Seems Everyone’s Been Playing Bike Polo
Your news of bicycle polo’s founding in Bailey, Colo., is pleasing because Bailey has improved a game invented in Los Angeles 60 years ago.
In 1930, Angelenos were playing bike polo every summer on a grass playground at the Uplifters’ Club, Santa Monica. We were teen-agers living in Rustic Canyon, which adjoined the Uplifters’ polo field (subdivided after World War II).
Polo players stabled their ponies on club grounds, supervised by Uplifters’ sports director, Reginald (Snowy) Baker.
Baker liked kids. He let us ride polo ponies to exercise them, and he made us hockey sticks from broken polo mallets. Since we were under 15, our transport was bike. One day one of us said: “Let’s try bike hockey with Snowy’s mallet.”
Score another L.A. first. We are grateful to Colorado for adding lanes, helmets and other improvements. Ours were free-for-all melees using dented willow polo balls.
JULIAN BUD LESSER
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.