Bike Polo

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., a group of Purdue students with a shared love for an uncommon sport gather near the basketball court by Wiley Dining Court for bike polo practice.

According to Kevin White, a senior in the School of Management, this group is called the Lafayette Bike Polo Club, an informal group of about nine students that is open to anyone who is interested in joining.

White said this sport, similar to polo on horses, involves two teams of three people. After the initial face-off over the ball in the center of the court, or the joust, the game goes on until a team scores five points.

White and his roommate Tyler Hoehn, a senior in the College of Engineering, started the club after trying out bike polo over the summer.

"We just kind of fell in love with it," White said. "Tyler and I just took the lead in maintaining this group."

 

The two have worked to spread the word about the group, including hosting fundraisers and finding bike-related sponsors such as Chrome, Velocity and Milwaukee Bike Company, Hoehn said.

He said along with the upkeep of the informal club, the two leaders also are involved with the Indiana bike polo cooperative, an organized, statewide cooperation between the Lafayette, Bloomington, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis bike polo clubs.

"This makes Indiana more of a community of all the different city's clubs," White said.

He said this cooperative also involves the different teams coming together for various tournaments in different hosting areas.

"The cooperative allows us to unify funds and get liability insurance," White said.

Hoehn, who serves as the Lafayette representative on the cooperative's board of directors, explained the liability insurance comes from the team entry fees and ensures that the fields the games are played on in tournaments will be covered for any damage.

These tournaments sometimes offer prizes, according to Hoehn, as well as funny awards like "coolest goal" or "biggest crash," but the bike polo tournaments are not about the prizes.

"It's all about having fun and getting together at this point," he said.

One such event will be hosted Saturday at the Riverside Skating Center in West Lafayette from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Twenty teams from the state will take part in the event, Hoehn said.

The entry fee for each team of three to participate is $20, but spectators can enter for free.

He said if anyone is interested in participating on Saturday, or in the club in general, more detailed information is provided on the group's website at www.bikepololafayette.blogspot.com.

"We encourage anyone who is interested to come try it out," he said.

 

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