Get those mallets ready
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Eccentric, mallet-wielding cyclists will be out en masse on the grass at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs this Saturday.
And they want you to join them.
Local cycling collective Stomparillaz, which stages various spoke-related events throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, is putting on the Colorado Cup grass bike polo tournament. Matches will run all day long, from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Bike polo is what you’d imagine it to be. Think traditional polo, but replace the horses with bicycles.
Atop a heavy dose of local teams, the tournament will feature squads from Fort Collins, Denver and Durango. New teams are welcome to sign up, too, and there will be limited bikes and mallets available to use.
The Stomparillaz have held a number of tournaments in the area in recent years, and the group is looking to boost the history-rich sport’s profile locally.
“It’s been around for a long, long time,” said Steve Novy, who’s not only organizing the tournament but is also playing in it. “It started in Ireland, right around the turn of the century – the late 1800s. Locally, it’s grown in popularity very slowly. It’s not the type of sport that’s appealing to everyone.”
It certainly appeals to the Stomparillaz crew, which has a dedicated group of eight to 10 people who gather to play Tuesday nights at Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs and Thursday nights behind the Third Street Center in Carbondale.
Games pit sides of four against one another, meaning a lot of touches for everyone on the field.
“The incentive to go after the ball and actually get it into the goal is pretty huge,” Novy said. “You get to play a lot in bike polo. With teams of four, the ball play is divided equally between the four players. If you’re on a soccer or baseball team, you get the ball that much less, just because there are so many more people. That’s a neat thing about it.”
The uninitiated are welcome to check out bike polo for themselves on Saturday, Novy said.
“We’d like to have people come and try it, see if they like it,” he relayed. “Someone could come as an individual and we’ll put them on a team.”
Contact Novy at 309-2023 to register, or send an email email@example.com. The cost is $20 per team or $5 for individuals. Helmets are required for all participants.
“We’re pretty excited to host. Glenwood Springs is a location central to where all the grass bike polo teams exist,” Novy said. “We’ve typically got teams from Durango, Fort Collins, Denver – sometimes Salt Lake City. We’re pretty central, and everybody likes coming here.”
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