Wearing gloves in bike polo is a pretty typical thing to witness, and there are two overarching varieties of glove that you’ll find on the court: the thin, bike/handyman glove and the thick Lacrosse/Hockey glove.
The two serve different purposes, really. The bicycle glove is meant to give you a little bit of protection against those nasty widdle scwapes and brwusey wooseys while giving some more control and grip, while the lacrosse glove give you great protection but can possibly make you as skilled with a mallet as a thumbless giant trying to put thread through the eye of a needle (not a giant sized thread and needle, just a regular, human…sized one…nevermind).
Both have good and bad qualities of course, so it comes down to whether you have noticed a plethora of broken digits or if you want to simply get a better hold on your shaft (insert joke) while playing.
The traditional bicycle glove (or work glove, I’d dare to say) gives you some protection and some more grip than it’s chunky lacrosse counterpart. The price range varies from very cheap (get yourself a 10 dollar pair of Fox I hear tell at the swap), to very expensive. I rolled with several cheap pairs over the course of my first year of Polo and found that I felt pretty naked without them.
The Lacrosse glove was initially designed to protect hunky fellows from losing their fingers. Because they were made for Lacrosse, they are very flexible and allow for each digit to have a full range of human motion (including the thumb, unlike hockey gloves). I’ve just started using a pair of lacrosse gloves and so far I’m very satisfied with the results. I was expecting to loose a lot more feeling in the hand, but since the palm and underside of the fingers are made of leather material, I get the same amount of tactile information (hooray quasi-science!), and don’t really notice any fumbling.
Overall, it depends on your style of play: velvet glove or iron fist. If you put yourself in situations where you could put a finger in between a bike and the wall, go with the lacrosse glove. If you simply want to cover your hands up to avoid the dangers of sweat and slippage, go with the bike glove.
What kind of mitts do you use, and why?