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Riding Mechanical Steeds

July 01, 1991|PETER BENNETT

* A bike polo match consists of two 10- or 20-minute chukkers, or periods. There are four players on each side.

* To start, the ball--which resembles a plastic whiffle ball sans holes--is placed midfield. The referee blows a whistle and a rider from each opposing goal charges the ball. The sprint to hit the ball first is called a joust.

* After the joust, the other players leave their goals in staggered stages, riding parallel to the sidelines and vertical field stripes. Riders have a right of way extending 21 feet, or four bike lengths, to the front and 3 feet to either side when in motion.

* Only two opposing riders are entitled to play the ball at any given time.

* If players ride at an angle toward the ball, they are guilty of "veering." When a player's bicycle, body or mallet touches an opposing player's bicycle or body, the offended team gets a free hit.

* In a well-played match, goals are scored on average of one a minute.

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