Introduction: Disc Polo - Ultimate on Bicycles
Runner Up in the
Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest
If you've ever played Ultimate, and you've ridden a bicycle, you might like Disc Polo. It's a pretty simple game with a few tweaks from regular Ultimate. The result is a wholly new game.
The Play Area:
Ideally, an unused disc golf course. We used a large field. A parking lot would work well, too.
We used mountain bikes, which are a little heavy for this game. The handbrake makes it hard to throw and slow down. Lefties have an advantage. I would suggest a bike with coaster brakes - probably a trick bike or something similar. Any bike will do, though. We didn't care.
We used a standard 160g disc. You don't want to fool around with this. Invest in a good disc. Disc Polo is hard enough without using a cheap freebie disc you picked up at a political rally in '99.
The best goal would be a disc golf "hole." We didn't have one, so we used a citronella torch. We chose the unlit mode, but wonder what could have been. Obviously, goals will be somewhat easier with a disc golf "hole," so that's a good thing to look for. If playing urban style, lamposts work well or even garbage cans.
Step 1: Set-Up
If you're playing on a course or in a parking lot, goals are easy (Holes and Lampposts). Field play requires a short set up. You will want to place the goals on either end with room to ride around them. In the carefully rendered computer simulation I have here, the goals are represented by dirty yellow dots. I drew a midline in as well since games just seem better with a midline.
You want a large area of play. A soccer/football field should be large enough. You might want to check that the fields are okay to bike on. Groundskeepers can get upset if you tear up their grass. Check for sprinkler heads as well - they are bad for bikes and bikes are bad for them.
With a large enough play area, boundaries can be eschewed. The more room to ride, the better. Once you determine the boundaries (if any) you are ready to play.
Step 2: Play the Game - Basic Style
To start, there should be some posturing. Glaring and general looks of toughness. You can give points for this if you want, but they should be unrelated to the game.
As previously mentioned, we played two-on-two. Three on three would be my ideal group, dependent on our field size. With a disc golf field, we could probably get up to five-on-five, but I think that would be pushing it.
The game, by the way, should be self-officiated. It's very hard to play, so you really should have fun whatever happens. Good Sportsmanship is key.
Flip a coin for possession and start in the middle of the field. The object of the game is to score more points than the other team. One goal is one point. Here are some main points of Basic Play:
1) Goals are scored by a solid hit on the goalpost. With golf cages, it's a bit easier. With posts, just brushing the side doesn't count. You need a good solid "thwack."
2) Goals must be scored on the move. In fact, the disc can only be thrown while riding, except on turnovers.
3) The disc must be caught while in motion as well.
4) If the disc is dropped, the other team gains possession. The thrower must restart the disc from a stationary position.
5) After a goal is scored, play begins from that goal. The scored-upon team gains possession.
6) This game if wholly non-contact.
7) The disc can be thrown in any direction.
8) There is a three second time limit on holding the disc.
Play for as long as you can or give the game a time limit. It's unpredictable how well a certain group will do since so much is dependent on your field of play and your equipment. Grab a group and go!
Step 3: Optional Add-Ons
As with any game, you can add house rules dependent on where you play. We happen to have a lot of tennis balls. They can be used to distract someone trying to catch the disc or used to knock the disc from the air.
- If knocking the disc from the air, that can count as a point. Goals then count as two points.
- If a trickster on a bike, allow players to stall while throwing. However, feet must stay on the bike, and only one tire can touch the ground.
- Play with only one goal. Just remember who scores. This makes things a little easier, but not too much.
- Give point penalties for dropped discs. People tend to step it up.
All in all, this is a wacky game played mainly for fun. It seems a lot harder than it actually is to catch and throw discs from bicycles. The hardest part is just aiming, though.
Hope you all enjoy yourselves.
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Please be positive and constructive.