Daredevil New Sport For Automobiles In Kansas
A successful Model-T dealer from Kansas named Ralph Hankinson was always looking for new ways to promote automobiles. In 1911 he came up with the idea for Auto Polo : just substitute cars for horses and use a larger ball. Drivers and mechanics would strip automobiles to their bare-bones leaving only the running gear, a place to sit, and the frame itself. Each car had 2 people aboard; one to drive and a ‘striker’ to stand on the running-board and wield the wooden-mallet. It spread all over the Midwest as an exciting sometimes fatal spectacle for county fairs and racetracks. The anticipation of crashes and the possibility of injury made all the more exciting.
On July 19, 1912 an Auto Polo game was played in Wichita, Knasas.