1 March 2023

What is Cycle-Ball?

A frantic game of football on two wheels, and it's one of the most jaw-dropping Championships you'll see this summer. Welcome to Cycle-ball!

Cycle-Ball players battle it out to score the most goals

It’s the beautiful game - on bikes!

The brilliant simplicity of the sport means that everyone can enjoy the show, from first-time fans to experienced cycle-ball fanatics.

Where it’s different from regular football - other than the obvious - is that the court is surrounded by 30cm slanted perimeter boards, so the ball rarely goes out of play. Possession is key and there’s never a dull moment.

Played at an intense pace with tackles flying in fast and silky skills on show, these riders take bicycle kicks to another level.

Patrick Scnhetzer (Austria) whips a strike at goal during the gold medal final versus Germany
Patrick Scnhetzer (Austria) whips a strike at goal during the gold medal final versus Germany

So How Does It Work?

Tenacity and technique will be put to the test in 2-aside 14 minute matches on a small rectangular court  where the most goals wins.

Riders use their wheels to control, pass and strike the ball - no feet allowed. (But headers are, and goalies can use their hands.) If a foot touches the floor, the rider must leave and re-enter the field of play.

Can You Get Sent Off?

Yes you can! The ref (or “commissaire” as they are known in Cycle-Ball) can issue yellow and red cards for rule violations or dangerous play.

But they’re rare. Even though the stakes are high, the riders play with a sense of fair play that you don’t often see in regular football.

You won’t see anyone rolling on the floor faking a puncture either! In the event of an actual injury, most teams have one substitute they can rely on to continue the match.

Team GB made their debut at the 2022 UCI Indoor World Championships in Ghent.
Team GB made their debut at the 2022 UCI Indoor World Championships in Ghent.

Team GB are Here!

Cycle-Ball was invented in Germany and the first international event was held there in 1930. In the near-century since, Germany and its neighbours have dominated the discipline.

But that doesn’t mean other countries aren’t catching up - including a squad of UK-based hopefuls.

The sport literally didn’t exist in the UK until Felix Young, a coach based in Bath, made it happen.

He got the bikes, started a club, and now Team GB are playing at competitions around Europe.

They’re still fighting for their first win against their well established rivals, but just being there is an accomplishment in itself for Felix and the guys.

In Glasgow they’ll be playing on home turf, putting cycle-ball on the map.

Our Squiggly Bike TV episode from Ghent went head first into the world of Cycle-ball!

Ones to watch in 2023

Champions and challengers will head to the Emirates Arena this August all with the dream of pulling on the coveted, and iconic, rainbow stripes. But only a handful will come away with the ultimate prize. 

Everyone's capable of becoming UCI World Champion, but we've pulled out a few competitors for you to keep an eye on...

Team Austria, Current UCI World Champs

Since 2011 there have only been three occasions where Team Austria didn’t come out on top. 

The Cycle-ball GOAT? Well, there certainly has been some chat about that on the terraces!

So Patrick Schnetzer (pictured) and his new partner Stefan Feurstein are odds on to be at the business end when the final rolls around at the Emirates Arena this August. 

See some of Patrick’s unreal skills by following him on TikTok!

Team Germany, 2021 UCI World Champs

While Austria have asserted their dominance over the last decade or so, it’s not all been plain sailing.

The dynamic duo of Gerhard and Bernd Mlady (cousins!) were the latest duo to pip Team Austria in the final - most recently in Stuttgart in 2021.

In fact over the past five years it's been a gold medal final match between Austria and Germany. It remains to be seen if they manage to get one over on their neighbours at the Emirates this August.

This rivalry is all set to continue in 2023 here in Glasgow, but with Team Switzerland and Team Czech Republic also looking good, you’ll need to be there in person to find out who has what it takes to take home the rainbow jersey!

Don’t Miss Out!

Cheer on Team GB and the other teams (but especially Team GB) from the first whistle to the last in this amazing day out for the whole family.