SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2017

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Photos courtesy of John Cheng/ USA Gymnastics September 2017 33 t SPORT Report When sports events planners think about hosting an event, they tend to think of tradi- tional sports — softball, football, soccer and the like — or maybe certain hot extreme sports such as endurance/obstacle races or various kinds of motorized races. But there are a number of unusual competitive sports that might not come readily to mind yet offer good opportunities to establish an as- sociation with a growing and unusual sport, especially in modestly sized communities. 1. BIKE POLO Polo horses require breeding and expen- sive care and feeding. Bicycles require inexpensive manufacture and maintenance. Polo requires huge expanses of well-tended fields. Bike polo requires only an enclosed rectangular parking lot, tennis court or roller hockey rink. Bike polo is a simpler, more accessi- ble take on a traditional sport. And it's growing in popularity as its two primary North American competition organizations coordinate competition to form an expan- sive association covering the continent. The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (NAH) and the World Hard- court Bike Polo Champs (WHBPC) now organize squad-format play in eight U.S. regions, some of which include portions of Canada; one wholly Canadian region; and one region in Mexico. Three players of each five-player team compete at any given time on a court with goals set up at each end. The sport uses special mallets and balls similar to those used in traditional polo and games last for 30 to 60 minutes. WHBPC's main event this year is a four- day early-October competition to be held on three courts at Coolavin Park in Lexington, KY. All courts are 120 feet x 60 feet with full four-foot perimeter boards and symmet- rical court entrances. The organization is still working on finalizing the total number of teams to be included in the event. 2. CAMEL & OSTRICH RACING Camel racing is a popular sport in a handful of Middle Eastern countries and Australia, all of which feature considerable expanses of desert terrain. But racing dromedaries — and ostriches, too — has been around for a long time in the U.S., albeit it in only a few spots. Usually more an event for pure fun rather than true sports competition in the U.S., it's hardcore sport in other lands and nothing says it couldn't be here. This month marks the 58th International Camel & Ostrich Races in Virginia City, NV. Adventurous festival goers holding on tightly from atop the backs of the large ani- mals race around a track at the Virginia City Arena & Fairgrounds. Camels and ostriches can both run at speeds of up to 40 mph, which makes such racing a true testament to the frontier spirit. The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., offers a more profes- sional take on camel and ostrich racing. The ostriches pull jockeys in carts; the camel jockeys ride the back of the humped beasts. The sixth annual Cameltonian and Ostrich Derby will be held at the venerable racetrack this summer. Meanwhile, down in Chandler, Ariz., ► 3. BOSSABALL Bossaball is wildly popular in 37 countries and continues to grow. It has yet to find a stateside home but offers some enticing possibilities here in the good ol' U.S. of A. Bossaball combines elements of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics – with a musical element! It's played on an inflatable court about twice the size of a volleyball court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net. Only one player on each five-person team is on the respective trampolines. Four of each team's players, often diving to defend and then bouncing back up off of the bouncy inflatable court surface, feed the ball to their trampo- line-jumping "attacker" who attempts to spike it over the net for a score. Bossaball Sports EL, headquartered in Estepona, Spain, is the sport's world governing body and the sole authorized producer of Bossaball courts. The courts aren't typically sold outright to interested parties but the organization assigns licenses for exclusive representation, development and distribution in a certain country. Only then might an official Bossaball court be bought. Flemming Sörensen, who handles marketing and events for Bossaball International, indicated that the organization had not yet found the right partner in order to bring Bossaball to the U.S. "Although the interest in events is massive at universi- ties, schools, and churches, we have not felt confident enough with any of the agencies that approached us," he said. Camel Racing

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