Corvallis’ Unicycle Hockey Team Rides High

Siblings Colby (Schwindt) and Kendra (Gillman) battle for control of the ball

If you’ve ever witnessed a unicyclist spinning down the road here in town, thanks are likely due to Angela Schwindt, Corvallis’s matriarch of unicycling and juggling.  A unicycling teacher for 15 years, her kid-focused juggling and unicycle performance club through Parks and Rec eventually morphed into today’s all-ages unicycle hockey group.

Unicycle hockey is just what it sounds like, says Schwindt. It’s “street hockey on unicycles.  We play with a ball, not a puck.”  Players need sturdy shoes, a unicycle, at least beginner/intermediate skills, and a helmet.  “Two teams of five face off.  We play to five points, but you have to win by two,” she added.

Due to Parks and Rec’s recent changes to insurance requirements, as well as increased gym fees, playing in the team’s former location, Wilson Elementary School, has become cost-prohibitive.  The group now meets for scrimmages every Monday at 5 p.m. at the tennis courts on 13th and Cleveland, weather permitting.

“If it’s dry, we’re there,” says Schwindt.

Unicycle hockey has been around for over a decade, and is played by teams all over the world, from Germany to Australia to Japan.  This unique sport is a natural fit for Corvallis, since according to Schwindt “this town has just about more unicycles per capita than any other in this country.”

Our local team is a welcoming group, having had players from age 11 to 56.  Interested parties just need to show up with the required gear and minimum skill level in order to play.

But take advantage of the daylight—once daylight savings comes on November 4th, outdoor scrimmages will likely become impractical.  When asked if the group plans to resume scrimmages in the spring, Angela noted, “I don’t see this dying out. It’s a pretty determined group.”

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By Mica Habarad