Bike polo is not for the faint of heart. Though it’s an international sport, played at the highest caliber around the world since the nineteenth century, hardcourt bike polo (played on concrete rather than grass) is a game that remains obscure for many— but it’s right in our backyard.

On Wednesday nights around 6:30, Smith Playground in Lower Allston is home to Boston Bike Polo’s weekly Beginner’s Night, where players of all levels gather to practice, play, and socialize well into the night. Boston Bike Polo, a group founded in 2006 by enthusiasts and players, also hosts polo on Fridays, pickup polo Sundays, and skills sessions Mondays, thus ensuring that games are always available for every level of interest. Usually played 3-on-3 on road bikes, the game is categorically badass — agility, strength, and a willingness to be thrown around a bit onto hard pavement are all essential — but everyone in the community is so welcoming and helpful that being intimidated by the roughness of the game quickly feels silly. Though everyone is encouraged to play (bring gloves and a helmet if it’s your first time!), spectators are welcome, too. Ride over, grab a mallet, take a spill. You won’t regret it.

[Photo Credit: Grace Donnelly] 

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