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Segway Polo Is A Sport Growing In Popularity And Recognition

Updated on August 10, 2015
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Readmikenow likes sports, professional and amateur. He especially likes sports stories of courage and overcoming adversity.

Segway Tournament
Segway Tournament

The sport of equestrian polo has been around for thousands of years. The development of modern technology has made it possible to bring this sport into the 21st century. Riding horses and hitting a ball with a mallet into a goal may be challenging. It's no match for doing this while riding a Segway. Today, the modern way to play the ancient sport of polo is on a Segway. The objective remains same. Teams to try and hit a ball with a mallet into a goal. The sport's governing body is the International Segway Polo Association (ISPA).

History

Segway Polo was fist played during an NFL halftime show in 2003. It was done as a promotional tool for Slim Jim beef sticks. The Bay Area Segway Enthusiasts Group (SEG) is credited with developing the sport. The first official game was played in July of 2004. The initial event was a 2 on 2 game. After the first game, each following game of Segway Polo attracted more people who wanted to watch and participate. The official Segway polo rules were also created in 2004. The sport has been played since then and has experienced a steady increase in popularity. SEG has been actively promoting the sport and getting others interested in playing it since 2004. There are currently more people around the world forming teams and joining Segway Polo leagues than ever before.

Segway Polo Championship

Segway Polo Referee
Segway Polo Referee

Rules

The rules for Segway Polo are similar to the rules of equestrian polo, but they have been adapted. Each team has five players. The ball and mallets used must be of regulation size. The dimensions of the playing field must also meet regulation size standards. The Segway Polo match playing time is made of four different 8 minute quarters. The quarters are referred to as chukkers. The ball can be hit with a mallet, or by a player's body. Scoring a goal cannot be done after the ball has hit a player's body. The ball must be put into the goal using a mallet. On the field, goal judges and referees make certain the rules are followed. There is also a side judge, timekeeper, and official scorer.

Segway Polo Mallet
Segway Polo Mallet

Mallets

The most common mallets used to play Segway Polo are made from actual cane or a type of composite material. These composite materials include graphite, fibercane, fiber glass and even aluminum. The cost involved with the mallet will be determined by the manufacturer, quality of the mallet and the amount of mallets ordered. A common mallet utilized for playing Segway polo will be from 38” to 42” long. Most come with a medium to light sized mallet head. The mallets used for Segway Polo can be bought from any well-known and established polo mallet manufacturing company. The ISPA is able to offer its members a discount on the number of mallets bought from specific manufacturers. Some of these manufacturers are able to provide their customers with mallets that are completely customized. The discounts can be as high as 12 percent off the original cost of the mallets. There are official Segway Polo rules that cover the mallets and the padding that can be on them during a game. The head of the mallet must be covered with a minimum of a quarter inch of closed-cell foam padding. This padding must be around the barrel of the mallet and its two ends. The padding on the mallet head is not permitted to be put on in a way that changes the form or function of the mallet.

Segway Ball
Segway Ball

Balls

Member teams of the ISPA are required to used balls during a game that are a 4 1/8 Mini Nerf soccer balls. The reason a ball made of Nerf material was chosen is because of its flexibility. These balls can be run over by the Segway, and there is almost no chance a rider will be thrown off the Segway. The ISPA has a list of companies that provide balls with the right weight and density. The balls must be made so they can easily be hit and travel a good distance. They must also be able to easily compress when run over by a Segway.

Acceptable Segway Helmet
Acceptable Segway Helmet

Helmets

The ISPA is always concerned about the safety of its players. Everyone who participates as a player in any event sanctioned by the ISPA must wear a helmet during the game. It is common to see Segway Polo players wearing helmets designed for skateboarding or riding a bicycle. There are also others who prefer to wear authentic horse polo helmets. All of these types of helmets are acceptable to be used during an ISPA sanctioned event.

Segway
Segway

Segway

One of the main items a person must have before participating in Segway Polo is a Segway.

PURCHASE NEW

An aspiring Segway Polo player can buy one from an authorized Segway dealer. Purchasing a Segway that is brand new will cost thousands of dollar when obtained through a dealer. It may also take some time for it to be delivered. Many people prefer to have a Segway that no other person has used before them.

PURCHASE USED

The next best option is to purchase a Segway that is used. Doing this can save a buyer a significant amount of money. It may take some time to find a Segway that is in good condition and able to be used for polo. Not all the models are good to use for playing Segway Polo. A number of players have had their searches rewarded with a great deal on a Segway. There are many used models available from dealers and private owners that are perfect for playing polo.

RENT

Another option is to rent a Segway for playing polo. There are several Segway tour operators around the world set up to rent Segways to players. It is important the rental contract state the Segway can be used for playing polo. The rental contract cannot contain any exclusions concerning damage from playing polo. There are some Segway Polo clubs that rent Segways to their members.

BORROW

In some cases borrowing a Segway is an option. Some people are able to borrow Segways from friends or relatives who are not involved in playing polo.

Segway Polo For Woz Cup
Segway Polo For Woz Cup

Segway Polo World Cup

This is an annual event held at a predetermined location around the world. It usually consists of at least nine teams, representing five different countries. The team that wins the tournament is awarded the Woz Cup. The championship trophy has been named after Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame. Wozniak continues to be a major inspiration for the players of Segway Polo.

ISPA Logo

International Segway Polo Association (ISPA)

The ISPA is the organization that governs the sport of Segway Polo. It has created, and regularly updates, the rules of Segway Polo. It sponsors and sanctions matches and tournaments around the world. The ISPA wants to maintain the agreed upon standards for Segway Polo. It also works with people internationally to promote the sport. It supports all the participants of Segway Polo by providing information, holding tournaments and more.

ISPA Website

http://ispa.segpolo.org

Segway Dealer Locator Website

http://www.segway.com/locator

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