Moto-ball (also known as Motorcycle Polo) is similar to football, but all players (except goalkeepers) are riding motorcycles, and the ball is much bigger, but most of all, it’s a sport only destined for ‘real’ men. Most of the participating riders are ex-Motocross or Enduro riders.
Motorcycle Polo first began as an officially organized sport in the mid-1930s and the sport was included in the inaugural Goodwill Games. The European Cup is held under the auspices of the FIM. The main active countries in the championship are Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ukraine, Lithuania, Bulgaria and England.
The origin of the Sports is being discussed, some trace it to 1930s in France, where they call it Moto-ball others claim it was invented by the Worcester Motor-ball Club in 1934. Regardless, at its peak in the mid-century there were teams all across Europe and even in Russia. The sport’s still out there today, and Motul Russia is supporting the current European Champions, a team called Mettalurg from Vidnoe.
The rules are quite resembling those of ‘normal’ football, you can dribble or kick with either foot, but you have to be very focused. The playing field is 100 meters long, and at the start each team is waiting at the back line. The referee drops the 40cm, 1.2 kilo heavy leather ball in the middle of the field, before he whistles for the start of the game and the riders speed up to the middle of the field.
Depending on the federation, a game consists of 3 (or 4) periods of 20 minutes each with 10 Minute breaks in-between and every team has two players on standby. For the simple reason, well, getting punted in the face is not uncommon ;-) although front and ‘on purpose’ collisions, are being penalized by the referee.
The riders use special prepared GasGas two-stroke 250 cc motorcycles for the game. At the sides of the bike, special frames are mounted, so riders can pinch the ball between their bike and their leg. Motul is supporting the Mettalurg team in terms of lubricants for the bikes, busses and the vans.
You can spot a Motor-Baller by his knee-high boots, which protect him from chaffing and high-speed contact as they try to nestle the 40 cm wide ball in front of their foot… It’s actually a football game on a Motorcycle and according to us, it looks like heaps of fun!
Check out the video of the Metallurg team here:
Follow the Metallurg team on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/metallurg_vidnoe/