While the game of polo may conjure up images of people clad in jerseys, tight pants, and helmets galloping along on horseback handling a long mallet in Wellington, there’s another game that spins away from this tradition. Hardcourt bike polo is a recreational sport in which horses are replaced with bicycles and uniforms are pared down to street clothing. In this game, the players still use long mallets to maneuver the ball, but the games are played in gritty parking lots, on basketball courts, and in roller hockey rinks. The overall concept remains the same: score and win. This weekend, the pedaling action will bring it on as the Hardcourt Bike Polo Southeast Regional Qualifier comes to Fort Lauderdale for the first time. Thirty teams hailing from across the southeastern United States will compete in a two-day tournament of some serious competition.
The games will take place on the roller hockey rinks at Central Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The first day is devoted to determining the most skillful players; then the crème de la crème of those 30 teams will go onto the next round, the double-elimination play on Sunday. Double elimination will begin at 10 a.m., and during the course of the day, the teams will compete for the top eight spots. Those lucky eight teams will qualify to move onto the North American Hardcourt Championship to be held in July.
Spectators gawk for free. Central Park is located at 769 NW 91st Ave. in Plantation. Visit ftlbikepolo.com.
Sat., May 12, 2012