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The tennis ball was at some point replaced with a football - making people wet, with splashes. Two teams of players were formed and the width of the river was conveniently used to form the ends of the playing field. Shrubs and imaginary lines on the opposite banks used as goalposts.
A History of Polo
That was when, to quote Oliver Cock, 'the game of canoe polo started in Britain'. He finally retired in the year In , the design and development of a new canoe for training and teaching paddlers in swimming pools meant the game of canoe polo could really take off.
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Bert Keeble, an Essex-based boat maker, was asked to design a kayak without sharp ends to avoid ruining pool sides. He came up with a simple wooden craft with the National Coach at the time.
Polo in Britain: A History
He tried it out in a pool at Crystal Palace, and it turned out to be reasonably suitable for its purpose. That name stuck, and the design became more and more popular because of its versatility.
There is no official body overseeing bicycle polo in the UK. This means that there is no national register of members. The implications of this mean that bike polo is not technically recognised as a sport. At least not for the moment. Bike polo seems to go off the boil a bit after WWII.
Polo in the United States: A History by Horace A. Laffaye
It appears that a group of cycle couriers who had cut their teeth on the streets of Seattle turned their hand to cycle polo. Bike control is key so the transition is a logical one.
It is important to note that up until now bike polo has been played on grass, fixed-gear bikes and large pitches make this a more stately affair. The kind of activity that warrants a cream tea afterwards.
In the early days players sported bamboo mallets and chased a street hockey ball, mallets are now constructed from a ski pole style shaft with a high-impact plastic head.