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Introduction to Bike Polo

Bike Polo
The Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club has the most active and enthusiastic Bike Polo section in Scotland.  In common with the rest of the club the polo guys and gals are a welcoming, friendly bunch so why not give it a try!

Bike Polo - is this a wind up?
You might not have heard of bike polo but it has been around for over one hundred years and made the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport as far back as London 1908.  The sport is currently enjoying something of a resurgence worldwide with the Johnstone Wheelers team being an integral part of a European League along with teams from England, France & Ireland and also competing against North American teams each year.

How do I get to play?
Just turn up at any of our weekly games and you’ll be made very welcome.  We recommend that you wear sturdy trainers or walking boots and also bring shin pads and a bike helmet.  We’ll supply all other equipment, including a bike and mallet, to help get you started. 

Where and when are the games held?
We play all year round.  From October to April games are held each Friday night between 6.30 and 7.30pm on the astroturf pitch at Linwood Sports Centre - we try to get there about fifteen minutes early so we can get organised.  Once the better weather and longer days come around we switch our games to grass pitches at Lochwinnoch.  The winter months are a great time to take up bike polo as not only is the game easier on the artificial surface but you get to keep fit even if the weather is preventing you from getting out on the road.  Check the Polo section of ‘The Bunch’ forum for details of each week’s game.
Who can play?
If you can ride a bike then you can play bike polo.  A bit of hand eye coordination wouldn’t go amiss but lack of this that hasn’t stopped most of the regulars from playing year after year!  We have a real mixture of ages, fitness levels and abilities, but one thing everyone has in common is that they play first and foremost for fun.  We’ve even tweaked our rules to give beginners an easier introduction to the sport.
Want to know a bit more about bike polo?
An Irishman named Richard J McCready is credited with inventing Bicycle Polo in 1891.  The first international match took place ten years later between Ireland and England and the sport continued to grow in popularity until the point was reached where most cycling clubs were participating in competitive leagues.  The sport went into serious decline after World War II but it still retained its popularity with cyclists in and around Paisley.  The Seedhill Playing Fields in the town were renowned as the local bike polo venue right up to the early part of this century.  The Johnstone Wheelers bike polo section has gone from strength to strength in recent years and competes successfully in annual tournaments held in England, France and Ireland.

Not sure that Bike Polo is the sport for you?
You’ll never know unless you give it a try!  Why not come along to our next game?

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