Wednesday, April 29, 2009

bike polo round 3 !!

thanks for a great turn-out to last nights 'low-key social event'.  a bunch of games were played, laughs and beers were shared, and new friendships were made !!

come out THIS friday, may 1st, for the official 3rd round of shanghai bike polo !!

yes, friday is a holiday, let's enjoy that sunshine !!

see you all on the court :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

bail! and some sweet snaps.

big-ups to james for taking some great photos on saturday!

they can all be found on the flickr group here


a new location !

hey ! if you managed to make it out on saturday, you would know that we now have a new location to play at ! 

it is in an old empty parking lot on the corner of caoxi lu and ling ling lu, right across from the mcdonalds !  check the aerial photo for precise detail.

hope to see you all this week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

photos from speedcat !

thanks to the guys from speedcat for taking a ton of great photos !!

all photos were uploaded to the flickr account here : shanghai bike polo flickr account

check out the speedcat website here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

two wheels, a big stick, and a lot of balls : Smart Shanghai interview!

sweet !

HUGE thanks to morgan short from for throwing down an interview with me about bike polo !!

we are currently featured on the front page of the website, and the interview can be found here : sweet interview about SBP

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

making history in shanghai : the video !

Making history in Shanghai - 1st SH bike polo game from CHistyle on Vimeo.

thanks to ella SO much for putting together this video :)

we will use this as a small form of publicity, to gain interest, and as documentation for the first series of bike polo games ever in shanghai!!

more videos to come !!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

photos courtesy of chris !

and the photos just keep coming ! big thanks to chris for snapping these bad boys.  can't wait to see you all out this saturday !! the weather looks promising :)

ed rallying, andy staring.
we realize we should be using a hardball . . but they just can't be found in china!
superstar, straight up.
pumping towards the tap-in zone~
action, action.
mmc !
rich and mike battling for the ball

Monday, April 20, 2009

new mallets 2 !!

big-ups to our man mace for taking a step up and making some new mallets !!  attached are a few photos from the sample mallet he made : apparently all materials can be purchases right near people's square : 659 Niu Zhuang Lu.  awesome !!

new mallets !!

big-ups to our man karl for taking a step up and making some new mallets !!  attached are a few photos from the sample mallet he made : looks pretty sweet to me !!

a brief description, in chinese :

thanks to the guys over at speedcat for putting this together.  hopefully this will clear up any miscommunications we had last weekend !


我们的BIKE POLO已经在国外友人的号召下如火如荼的展开了,形式一片大好!
  马球,又称马上曲棍球,其英文名Polo源于藏语Pulu的音译, 意即“球”。对于马球的起源,目前尚没有确切的说法。普遍认为其历史可追溯到公元前600年左右的波斯,随后传入吐蕃(现今的西藏)、我国中原、伊朗和印度等一些亚洲国家,尤其兴盛于我国的唐朝,。那时的马球经常是一场百人以上男女同场竞技的游戏,其规模之大,可想而知。 



  马球一般在室外草场进行,赛场大小有边界时为300×200码 (275×180 m),无边界时为300×160码(275×140 m),是目前场地比赛中最大的赛场。场地两底线正中各有一球门,两球门柱间距为24英尺。罚球线有三条,依次为从球门底线30码、40码和60码,然后是中线。 


  比赛用球: 白色, 直径3.25英寸(8cm)左右, 柳木制成,重约4.5盎司(128g)。 
棕色马靴: 英式 

  头盔: 有些有面罩, 与橄榄球头盔相似。 

  手套: 可保护手并有防滑作用。 

  护膝: 防止碰撞和阻挡中受伤 

  球杆: 根据马球马的体高一般杆长48 到54英寸(1.2~1.3m), 通常由腊木、竹子或枫木制成。击球杆头长8.5~9.5英寸。 

  运动服: 马球运动服 

  马刺: 钝头马刺 

  马鞭: 较细,长度不一 

  白色马裤: 保护大腿 

  马球马(Polo pony) 


参赛球员(Polo players) 


  比赛基本规则(Basic rules) 








1、运球线路(the line of the ball) 


  2、球员进攻权(Right of Way) 





  室内马球(Arena Polo) 

近几年来,室内马球也逐渐倍受人们的喜爱。比赛场地比室外马球要小,大小为300×150英尺(91×46 m), 每队三名球员,两球门柱间距10英尺(3 m),比赛规则与室外比赛基本相同。

mark your calendars : round 2 is here !!

that's right! after a GREAT success last weekend we are proud to announce round 2 of shanghai bike polo !!
here are the details :

where ? shanghai stadium staircase number 2
when ? saturday, april 25, 2009
who ? anyone!
how much ? free! just bring your bike.
what time ? 1:00pm
for those of you that didn't manage to make it out to the launch party, no worries !! scroll down through the blog and you can find a map of where we play, just incase you can't figure it out.  as always : feel free to bring your friends, families, and game faces !!  last weekend we tore through most of our mallets, so it would be greatly appreciated if anyone is willing to make a few and bring them for people to share :)

afterwards for those interested we will attempt to arrange a gathering for some cheap drinks and food.  this time we plan on having some music via ed's battery operated stereo - so get PUMPED.  let's do this !!

see you all saturday !!

photos courtesy of rebecca!

keep those photos coming !! here are some courtesy of friend and new bike-polo enthusiast rebecca conklin.  they are super super super sweet !! enjoy !!

gathering to clarify a few rules!

let's do this!

so we couldn't get our hands on a hard plastic road ball . . we settled for hard tennis balls : but some of them didn't last too long!

photos courtesy of rich !

here are a few gems that richard yu managed to snag.  you can check out a few more on his site here - he also has some pretty sweet stuff up there that is NOT bike-polo related, so check it out!
check out that scenery :)  shanghai stadium!

mace and andy!

the cops showed up, but we managed to convince them that bike polo was super cool - so they left.

when in doubt : ignore.

thanks for a great turnout !

the official FIRST countdown to jousting!

check out that beautiful scenery!

a mix of fixies, mountain bikes, and granny bikes!

breaking the first mallet :(

hey everyone ! i'd just like to personally say thank you to everyone that came out for the first event of shanghai bike polo on saturday !! we had great weather, and the day was fantastic :)

we will be hosting another event next saturday, so stay tuned for details!  keep sending the photos and videos my way, and i'll post them as i receive them!  here are a few of the first ones i have gotten courtesy of ella, enjoy !

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MALLETS! wrap your mitts round these bamboo badboys

Courtesy of Ken. Lightweight, sturdy, flexible and undeniably Chinese...

6 ready to go...get swingin this saturday!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

mark your calendars : the launch party is here !!

that's right !!! the shanghai fixed gear crew is proud to finally announce the shanghai bike polo launch party !!!

here are the details :

where ? shanghai stadium staircase number 2
when ? saturday, april 18, 2009
who ? anyone!
how much ? free! just bring your bike.
what time ? 1:00pm

below is a map of the location :

the red star marks the staircase we will be meeting at.  there is a giant public space landing at the top of the staircase that we will use to play on - it is a great spot !  the closest major intersection is Caoxi Lu and Ling Ling Lu - which is marked by a
 big mcdonalds.

below is a second map with a few more street names attached :

we have made enough mallets to run one game for now.  hopefully an interest will spark and players can make their own mallets, since it is truly a DIY project.  we will be running just one game at a time, so that all players can learn the rules and everyone gets a chance to play!

for those of you who i have not met in person, just keep a lookout for a tall, white canadian, with bleach blonde hair and a red beard.  i'll be the one riding the deep purple bike :)

we will also have a clipboard on site for everyone to fill out with contact information.

afterwards for those interested we will be heading out for some dinner and drinks, the location to be determined.  finally, after all is said and done, for anyone who still wants to ride - we will plan out a night ride for saturday night as well.

so spread the word! and we look forward to meeting all of you on saturday :)


-tyler and SFG

the first mallet : bamboo and all

this weekend brought some good news to the shanghai bike polo league : our man ken was able to get a test mallet made locally out of bamboo.  the handle was then covered in grip tape.

is it ever strong! and cheap to make :)

we will be bringing a bunch to the launch party on saturday for others to see how it has been made, and hopefully generate some inspiration to make their own.

check out the photo! it rules.

our court!

after cruising the city for over a week, i finally landed a spot that i think will be just perfect for our league.  it's secluded from the main shanghai traffic, barely used, and has boundaries on all sides!

the photo attached is of myself standing in the middle of the court, so you get a sense of scale!

i will post directions and a map later in the week on how to get there . . but mark your calenders : next saturday will be our official launch party!  more details to come :)


Thursday, April 9, 2009

shanghai bike polo official rules

so i have had MANY e-mails over the last few days about the specific rules for playing bike polo.  since the rules tend to vary from city to city, i figured i would lay down what will be the official shanghai bike polo rules.

naturally, there will be different and more specific rules found worldwide (especially for tournaments), but these should work well for our league.  they have been adapted from the nyc bike polo league!

check em, remember em, live by em :

1. there are 2 teams of 3 players per game.
2. any type of bike is allowed, but handlebars must be plugged for safety issues.
3. mallets must resemble a croquet mallet with a wide side and a round end.  the handle of the mallet must be plugged for safety issues.
4. the ball used will be a hard plastic street hockey ball (or something very, very similar)
5. goal poasts will be a pair of orange cones (or something very, very similar) spaced one bike length apart.
6. if a goal post gets moved, it is the responsibility of the player who moved it to fix it.
7. a game lasts until one team reaches 5 goals.
8. to start a game, each team will be stopped behind their own goal lines and the ball will be positioned at center court.  play will begin with a, " 3 2 1 GO! " from the sideline.
9. players may not play the ball with their feet at any time.
10. scoring a goal must be done from what started as a 'hit'.  a 'hit' is made from the end of a player's mallet. a 'shuffle' does NOT count as a goal ; if the ball is shuffled through the goal, play continues uninterrupted.
11. after a goal is scored, the team who scored returns to their half of the court.  the team who was scored on takes possession of the ball.
12. the score must be called out after each goal.
12. passing 'backwards' through the goal (from behind the goal line to the front of it) : when the ball is passed through the goal in this way, a goal CANNOT be scored by the first player to hit the ball.  any subsequent player to play the ball may score.  if a ball is shot from in front of the goal line and does not go through the goal but bounces off the back wall and comes through the goal, the ball is in play and can be scored.  a ball that crosses a goal line backwards must be 'hit' before it can be score.
12. players must not touch the ground, or put their feet on the ground.  each time a player puts their foot down that player is out of play and may not play the ball until they ride to the side line at center court and tap their mallet on the ground.  then they may return to play.  only one side of the court will be used to tap back into the game.
13. contact rules : 'like' contact is allowed. player to player (body to body), except grabbing or pushing with hands.  mallet to mallet, and bike to bike.
14. everything else is NOT allowed : player to bike, mallet to bike, mallet to player, etc.
15. throwing of mallets is not allowed at any time, in any situation.
16. trash talking is allowed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

hardcourt bike polo world championships

that's right!

this year they are being held in philadelphia, september 5th - 6th.

who knows, maybe this will be the first year that china enters a team!

check out the details here

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

bike polo in taiwan!

that's right, they've got bike polo in taiwan :)

also looks like they've got quite the established community of fixed gear riders !

you can check it out here !

suburbs crew

these guys are doing great things in paris, france.

check them out here !! impressive, impressive, impressive !!

bike polo in guangzhou

it looks like the trend has hit china in guangzhou! i'm going to try and contact these guys to see if the want to come up to shanghai to play.

you can check out their experiences here

i'd also like to point out that hong kong has caught on to the fixed gear lifestyle as well : read up on it here

how to build polo mallets !

so after sending out the first round of e-mails this morning to interested players, i immediately got a few responses asking how to build mallets!  using the great advice found at hardcourt bike polo i hope that this helps clear up some concerns.

if anyone knows where i can find things like ski poles, golf clubs, thin bamboo sticks and plastic pip in shanghai please let me know!

here are the basics - you will need the following :

1. a ski pole, or golf club shaft, or thin bamboo shaft - roughly around 50'' in length
2. a plastic pipe - but not that cheap PVC pipe you find at hardware stores!
3. one bolt and nut
4. some grip tape for your handle!

to see detailed instructions along with photos, please check out the link HERE

if you'd like to play, contact me!

ok so in one night i think i managed to cover the basic grounds for playing bike polo. if you can manage to read through everything i have written, you'll see that it's not too bad!

now all i need is for people to start contacting me :) over the next few days i will be sending out e-mails to those i know are already interested, like my friends at speedcat who hooked me up with my awesome fixie.

so if you're reading this, and you happen to be living in or visiting shanghai, china, and you'd like to play a game of bike polo, please shoot me an e-mail! the contact info is just on the right hand side of the page :)

hope to hear from some of you soon!


what kind of bike do i need?

this is another really popular question i have been getting . . i think maybe people are just intimidated when they see my riding my fixed gear bicycle.

the truthful answer is : any kind of bike! whether it is a mountain bike, a bmx bike, a single speed bike, or a fixed gear - anything will work. naturally some bikes have advantages over others, and fixed gears are the preferred bike to play with, but any bike will do.

if you've got a bike, contact me if you'd like to play!

what do you need to play?

this is probably the second question i get asked when telling people about bike polo here in china. the answer is simple really : a bike, a mallet, and a ball.

well, maybe it's not THAT simple, but i like to think it is :) here is a run-down of what you will need if you want to play! :

- (taken from wikipedia) Hardcourt Bike Polo players make handmade mallets in the spirit of the do it yourself ethic. Typical mallets are constructed using high density gas pipe or abs piping for the head and a ski pole or golf club for the shaft. However, mallets are by no means standardized; mallet heads may come in the form of pvc and aluminum cans and mallet shafts may be constructed from materials as diverse as wooden dowels, bamboo, and even crutches! (that's right, bamboo . . shouldn't have a problem getting that now should we!)

- The most commonly used ball is a plastic street hockey / road ball.

- Players commonly play on courts such as a tennis courts or street hockey rinks. These are often customized using boards or nets to keep the ball from rolling out of the court or getting stuck in corners. - it's looking like this is going to be the biggest challenge . . but i'm up for it - i WILL find a place that we can play :)

so other than that you really don't need much! of course, safety equipment is suggested, but not necessary. any help on where to find used ski poles would be GREAT - just shoot me an e-mail.

how do you play bike polo?

i realize that this blog will be visited by more chinese speaking people than english speaking, but since i lack the ability to actually write in chinese i hope that somehow the interested individuals can figure out how to read the information or have it translated. my appologies WAY in advance . . maybe once i find someone who can write perfect chinese and is interested in playing then i can get the chinese version up and running.

anyways, a popular question that has been raised when i approach people is : how do you play bike polo?

well, without diving into too much detail for right now i figured turning to wikipedia for some simplified answers might be the best solution. here is the low-down :


1. Two teams of three players play in an enclosed rectangular area. Cones are placed at each long end of the rectangle and serve as goalposts.

2. At the beginning of the game, the ball is placed in the middle of the court and the players wait behind their own goals. Following a countdown, both teams charge the ball.

3. A player may hit the ball in two ways: a "shot" or a "shuffle". A shot is made with either end of the mallet head whereas a shuffle is made with the side. In order to score a goal, a player must hit the ball into the opposing team's goal with a shot; if the player uses a shuffle, the goal does not count and play continues.

4. Following a goal, the scoring team returns to their own half of the court. After the scoring team returns to their half, the scored-on team may cross the half line and resume play.

5. The game continues until a team reaches a pre-defined limit of three to five goals. Some cities also impose a time limit which is informally invoked by spectators as play draws on (i don't think we'll be doing that in shanghai JUST yet)


1. A player who "dabs" (touches the ground with their foot) must undertake some form of remedial penalty before making contact with the ball again. This usually involves either riding in a circle or "tapping out" (riding to a designated point on the court and touching it with the mallet).

2. The amount of contact in a particular game may vary but is generally restricted to "mallet on mallet, bike on bike, player on player". Additionally, players are not allowed to t-bone other players' bicycles.

3. As an decentralized and organically growing game, the rules and styles of Hardcourt Bike Polo may vary substantially from city to city - you bet it! i'm sure we will develop our own set of manipulated rules here in shanghai.


so that is the basic premis of how to play . . sound simple enough?

if you are interested in reading into a few more 'official' rules, then feel free to check out the bike polo association of america here : bike polo rules

how to start a league?

i asked myself this question day in and day out for the last few weeks, until i was finally given some advice from my new friend kevin walsh. he suggested just building some mallets, finding a ball or two, and tracking down people that want to play!

so i'm going to do just that. so far i've gained the interest, and now it's a matter of finding a few appropriate places to play, and at the same time trying to build enough mallets to go around. unless, of course, the interested players take it upon themselves to make mallets . . but who knows how well that will go over. i guess only time will tell?

regardless, i would just like to say thanks to kevin for all his pointers and suggestions! head on over to his neck of the woods in toronto, canada - and check out his site :

the first official post

so this looks like it is the very first post for the shanghai bike polo blogspot! i've taken it upon myself to try and start a bike polo league here in shanghai, china. as far as i know there are NO bike polo leagues that exist in china . . could this be the first? quite possibly.

this is something that i have wanted to start since i arrived here, but either never had the time to put any effort into it or never thought i would meet anybody that would like to play . . well i was wrong : i have met many many people, both local and foreign alike, that have shown a great interest in playing.

i'm going to use this blog as a starting point to gain interest for the game, post information about playing, how to equip yourself properly to play, and anything else bike polo related. i see this page as something that will slowly develop into a spot where all local bike polo players in shanghai can post their ideas and thoughts about the game, and how to establish a solid league of players.

who knows, maybe within a few months i may even have enough people to form half a dozen teams, have a set schedule for a season, and have this bike polo league up and running!

so here's to wishful thinking . . what is the point to life if not in pursuit of a dream :)