The London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association have announced that the London Open tournament will run again in 2012. Now in its third year, the London Open has again moved to a larger base in Bethnal Green Gardens and will take place on August 25th and 26th, with anywhere from 50-70 teams from up to 16 different countries expected to compete.
Hardcourt bike polo is very much the brash young upstart in the bike polo world; traditionally bike polo was played on grass and often teams were associated with a football club, playing before the match and at half time to help flatten the pitch. The grass court game has been around since the turn of the last century but the new, urban form has risen in popularity, since it was first played in 1999, in line with the growth of fixed gear culture in cicites; it's very much the dominant form of the game now with active leagues in a large number of countries across the world.
If you've got a team and would like to give it a go, the the London Open is a proper open tournament: some of the best teams in the world will be there, so you might find yourself on the end of a drubbing, but the organisers have made a commitment to never cap the number of teams that can enter, ensuring that the event echos the ongoing growth of hardcourt bike polo with each passing year. It's a great spectator event too; anyone planning on attending can expect lots of spectacular goals (and crashes) from 10am each day. This year there's going to be spectator seating, a big screen scoreboard and more courts so you'll be able to see more action. If you can't attend in person, the organisers intend to live stream the games so you can watch online too.
Team registration will be open soon, and more details will be release as the event gets nearer. To keep abreast of the developments, head over to www.lhbpa.org. The 2012 tournament is still looking for sponsors to help it to grow; if you're interested in sponsoring the event in anyway, or know someone that might be, the sponsorship pack is available online at www.lhbpa.org/lo2012_sponsorship/
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.