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Editorial, Player Profile, Tournaments

Girl Crush Vol. 3: LA6 Edition

June 18, 2014

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

Editorial

Changes From Ruleset v4.2 to v4.3

May 8, 2014
ruleset v4.3

ruleset v4.3

This week the NAH sprung a brand new version of the ruleset on us with little explanation as to what made it different from the v4.2 that preceded it. The only information they gave us was that they needed to “adjust for some formatting errors” and release “the Appendix A that Section 3 refers to.” While the Appendix A is pretty self-explanatory (give it a read HERE), we figured we would help you see the changes in the v4.3 of the ruleset. To follow along, check out v4.3 HERE.

After talking to the Head of Reffing Committy, Joe Rstom, about the changes, it turns out that these changes aren’t actually that important to the game play (outside of the Appendix A, that is). Just to calm your worrying mind, I figure I will let you know what changed anyway. So here it is:

  1. The “§1.3 – Goal Judge” section had a typo in the v4.2 ruleset that made the numbers jump from §1.3.2 to §1.3.4. The NAH dummies had to fix that mistake!
  2. In the section “§4.8 – Shifted Goal Position”, they made ANOTHER numbering error. In v4.2, the subsection for §4.8.2 was listed as §4.8.3 instead of §4.8.2.1, like it is in the v4.3.
  3. For “§10.3 – Interference”, the NAH fixed some wording in the §10.3.2 section. In v4.2, §10.3.2 reads: “In the case of the ball leaving the immediate vicinity of the player in possession but having not been touched by any other player, the player considered in possession according to §5.1.1 can not be engaged physically if they have forfeited pursuit of the ball. An opponent may only engage in physical contact with the player in possession if they continue to advance towards the ball.” And now in v4.3, §10.3.2 reads: “In the case of the ball leaving the immediate vicinity of the player in possession according to §5.1.1 but having not been touched by any other player, the player in possession can not be engaged physically if they have forfeited pursuit of the ball. An opponent may only engage in physical contact with the player in possession if they continue to advance towards the ball.”

And that’s it. Pretty exciting huh?

The most important thing to take away from v4.3 is the addition of Appendix A. It simplifies and uniforms the qualifier formatting so that tournament organizers have one less thing to worry about when hosting these important tournaments. It’s great for players to know too so they can make sure they are playing games for the appropriate amount of time.

Educate yourself! That’s the most important thing for the grow of hardcourt bike polo.

m4s0n501
Editorial

Meet the EHBPA Committee

May 4, 2014
EHBPA

In an attempt to get European hardcourt bike polo organized under a governing body, several players from clubs all over Europe put their names on the ballot to be one of the lucky nine on the first European Hardcourt Bike Polo Association committee. Yesterday the final votes were tallied and these are the faces of change for European hardcourt bike polo! Please join me in welcoming the new committee:

1) Alejandro “Mr Carillo” Carillo (Spain)
Alejandro Carrillo

 

 

 
2) Eduard “Eddy” Krömer (Germany)
Eddy Polo

 

 

 

 

 

3) Morgan “Morgain” Hidalgo (France)
Morgan Morgain

 

 

 

 

 


4) Johanna “Jo” Lemm (Germany)
images

 

 

 

 

 


5) Clément “Uolmo” Bailat (Switzerland)
Clement Bailat

 

 

 

 

 


6) Marco “Scimmia” Campisano (Italy)
Marco Campisano

 

 

 

 

 


7) Vincent “Pôl Poil” POUJOL (Belgium)
vincent poujol

 

 

 

 

 


8) Dany Majard (Czech Republic)
Dany Majard

 

 

 

 

 


9) Benjamin Liu (France/Switzerland)
Benjamin Liu

Editorial, Tournaments

2014 Qualifier Predictions

May 1, 2014
Screen-Shot-2013-12-02-at-9.07.18-PM

Screen-Shot-2013-12-02-at-9.07.18-PM

I wanted to post this last week but I got caught up in getting ready for my trip down to San Francisco and then on to Fresno for Smack In Da Middle III. Because of my poor time management, I missed out on the opportunity to pick the top three teams for South Centrals. If I had the chance to pick, I would have picked those three teams to make it onto the podium, though. With the South East Qualifier this weekend, I don’t want to put this off any longer, so here are my predictions of teams to make it onto the podium at each qualifier. Here they are, in no particular order:

South East, May 3rd – 4th:

  • Ginyu Force (Christopher, Arnold, Del Gato TLH)
  • Biking Vikings (Brent, Paul ATL, justin MOLO)
  • Broken Bones (Adam, Brett, Graham MEM)

Mexico May 10th – 11th:

  • The Means (Chris NYC, Tex OTT, Nick RVA)
  • Nino Dios (Ignacio, Yair, Raul GDL)
  • HERMANOS KORIOTO (Pablo, Omar, Oscar GDL)

South West May 24th – 25th:

  • Beavers (Brian, Eric, Joey SF)
  • The Control (Shitty, Forrest, Ace SF)
  • secret teeth (Brandon, Jillian, Cody CRZ)

Great Plains May 24th – 25th:

  • Mosquito (Will, Daren, Duane SKN)
  • Passless Chaps (Dave, JB, Zach WPG)
  • Prairie Gold (Neil, Josh, Tom EDM)

Cascadia May 24th – 25th:

  • The Guardians (Cody, Julian, Dustin SEA)
  • Portland United (Arlyn, pete, Eric PDX)
  • Ringers (Nick Philly, Redbeard SEA, Pierre SF)

Eastside May 31st – June 1st:

  • Arsenal (Jonathan CHI, Horse LNS, Rob Philly)
  • White Fang (Fang, Jake, Fang BOS)
  • gimme a min, I’ll think of something (Natred, Zach NYC, Dirkbag TO)

Heartland May 31st – June 1st:

  • Los Tranquilos (Mags, Charlie COMO, Hams LEX)
  • Three Bucks (Peter, David CBUS, Eric LEX)
  • Hustle and Muscle (Chris CIN, porch, James LEX)

Northside June 7th – 8th:

  • CUNNING STUNTS (Bird MKE, Maija, Heffy TO)
  • Triple Deke (Kevin, Shane, Ngaihon TO)
  • Journeymen (Allan, Robbie OTT, Nick TO)

 Great Lakes June 7th – 8th:

  • MILWAUKEE A (Captain, Guthrie, Genghis MKE)
  • Brigands (Adam ARB, Nick, Sam MPLS)
  • 10k (Aren, Ramon, Kado MPLS)

Please note that this is all in good fun, so please do not be offended if I did not put your team on the list. I would love to hear your predictions too, so please share them!