Segway polo, anyone? Britain hosts first international tournament

(Reuters) – At a college in the English town of Rugby, a somewhat unusual polo match is taking place. Instead of galloping horses and riders, the players hit the ball with a mallet – from a Segway.

Described as a cross between polo and hockey on a motorized scooter with oversized wheels, Segway Polo is a modern take on the usually fast-paced sport long embraced by the elite.

Britain hosted its first international Segway Polo tournament at the weekend in an event that drew teams from countries including Germany, Finland, Barbados and Britain.

Amid cheers from the crowd, players spun around on their two-wheelers and zapped down the sports fields of Rugby College at a maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour to try for goals.

“To be a great player you’ve got to be relaxed, it’s all about being smooth, relaxed, a good eye for the ball and take your time,” Mark Weller, a player and organizer, said.

“It’s a very friendly sport generally but there are a few teams when they meet again for their fifth, sixth time, tempers can flare a little bit.”

Each team played seven games with the top two going through to an all-German final in which “Balver Mammuts” beat “The Funky Move Turtles” 2-1.

Segway scooters have grown increasingly popular and the sport has a growing fan base, including longtime Segway Polo player, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Louise Ireland)