John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A buffet of body checking, face plants, and butt-on-head brutality.
When thinking of violence in sports, one might envision football, with its bone-crunching impacts, or the brutal body hits in boxing. Not so much hardcourt bike polo, an increasingly popular game in which pirouetting cyclists swing mallets at a little plastic ball.
But whip bike polo's most die-hard players into a competitive fever, and you can produce a truly vicious mess. That much is evident in this compilation of polo dust-ups from the 2013 North American Hardcourt tournaments, which took place in cities across the U.S. and was eventually won by the San Francisco Beavers. There's body checking, face plants, torn flesh, emergency responders, and at least one instance of butt-on-head brutality – enough mayhem to satisfy any appreciator of full-contact sports.
This video is not intended to call anyone out, other than hardcourt bike polo as a whole. Seriously; clean your shit up. The onus should be on us, the players (not the refs), to keep this sport from devolving into a bunch of meatheads driving forearms into each other’s kidneys in order to make a play.
Wait, what am I talking about?? Watching these clips is the most fun I’ve had all winter! Don’t ever stop; I love you how you are, polo.
H/t Urban Velo