Tri-City Storm Hockey

Today is:

                                                Ice Polo

        In the winter of 1891-1892 there was an indoor ice rink in downtown Kearney, Nebraska. It was located on Central Avenue in a building which had formerly been used for roller skating. A tank was set up and in early November was filled with water 8” deep. The weather apparently was cold enough to freeze the water solid over night.

        The following January it was announced that local skaters would divide into two teams, the Midways and the Phil Kearnys, and play a game of ice polo.

        Ice Polo? What is ice polo?

        The local newspaper said that “Polo is a game full of excitement from start to finish and when played aright is as scientific a one as may be numbered among strictly North American games.” It was also reported that there would be additional music for the event. That meant a live band.

        Ice polo was a game played in the 1890’s mainly in the east by Ivy League colleges like Harvard and Brown. It appears to have been a polo game played on ice with the players on skates rather than on a field with the players on horseback. Thus the name – ice polo.

        There were five men on each team. They used ice skates but no padding. Their sticks were like hockey sticks but only 4 feet long. Instead of a puck, a polo ball was hit across the ice. The objective was to hit the ball over a bar which was no more than 18 inches off the ice. A goal was worth three points. The game was played in two 20-minue halves.

        The book Ice Hockey and Ice Polo Guide, published in 1898, contains the following description of ice polo.

                                Ice polo
                                   ice polo, cont.                              
                                                                                                    Ice Hockey and Ice Polo Guide
, published in 1898


Revised: 06/29/2016