Bike Polo Players Petition For Space

Teams aim to legitimize sport with designated places for polo

By Erin Richards
|  Thursday, Dec 2, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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Bike Polo Players Petition For Space

NealeA, Flickr

Bike polo games are played in spots across L.A.

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Polo could gain designated space in Los Angeles parks. But you can leave the horse and boots at home -- this polo is played on bikes.

Bike polo, which has gained a following in LA among bike enthusiasts, is now played across the city, on tennis courts, empty parking lots and in roller rinks.

Popularity of the sport has gained support enough for supporters to petition the city for sanctioned spots for polo play.

Alex Dash, known as Joker on the court, and other polo followers, are meeting Thursday with Valley Plaza Park advisory board, according to the Los Angeles Times. They are seeking construction of a polo court or designation of the park's rarely used tennis courts for polo games and other uses.

Bike polo is played in teams of three on bikes, each equipped with mallets. The object is to hit a street-hockey ball to the goal on either end of the court, often a piece of plywood, cut to roughly the width of a bicycle and as tall. Games are played up to five points. The game even has a national organization, North American Hardcourt, representing bike polo play across the U.S.

"What they do is very sustainable, especially if they're willing to share the space," said Craig Raines, a landscape architect with the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, to the L.A. Times.

Raines said that other niche activities are also given spaces in L.A. including archery and cricket.

Weekly bike polo games have sprung up in a variety of places. Sunday afternoons, polo teams converge at North Hollywood Park, Wednesday evenings at Whaley Park in Long Beach and even downtown on Thursday nights.

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