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Editorial

Editorial

North Americans Doesn’t Require Worlds. Why Would It?

April 26, 2016
continent-of-north-america

Post by Crusher

I’m going to save a bunch of time for folks who want to tl;dr this: the logic behind not having a North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship because there isn’t a World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship this year is flawed – of course there should be an NAHBPC!

For those of you who want more, let me elucidate.

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Editorial

2016 NAHBPC Needs a Host

April 25, 2016
nahbpc

Early this month when the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (NAH) released their 2016 tournament survey results, John Hayes announced that there would, in fact, be a 2016 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship, in spite of there not being a world championship until 2017. Hayes also announced that for the 2016 NAHBPC to happen, there needed to be a host. Here is the full quote from the survey:

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Editorial

NAH to Forgo NAHBPC, Survey for Winner Instead

March 31, 2016
online-surveys

Earlier this month, the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (NAH) released a survey regarding the 2016 NAH tournament season. As any great sports organization should do, they asked the actual participants to give feed back on how the season should be structured. Players helped decide important structural questions like if the 2016 season should be 3v3 or 5v5 and if the final day of the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship (NAHBPC) should be double elimination, single elimination, or even, other.

After nearly a month of gathering data from bike polo players all over North America, the NAH is ready to go public with the results. And unfortunately, the results are inconclusive. In the craziest turn of events, every single result was a tie. WHO COULD IMAGINE?!

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Culture, Editorial

Jenny Goes To São Paulo

March 29, 2016
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“Saudade” and “chulé”

Two great words in Portuguese that don’t have exact one-word English translations, but both apply to my great experience with the ever-welcoming São Paulo Bike Polo Club.

I went down to visit my sister who lives in São Paulo Brazil last week, and on Saint Patrick’s Day, in one of the world’s largest cities, I was lucky enough to meet up with a second kind of family, one that at first were complete strangers, but through the magic of bike polo, welcomed me and made me feel like I was família.

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Editorial, Player Profile

Feminist On The Court: Women’s History Month

March 22, 2016
Feminist on the Court

“Feminist on the Court” is a bimonthly column giving voice to a variety of women, trans, and/or femme players (and those that support them) from around the world. This polo herstory is written by one of the longest-playing women on the West Coast, SF polo’s Jacki Rust. If you’d like to tell us your story, email genderinpolo@gmail.com.

The sun was beating down behind the Sound, the smell of fried fish and boggy air swilled in the Seattle evening as we gathered on the rooftop of an adult video store near Fisherman’s Wharf in 2005.  Matt Messenger, the ring leader of this eclectic group, encouraged me to play a game, so on a Frankenbike with homemade mallet (composed of a crutch for the shaft and PVC pipe for the head) I played my first game of bicycle polo.

I was really nervous on the roof of that downtown porn shop, because I wanted to be accepted by this group that I thought, at the time, were the coolest people I had ever met.  Turns out they are a bunch of nerds, but I’ll never forget Matt’s encouraging words, “Oh look, it’s Suzy Natural.”  Those five words kept me coming back for years after, and reminded me to welcome anyone one who is interested in the game, especially women.

Flash forward over a decade later to the World Championships in Timaru, New Zealand.  Participants now play with equipment specific to the sport, mallets cost around $50, bikes are custom made to a player’s specs, the budget for the tournament is $100,000, and professional cameras film the entire event.  There are paid referees (there are actually rules now) calling out fouls and penalties.  People flew in from all over the globe to represent their city, but with less than 10 women out of 108 players, I felt that I was representing women, not San Francisco.

In the first years of playing polo, I would never have dreamed it would evolve into what it is today.  At first only a handful of cities played, but now it has blown up, and there is a club in almost every major city in the world.  This is partly because of the ability to share information in the vast area of the internet, but partly the tone that was set by Messenger: “All are Welcome.”

The men are so accepting in polo, and the majority them do not see us differently in the sport, which in my mind is something as extraordinary and beautiful as electing a black president.