Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I just finished hosting a dinner party (read: we had a friend over for dinner) and whilst uncapping a lovely Malbec, I broke the cork. This means I have this much:
So just you keep that in mind as we progress down this little trail, kay?
In the polo world, there are about 10 ways to say any one thing. To be honest, I don’t know if the little code we have here at Lancaster United is anywhere close to what other clubs use to communicate.
By way of example, whenever Polo Player A wants to tell Polo Player B that they are directly in front of the goal, we here at Lancaster United will say “IN THE OVEN.”
In the oven. I’m serious.
I have been heard repeatedly saying “Bumblebee Tuna”, and I don’t even particularly know what I’m trying to communicate.
Point is, it’s hard to even start catching on to what the lingo is within our own club, much less what standard lingo is all over the polo world. I get the feeling that this miscommunication happens in a lot of other clubs, too. With the mix of people who don’t have traditional sports backgrounds and social miscreants, you’re bound to run into problems with jargon.
That being what it is, I suggest a few tips to making sure your club is communicating the best it can:
- Don’t make up your own lingo all the time – one of the reasons I like watching Kyle play is because of the randomness of what he says while playing. The dude gets excited about what’s going on, and he’ll say whatever comes into his head (maintain maintenance, It’s his wall, halllahalllahlllahhhlll, for instance). While this is entertaining to hear, it can become very confusing if you’re on his team – we actually discussed writing down everything he said and providing it as a service for new players. Kyle’s now gotten better at keeping to a series of phrases to keep communicating with his team mates – but it’s a good lesson to keep in mind.
- Your Club (probably) has its own language – one thing I’ve noticed whenever we are lucky enough to have guests is that they will say things I’ve never heard when playing. As I alluded to earlier, chances are your club has a way of phrasing things that is pretty unique. Keep this in mind if you have a new player, a transplant player, or visiting players. It also works to your benefit, I imagine, in tourney play. Who the hell will know what “Boom shakalaka” means besides the two other people from your club?
- You can always fake it – I learned this from your mom (go ahead and imagine the rimshot, ok?). The best part about keeping open communication in a game is that it doesn’t really matter what you say – just that you’re making noise. It let’s your team-mate with the ball know where you are (or just about where you are) and opens an opportunity for a pass. The worst thing a good number of polo players do is be completely silent when playing.
P.S. – 1/4 of the bottle is left. Hoo-hah!