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history of Hardcourt

  Montana, Philly.

I'm trying to recreate an early history of the hardcourt game. Here's what I have so far.

Jay Grisham, a Seattle courier, brought the grass game to the city from the Olympic Peninsula.  They played with wood mallets and a mini soccer ball.

Lacking reasonable access to grass fields, they played in parking garages on 5th/6th sts. in downtown Seattle.

When Jay left Seattle for a stint with the Coast Guard, he left his mallets with his friends, Matt Messinger and Tim Mason.

The first real Hardcourt games were played in the winter/spring of '99/2000 on carpet in a stockroom at Kozmo.com.  Kozmo eventually tore out the carpet, and they played on concrete.

Matt built many of the first mallets specifically for Hardcourt out of bamboo.  They experimented with differengt balls.  Batting cage balls, tennis balls, and a ball made with wadded up newspaper and duct tape were tried. They eventually settled on a roller hockey ball.  There were many other players.  I especially remember Guy and Irving.  I can't remember your last names.  Forgive me. 

Although many games were played before, the first verifiable Hardcourt polo event which was witnessed by civilians was an exhibition game put on at the Bike Expo by the Courier Association Of Seattle (C.A.O.S.) in the spring of 2001 at the convention center in south Seattle.  I rode a BMX, most people rode their work bikes.  No-one had a polo bike.  I think we used a street hockey ball; mallets were wood or bamboo.

The game spread from Seattle to Portland, and by 2002 Tad Bamford created the first polo club, the Axles of Evil.  Portland refined the game, and created the modern ski pole/PVC mallet which we use today.

There were several West Coast tournaments during this time, most notably the Messman Masquerade (Seattle), and the first West Side Polo Invite (Portland), which were essentially still pickup games.  Seattle was still the dominant force in Hardcourt.   The sport continued to grow in popularity, and there several inter-city tournaments between 2003/04.

I brought the sport East from Seattle to Philadelphia in the winter/spring of 2001/02.  I was still playing a dinosaur game with wood mallets of my own construction, and a ball made with newspaper and duct tape.  We used rocks and beer cans for goalposts.  We shot from the narrow end of the mallet, and we tapped out at the nearest sideline.

The first major Hardcourt polo tournament was scheduled for the the Seattle World's in the summer of 2003.  it was a miserable failure, and, after the organizers lost their venue we played a pickup tournament on the roof/parking deck of Castle Superstore, a big box porno and sex toy shop on the south shore of Lake Union.  I played on a team with a dude from somewhere, and another dude from someplace.  We didn't win.  A men's and a women's team winners were declared (this was back when almost as many girls as boys played polo. I miss those days).  I have no idea who the men's winners were.  One of the three girls on the winning women's team was my girlfriend, Kathryn.  Anybody, please help fill in the blanks.  This tournament was Ottowa's introduction to the sport, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Brian was one of the dudes on my team, but that's too wierd to think about.  I'm pretty sure Guy from Seattle was on the winning men's team.  There were a mixture of wood, bamboo and ski pole/PVC mallets. We played with a street hockey ball, and I don't remember where we tapped out.  People were still playing on their work bikes.

The 2004 WSPI in Portland was probably the first successful Hardcourt tournament, with around 15 teams from at least two cities.  Seattle, Portland, maybe Vancouver? Help me out.

Polo continued to grow in Philly; we switched to a street hockey ball, but still played with wooden mallets.  Corey Hilliard (AKA No really, put your pants back on, nobody wants to see that) organized the first East Side Polo Invite in 2005.  I remember Ottawa first, Philly second, NY third.  The Philly team was Capriotti, Alex and another dude named Notme.  Ottowa was Alexis, Angelo and Jen? NY was Brad, Jared and ?  This was the first tournament where I remember there being a fixed point where players had to tap out.  Some of us had bikes specifically built for polo.  There were fewer than a dozen teams.

In 2006 the NACCs came to Philly, and there was a tournament on a similar scale.  This time I think it was Ottowa, NY, Philly.  I know the Philly team was Alex, Capriotti, and Dave Wagner.  Other cities please fill in your rosters.  Most people played on polo bikes.

In 2007 shit really blew up, and I think most people have a pretty good idea of their history from there on, but there are some gaps left to fill.  NY made the first wheel covers, Philly refined super low gearing.  I would love to hear from the Pacific Northwest about turnout (numbers of teams) at the WSPI from 2005 to present.  I would love to get firm numbers from NY and DC for teams at the ESPIs 2007 and 08.  I want to know when Vancouver started playing.  Although some people have said that New York learned about polo from Portland at the 2005 Worlds, others insist that NY was playing Hardcourt as early as 2004.  What's up?  The upper Midwest apparently made their transition from a grass game in '07 after Ben Schultz returned from ESPI, but in the fall at Northsides Milwaukee was still new to Hardcourt.  I'm sure the rest of the country has stories to tell, and I want to know how the South and the lower Midwest found the sport too.  I think that really, the most pressing question facing us today is, if I've been playing this sport so much longer than the rest of you fucking amateurs, how come some of you assholes are so much better at it than I am?

This is Great!

I am curious when some people started doing the ball joint also what other types of alterations people have done to their bikes. I was the first person to cut my handlebars in half on the west coast that I know of. I did it in 2006 because Messman kept on fucking with me and would ride by and grab my bars. Also I believe that I was the first one on the west coast to do the Ball Joint. I brought it out at the 2007 West Side and people promptly started to make it Illegal I got the Idea For it from Matt Case who went to Worlds in Dublin and he told me there was someone there who could lift the ball into the air and through it into the goal. This was possible because they were playing on a dirt course but I knew we could do something similar on Hard Court.

This thing was built in the 70's in Chicago for a grass game there that got so popular that the park district banned bike polo for tearing up the fields. The builder came to a couple of our grass games a few years back. Cool guy.

Anyway, note the cut down bars, rear disc, and a few frame features that some lucky Ottawans should recognize.

Also: you are right about Ben Schultz bringing hardcourt to Chicago and the upper midwest. A transition that we did not make easy for him.

Chicago Bike Polo 2003-2008
St Louis Bike Polo 2008-now

Retired.

ain't that the truth!

This guy with the scoop and flip into the net from across the court is Philippe (90% sure about that name) from Basel/CH (100% sure about that location). While that Dublin tournament was completely half-assed, there were still a couple of respectable matches there. I played on a team with Ken/NYC, Allen/Ottawa, and Kai/Duisburg/NYC/Sydney/you_name_it... it was 3-on-3 but Kai and Ken played in different games through the tournament alongside Allen and me. In the group phase of this tournament the Basel guys kicked our asses 0:5 with a -lot- of help from that "scoop the ball over everyone's head from in front of your own net and into their net" shot. He used a mallet with a scooped out head that allowed for him to do this effortlessly. When we were slated to face them again in the final match of the tournament, Allen remarked that it was like an overly curved blade on a hockey stick. Good analogy. In the first few minutes of the first match that mallet found itself in two pieces, and eventually Allen scored the game-winner to avenge the stinging defeat we took from them earlier in the day and win the tournament.

We sure have come along way since then, wouldn't you say?

yes leon was the first westcoaster to balljoint and i can't count how many tourney's i've tried to ban him from using that dumb shit. fuckin' leon...

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

I've always had chopped bars on my mallet side, and I'm pretty sure I didn't come up with the idea. I think I saw it in Seattle before I left in 2001. On the East Coast we call the ball joint the Angelo because he's the first guy we remember see doing it, at the NACC in 2006.

The roof top tourney in seattle during the CMWC, 2003, was Alexis, Allen and I. Ottawa took off from there hosting their own annual tourney, then known as the Golden ball which is now the NSPI. It was the these three players as well that won the inaugural ESPI...The A-Team as we were known.

Polo's finest

Got the '05 ESPI lineup wrong, sorry about that Allen. So you guys won in Seattle '03 too? How'd you pull that off if you had never played the game before? That's an honest question, not just an invitation to talk shit.

Ange's memory is fuzzy. We did not win anything in Seattle

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Mallets Of Mayhem

Montana: a measly 13 teams at the 2007 ESPI in NYC, if you can believe it.

Thanks Adam. Anybody have solid numbers for ESPI '08? What about spectators? Since we've never used a closed venue, how can we account for people who travel to tournaments but don't play? Obviously an inconsequential number so far, but is it growing, and if so, is it outpacing with the number of new players?

I THINK we had 22 teams playing at ESPI, but Zack would know for sure since he did the brackets.

We had a lot of spectators, but I don't have a definite number for them. After we hosted the tournament, we had to start playing twice weekly because we saw a huge jump in numbers showing up.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

WOW....only 13 teams. It seems like there was more than that. That tournament had teams from Ottawa, Philly, NYC (obviously), Chicago, DC, and maybe other spots. Seems like there were more than 13 teams. Are you positive Adam? Cause I think there was close to 13 teams in the 2005 ESPI.

In 2005 ESPI, my team was 3rd place, and I think NYC got 2nd. Maybe Brad's team. I know that we were 3rd for sure though,as I have the bronze to prove it. In NACCC 2006 it was the A-Team in first, and myself/Al/Dave Wagner in 2nd. I have no idea about 3rd place.

BTW...........SWEET Bike Line water bottles guys. Those were some dope prizes!!!!! But seriously, I still want those frame pads.

Yeah, definitely only 13. I remember it specifically because 1) I was surprised so few actually entered to compete, and 2) I organised the groups and the bracket. Three spots were open in the round of 16, and one group had a bonus team in it. The major cause for such a crappy number was a serious lack of NYC players/teams who declared their intention in the weeks leading up to the damn thing to play actually registering and playing. The out-of-town turnout was great, the hometown turnout was kind of disappointing.

bike polo found its way down to Richmond from Zach Archibald who had moved out to portland with his wife and then ended up moving back here with wife and daughter. From what he told me, he got into it from the zoo-bomb kids out there who all played on mini bikes and had the 360 rule instead of a tap spot. Some of you may have met zack at the boston southie summer tourney where he played on a vintage black schwinn cruiser (the only kind of bikes he rides aside from tall bikes and freak bikes). Polo has been around in Richmond since 2005 when he moved back and got some of the Cutthroats into playing. It had a flash in the pan when the GRCD bike club had a tournament at their annual Go Fast Turn Drunk race in 2005(6?) where a couple familiar faces to you guys played including myself, Ian, Zack A, Tony Cutthroat, Luke Cutthroat, Erin Briggs, and maybe a few others. Richmond actually showed up and played in the 2006 NACCCs in Philly tourney but we were still piss poor players and didn't do well at all (I was not there). Polo gained serious interest in the last year and a half here and has since blown the f*ck up. Many of the new players have since surpassed the OG's skill level and gotten exceptionally good. If I had to make an estimate there are probably at least 30 "players" (that is to say, people that have more than just tried it out occasionally more if you count them) here in lil old RVA.

they call mini-bike polo "rollo" and i have the beer koozy to proove it. rollo is pretty much dead in the pacific northwest from what i hear...

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Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

I haven't talked to zach recently but I feel like he introduced it to the throats during the time they were building Helltrack and what not. it may have been as early as 2003 or 04 not 05. I played 2 seasons on the KHS, one on the Sheffield and since then on the Ocean Liner. I could be wrong.

Don't bring cake to a donut fight.

Don't bring cake to a donut fight.

Awesome! Good info.

Jesse
Collar City Bike Polo
Troy, NY

the j is for jesse
Troy, NY: 2008 - 2010
Seattle, WA: 2010 - 2013
Austin, TX? polo!???

polo arrived in Lexington after the Midwest Champeenships in Chicago back in early 2007. So, we're rookie as hell compared to most of you guys in the bigger cities. Some of our bike crew spotted a flyer on the web and decided to drive up to see what it was all about. I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure Lucky, the Hunter Bros. and Jake from Milwaukee were all there for that one. Four players total made the trip, after maybe a couple days worth of trying to figure out how bike polo might be played. I think wooden mallets, a deflated basketball, and an empty parking lot was all our crew knew going into it.

That being a grass tourney, when they came back we started up bi-weekly games in a wooded park that is to this day perhaps the choicest spot for a grass game I've ever seen. After a full year of playing grass with the mini-soccer ball, we had to find a new spot because we were destroying the grass at the park. That took us to hitting up the one local roller hockey rink during their off-season, and the switch to ski poles and small ball.

After being chased from that court because of the skid marks our tires were leaving, we approached the city about reclaiming an abandoned tennis facility for our own use. We now have our own designated polo court, which is in a constant state of progress. We have 16 - 20 players who regularly show up twice a week.

{}------- lexington -------{}

{}------- lexington -------{}

One of your guys took a mallet to the face that time didn't they?

The afterparty was at my house.

I was at 2005 ESPI and I thought Zach's team placed. Zach, Alex F., and Eric the Red. All from NYC. Not 100% on that, I'll ask Zach since he's not on here.

I learned of, and first played hardcourt in Dayton, Ohio in April or May of 2005. My friends there had been playing for some time, I'm not sure how long, I'll ask another who is also not on here.
All the mallets were wooden crap. hand made or field hockey sticks. The ball was a 6" soccer ball. the court was, still is, an outdoor street hockey rink. The play was 3 on 3 or 4 on 4.
I believe the Dayton game came from NYC, But might have spread from Columbus (some came over for Dayton's Sunday games, Columbus played Wed. or Sat.)or Philly. This was all before Philly's 2005 ESPI.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

You might be right Alexis and I were talking about Eric the Red just the other day. Why doesn't he play anymore?
I saw him with Adam this spring in Williamsburg. So he is still alive.

Brian, Eric the Red is still alive. He is co-owner of a bar called Second Chance Saloon in Williamsburg. He did play about a year ago a couple of times but then he stopped.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

Great stuff people, I can't stop reading! All this history has got to go into our Bike Polo Book someday.

I've not much to contribute but I'll say that after seeing bike polo played at the NACCC in Philly a lot of us were hooked. The NYC ranks filled up quickly. Many from that 3rd(?) generation still play today, and along with all the attention polo's been getting up here another generation has already sprung up behind us.

---------------------------
"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

"others insist that NY was playing Hardcourt as early as 2004. What's up?"

I know that Alfred (who no longer plays with us do to poor self control) has/had one of the bamboo Messman mallets. What he has told me is that a group of messengers did bring the game back from the Seattle Worlds and played for a while in NYC. But that game/group just sort of dissipated. The group that plays now has no real lineage to the first. Brad might be able to clear it up, give names and what not.

Yeah, I played a few games in NY the summer of 2003 (may actually have been as early as 2002 or as late as 2004, my memory is hazy on this). As I remember it, a guy named Tad from Portland was teaching people how to play, and he had a bunch of mallets that he'd let us use - i remember some croquet mallets too. The game was played on handball courts in McCarren park in Brooklyn and in the East River Park in Manhattan. It was all couriers on work bikes when I played. I didn't really take to the game and only played a few times, but I know that for a while it was a regular weekly game. All the people I remember that played it no longer do.

Thought it might have been Tad. Thanks Johnny, I'll ask him if he remembers when that was.

Hardcourt was brought to London via Portland by Ross (no idea of surname). We used wooden mallets and a squishy ball or a field hockey ball, can't remember. That was south of the river in Southwark, after the 2006 Valentine's Day 'For the Love of it' alleycat and lasted a while, loosely. Reignited last year by Yorgo's enthusiasm having played in NYC and it boomed north of the river in East London on Brick Lane.

I'm the only steady link to the first group, Ross came around a few times and donated some mallets for communal and Wee Scott is becoming a regular more and more.

Mike,
London, UK.

I remember Ross. He got married here, at polo one sunday, when we played on the west side court at Alberta. and he was really pissed when he couldn't find a tape measure with metric.

I like your write up Montana. Have you seen this? http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/?p=432
And I found that photo of OLD wheel covers http://www.polo-velo.net/images/VitryEFrans.jpg
You're meaning me when you say "NY made the first wheel covers" And I did think of it on my own to apply the wheel cover idea to bike polo. Obviously it did exist before, but I first tried this in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I brought the game from Ohio to the small ski town I was living in at the time. I found an old Azuki 10 speed and modified the bars and brakes to play polo on something other than my $3000 road bike. I made a one sided wheel cover for the front wheel(swing arm side). I wish I had a photo. paper cardboard, zip ties, and i added some art too, the outline of Ohio with an upside down star. like a pentagram but Ohio. the summers are short in Mammoth and polo died quickly. So did my first polo bike, it was parked outside and got destroyed by a snow loader.
after moving to NYC on 6/6/06 I quickly got to asking about polo. games became a regular weekly thing shortly after. In a few months Brad gave me his old Nishiki. A bike that was used in the first ESPI and at the time just collecting dust in the old Trackstar basement. I did add a two sided wheel cover a while before ESPI 2.
here is that bike on FGG #5059 May 2007 http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2007/may/DougD.htm (photos taken earlier than May)
In the description I mention "hard surface games". but this wheel cover is actually the third one I made. The second one was about the same, I just re-did it for ESPI2.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

like a pentagram but Ohio

No, dude. Seriously. It's like a pentagram, but, you know, Ohio.

jesus christ

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

JEEBUZ!

bmorebikepolo
Hey, while living out in seattle early 2000's I was introduced to bike polo. Matt Messenger, Mason and Guy being my early influences, I picked it up pretty quick. Yes we played alot on top of the porn shop often throwing emties down at the dumpster where dudes would service themselves. When it turned cold we would play in a spot called the "cave" just behind the main strip of broadway. At the 2003 worlds i competed but did not get far and no i can't remember who was on my team either. Moving east in 2004 I got the kids in dc playing at Franklin Park, yes there was a fountain in the middle but it was where all couriers went to drink after work. The rest is history, and I soon moved too Baltimore where I showed them hardcourt as well.
Final note: Upon my return too D.C. some upstanding and great non-messengers took the game to the next level. Rush Rink was biult when??? Good job guys, but it took ya'll a long time to warm up to me.....
Yours in polo
Jason Stevenson
p.s. sorry Fiona

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

Jason, we started playing at Franklin Square (code-named Sherwood for some reason). Then we started thinking about traveling to play, and we saw the courts other people played on. We decided it would be a good idea to find something contained and without a fountain in the middle (although I do love the fountain interference, that was a great way to play). Castro actually sent us photos of Rush Rink before he had ever even come out to play. It was built when we showed up, but we made it our baby fixing the boards and sweeping and painting and patching. When I started playing here 2 years ago, there was maybe 9 of us, none of them messengers. Now we get 20+ every Thursday, and it is a mix of couriers and non.

I think it took us a while to warm up to you because you were louder and drunker than any of us. Also, calling Pat a faggot might have had a bit to do with it, but I love you anyway. His reaction of slashing your golf club mallet in half was the greatest. You were intimidating to me, that is all.

Look, here is a photo of me playing at Franklin with a nude homeless man swimming laps in the fountain. Wow, DC polo has progressed a LONG ways in two years...

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

faggots offensive but slapdick is kosher. You guys are wierd or frat boys.

Considering our lack of parties, fights, and random sexual encounters, I would go with weird. Bro.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

As Mike (Trampsparadise) explained, I went to NYC in late 2006 or early 07 - can't remember exactly, and Brad and Zach introduced me to the game, at the Pit.

In early May 07 I started a thread on the London Fixed gear forum and we began looking for courts, mallets etc.. The first game in brick lane was played on the 20th of May.
I remembered the NYC crew telling me they played with street hockey balls, so I'd gone out and bought a couple at a sports shop in London, which led to the HARD and BIG ball game we've been playing here for a while now, as the Slazenger balls I bought were bigger and harder than the Franklin ones.

A similar thread was started on the Paris "Pignon Fixe" forum in mid december 07. After a few months of fruitless exploration for courts and mallets, things started to move, and I brought some gas piping from London. On the 26th of april 2008 the first game was played in Paris.

Yorgo
LONDON: http://bricklanebikepolo.wordpress.com/
PARIS: http://panambikepolo.blogspot.com/

Yorgo

OTTAWA: The first guys from Ottawa to see the game were Allen/Lunchbox and myself. It was in Portland at the pre-event to the CMWC Seattle. We got to learn from guys like Casey, Tad, Kenichi, Ringer and Billdozer. It was love at first sight. I can honestly say, although I didn't realise it at the time, that this changed my life. We then went to Seattle where Angelo got a chance to see it and try it out. I remember poorly organised games under some lights on the street in front of the party headquarters, but I don't remember making it up to the rooftop to play. The three of us then went back to Ottawa, started rallying the troops and formed the historic Mallets of Mayhem.

A funny thing about our club, some of our best players were initially hesitant to try playing. Off the top of my head I can think of Jonny, Jen and Robbie who were all sceptical but are now hooked.

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Mallets Of Mayhem

Alexis, Tad says that event was called Shanghai Surprise; are we thinking of the same event? Remember a date?

It was the weekend before the CMWC in Seattle. Whatever date that was. Beside polo my most vivid memory of that weekend was the alley cat where every checkpoint was a strip club and you had to go in and get a stripper to sign your manifest

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Mallets Of Mayhem

yeah! what!? o.k.!!!!

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

bmorebikepolo
see you all in the pit sunday
friend of mine is racing up there and i am catching a ride
anything going on ?

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

Sorry everyone is wrong. The interjammer says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bike_polo

this is exactly why we tell our students not to cite wikipedia as a reputable source...

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Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Fuck, you caught me Brian. Dude, sorry I made all that stuff up. I mostly just want people to like me, and Florida is so far away. I thought no-one would notice.

Let's try to stay on task here people. This is for the history books; I want numbers, damnit.

And those were some really sweet Bikeline water bottles. Great job Corey.

i find it mildly humorous that the pictures accompanying the wikipedia article are of brightly t-shirted, clean looking folks in budapest, and frank (doing nothing). that right there oughta clue you in. and, does anyone know who "magic" juan lopez is?

frank isn't doing nothing. he's waiting to charge; five feet in front of the goal line.

concerring the photo in wiki:
I started polo in budapest about aug 2007 with messenger pedro(currently london I believe). they mostly play inside a 110 year old velodrome. the people that play are dirty messegers and fakengers not usally wearing matching t shirts.

F'n awsome

Wyatt,tim

Wyatt,tim
EV OG

I love that the photo of "Man playing cycle polo in New York City" is a photo of Frank. Of all the players in NY, Frank gets to rep us on wikipedia.

in defense of tally they had no clue anyone else was playing this untill i think early 2007/late 06. and some might not still. if my memory serves me right a grass polo player someone involved in the bike polo association (or whatever) down in miami gave someone from tally a mallet and he took it back to tally and they wanted to start playing on the streets. i think the first time they found out that others were playing was thru travling and friends on a trip to nyc.

as for the rest of florida: we here in pensacola were brought the game by me from the knowledge of my friends in RICHMOND luke cutthroat, erin briggs and more. luke and jacob were suppose to bring down mallets with them for the first annual BEACHcat where we were going to play on the lovely beach hockey court. in a early am rush to leave richmon for florida they forgot the mallets. tallahasse was also suppose to come with mallets but they were a no show. so finally after enough talk and some thrift store skipole finds we put some mallets together (thanks to hardcourtpolo.com's helpful guide) found our downtown tennis courts and started playing. soon enough had a couple games (after finding out the streethockey players schedule) on the beach court. and now we play monday & wednesdays. we are slowly growing. during the crazy eights aftermath we had a little tournament at the beach with teams from pcola & new orleans and players from orlando and mobile. the winners being the board short maurauders (tony, stephen and myself).

i know that tallahasse brought the game to jacksonville (i think)
and ryand (correct me if im wrong) was somehow involved with getting tampa started through scotty. pete from tampa has ventured out into the wild world of madison polo and the naccc and maybe some more. i got to play some in richmond and we all hope to see yall in feburary in tampa and pensacola!!!

florida's first more than 2 city representation round robin just happened in orlando with teams from tampa, orlando and sarasota. tampa came out victiorious.

we hope to have the first florida bike polo championship sometime this year in tally!

hope this makes sense. i shouldnt write this at this hour.

slow computer makes for double posts.

Dude that got emailed to me today.

Awesome!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segway_polo

Mike,
London, UK.

When I last lived in Atlanta, the downtown beat cops had segways. I think they were guinea pigs for the prototypes or something. Hilarious!

Mike,
London, UK.

yeah the security guards at millenium park in chicago have segways. we were at the park with our polo mallets and i was quite tempted to lend it to the dude and see what he could do with it. who ever thought that machine would be either "cool" or "practical" had another thing coming. everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, laughs when they see someone on one of these things. no one ever laughs at a polo player returning bloody from battle...

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Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

http://www.mobileentertainmentllc.com/polo/images/Segway%20Polo02%20copy...

a) where did they get all those fans?

and,

b) looks like they are sponsored by slim jim.

That's totally half time at a football game

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Mallets Of Mayhem

TEAM SLIM JIM FO EVA!!!!!!!

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Funny. I spent all weekend in Chicago laughing at you Martin

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Mallets Of Mayhem

with me alexis. with me.

you're almost as bad as ben when it comes to using words you don't mean.

oh, and fuck you baby.

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

i was looking at some photos the other day and i came up with this. Kind of funny.

So many fond memories

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Mallets Of Mayhem

so this is the westside cause of the taped off "beer garden" on the east court of Alberta. so does that make it 2004?

wanted to bump this thread back. Thought it would be interesting for those that havent seen it

In a few days, I will be introducing Bike Polo to Bangkok, Thailand. I have packaged up two of my own brand-new mallets, two from Trackstar, and one each from Quinn & Chombo. The kids from bkkfixed.com are expecting me.
 

******************************** 
Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness

 

******************************** 
Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

have fun over there. they'll probably want to play on mopeds.

Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

I've only been playin polo for about six months and i'm surprised no one from Boston or NYC is screamin bout this.
I'm not sure how organized anyone was but i def saw polo being played in Boston around 98-99 and can only imagine the NYC kids were on it too! I witnessed one game and saw many folks wounds from polo over that year!
Just throwin that out there!

Now in freewheel flavor!!

Well I started playing in Boston (Feb. 08), but my friend Tyler has been playing in Boston for almost three years now, but its really weird because he is the only one that I know thats been playing Boston that long. He has also told me info. on an all Boston tourney that was held in '06, but thats all I know on Boston polo.

Names? Dates, locations, pictures? Some of my numbers and names were a little loose when I started, but they're pretty well tightened up now (see the second history thread with the long irrelevant name). Anybody to corroborate? I know that a Seattle courier, Mark Pilder, who published the on-and-off messenger zine KICKSTAND, visited Boston around this time (March 10, 1999-KICKSTAND #6) perhaps there is a connection there? Obviously grass polo has been around a looong time, and I'm sure from time to time it has occurred to folks to play on asphalt, but I was trying to establish a direct lineage from the games we play now to a time and place where "we" got our start. I was surprised to learn that the hardcourt polo I first played in Seattle was the first that anybody else could remember too, but that's where we're at right now. I would love to hear from anybody else who remembers these (Boston) games, and any details such as rules or equipment. Thanks.

Columbus, Ohio has a split history. The current game started in early 2007 after a Columbus native played a game in Portland while on vacation. We originally rode in a circle after putting a foot down, but now we tap out. I think this change was made after someone watched a game in Chicago. There were groups that played in Columbus much earlier than 2007, but the game died out. A few of the earlier players have played with us on occasion, but I don't have any details on their game.

They at the least were playing in the spring of 2005. Some would come over to the Dayton games going on at that time.
Eric who moved to Philly would know more about Col. O. history, he's one name i remember who would come over.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

They were called the Columbus Cripplers. They played on grass. Some of them played with mallets they won in a Milwaukee Messenger Invitational. I want to say 2004? 2005?

Chicago Bike Polo 2003-2008
St Louis Bike Polo 2008-now

Retired.

The ones i heard of, and played with never said anything about grass.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

there were a group of milwaukee couriers (wayne, sharpe, von munz, shaggy, marcus, and gabe) playing a game they picked up at a naccc or cmwc. this generation of players played on grass in mke and taught chicago. then, that group in milwaukee stopped playing but the game continued in chicago. then, chicago retaught the game to a couple of milwaukee players (matt hewitt and cody) who played (and won) in a Cuttin Crew race tournament (i believe madison picked up the grass game from chicago around this time also)

matt and cody built up some mallets the summer of '05 and that is when i started playing and was the spark that ignited the current MKE bike polo generation. in those days we were playing with wooden mallets and size zero soccer balls on concrete. (basically the grass game on concrete) in the summer of '07 jake, cody, and myself went to NSPI in ottawa and played with the hockey ball for the first time. (tied for 6th in tourney) we brought the "small ball" game back to MKE after some arm twisting of regular players who had no interest in traveling to tourneys and loved their "big ball" of as we now refer to it as "feih ball"

i'll talk to some of the guys i work with who played on grass in MKE back in the day.

-hero squad * milwaukee, wi-

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

i talked to some of the veteran couriers i work with yesterday but i left notes at home... will post more on that later. pretty interesting as to why there isn't really a midwest connection to either coast because apparently my boss, wayne, claims to have invented bike polo independent of any influence from coastal cities or usbpa and that evolved into the midwest game today.
-hero squad * milwaukee, wi-

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Chicago Bike Polo 2003-2008
St Louis Bike Polo 2008-now

Retired.

Beware the doom hammer.

check.

"Bike polo is the sport of gentlemen...

Gentlemen with mustaches"

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

-hero squad * milwaukee, wi-

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

Rollo, hardcourt polo played on 16" wheeled kids bikes, was started by Zach, Dan Schafer and a handful of other kids in Portland in 2002 (Pre-Zoobomb) when they'd spend a night bombing hills on skateboards and kids bikes around PDX and would cap off the night drinking and playing Rollo in an elementary school parking lot. The game's roots are far more playful as there was never any concern about what type of mallet you used (whiffle ball bats, hockey sticks, croquet mallets, stuffed animals, etc...) and was played 4 on 4 like polo was played historically. As someone mentioned earlier Zach left for Richmond after helping get Zoobomb started and took Rollo out there.

Since then Dan kept Rollo alive as a yearly event played primarily at Zoobomb Biffday (their anniversary held at the end of August every year). Leslie and I first attended a Zoobomb Biffday in August of 2006 and played our first game of Rollo. We got so stoked on it we rallied our friends around it once we got back to Seattle and the first Rollo games were played in Seattle in September of 2006 under Interstate 5 at the North 65th St. Park N' Ride on Friday nights. It grew quickly from there and we started challenging ourselves more and more so we created "Master Class" thereby adopting polo rules of needing to shoot with the small end of the mallet, and subsequently banned hockey sticks from our games (plus we had some hockey players who were just too frickin good with a bladed mallet...) but we still played 4 on 4. Turnout grew to nearly 30 people per night. Eventually we found keys left in an abandoned van at the park n' ride and began using it as a huge bike storage locker for all of the minis, mallets and cones.

On July 7, 2007 "Bruised By Bike" the first ever Rollo Tourney was hosted in Seattle put on by myself, Leslie, and Coyote with the help of several other Seattle Rollo Players. Turnout was great. The Seattle "Big Bike" polo team (Messman, Leon, Nathanial, Soren) took first place, and a combo team of Leslie, two zoobombers (Felix and Hanna), and a Big Bike polo player (Nano) took second. A minibike team (Kevin, Brian, and Bradford) competed in Tour de Polo in Seattle in late July of 2007. They did quite well, but forgot to show up for the second day of the tournament...

Seattle's current Thursday night polo location is the same as the Rollo courts. The players who started that came out to several Rollo games and found the location to be prime for playing big bike polo on and started up a new night of polo in Seattle.

Rollo died off as a weekly event in Seattle during the winter of 2007/2008, and has only been played as a formal game night once since then. Otherwise there's a small mingling of minis in the regular polo nights perpetuated by Leon and myself, but only occasionally. There have been two demo nights at Big Bike polo in 2008, and it's likely Rollo will keep popping up in Portland for special events every year or so.


i remember playing rollo with the seattle folks in 2007 under the overpass and absolutely loved it. thanks for posting this j-ryde. i still use my rollo beer cozy often...

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

It's a coozie, bro. Seriously?

Some people call them a "Cozy", but yes "Coozie" is correct. Especially when it comes to the Rollo Coozies. I designed them and for fuck sake that's what they're called. ;)

fuck you both!

(btw, it's actually "couzzi" as in "ballcouzzi" bitchas)

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

You crazy Canadians and your silly French spellings...

redarmyrebel wrote:

fuck you both!

(btw, it's actually "couzzi" as in "ballcouzzi" bitchas)

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

oh i love it when the convo turns to "do you say coozy or cozy?" :)

polo will never Die as long as i am alive! Count it!

Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Vidal brought us the game from Madison, and at first we played with their rules which was shuffling allowed on shots, wood mallets, and a size zero soccer ball (roughly 5-6 inch diameter), but on asphalt (though the occasional grass game did surface). I was the only one with a ski pole, and wouldn't have built it if it weren't for a pic of ski poles on wikipedia ala East Van. This was in the summer of 2007. The Bikerowave Bicycle Co-op had a tourney and Matt's team won it. Later, the Bicycle Kitchen started up their own private game til Jared from Madison and I started crashing it every week. It wasn't until Guy from Seattle, (as mentioned in Montana's original post) showed up with the downtown LA messengers and told us 'to quit scoring kindergarten goals' and start playing 'real polo'. He had several beat up bamboo mallets, and he played on a mallet made out of a crutch. I credit him with switching us to the street hockey ball, and real hardcourt polo. The only two people left over from the first Polo games that still play are me and Dave Cargill, owner of LA Brakeless. Polo didn't get to the 818 until I had a Polo birthday party, and thereafter we played at least once a week in the same place every Sunday since, while the Wednesday 310 game has been going since early 2008, before and after Matt left for England.

I remember Guy, does he still live in LA? Does he ever play?

Hi All!

I like this topic, it's really interesting with a lot of information that I didn't know before, since I don't live in the US.
Just let me tell you that bike polo (on grass) was first played in 1897, as far as I know. ;-)

If I may, I'd like to give my small contribution on the hardcourt bike polo history from the other side of the Atlantic, especially from France.

As far as I know, the first bike polo show ever made in France was in the Moulin Rouge on 27 May 1897!
You can easily think that it wasn't play on grass but on hard ground in this famous temple of dance!
Nobody knows, I think, where came exactly from the guys who did that, but they weren't French; maybe British or Americans since their leader was called "captain Wood" and his team came back from a victorian tourney in the USA...

I am quite sure that other bike polo shows were made on hardcourt before this demo, but I don't have any information on these.

I've got some old press articles from France mentionning that bike polo shows and matches were made on tarmac on places of villages in the 20's and early 30's. But it was essentially to promote bike polo on grass, I think. I have no mention of any "serious" competitions played exclusively on tarmac at this old time.
By the way, it is interesting to know that bike polo and bike ball (played without mallet, hitting the ball with the wheel) were, in the early 20's, very close and played by almost the same players, especially in the Polo-Vélo Club de Paris and the Polo-Vélo Club de France, teams created in 1925 and managed in France by a Swiss, Henri Durig, who first saw bike polo matches in the UK.

Closer to us, bike polo shows were made in France in TV studios (so, on "hard ground") in the late 90's. I personnaly played in, I think, the first bike polo show ever made in a studio (at least in France), live, in February 1996 for the TV channel "France 2" in "Studio Gabriel", a pre-prime time broadcast animated by Michel Ducker, one of the most popular TV animator in France (and a real cyclist, by the way).
But, again, it was not a real hardcourt match (it was more a mess in the studio when animators tryed to play but who didn't know how to brake with a fixed gear!) and it was to promote bike polo on grass.

The first real hardcourt match in France that I saw was especially made live 20 July 1999 for the TV channel "France 3" for the afternoon broadcast "C'est l'été !" in front of the casino of Cabourg, Normandy. We implemented our goal posts with nets on the tarmac and we played several matches with players from Le Havre, St-Pierre de Varengeville (both teams are from Normandy) and Gervais-Lilas (Parisian area). A live show was made in the afternoon under the rain (that's Normandy...).

After that, I played several time on hard ground for TV sessions in 2000 and 2001.

But the "real" (would I say serious?) hardcourt bike polo movement in France was launch last year, as said Yorgo aka Le Car already.
Some French teams played in London (August and September, I think) and in Zürich (November) last year and the first hardcourt bike polo ever organised in France was held in Paris in the frame of the BFF in November.

And, from 1st February 2009, the first Paris Championship with matches until May! :-)

One of my targets in 2009 is to put on the web the TV sessions I just spoke about. It will be on my team's web site (http://esgl.polo-velo.net) and on youtube, I think.
If you want, I'll let you know.

Anyway, back to the topic, I would enjoy to know more about the history of hardcourt bike polo in the US and in Canada.
Then, maybe will I put on my website (www.polo-velo.net/english/history/history.htm) an history of hardcourt bike polo in a close future.

CU1D.

Alain

______________________________________________
www.polo-velo.net & http://esgl.polo-velo.net

______________________________________________
www.polo-velo.net & http://esgl.polo-velo.net

can anyone confirm or deny this

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

I can.
But not with any degree of authority.

::
010010100110000101101101011010010110010100100000010010110110111101111001

"Just let me tell you that bike polo (on grass) was first played in 1897, as far as I know"

New York was playing at least 2 years before that!!
The New York Times did a story titled Polo Playing On The Bicycle on Oct.15th 1895
find the link to it on my Media page.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

I am trying to get folks off the grass up here in Alaska right now. I stumbled across a game in an alley on Capitol Hill in Seattle in November 2007. I tried to pick up interest with some of the Anchorage bike kids, but most of them laughed at the idea of playing on road bikes or cringed at the idea of pavement.

Bryan Smith from Seattle came to say hi to me in the cold weather for a few days this past week and we built up some mallets. Made an announcement at the local bike co-op that we were going to get some games going, most people looked uncertain until we announced that we might plan a trip to the tournament in Seattle in August for polo and Dead Baby Downhill.

As far as I know, there aren't any regular polo groups up here, let alone any hardcourt groups. This should be changing by the weekend, with hopes of getting a game together in some sub-zero weather.

Yes, it is cold up here.

Yes, it is cold up here.

hey the more clothes you have on the less skinn you will lose

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

600 BCE

Year of the first recorded polo match. Opponents: the Turkmen and the Persians. (The Turkmen won)....in 336 BCE, Darius III, the emperor of Persia, sent a polo mallet and ball to Alexander the Great with a message that said, roughly, "Play polo, not war."....an ancient stone tablet found near a polo field north of Kashmir, was inscribed with this verse:

"Let other people play at other things - the king of games is still the game of kings."

--excerpted from "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader - Horse (bike) Lover's Companion", 2008

fuckin awesome
can anyone confirm or deny this?

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

yeh I remember being there 30 reincarnations ago! it was awesome.

Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

That's 87 years average per reincarnation. A pretty amazing feat, given that until a hundred years ago the average human lifespan was about 30 years. So, way to go, polo guru. 2600 years of bringin' it hard.

Chicago Bike Polo 2003-2008
St Louis Bike Polo 2008-now

Retired.

leave it to lucky to do the math

3...2...1...GO!
Mallets Of Mayhem

East Van Bike Polo was born on the third Saturday of August, 2006. I had inherited a few mallets from some of the older guys who gave it a go a few years back but couldn't keep it going (I think they started having kids or opening businesses or some such nonsense), and after a few false starts we finally settled on The Little 100 as the day to make it happen. Side note: the Little 100 is a cruiser relay race, 100 laps around some crappy track in Strathcona Park.
So yeah, gorgeous sunny day, tons of bikers, and we managed to get all of 8 people onto the court for some polo. Of course, those 8 played all damn day, and all 8 came back the next week, and the week after, and the week after that. After about a month we were up to a dozen and a half on average, and made the move to our current home court, Grandview Park (or Polo Park, as some locals now call it), the weekend of Velomutations. Incidentally, if I may insert a plug here, the East Van Crown this year will be that same weekend, and we will be putting on Velomutations again - kick ass weekend of parties, performances, rides, polo, and general bike mayhem.
Um, back to history. Yeah, so we finally felt we had enough chops to host a tournament the following spring, and put on The Last Riders of the Apoloclypse. The game for first loser was an epic, 45 minute affair between Team Brakes and the Molson 3-stars, both homegrown teams. The highest placed East Van team was the BPL Fuck'em Ups if I recall correctly, coming in around 5th. The final was between Axles of Evil and one of the Seattle teams.
That more or less marked the entry of East Van into the Cascadian bike polo world, and we've been growing steadily ever since. There've been plenty of media appearances, and hopefully we'll be able to take part in an expo on the history of Vancouver bike culture, put on by the Vancouver Art Gallery this summer.

Yea axles team was myself tim mason and bjorn, and seattle was messman soren and amanda, and you canadains didn't score a goal on us. our last game against you was 0-5 ballsdeep. fuck, you guys got good quick, ah.

it was even before ballz deep, before rory and chris even started playing. i was playing with adam hoogeveen and darryl, "the molson three-stars". you rolled joints on the golden plate on your way out of town, laughing.

470032638_92398017fa_b

april 2007

Shit. Look at that, Tim Mason is totally still alive. And kinda sexy.

an update: east van bike polo will be featured at the vancouver museum's "velo-city: vancouver and the bicycle revolution."

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Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

confirm!

Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

can anyone confirm or deny this confirm?

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

con-fuckin-firm. shut up jas...

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Can anyone confirm or deny that jason has indeed shut up?

3...2...1...GO!
Mallets Of Gayhem

denied

nycbikepolo.com

hmm...seems to be confirmed.

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

hahahahahahahah
denied

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

can anyone cofirm that martin really is robbie boards?

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

ooooh that would be a good one...

TOP CENTER 4-EVA

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Dude, I just saw a photograph of a bike polo game on pavement, posted in the library of Congress, dated 1921!
And there are plenty of other references, dating back to early 1900's... a bit longer ago than your 1999/2000.

http://RecumbensWorld.com
http://SmallEfficientVehicles.com

was it this one? http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/?p=432

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.hardcourtbikepolo.com/

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York
hardcourtbikepolo+gmail+com
hardcourtbikepolo.com

oh yea, and we started using a street hockey ball in portland shortly after may 2002, when I started playing. no more tennis balls or "frozen apples?" Who else used to play roller hockey?

were there really frozen apples used? can anyone confirm or deny that? (sorry jas, i need to know)

We never used them, but seattle had it posted on a web site years ago, before the street hockey ball started being used. The first time I played in Portland, we used a tennis ball on hard court, and a #1 soccer ball on grass.

...and on the 8th day the almighty DOUG invented bike polo.

Doug, That pictures is great. We have use it in our NA sponsorship packet. Good to know the year.
Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

thanks mess for all the hot tricks

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

very good

3...2...1...GO!
Mallets Of Gayhem

Little Richmond Bike Polo

skeet skeet skeet. they cut the kitchen scene with the shout-outs to rawbie and los marcos?

nycbikepolo.com

confirm or deny this is the biggest a-hole in dc

O.G.D.C.

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

i'll confirm that this is the most serious jason ever seen before. so deep, so zen, so philosophecles. where's fun jas? who killed fun jas!? more crashing in your next home movie pls.

i will also confirm that my mom now wears that pink dc hat.

that was really good

Jas, hell yes not prob. that was good. I have a few new ones i'll show ya in August.
Messmann
bikepologuru
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

Matt Messenger
"Messmann"
bikepologuru.com
seattlebikepolo
since 1998

closing this thread. it was a good one. now there's this one