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Get Paid to Ref the first NAH Bench Tournament

September 9, 2014
NAH_logo_blue-small

The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Association (or simply, NAH) is offering a pretty hefty payment for those that are willing to help referee the first ever NAH Bench Championship. Okay, ‘hefty’ may not be the right term when compared to referees in professional sports (or even little league) but for bike polo this is a pretty big deal! NAH will be paying both head refs and secondary refs. Head refs will be paid $10 per game and secondary refs $5 per game. With game times running around a hour per game, head refs will be making roughly $10 an hour! That’s higher than minimum wage in a lot of the United States!

To sign up as a ref for this history tournament, contact the NAH Head of Reffing (Joe Rstom) as Joe@Hardcourt.com. I hope to see you all in Lexington in a few weeks!

Editorial, Tournaments

Follow The 2014 WHBPC

August 25, 2014
2014 whbpc Montpelier

Here are the links that you’ll need to follow along with the 2014 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship wildcard and main event:

The 2014 WHBPC wildcard starts (today) Wednesday at 10:oo am Montpelier time (1:oo am Pacific Time here in Portland), with the main event starting at the same time on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Be sure to not miss a minute of the action!

GO GUARDIANS! 

Editorial

2015 NAH Regional Allotment

August 7, 2014

NAH_logo_blue-small

 

Last year when it was announced that the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship spots would be allocated based on the 2013 results, there was an outcry from some of the polo community (especially the South East). The opponents of the new system felt that it would be impossible to gain more spots than were previously given to them the year before; with many expecting Cascadia to actually steal more and more spots from the other regions, until it would just be called the Cascadia Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship.

Continue Reading…

Editorial, Player Profile, Tournaments

Girl Crush Vol. 3: LA6 Edition

June 18, 2014
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Ladies Army 666 Team Special Edition!

Ladies Army 666 is this weekend! I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the teams I am looking forward to watching play this year. So get your girl crush score cards ladies and gents, and let’s see who makes it into my top four teams!!!

Let’s start with last year’s winners, the Valkyries!
Valkyries bike polo

Comprised of three powerhouse ladies: Shannon of East Van, Quinn of Lexington, and Elena from Geneva. It is amazing to watch three women who almost never play together, mesh so well on the court; in fact it is damn near frustrating. They stay focused and keep excellent positions on the court while waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Shannon is like a freaking brick wall in goal, Quinn has a brutal hard shot, and Elena is the female lefty Darth Vader of bike polo. I have to admit though, I would like to see Shannon out of goal a bit more as I think she is a very smart player. All three ladies play to their strengths and I look forward to seeing these ladies defend their title.

Next on my list of ladies I totally boner all over are Hot Honey Biscuits!
hot honey biscuits bike polo

I love watching these ladies play. Jessi (as previously discussed) is a top notch player and continually upping her game! Erica not only was the first female pick of the LA Bench Minor but proved herself to be a freaking badass at defense, for realsies! Tina has that over the handlebar backward shot that I have been working on mimicking to many a whiff all year long. Not only do these ladies have some of the best on court chemistry I have ever seen, but they will smile their way to stuffing a million goals down your throat. And you know what, you won’t even be upset about it. I was super bummed that my team didn’t get to play them last year because I loved watching them play.

The team I am really looking forward to seeing play at LA6 this year is the return of the Cunning Stunts!
cunning stunts bike polo

Last year was my first Ladies Army so I have yet to witness the live slaughtering that ensues when the Cunning Stunts are on the court. With their new teammate Heff (of Toronto) I know these ladies are going to leave a path of destroyed egos in their wake. Maija remains my first ever polo girl crush from the first polo tournament I ever went to in Melbourne. She doesn’t look intimidating at all, but holy hell will she check you right off your bike and out of her fucking way because nothing is getting between her and the goal. To top off their team of baddassery, we have Birdie. She plays hella smart and will be in your way and all over you if the ball is anywhere near you. When playing this team, I suggest a tight passing game because any mistake and they with ride all over you.

Last but certainly not least, Iluminaughti, which name I can’t really say without at least one giggle…ok two.
illuminaughti bike polo

I had the rad pleasure of playing with Johanna for the Ladies Bench tournament and kinda think she’s the bees knees. She just has a great presence on the court and is a total team player, even if she has a hard time playing with lefties. Tiff is an amazing ball handler and really good at figuring out the strengths of her teammates so she can take it to their advantage. Andrea from Saskatoon has been playing great this past year and I think she will be a great contributor to this team. All three players are excellent team players and I really hope they use this to their advantage and expect to see a lot of passing and patience when playing against them. They will find their way to the goal and they won’t rush it.

I better stop while I’m totally drooling over these freaking awesome ladies and get to my predictions for the top four. I think the final game will be between Cunning Stunts and Hot Honey Biscuits and it’s kinda hard to decide between the two but here you go:

  1. Cunning Stunts
  2. Hot Honey Biscuits
  3. Valkyries
  4. Illuminaughti

I can’t wait to play you ladies!  See you in Toronto.

Sam

Editorial, Interview, Scene Sound Off!, Tournaments

World Politics Hits Close To Our Polo Homes

June 9, 2014
Ukrainian Bike Polo

Ukrainian Bike Polo

If you follow world news at all, then you know about the conflict going on between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, go watch these episodes of Vice News). For most of the polo community, this conflict is just something that we hear about on NPR or read about while browsing our favorite online news source. Most of the time, I would imagine, we read the headline or first couple lines, see that the conflict is still happening and then move on to the next article/story. Something so far away seems to have no real affect on our day to day lives so it has a hard time setting in emotionally. Unfortunately for some parts of the poloverse, tuning out the conflict is a lot more difficult.

As most of you probably do not know, the country of Ukraine has four bike polo clubs — Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Kryvyi Rih –with ten, ten, seven, and three players in each club, respectively. While these 30 Ukrainian players have been able to keep themselves far away from any physical backlash of the Russian/Ukrainian conflict, they still find themselves afflicted by the unfortunate situation. More specifically, Ukraine will not be able to send any teams to the 2014 European Hardcourt Bike Polo Champion in Padova because of how the conflict has destroyed the hryvnia (the Ukrainian currency). Dmytro Zhukovsky of Kyiv Bike Polo shed a little more light on this:

“…In February 1 USD cost close to 8 Hryvnias and 1 Euro close to 11. After the start of the Russian campaign in Crimea, and then in Eastern Ukraine, the Hryvnia fell to 12 for 1 USD and 17 for 1 Euro. This means that salaries lost their values in the same proportion. For example – in February, the Schengen Visa had a price of 385 Hryvnias (35 Euros) and now it’s 595 Hryvnias.”

Not only did the value of the hryvnia plummet, but the workers were essentially working for less money because of the price of imported goods skyrocketed at the same time. This left the Ukrainian polo players unable to afford the cost of traveling the 1200 miles to Padova to compete.

As mentioned above, outside of the plummeting currency, Ukrainian bike polo hasn’t seen much other backlash from the conflict. Dmytro Zhukovsky shared more about this:

“Maybe the only other consequence, which was made by this situation, is that we decided not to invite Russian teams to our tournament and not to go to Russia for polo this year. I think it’s maybe the best option because of the current position. I understand that sports and politics have to be separated, and I understand that not all Russians (and not all Russian polo player) support Putin’s politic, but the tension is still too high. On the other hand, we’re now excited to move our asses toward the West!”

It’s was great hearing such a positive attitude coming from someone so close to an unfortunate situation. Despite the Ukrainian/Russian conflict, Dmytro Zhukovsky has high hopes for the future of Ukrainian bike polo. The country we be host to two tournaments in the next couple months (the first in Lviv on June 28th – 29th and the second in Kyiv on July 26th), and Dmytro encourages everyone to come see how Urkainian bike polo has grown since there DFL finish at the 2013 EHBPC.

“We’re trying to involve as many participants from foreign countries as possible, but we’re not going to get any profit from our war with Russia. It’s real shit. …I hope that some people who remember us from the last Euro will visit Kyiv this July. …We’ve already booked a good place for a court and another one for the after party. We’ll try to do our best with the tournament. Also, Kyiv is an interesting city simply to see!”

I encourage as many European clubs as possible to attend these tournaments! We should show our polo brothers and sisters that they matter to us, and that politics-be-damned, we will support them and their tournaments. We should show them how much they will be missed at Euros and Worlds this year.

lviv bike polo   kyiv bike polo