The Sport of the Future, Yesterday

by coldglass

Are you bored with the hidebound traditions of regular polo? Is the Sport of Kings too rooted in the aristocratic Old World for you? Is the prospect of riding around on a horse simply too obsolete for words? If so, then may I present the short-lived early 20th century sport of Auto Polo.

It’s obviously pretty similar except that, as befitting the go-ahead world of the colonies, the players are mounted in customised automobiles rather than upon horseback. And frequently attempt to overturn competitors by ramming into them at speed, which I don’t think is allowed in regular polo. Not to worry though – apparently hardly anyone died, with one team manager stating that he “does not remember a death resulting from the game”1.

So that’s reassuring. It’s probably worth pointing out that given the nature of the photographic equipment then, most or all of the more spectacular pictures are almost certainly posed reconstructions, though it’s hard to imagine that the real thing would have been much different from the descriptions available. This is all clearly a natural partner to ‘bloodless duelling’, which I talked about previously, what with the post-apocalyptic style and the obvious possibilities for serious personal harm. Who knew Mad Max came from such a storied lineage?


1 The Southeast Missourian, Sep 21, 1922.