Did You Know Grand Rapids Has Bike Polo Courts?
It's FINALLY feeling like spring! If you're looking for ways to get outside and enjoy it, while maybe trying out a new sport - did you know there's place to play Bike Polo in Grand Rapids?
If you're like me, maybe this is the first time you're hearing of Bike Polo! So firstly, what exactly is it?
What Is Bike Polo?
According to Top End Sports, Bike Polo (also called Bicycle Polo and Cycle Polo) is pretty much what it sounds like! It's a team sport similar to traditional polo, where players are hitting a ball with a mallet into a goal, but instead of horses, you're riding bikes. And apparently it's been around a long time! It was invented in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1891 by retired cyclist, Richard J. Mecredy.
There are two types of Bike Polo, grass game and the hardcourt hardcourt game. According to Top End Sports:
Traditional Bicycle Polo is played on a large rectangular grass field, but the faster hardcourt version played by less players on a smaller court is getting popular. The hardcourt version is called "Hardcourt Bike Polo" or "Urban Bike Polo", and is played by three players on a hard court surface such as for basketball or tennis with a street hockey ball.
You can find more information on how to play here.
New Bike Polo Courts in Grand Rapids
As part of the ongoing park improvement projects in Grand Rapids, new bike polo courts are planned to be built at Highland Park in late summer/fall of 2022. (In other exciting news for Highland Park, there's also new boulders for climbing that will be open to the public soon! ) Find more on the Master Plan for Highland Park here.
In the meantime, a temporary court is set up along the Grand River's edge at 555 Monroe, close to downtown Grand Rapids. This also where a City skatepark is.
According to the City of Grand Rapids' Parks and Rec Department, The Grand Rapids Bike Polo group plays at 555 Monroe on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Anyone is welcome to join! The Bike Polo group says they love teaching people about the sport and even lending a bike to those who'd like to try it.
It's free to play!
If you'd like to find out more, Grand Rapids Bike Polo has a Facebook group you can join.