Segway Polo is a relatively new and exciting team sport which originated in the USA in 2003, when a version of the current sport was first played at a Minnesota Vikings (American Football) halftime show and sponsored by Mobile Entertainment. However, the sport most notably began to gain popularity since 2004, when it was played by members of the Bay Area Segway Enthusiasts Group who then developed the sport more fully, gaining teams along the way.
Teams are gathering from all corners of the world and aside from the USA, other countries with teams include Germany, Sweden (the Stockholm Saints are the current world champions), Austria, Barbados New Zealand, Lebanon, Holland and many others… The UK proudly joined the sport with its own team in 2014 and will host its first ever international tournament in 2015.
The first ever match, known as the Woz Challenge Cup, was established in 2006 when the Silicon Valley Aftershocks (creators of the tournament and named after Apple co-founder and long time Segway Polo player Steve Wozniak) played the New Zealand Pole Blacks in Auckland, New Zealand, with a result of 2-2 tie. This match was then formalised in 2008, once sanctioned by ISPA, as the world championship tournament and has played every year since its introduction and in various countries.
The European Championships were initiated in 2010 in Hemer, Germany and took place in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
A further prominent annual tournament, known as the Zurich Cup and also established in 2010 in Germany, is held annually and usually in Hennef, Germany. In both 2013 and 2014, the Balve Mammuts have retained their title as current champions of the Zurich Cup and in 2013 only just lost out on the world championship status to the Stockholm Saints during the Woz Challenge Cup.
Other notable tournaments include ‘Polo in Paradise’ held in Barbados around March and the St Nicholas Tournament held in Germany in December.
The first international tournament to be held in the UK will take place on 18th & 19th April 2015 in Rugby and will see teams visiting from all corners of the world. More details will be announced soon…
The governing body of Segway Polo is known as the International Segway Polo Association (ISPA) and was founded in 2007 purely by players. Whilst being primarily responsible for developing and maintaining a standardised set of rules, they also facilitate and sanction matches and tournaments, promote the sport and offer a membership scheme for the sport’s players, teams and enthusiasts. Visit ispa.segpolo.org/ for details.
A separate rules committee has also been created in 2014 so as to closely monitor and review the current rules in view of the impending Woz Challenge Cup in 2015, being held in Cologne, Germany. The committee is made up of 5 players from Germany, UK and USA collectively.