If you have a passion for soccer and motorcycling, then this might be exactly the sport you need to hear about. Motoball, also referred to as motorcycle polo, combines the two sports into one awesomely chaotic game. As far as team sports go, this is definitely a game I could see myself getting involved with.
Unfortunately, it's not all that common to see in the United States, but it's prominent in Europe. There's a handful of tournaments that take place each year in well-known groups, such as the European Nations Championship, the Coupe de France, and the European Champions Club Cup. The teams normally consist of five players: four on dirt bikes and one goalie. The bikes are limited to 250cc to level the playing field. If that doesn't have you sold yet, just take a look at some of this incredible footage!
How Motoball Works
Motoball has relatively the same rules as soccer, meaning the motorbike athletes cannot touch the ball with their hands or the opposite team will be awarded with free kicks, though the goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands. They've got a six-meter D-shaped area around the goal, which the riders are not allowed to enter. The ball used is about twice the size of a traditional soccer ball. There's no intentional ramming allowed, and the chains have special guards on them, so at least there was some consideration for safety.
These athletes riding motorcycles on the motoball teams need to be highly skilled on two wheels and have complete confidence while controlling their bikes. It should be no surprise that most of them are either ex-motocross riders, enduro riders, or they've been a racer for some other kind of motorcycle sport before. The bikes are custom built for each player's specific height and weight, and they're capable of going up to 40 MPH (65 KM/H).
This is definitely one extreme motorsport, and it's hard to look away from all the craziness that's going on once it begins. The amount of control the racers have while also maneuvering the bike across a slick ground is pretty impressive, especially considering the other team is trying to steal the ball away. If you've never witnessed it before, now's your chance to see why soccer on motorcycles is one epic sport.
This post was originally published on October 8, 2020.