Updated tournament rules!

These are the latest, most up to date rules for the Shoreditch tournament comin up in just over a week. Read them in full after the jump or in PDF here.

Shoreditch Bike Polo Invitational
Rules For Play

First round games will last twelve minutes, or until one team has 5 points,
whichever comes first. If tied at twelve minutes, goes to sudden death. From the
semi-finals onwards, games go to 5 points regardless of time. We reserve the
right to time all rounds however, if needed for time.

Time outs

– may be called in order to tend to physical injury only after a goal is scored.
– are limited to one per game per team
– Refs can call injury and mechanical failure time outs over and above these rules, but is under no obligation.
– If time outs are called in the first round, timing of the game does not stop.


You can ride any bike you like, but handlebars must be plugged and you must have at least one brake. A fixed drive train counts of course.

Mallets can’t be stupid. If the refs think your mallet is inappropriate, you can’t use it. As a general rule, mallet heads longer than 7 inches are out.

Not wearing a helmet tends to be more dangerous than wearing one. As per the liability waiver you will need to sign, it is up to you to weigh these risks. Your safety is your responsibility.

A goal must be made from what started as a hit. A “Hit” is made from the end of a player’s mallet. A “Shuffle” is hitting the ball with the side of the mallet. A shuffle does not count as a goal; if the ball is shuffled through the goal, play continues uninterrupted.
– No height limit for goals, there is an invisible line going up from the center of cones.
– After a goal is scored, the team who scored must ‘tap out’ at their own goal.
– The team who was scored against takes possession of the ball.
– It is legal to travel with the ball using the ‘ball joint/angelo’ style of carrying the ball but you cannot score with it.

Ball through goals
When the ball is passed “backward” through the goal (from behind the goal line to in front of it, through the goal) a goal CANNOT be scored by the first player to play the ball. Any subsequent player to play the ball may score. If a ball is shot from in front of the goal line and does not go through the goal but bounces off the back wall and comes out through the goal, the ball is in play and can be scored. A ball that crosses a goal line backwards must be “hit” before it can be a goal.

Foot down
Players must not touch the ground with their feet or “foot-down”. Each time a player does foot-down, that player is out of play and may not play the ball until s/he touches the sideline at center court. Then s/he may return to play.

Contact rules
“Like” contact is allowed. However, contact is only permitted when playing the ball.
– Player to player (body to body), except grabbing or pushing with hands. You are probably sucky if you like elbowing other people.
– Mallet to mallet
– Bike to bike.
– Everything else is NOT allowed: Mallet to player, player to bike, mallet to bike, etc.
– Trash-talking is allowed
– If your bum is in your saddle and your feet are on your pedals, any part of your body can block the ball. Please don’t add momentum to it though. Adding momentum to the ball with body contact will be treated as
a footdown.
– Mallet-throwing is not allowed.

Two refs will be appointed per game from a team not represented on the court or from non-competing polo players present. They’ll be assigned ahead of time. If you would like to ref or if you are bringing a friend who you can recommend let us know ASAP.

Refs will:
– determine if the ball went between the cones and is a goal.
– fix cones when they get knocked down.
– keep track of score. Score must be called out after every goal.
– keep track of time.
– call injury time outs for major injuries.
– provide an extra ball when ball gets knocked out of play.
– Ref’s have the last word.

Players have the responsibility to keep legal play on the court. If they are
unable the ref can demand the offending party to, depending on the seriousness
of the wrongful act:
– tap out at either the sidelines or either goal line.
– do a lap around the court before re-entering play
– In extreme cases any form of public humiliation will be considered proper
punishment for offenders (no nudity please)

***Ignorance is no excuse. If you don’t understand a rule, please ask.


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