London Open Bike Polo Tournament 2014

17th August 2014 – Highbury Fields, London, Great Britain

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17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from Mondial (in red and black) tries to find a way past a Triple Jay opponent (in black) during the 2014 London Open bike polo tournament final in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Although cycle polo has been around since the end of the 19th Century the hardcourt version only came into being in the early 21st century. Unlike its older grass based sibling, hardcourt bike polo games are played on existing tennis courts, car parks and 5 a side football pitches with, where possible, boards around the sides to keep the ball in. Other differences include only three players on each team as opposed to six with four on the pitch and, each game is usually limited to twelve to fifteen minutes, though sometimes ten in a tournament to allow for more games to be played, or the first team to score five goals.

17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - Players from Big Fun prepare for the joust, the start of a game where a player from each team charges for the ball placed in the centre of the court, at the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament at Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain  (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Games start with the players lined up behind their goals. On the signal they charge towards the ball in the centre of the court to win control in what is known as the joust.

17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - Players from Partisans race from the line for for the joust, the start of a game where a player from each team charges for the ball placed in the centre of the court, at the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament at Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain  (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - Players from Westway (in yellow) and Poloski (in cream) battle for the ball during the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament at Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Whilst standard bikes were used in the sport’s early days the advantages of customising them became apparent due to the advantages of shorter wheelbases which allow for turning in smaller spaces and provides less space underneath the frame through which rivals can shoot or attempt to hit the ball. Some players also make wheel covers to protect the spokes and create a surface from which they can rebound the ball during play when making a shot. Mallets were originally hand made but manufactured versions can now be bought.

17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from Mondial (in red and black) looks for a shooting opportunity in his teams game against Sentinels (in blue) at the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

With the need for good manoeuvrability, and the ability to quickly accelerate in the confined space of the court, low ratio, single speed bikes are favoured.


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from each team both dab, or put a foot down, as they chase the ball during a game at the 2014 London Open bike polo tournament in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain. Under the sports rule they must tap-out, hit the side boards at a mark on either side of the centreline of the court, before playing any further part in the game (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Still in its relative infancy the rules of hardcourt bike polo may vary from city to city and country to country though many are now adopting those devised by the North American Bike Polo Association.

17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from Sentinels (in light blue) tries to find a way to the Jackie Chan is Dead goal at the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Players are required to stay on their bikes throughout play. Dabbing or touching the ground requires them to tap-out at a pre designated point near the centre of the court avoiding any action that affects play until they have done so.


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - Players from Camembridge (in white) and Big Fun (in dark blue with pink logo) compete for the ball during the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament at Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Shoulder to shoulder and mallet to mallet contact is usually permitted whilst the legality of other forms such as hooking, where a player uses their mallet to pull a rivals away from the ball varies depending on the tournament or local rules.


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from Mondial (in red and black) shoots in his teams game against Sentinels (in blue) at the 2014 London Open bike polo tournament in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

To score the ball must be hit into the goal with the end of the mallet, a shot. If the ball is hit with the side of the mallet, a shuffle, the goal is disallowed.

After a goal is scored the scoring team must wait in their own half until the opposing have crossed the centre line with the ball.


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A player from Triple Jay (in black) dribbles the ball up the court during the game against Partisans at the 2014 London Open Bike Polo tournament in Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Whilst originating in Seattle in the USA the sport has now spread around the world to now be played in over 30 countries and with organising bodies on North and South America aswell as Europe and Australia. The first world championships were held in Toronto in 2008.


17 AUG 2014 - LONDON, GBR - A spectator watches the London Open Bike Polo tournament final between Mondial and Triple Jay through a fence at Highbury Fields in London, Great Britain (PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) (NIGEL FARROW/COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW : www.nigelfarrow.com)

(PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2014 NIGEL FARROW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)




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