From Podium to live streaming, governing bodies to official rule sets, team Facebook pages to sponsored teams; there is nothing more exciting than to see the steps taken to make hardcourt bike polo a more official sport. This past weekend at the Bench Minor 4 tournament, Los Angeles Bike Polo helped the sport climb another rung on the ladder of legitimacy. Going above and beyond their general tournament hosting duties, LA Bike Polo decided to keep a heavy amount of statistics during each game.
For all 15 of the round robin games, Chris and Olsen, of LA Bike Polo, kept track of every goal, shot attempt, assist, turnover (giving the ball away), steal (forcing the ball off a player), save/block, and dab by each player. They used these statistics to hand out awards such as MVP (most goals scored), Golden Mallet (most saves/blocks), and Most Efficient Scorer in a Single Game (goals made per shots taken). This leads the sport down a road of awards for actual achievement and not just crowd pleasing, which has been one thing that has always bothered me about bike polo tournaments.
Check out all of the statistics yourself, on this well organized spreadsheet HERE!
One statistic that I wold like to have seen is time on the court. Podium’s Bench Format function, when used correctly, automatically keeps tracks of this statistic. Once time on the court is calculated for each player, their plus/minus can factored in to see how well a player truly did. For example, a player that was +10 while on the court for only 15 minutes of a 60 minute game is statistically different than a player who was +10 while being on the court 45 minutes. The more accurate the statistics, the more legitimate this silly sport we all love becomes.
Hopefully the Euro Bench organizers will follow LA Bike Polo’s statistical path but diverge where LA decided to not us Podium, so we can all see the most statistically accurate tournament to date.