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When people think of organized sports in Trenton, I’m sure many think of the Trenton Thunder (a highly successful minor league franchise) or the various sports teams that have attempted to occupy the arena (indoor football, hockey, etc). Most probably don’t think of polo, however. Well that’s about to change. Only instead of polo played on horses by British royalty, this is Trenton-style polo, played on bicycles by folks from the local bar.
Bike Polo is a fast growing sport, and Trenton’s own Bike Polo League has been around for a few years. Dominated by the crew who tends to (and hangs out at) Champs Bar, this informal league meets every Sunday at Lipinski Park (in Trenton, near Capitol Health). It is free and open to all to participate. And it’s a blast.
The rules of bike polo are deceptively simple. Mallets are thrown into the center of the court to pick the teams of three. The ball is placed in the middle of the court and both teams race from their respective sides to get to it first. Points are scored by using your mallet to knock the ball into a goal. Once a goal is scored, the scored-on team gains possession of the ball. If at any point a cyclist puts his or her foot on the ground (a “dab”), the cyclist are required to tap the wall at the middle of the court until he or she can play again. Each game is played to five points.
Is it dangerous? Likely. It’s a fast-paced game with multiple cycles going in opposing directions, steering with only one hand as they wield mallets with the other. Of course, you can play with a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads, but few of the players do. Play at your own risk. You won’t catch the reviewers of Hidden Trenton playing (we bruise easily…), but it’s equally fun to come out for the afternoon and watch. For a sense of what it looks like, check out this youtube video featuring the Trenton Bicycle Polo League in action.
Occasionally the Trenton Bicycle Polo League plays against other NJ Bike Polo Teams, and occasionally the event is cancelled due to inclement weather. If you’re thinking of heading out, best to visit their Facebook Page first and see if they are on for that week.
The Trenton bike polo league has a great vibe and energy. Bring some snacks for the picnic table to share, and you’ll have a wonderful afternoon hanging out and playing polo. Afterward, the players often head out for a group meal at a local restaurant, such as Pho Tan. Bike polo works up an appetite.