually provides the most fun version of the game, now adopted: Bicycle Polo Association of Great Britain 1938 Rules

28/5/15 previously adopted the International 5 Player Rules

12/6/14 previously adopted 1950 BPA rules kindly provided by Gary Beckett (The Godfather of bike polo - with thanks Gary!)

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Created in 1891 by Irishman, Richard J. Mecredy, the original game was designed for grass fields. It spread across Britain throughout the 1890s, with one club in Catford, south London, and found its way to France and the US. The first international match was at Crystal Palace in 1901, where Ireland thrashed England 10-5.

Bicycle polo gained enough popularity to appear as a demonstration sport at the London 1908 Olympics where Ireland beat Germany 3-1 in the final at the Shepherd's Bush Stadium.

The 1930s saw the rebirth of the Bicycle Polo Association of Great Britain (BPAGB) along with a new set of rules. The first game played under the new rules was in Surrey, May 1930. A few months later a British regional league was created.

The Herne Hill Velodrome hosted the first game organised by the BPAGB and from then on, teams were created all over Britain.

By 1938, there were over 170 official teams in 100 clubs, with more than 1000 players. This was the peak of bicycle polo's popularity. The sport was disrupted again by the Second World War.

Cracking link here to a fully history of bike polo

Does bike polo damage grass?

Absolutely not, just the opposite in fact, as the rolling effect of ten bikes do what a commercial roller does, but involves the improved fitness of the participants!

It's worth noting there is no skidding (as part of the rules) combined with an ice hockey approach of continual movement (you can only hit the ball with feet off the ground).

To illustrate this, some years ago when a London club started using a new pitch in Fulham, the person looking after the grounds rang the club asking if they had been rolling the pitch as he'd never seen it in such good shape!

How do I start my own Club?

Recent email in response to some Australian interest:

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Steve,

Great to see you last night, some proper skills there I have to say! Looking forward to hearing about Club Australia!

You can play on cheap mountain bikes, but from experience they last one or two games then wheels buckle beyond repair, and bits fall off. Many a club has started and fizzled out when bikes become un-ride able, so worth going for something robust and stripped down from the start.

We bought a batch of production (cheap) jump bikes from Halfords and adapted, where they kindly contributed the labour – then a few ebay purchases and you’re away!

Bike£NotesSupplier
Production Jump bike £154.99 Mesh, 26" wheels (these bigger wheels more stable). Robust, single speed. Halfords Mesh26Jump
handlebars £14.99 to increase height Halfords (own brand)
front ring £16.99 decrease from 32 to 24 teeth, increases acceleration – they’ll need to shorten the chain. Halfords
2 skinnier tyres £12.99 standard too fat Halfords
Long seat post £10.89 28.6 x 400mm (ebay). Standard way too short ebay SeatPost
Total £210.85

-

per bike
Polo sticks £20 to £35 32" or 33". Worth spending a bit more, Indian ones don’t seem to last as long ebay PoloSticks
Polo ball plastic £3 plastic (traditional horse polo, travel further, but harder!) amazon HardBalls
or soft ball £12.50 Arena (air filled, safer, don’t travel as well) amazon SoftBalls
4 goal posts £12 football slalom poles GoalPosts

You'll then need some Rules, a grass pitch to play on, and ideally some bike storage at the same location.

As a side note, our version is grass polo, but there is probably more hard court polo being played these days (in cities) which has many differences (possibly as different as ice hockey to field hockey) where each will swear by their version of course!

If you are starting a club, worth trying to buy all 10 bikes in a batch for a volume discount to start everyone off, then perhaps sell them on as we did. In fact we were able to sell ours at half price (as a sponsorship deal) which really brings the price down to circa £100 per bike. Spreads the cost, but more importantly ownership means maintenance gets spread about, else you’ll spend your life with a spanner in your hand!

Hope this helps – do let me know if there is anything else you need

R

07973 156 307

Contact Us

For all enquiries and to be kept up to date with play dates, please contact us via our facebook group

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