Cycle Polo Federation of India (CPFI) in Association with Department of Tourism Government of Rajasthan organised the first ever Cycle Polo League (CPL) in the pink city of Jaipur. Five teams participated in the competition which was held between 25th to 29th November at Rambagh Polo Stadium, Jaipur. TYKA Warriors won the cycle polo competition beating Royal Tigers in the final match and earned a prize money of INR 2,00,000. The runner’s up Royal Tigers were handed over a prize money of INR 1,00,000.
Five teams in the competition:
- Dundlod Safari Knights
- Federation Rising Stars
- Royal Tiger
- 119 Rim Collians Stars
- TYKA Warriors
The inaugural league aims to popularize the game of Cycle Polo like any other sport and entertain the masses. Pooja Vijay, Bicycle Mayor of Jaipur and founder of Pink Pedals quoted “Cycle Polo League is a unique experience for the people of Jaipur. This game is a blend of adventure, fun and lots of thrill as you need complete balance over the cycle and use a polo stick at the same time”.
Air Marshal PP Bapat VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration at the launch event said, “It is a very important development for the game of Cycle Polo in India. After participating and winning medals in seven World Cycle Polo Championships it was high time that the game got its due recognition and I believe the Cycle Polo League is the first step in that direction.”
A total of 13 games were played in the league in the same format as played in national and international competitions. The league featured 40 participants from India who were selected basis their performance in National and Federation cup championships. It also featured 10 foreign players from France, England, Germany, Malaysia and Ireland. Each side had 8 players – 6 Indians and 2 foreign players.
In Cycle Polo, the feet of the players cannot touch the ground, they have to keep on cycling throughout. Further, a player can take a maximum of 3 continuous taps, post which the player has to leave the ball or a fellow teammate takes over and continues to play.
Cycle Polo Rules:
Field size: 150 meters in length by 100 meters in width for Seniors and Juniors. 120 meters in length by 80 meters in width for Sub Juniors and women. Goal posts 4 meters apart, 2.5 meters in height and 1.5 meters in width.
Cycle: Ordinary cycle of any make and size. No extra attachments such as mud guards, bells, stand, carrier or gears are allowed.
Ball: The game was originally played with a Bamboo Horse Polo Ball. Later, in India Tennis Ball was introduced for safety reasons. Cosco International has now made a Cosco Bicycle Polo Ball which weighs about 85 to 90 grams.
Mallet: Sticks made from bamboo cane with wooden head in sizes 36, 34 and 32 inches are used for the game.
Chukker: A full game consists of 4 chukkers of 7 and a half minutes each. The Senior Final is of 5 chukkers.
Team: Team consists of 4 players and 4 extras in Senior, Junior and Sub Junior both in men and women categories.
Specially abled: Players with disabilities are allotted to teams in senior category according to their standard of play. To make the sport more inclusive, CPFI organizes separate tournaments for players with disabilities once every year.
The CPFI is recognized by the Government of India Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. It enjoys affiliation with the Indian Olympic Association and is a member of the Asian Cycle Polo Federation as well as of the International Bicycle Polo Association.
As mentioned in the website of Cycle Polo Federation of India, the game of cycle polo in India found its roots in early 1900’s. India is the home of Polo in the world and has produced world famous teams in Horse Polo of Maharajas of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar and Patiala. It was these Maharajas who in the off season for Horse Polo took on the game of Cycle Polo to keep themselves fit.
After the 2nd World War when the horses were reduced from Army activities, the game of Cycle Polo became popular with the Indian and British regiments. From the Princely connections to the glamour of the Army regiments the game of Cycle Polo became common man’s game with the founding of the Cycle Polo Federation of India (CPFI) in the year 1966.
The CPFI is the parent body of 32 Indian states and Defence Associations. The states in turn have district and club memberships. India has large number of people playing cycle polo.