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Team Sports

Disciplines concerned with playing team sports on a unicycle.

Hockey

Description

Playing hockey on a unicycle. Hockey games are played by two teams of five on-field players per team. Teams often have a couple of subs.

Unicycle hockey is more like ice hockey than like field hockey, in that players use ice hockey sticks, and that they are allowed to ride behind the goals. There are only a few rules, most of which are for player safety.

Unicycle hockey can be quite fast-paced, as play doesn't stop when players dismount (however, a player not on a unicycle is unable to partake in the game until they have remounted). Play is generally only stopped when a foul is committed, or a goal is scored. Unicycle hockey, like ice hockey, uses the whole of the available playing area (where practical) allowing, for instance, the ball to be bounced off of a wall -- this can be a handy tactic!

Unicycle hockey makes an appearance in Yahoo!7 Sports 'Top 10 sports that shouldn't be' list.

Types of Unicycle

This largely depends on rider preference. There isn't really a unicycle designed specifically for unicycle hockey, so players tend to use whichever of their unicycles is easiest to use for it.

The most suitable unicycle will probably be a 20" or 24" learner unicycle, that is, one with a normal narrow road wheel (as opposed to thick chunky trials/mountain unicycling wheels), as the narrow road wheels will make it easier to make sharp turns.

Some people seem to prefer 20" unicycles, others prefer a 24". Riders on a 24" unicycle will have a slight speed advantage, which may come in handy when chasing after the ball, over riders on a 20".

Competition Events

Unicycle hockey is a competition event at both the Australian national unicycling championships, and at the international unicycling championships.

Also both Great Britain and Germany have their own national unicycle hockey leagues.

Risk Level

The risk of injury would be a mix of the risks involved with normal (ie. on a flat bit of ground, slowish speed) unicycle riding, and the risks involved with playing hockey. Players will usually end up on their feet in the event of an accident, unless they collide with another player and lose their balance. Unicycle hockey is typically played indoors, so gravel rash isn't so likely, but burns from skin rubbing against gym/wooden floors is on the off chance the rider doesn't land on their feet. Knee pads and/or leg armour will help protect against this.

Like normal hockey, there is also the risk of being accidentally struck by another player's stick, and also being hit by the ball. Unlike ice hockey, unicycle hockey uses a 'dead' tennis ball instead of a puck. A stick strike will typically involve the legs, and mainly the shins. Leg armour will help protect against this, especially armour which covers both the front and the back of the legs.

Cost

This will depend on the player's choice of unicycle. Typically an already owned unicycle will be used to play hockey.

It may also be possible to pick up a cheap ice hockey stick (often a piece of wooden stick with a bit of plastic on the bottom) from a local recycling/junk shop. Proper ice hockey sticks can range in price. The ACTURS have some club hockey sticks which can be borrowed during our training sessions, so you don't need to buy a stick to start playing hockey.

 

Basketball

Description

Playing basketball on a unicycle. Unicycle basketball is played by two teams of x on-field players per team. Teams often have a couple of subs.

Unicycle basketball tends not to be as quick as hockey, as there are more events which can stop game play. It can also slow down somewhat if the ball is dropped and rolls, as there doesn't seem to be too many players capable of bending down and picking up a basketball without falling off their unicycle!

Types of Unicycle

Like unicycle hockey, there isn't really a unicycle designed specifically for unicycle basketball. Instead riders will tend to use whichever of their unicycles they find the best for playing basketball.

Competition Events

Unicycle basketball is a competition event at both the Australian national unicycling championships, and at the international unicycling championships.

Risk Level

Similar to that of normal unicycle riding, in that riders will usually land on their feet. There isn't really too much risk with the basketball part, as unlike hockey, there aren't any sticks involved. Like normal basketball, however, there is the risk of being accidentally struck by another player.

Cost

Very little, as usually a rider will usually not buy a unicycle specifically for unicycle basketball, but will rather use a unicycle that they already own.

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