The Lack Of A Normal Playground Is Not A Reason Not To Play Bike Polo.” Interview With Khbp Players

If you ever suddenly walk in Kyiv on Podil on Spaska Street towards the Dnieper on Saturday morning, and you see that at the local sports ground the guys ride bicycles here and there, waving some sticks, shouting at each other, and then rejoice – don’t be surprised – this is a training (and possibly a responsible game) from the Kyiv Hardcore Bike Polo Club (KHBP). You ask me, “What kind of polo is it?” – and I’ll tell you that cycling (or bike polo) is a team game. On the site, the size of 20X40 m (it is very desirable that with an equal, firm covering and boards) two teams on three people in everyone compete. The aim of the game is to score a ball into the opponent’s goal with a special stick. The game lasts 10 minutes, or up to five goals.

bay-polo_3This sport was invented in the late 19th century in the thick fog of the well-known Albion, and after that years from 25-30 in bike polo, on bulky bicycles and with wooden “hammers”, played a lot of decent men and all sorts of sulfur. Then, however, he was forgotten a bit, so to speak, due to the socio-political situation in the country (s), and forgotten for a long time – until the 90s of the 20th century. The extraction of bike polo from the throes of history took place in the city of Seattle, Washington. And now this sport is represented in 30 countries. It is most developed and popular in the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and, of course, Great Britain.In Ukraine, this sport appeared recently – in 2010. And in three years with a tail, our guys (and we only have boys playing so far) managed to organize into several teams, created an internal championship, and most importantly – last year for the first time took part in the European Championship. And all this – on pure enthusiasm and at the expense of own time and financial resources.

So, one such Saturday morning, which was mentioned at the beginning, immediately after training, we talked to the players of the club “KHBP” about bike polo, bicycles and Kiev.

How many teams are there now in Ukraine, in Kyiv?fairy-tale-polo_2

Dima (D). Now the situation is such that there are one and a half teams in Kyiv, well, a maximum of two.

How much is it in human bicycles?

D. There are three people in the team

And the main / spare?

D. Look, the team is three people. And here in Kyiv, we can put two teams in tournaments, connecting all the “reservists and substitutes”. There are two teams in Kharkiv, and maybe even more now. There seem to be about ten people playing there. It is not clear yet in Lviv – last fall they had a team and they started to play little by little, there is no information on their readiness for the new season yet. As for Kryvyi Rih, I think Sasha is more aware of things.

Sasha (C). Yes, Kryvyi Rih is the cradle of bike polo, that’s where they started playing this game first, though they were the first to finish. The problem is that for the constant functioning of some processes, you need at least one person who will organize those people who, in addition to enthusiasm and love for sports, need additional motivation. I used to be involved in this organization, we even trained in the winter in the underground parking lot, now, unfortunately, no one is involved. As far as I know, several times the guys were going to play four, that is, in principle, they can put a team in the tournament, but there is no regular movement.

tale-polo_1D. In short , it turns out that two cities with regular games are Kyiv and Kharkiv, and Lviv and Kryvyi Rih are in question.

In general, how do you build communication with each other, how do you agree on organizing a tournament or holding friendly matches?

D. Many things are solved with the help of the Internet and telephone, but sometimes we organize meetings. For example, in October last year we had a very cool trip to Lviv, where we met with local and Polish athletes and could talk about bike polo and plans for the near future, as well as play an impromptu tournament. I think things like this need to be done more often so that people not only hear that someone is playing bike polo here and there or even see it, but they can also take part.

As for Kharkiv, we are constantly working to establish normal communication and interaction with local teams, but so far the process is not as fast and productive as we would like. The fact is that you can not constantly “cook” only in its closed space. For example, last year we went to the European Championships for the first time, we saw a completely different level of play, to be honest, in some places it seemed that this is a completely different sport. Speed, maneuverability, rigidity of struggle…

C. In short, they have a slightly incomprehensible approach: they try to win at any cost, but not at the expense of technology, but at the expense of manipulating the ATV games rule.

It is obvious that in Ukraine, bike polo is currently a hobby of several enterprising people who do their business every day, including at a permanent place of work, and on weekends – ride bicycles. Tell me, is there any movement on your part towards the “officiality” of your sport?

D. You know, the trick of cycling is (I don’t know how unique this situation is in the world of modern sports) that there are no professional players here, and all sports and organizational issues are solved at the expense of some own initiatives and free time, well, calculation still such that you will be able to communicate more with adequate people.

Well ok. In my opinion, the situation with your sport is somewhat similar to that which was at the beginning of the development of ultimatum (frisbee). There are already a lot of them playing and everything is based on a group of enthusiasts, but they are still working on the recognition of their sport in Ukraine (and for me, to be honest, it remains a mystery why at the Ministry level this issue can not move with places), however, the number of people involved in this sport in Ukraine, and even more so in the world, I’m sure – hundreds of times more than yours, and the sport is already included in the program of the World Games, but less so. I lead to the fact that official recognition, in my opinion, is a step that sooner or later any sport should take. Am I wrong?