How long has polo been played in Christchurch?
Hardcourt since 5th September 2009 (excact same date as WHBPC 09 in Philly). Dirty ole’ Grass polo about a year prior to that, a few of our regular players were involved in the grass polo scene.
How many regular players do you have?
About 20 who would show up at least twice a month and about 12 who are weekly regulars.
What effect have the earthquakes had on your polo numbers?
We had a few players move to different cities (Marc moved to Timaru and began a scene there really quickly). Mostly the quakes just changed peoples priorities and for some that priority wasn’t bike polo, I guess we dropped about 5-7 players because of it. Also there was a noticable slow down in new players arriving, when your nervous system is constantly on edge with ongoing aftershocks it’s hard to imagine why you’d want to brave a whole new ‘contact’ sport.
How often do you play?
We’ve just moved from playing once a week (alternating between Friday Nights and Sunday Afternoons) to every Friday Night and every second Sunday. It’s complex but seems to work
Tell us about your courts
Our playing court is 18x36m, we partition it off of a larger court area with 400mm high ply boards and our patented industrial velcro bracket system. Our surface is smooth asphalt with some minor hairline cracks following the F’n earthquakes.
How many different courts do you use?
Just our home court at Heathcote Valley
Do you pay to hire them?
No, but we had to become a “proper” sports club to book them and we have to carry public liability insurance incase we damage anything.
Do you have lights?
Yes we have floodlights that we have exclusive access to, we pay for power and maintenance on them. Don’t let anyone tell you that court lights are expensive to run, we’ve never paid a cent in 1 1/2 years as our monthly use is below the minimum billable charge – so they’re free (kinda). We also have a courtside shed to store our boards and goals in. Pre earthquakes we used the larger building shown in the court photo. Now we have a small shed… it’s pretty low tech and leaks.
Have you had any tournaments or demos lately?
We just had our annual “Shuffle” bench tournament which is ‘locals only’.
Do you have any tournaments or demos coming up?
Winter Whack III on 1 + 2 June, just a little thing we run each year….
Do you have a league?
We tried and failed, we’re trying again pre-Winter Whack.
Would you consider having one?
If you’re buying….
What have you found works the best to get new players?
Our first Winter Whack boosted our numbers considerably, since then the ‘word of mouth’ method has been the most effective, we’re about to do a spoke card drop.
Tell us something cool about your city
Seattle (the birthplace of Hardcourt) is our Sister City.
Answers by Craig Johnston