Tag Archive for Lancaster Bike Polo

A Quick Lesson in Slowing Down


I have moves. Moves like Jagger. But more like 70 year old Jagger and not 20 year old Jagger.

But those moves, they still exist–and they get me down to the goal.

Basically, I depend on the unwillingness of the other player to wait. I spend more time dancing the ball around with my mallet then I do dancing my bike around other players. It works out pretty well, because most other players have their heads so far in their own asses into the game that they can’t slow down. They’ll rush me, I’ll dart the ball away from them, and then they are effectively out of the play and I can keep marching forward.

JaggerWhen it works, it feels great. It’s like I dominated them without even trying (though it does take effort to be so calculated. Let’s give some credit). When it doesn’t work, it’s horrible, because I have very little momentum to work with.

This works particularly well when dealing with players who you know depend on their speed rather than their mallet-play. they will continue to dart at you head on, and this makes for a great opportunity to get them out of a playable position.

So, if you find that you aren’t exactly a racehorse on the court, consider strengthening your mallet work and learning how to become a tortoise: slow, steady and (relatively) unstoppable.

And super cute. That helps.

5 Reasons Why I Love You

Sometimes, when writers run out of ideas, they go back to ones they used before and put a little spin on them. Welcome to the magic!

A few days ago I listed the qualities in bike polo players that drive me up-the-wall. Today, I’ll list the things that all players can do to make any team member take a bullet for them – or at least save the last beer for them (if they ask for it explicitly and are like, no more than ten feet away from the cooler).

You Understand Pass Playing: we are going up the court. I pass you the ball and you pass it right back. Or you get in a good position and we keep passing until a line for the goal opens up. Polo doesn’t have to always be shooting – it can be clever pass work as well. You get that.

You play with your teammates and not near your teammates: There are two types of people in this world: the people who think there are two types of people and the people who know better. Anyway – in bike polo there are people who understand that it’s a team sport and then there are people who think that it’s a series of one on one challenges. The teams that win matches, generally, are the ones that work as a team to get the job done. This is where the strengths and weaknesses of an individual player work with the strengths and weaknesses of the other 2, resulting in a (hopefully) more balanced effort.

Keep cool, Honey Bunny: so we’re losing. So you let a goal in and you tried to throw your mallet but it got stuck in someone’s chest instead of arching dramatically over the court. So what? You’re keeping a level head and a smile on your face. Thanks for being you.

You give advice: It’s a natural thing to get pissed at someone who is trying to explain a bit of advice immediately after you messed up (the phrase “yeah, I know, Gawd!” comes to mind) – but if it’s coming from someone you trust to give you advice, listen despite your ego’s leanings. A good mentor in this sport is important, and that mentor can be anyone who is able to objectively see how you play and see how you could play more better like.

You make it easy: easy like a Sunday morning. My favorite quality of bike polo players is when they know what I need to do, and facilitate that happening. For instance, if I’m rolling up court with the ball, eliminate players through picks and other disruptions. If I am pinned against a wall, get into a position and call out for the ball. There aren’t assigned positions in our sport, but everyone should fulfill the role of support when another teammate has the ball.

Next time we meet, it’s group hugs all around.

My Junior Editor’s Bike Polo Write-Up

We have a pretty awesome younger player name Carter who recently wrote up a great little piece about bike polo for a school blog. I’m reposting it here, in full. (The original article can be found here).

Things I particularly like: the reference to Toronto being the NY Yankees of bike polo, the origin of bike polo, and the overall excitement of the piece.

Great write-up, Carter. It’s nice to know my shoes will be filled whenever I give up bike polo for shuffleboard.


Bike Polo Rocks!

Posted on September 28, 2012

Maybe you have heard of horse polo or water polo but those aren’t the only polos out there. Camel polo and elephant polo are fun games for folks that have camels and elephants, but there aren’t too many of those around Lancaster. But there are bikes!

Bike polo is a popular game with a bunch of folks in Lancaster. I love it! Bike polo has rules similar to horse polo except you ride a bike. Bike polo is not complex. In bike polo there are two teams with three players on each team. At the beginning of a game both teams line up at the ends behind their own goals and someone shouts, “3-2-1.. BIKE POLO!” – or some other random thing. Then, two players ride to the middle of the court and joust for the ball.
There are no team positions and players tend goal when they need to. The game goes until a game reaches five minutes or a team gets to a certain score, usually five goals.

I play bike polo with Lancaster United Bike Polo, a team that practices every week and plays games all over the country. Lancaster United has been in many championship games. There are over 170 teams in the United States. Toronto has the best team. They are the NY Yankees of the bike polo world.

The first bike polo team started as a horse polo team. The team was a very competitive one and had practice a lot. One practice the team had no horses but since it was in the city the players rode their bikes to the practice field. The coach told them that they should practice on their bikes. The players thought he was crazy, but the game caught on. After that bike polo was invented.

Bike polo started out on grass but now it is usually played on tennis courts or basketball courts. The mallet is made out of a ski pole, hockey/baseball tape, and gas pipe. You can use any type of bike. I use a mountain bike, but I would recommend a hybrid because of the speed advantage. You can use anything to mark goals. Lancaster United Bike Polo has made its own goals out of nets and PVC. The bikes usually have a wheel cover to protect the spokes.

If you are interested in Lancaster United Bike Polo click here. General information about the bike polo world can be found here.

Yeager: A Study In Pictures

I was waiting for at least 4 before doing this post, and now I’ve got them:

Lumberjack is our resident stay-at-home graphic designer. This means we get killer logos for Lancaster United (look anywhere on this page), but it also means he sometimes gets a bee in his bonnet about a certain image and morphs it into his own.

If you recall, I recently snapped this photo:

and I modified it for another post only a little while later to this:

I was pretty happy about that. But then Lumberjack – with his obviously higher level of skill (not to mention free time as he watches people on youtube play angry birds) took that little picture and made the following changes:

^this one actually took me a little while before I realized it was Yeager (it was also the first, so I wasn’t quite looking for him yet).

^the second one.

and this is the final one (as of today).

I can only thank Yeager for being a sport (Lumberjack would have done it anyway, as I have experienced myself), and thank America for being such a wonderful place that a man can make a living while taking 3 hour long breaks to build pillow forts with his daughters and call it R&D.

A Message From The Editor On His 2 Year Bike Polo Anniversary

Two years ago today it was the weekend and my new friend Matt invited me to watch him play bike polo.

He tricked me, you see, by telling me to bring my 1968 Schwinn Typhoon along. You know, to ride with him as he rode out to pickup. Within minutes he had me on the court and running into people.

The next weekend I was at the Velo Swap with the hundred dollars needed to build my first polo specific bike. I was hooked, and have remained so since.

I’m generally very far from serious on this blog, as you’ve come to recognize, I’m sure, but as you can tell from the black and white instagram photo that accompanies this post, I want to get real for a second, so stay with me. Read more

Where to Begin: Positions After Scoring a Goal

So: somehow (through a higher power, bribery, or just plain dumb luck) your team’s scored a goal. After the victory lap and subsequent dance routine, it’s time to set up for the opposing team’s advances – and much like your future daughters during prom night, you’ve got to decide how to stop those fools from getting something in to your glory-goal.

Now, as I’ve played this sport, it’s become apparent to me that everyone has their own style when it comes to play. Much the same, folks have their own way of setting up for a charge on goal. The following is just a few ways one could prepare themselves, and my thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of each.



Ah, the turtle. Nature’s little green tank

The idea behind this move is simple: set up your goalie and then layer them with your other two players (each facing opposite directions to allow for man-on defense as well as the ball being shot and bouncing in anywhichway direction).

Pros: It’s a pretty effective way of blocking off a goal. It also puts you in a decent position to go after a stray shot.

Cons: You are on full defense, and that certainly limits your starting mobility as well as your pickup for break-aways.   Read more

Broken Lumberjacks, Mind Numbing Goals, and Sunshine (oh my!)

Being Jewish, there is really only one thing for me to look forward to on Sunday, and that’s a hefty helping of bike polo.

And let me tell you friends, bike polo this Sunday was oober funtimes USA. The weather was very agreeable for late January ( I think it was tipping around 40), the games were fun, and it was laughter and rainbows all around.

Well, for the most part. Poor Lumberbach got tangled up with Skeletor and isn’t going to feel so spectacular tomorrow. Besides that little incident, however, the day was pain free.

Here are just a few pics I took of the festivities :

Overall, it was just a blast of a day. We had a GoPro available to us, and I’m sure whenever Horse gets that video up and ready we’ll be able to relive the fun all over the interwebs together!

Welcome to New Guy Joe


Last Tuesday we were happy to have a new fella join us for rip-roaring, Trace-rib-busting fun. May I have the pleasure of introducing Joe:

Epic thrift shop helmet find, man.

Joe was pretty quick to pick up on the game, honestly (much better than I was my first time around), and I can say with certainty that if he sticks with the game he’ll become a force to be reckoned with. Really the only trouble I saw him having was mallet control and keeping his eyes up – and to be honest I still have trouble with that.

Give it 2 months, Joe. You’ll be running laps around most of us.

This also means that our friend Brian is now no longer the newest guy – so we can stop keying his car and filling his helmet with Nair.  

Anywhoo – Welcome to LCBP.  I’m excited that we keep getting people to try out Bike Polo in the area. Keep ‘em coming,  I say.

Lancaster City Bike Polo in Motion

Rules is Rules, Hoss: an Introduction to Bike Polo Legal Play.

First, let me get this out of the way:

You play grab-ass, you git the box.

Thanks. Now, LCBP has been experiencing a lot of heated discussion around what is legal and what is dumb. Normally in these conversations I can only go so far before admitting that I am just guessing or saying what I think is right.

This is a lonesome way to live, children.

With this in mind, I’m going to start featuring a rule each week that has either been discussed within our ranks or that I find interesting/otherwise unknown. You may also notice that I’ve put a new page up that list the rules direct from the 2011 NAH Rulebook . Feel free to peruse whenever you are on the can at work trying to get out of a board meeting.

If there is a particular topic you want to have up for discussion, just add a comment and I’ll look up and give my two shekels on the matter at hand.

"From hell's heart I stab at thee!"

I’m doing this for a few reasons. 1. Our club is reaching a level of play that we aren’t just happy to slap around like monkeys trying to type out Shakespeare, and 2. We as a club are going to become more active in tourney play, and we’ll be at a disadvantage for not knowing that throwing a mallet Ahab style into someone’s eye isn’t exactly Kosher.

So look for the upcoming series of featured rules and don’t play grab ass.

oh, ok. Grab away, boys.