Polo, they say, is the sport of kings, and for good reason – it will cost you a king's ransom to acquire all the necessary equipment (helmet, mallet and, oh yeah, horse). For polo fun on a beer budget, try bike polo instead.
Bike polo originated in Seattle in the early noughties and is similar to regular polo, with one very obvious difference – bicycles replace horses. While a good bike might set you back a couple of hundred dollars, they're much easier to maintain than horses. They eat less too.
The structure is simple. The ball is placed in the middle of the court. The game begins with a countdown, following which the players charge the ball. Players can move the ball around the court with a shot (using any part of the mallet) or a shuffle (using only the side). To score, players must hit the ball through the goal using a shot (goals made with a shuffle do not count). As bike polo is an urban sport with a heavy DIY foundation, players are free to make up rules as they go along.
If you're having a hard time finding teammates or other teams to play against, the Brisbane Hardcourt Bike Polo League organises games and tournaments for interested parties. Sunday Throw-ups (so called due to the method used to divide players into teams) are relaxed games that take place every Sunday from 2.00pm. League games are more competitive, with teams consisting of three players. Equipment can be provided if necessary. You will find the Brisbane Hardcourt Bike Polo League rules here, and contact information here.
Whether you play in your local park or with a professional league, bike polo is a fun and laid back sport where bicycles replace horses and a cold beer typically replaces the expensive champagne quaffed at polo matches.