The history of Segway Polo


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The Independent Online

Segway polo could only be described as a niche sport, invented by technology workers in Silicon Valley in the United States around 2003 - where a number of teams are still playing. The sport began when two Segway owners, Jonathan VanClute and Alex Ko, fashioned makeshift mallets from PVC piping and used them to hit a miniature beach ball in the park.

By 2004 members of the San Francisco Bay Area Segway Enthusiasts Group were playing the game - with a vocal proponent of the sport being Apple co-founder and Segway covert Steve Wozniak, who owns at least 10 of the machines.

The ‘Woz Challenge Cup’, affectionately known as the World Cup of Segway polo was established in 2006, when the Silicon Valley Aftershocks (Wozniak's team) drew 2-2 with the Pole Blacks, a team from New Zealand - with the match being playing in the southern hemisphere nation.

In 2007 the tournament was played in San Francisco with the Aftershocks beating the Pole Blacks 5-0. In 2008 the event moved to Indianapolis, where the California Gold Rush beat the Aftershocks 3-2, with a team from Germany finishing third.

The 2009 edition saw the first international winners, with the Flyin' Fish of Barbados, who only starting playing the game months before, beating the Aftershocks 2-0 in Cologne, Germany. In 2010 the Flyin' Fish again emerged victorious, this time hosting the event, beating the Blade Pirates of Germany 3-1. Eight teams, from Germany, Sweden, Barbados and California competed.

in 2011 it was back to California, 12 teams competed, with the Blade Pirated avenging the previous year's loss to the Flyin' Fish 1-0.

By 2012, the tournament had moved to Stockholm, Sweden, with 14 teams from nine nations taking part. An all-German final saw the Balver Mammuts beat the Blade Pirates 2-0, with the Stockholm Saints beating the Austrian Vineyard Devils for third place.

In 2013 the Stockholm Saints made it to the final, beating Team Barbados 2-1 in Washington D.C.