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Interview

Interview

An Interview with Andrea Paperplane

September 1, 2016
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I first met Andrea at North Americans in Minneapolis – and by met, I mean I waddled (I was in full Crusher girth, at the time) out to her after an in-play accident that broke her ankle. It wasn’t much of a first meeting, as I more or less took orders from Jacques on what needed to happen. The next day, however, I followed up with her and found she was, more or less, just inconvenienced by the broken ankle, taking in the sun and watching games while relaxing court side.

This year, Andrea won the Great Plains Regional Qualifier, making her one of the first women/trans/femme (WTF) players to achieve first place in any regional qualifier in North America. I requested the following interview, which Andrea was kind enough to agree to.

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Interview

A Few Questions About Today’s NAH Announcement

February 18, 2015
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Story filed by Crusher

The NAH just released a post reviewing the changes players can expect in the 2015 season, NAHBPC, and beyond. I have the good fortune of somehow being respected in the NAH, and managed to sneak a peek at the post and pose a few questions to John Hayes, NAH Tourney poobah and all around swell guy. I asked three questions in particular (and please, dear reader, forgive him for his funny English spelling):

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Interview

Flat Pedals: The Future of Bike Polo

February 17, 2015
bike polo flat pedals

Story filed by Crusher

Oh yes, my time has come.

For my four-or-so years of playing bike polo, I’ve only ever gone clipless once. It was a month long period, and by the end of it I did some amazing damage to my knees and hips (as I panicked when trying to clip out whilst falling, and failed). I’m fully aware that I went about learning the entirely wrong way, but a mix of laziness and comfort keeps me on those ol’ flat pedals.

But now, my friends, my time has come. While those JNCO jeans I’ve been holding onto still haven’t come back in vogue, the flat pedal just might be making a comeback, as evidenced by a new tournament being organized by Greg (formally) of Call Me Daddy. Greg was kind enough to answer a few questions I had regarding the tourney in general:

What’s different about this tournament than other tourneys in the past?

This tournament is a bit different as all the players will have to play with flat pedals (no strap or cages allowed). In a way, it will be a bit experimental as nobody is playing with flat pedals anymore. I guess many players will lose their marks, but this is not the idea, the idea is to try to play a competitive tournament with flat pedals to see how this can change the game. Changing not only for the players but also for the public.

But you know the French scene is very competitive so I guess after a couple of minutes to get used to flat pedals, everybody will have in mind to score goals and win the game as in any other tournament. Continue Reading…

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