Our uni club (oh snap I just realized that functions both as “Unicycle club” and “University” club) recently discovered a bike polo group and we’ve been joining in on a few of their games. They turned out to be unexpectedly intense; they have awesome protective gear and they all have tattoos and huge beards and destructive BO, but that’s understandable.

One of them mentioned to us a somewhat official polo match that went on in New York between bicyclists and unicyclists, but the unicyclists were permitted to use hockey sticks instead of the standard mallet thing. Is this normal? Has anyone here had any experience playing unicycle hockey polo? We are considering getting a set of hockey sticks for ourselves so we can start whooping the bicyclists at their own game, rather than the harsh alternative we are currently experiencing.

It’s ridiculously fun though, even though we fall down at least twenty times per game.

I’ve played against bikes, using the same mallets; I don’t see why you’d let unis use hockey sticks, the mallet is fine, although we usually would prefer a longer handle than the ones the bikers tend to have. It is fun, and unless they’re super-serious you can kick their asses.

What’s wrong with unicycle hockey
Unis against unis
Hockey sticks dead tennis ball
5 on 5 is great. But when your learning having smaller teams helps. A bit more time and space.

I’ve been having a blast this summer playing bike/uni polo. A bunch of us meet up on Monday night and smack the ball around. There are no hockey sticks involved, just regular home-made polo mallets.
The bicyclists tend to like the shorter mallets (46-48"), I prefer longer ones either 50" or my 52" “cherry picker”.
The bicyclists have a higher top speed but I’ve got better maneuverability, and excel at extracting the ball from the corner dog fights. Having a free hand, I’m better at pushing the bicyclists off their bikes. It took them a while to get used to this, but their ok with it now.
I use a cheapo Sun unicycle with a 700 wheel and a skinny tire. At first I used my KH 26" with a 3" Duro Leopard, but I found that it was sluggish compared with my skinny and agile 700. Also, the fat tire is more likely to run over the ball causing a UPD. Playing on an asphalt court is the quickest way I know to wear out a tire. I need to rotate my cranks about every third or fourth week.
The past few weeks my 13 year-old daughter has been joining us on her uni. She’s a quick study. My 10 year-old son is now getting the itch to play too. Despite the size of the bicyclists they are a pretty gentle bunch. Most of them are dads, so they don’t crunch my kids. In fact, I seem to be the one to want to push and body check my opponents more than anyone else.
Here’s some pics:


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I’ve seen bicycle polo; it was a demonstration game at an indoor cycling World Championships event in Germany (or Austria; a long time ago). At those events, Artistic Bicycling (Kunstfahren) and Cycle Ball (Radball) are the main events. The polo group looked to be a less-competitive group of “wives”. Not that the game has to be played that way.

Maybe if that’s what they were used to, or that’s what they had, or they were just new to the game and those were easier.

Whoever is experienced at the game can probably kick the other group’s asses. :slight_smile: Beyond that, I’d think the unicyclists would have the edge on maneuverability, though bikes might have the edge on speed if there’s enough room.

I’m playing polo on my 20" with local bike polo club, because there is not enough unicyclist to play anything regularly here.
20" is definitely too slow and I’m planning to get some skinny 24" to boost the speed a bit and to keep the maneuverability.

I guess that they were playing bike polo vs uni hockey because the unicyclists were hockey players, so they were used to that gear. I think if you plan to play polo, you should use the polo equipment :slight_smile:




Wow. We do not play that rough. I kind of want to though.

One of our members brought a hockey stick to last night’s game and I tried it out and found it not to my liking, surprisingly. It was so much bigger than the mallet and very unwieldy, and having to use both hands made it harder to maintain balance while taking a shot.

I hear what you guys are saying about maneuverability. It’s almost impossible for them to go backwards; they have to hop with their bike several times just to make it a foot or two back and it takes some time, and their turning radius is much larger. If I can get riding backwards in figure-8’s down and idling on both feet comfortably without using the mallet as a crutch, I can pull off some seriously awesome globetrotteresque hijinks.

I want to make my own mallet so I can practice on my own time and surprise them one day with left-handed behind-the-wheel shots. Any suggestions for how to do this? I do like the longer ones; it’s hard to bend down to make a shot, and last night I went for one that was just out of my reach and ended up kicking the uni forward and falling flat on my back. I did slam the ball harder than ever before, but it hit the side of the goal and didn’t go in. Not worth it.

Hey, I spend all week coddling and nurturing the infirm. I need to get out and swear like a sailor, grunt, crash and beat up my friends.

When I was growing up outside of San Francisco in the early '80’s I’d go to punk rock shows like the Dead Kennedys, DOA and the Subhumans. It’d be fun banging around in the pit. I realized that it was most fun if there was some guy there who was stirring up extra trouble. Not too violent, just rougher than my comfort zone. Someone to scare me a bit. Someone to make it hurt a bit. Someone to make it real. Now that I"m playing polo I realize that I am that someone.

I look at it as a public service. Because of me, my bicyclist opponents are developing better balance skills. :roll_eyes:

Mallet construction: Maybe I’ll post pics later, but here’s a start.

Get a 52" ski pole. You can always cut it shorter later if you want.

Remove the grip and basket. You may want to cut off an inch or so off of the tip.

Cut a 6" length of 2 & 1/2" inside diameter PVC or ABS pipe.

Drill a hole in the middle of the side of the pipe just big enough for the ski pole to fit in snugly.

On the opposite side of the pipe drill a small hole just big enough to get a screw through. If you make these holes just a tad small, then the assembly with be tighter. You don’t want anything rattling around here. You can always use a rat tail file to increase the size of the hole a smidgen if you need to.

Go to the hardware store and buy a coupling nut and a screw that fits it. The screw should be about 2 & 1/2 to 3" long. A coupling nut is just like a regular nut except that it is really tall, about 1/2 to 3/4".

Drop the coupling nut down the ski pole until it gets caught inside the tip. You may need to experiment with different sized coupling nuts. The more of the ski pole tip that you cut off, the larger the inside diameter of the ski pole tip. That will necessitate a larger coupling nut, otherwise a smaller nut could fall through. Conversely, if you get a large coupling nut and don’t cut much of the ski pole tip off, then the nut will lodge too far away from the tip of the ski pole for the screw to reach it. Make sense?

Put the pipe onto the ski pole and insert the screw through the small hole of the pipe and into the tip of the ski pole so that it screws into the coupling nut. Tighten it up.

Drill lots of holes in the pipe to lighten it.

Cap the grip end of the ski pole with a nickle so that it won’t gouge anybody. Put on a golf club hand grip or make a grip on the ski pole out of an old inner tube and duct tape.

There you go. Have fun kicking bicyclist ass and beating up your friends. :smiley:


Here are some pics of the pole, Swiss cheesed mallet head, that funny elongated “coupling nut” with screw and the assembled mallet.


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We got lucky and a local photographer wanted to take some pics of us at our new winter court, the local and only parking garage. Here are three of the better ones, including one pic of my daughter tapping back in. If you want to see more, go to: