Bike Polo riding strong in Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bike Polo riding strong in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Steering a bike can often be difficult enough, but try doing that while attempting to control a ball with a mallet against three opponents. This is part of an actual sport called Bike Polo.

"It's just like hockey on bikes. Its namesake comes from Horse Polo, but it's really much closer to a 3-on-3 hockey," Madison bike polo player Tony White said.

It's a sport that was brought to Madison around 2004 by city resident Jonny Hunter.

"I like it because I enjoy bicycling as a sport and hobby. It's an exciting and interesting sport," Hunter said.

Much different than your casual stroll through the park.

"There's definitely a higher chance of injury than just riding your bike around," Hunter said.

"It's about trying to stay in your comfort zone so you don't want to be trying to do something you can't do. That's usually when people get hurt," White said.

Despite the physicality, it's a co-ed sport. One that females like Kelly Petersen have thrived in.

"I was originally asked to play because I was riding my bike around town without hands all the time and they were like if you don't need hands to ride a bike you should come play polo," Petersen said.

"It doesn't matter that women's organs are slightly smaller. I think the bike just levels the playing field."

A playing field or rink is something these players now have, as the City of Madison helped fund a rink with boards at Reynolds Park downtown just last month.

"When we started, it was just this fence and the ball went out of play every two minutes," Petersen said.

"We played on half of tennis courts so we're always having to fish around tennis nets, getting caught in them and having way worse crashes so this kind of establishes a boundary where the game can keep going. It also gives you community support where you know you have a place so that's huge too," White said.

Madison Bike Polo is holding a 15-team tournament called the "Mad Fresh Courts" tournament on Saturday, July 11 at Reynolds Park.

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