Contest

Get Winter Ready On Us!

November 25, 2013
offseason

QifXug on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

We wanted to thank you again for helping us get over 1,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook. But since you are our loyal fans, we feel that you deserve much more than than us simply saying ‘Thank you’ over and over! Sp we decided the best thing to do was give you FREE STUFF! With the help of our buds over at Fixcraft, we are going to be offering you some fun wintertime goodies:

  • A one of a kind mug with an inspirational image to help you get through cold polo.
  • A Fixcraft-DGel pink Cool Weather bike polo ball.
  • A Fixcraft-DGel blue Cold Weather bike polo ball.
  • A bag of some delicious hot chocolate to help you stay warm.

To win these treats, all you have to do is head to our FACEBOOK PAGE  and share our post about this contest. As easy as that and you could be sitting next to the courts keeping warm by drinking hot chocolate out of a one of a kind mug while you wait for your turn to hit some balls around. Contest begins today (November 24th) and ends Sunday at 11:59pm cst; we will draw the winner Monday morning (December 2nd).

It’s worth noting that if you live in a climate where you will never use a Fixcraft-DGel cool pink or cold blue then we will substitute these for the traditional Canadian orange balls. But we will still be sending you the one of a kind mug and hot chocolate, because I mean come on, who doesn’t love hot chocolate?!?

Thank you all again for the support and keep telling your friends to check us out!

 

Editorial, Hot Tip

7 Things Hardcourt can Learn from BASEketball

November 22, 2013

One year before six messengers decided to hit a ball around in a parking lot for fun, a film was released that went on to be called the greatest sports movie of all time (by me). Written and Directed by the spoof comedy legend David Zucker (Airplane!, Naked Gun, Scary MoVie fame), BASEketball not only made viewers ROFL, it showed that the country was bored of mainstream sports and ready for something fresh. While the movie didn’t cause (I assume) the bike messengers to grab croquette mallets and hit balls around, we can thank it for opening the doors to a new sporting mindset. Even today, 15 years later, we can look back at this 1998 smash hit and see its relevance to 2013 main stream sports. On top of that, we can look back at BASEketball and learn a thing or two on advancing our underground sport as a whole, as well as, helping our everyday play. Here are seven things that BASEketball can teach Hardcourt Bike Polo:

1. The world is ready  for a mixed sport!

baseketball_1998_at_the_top_of_their_game

“It’s kind of like hockey but on bikes.” “It’s like horse polo but our ponies are made of steel.” Every time someone unfamiliar with the sport asks us about it, we compare it to the sports that we steal aspects from. If Hardcourt Bike polo were a tree, it’s roots would be horse polo, its trunk would be a bicycle, and the branches would be hockey. With horse polo as the frame work, and using hockey rules as a guideline to help develop the sport, we are a mismatch of sports; just like how BASEketball is an obvious combination of Baseball and Basketball. In the movie, the combination works! Sports fans were ready for something new, and a mix of familiar sports was just what they were waiting for!

2. We don’t need longer games!

In the rules survey that NAH recently released this question was asked, “Tournament games should follow which format?” Luckily, the winning vote was for “Swiss Rounds – 10min, or first to 5. / Double Elim – 12min, or first to 5. / Bracket Finals – 15min, or first to 5. / Final – 20min, or first to 5″. This is plenty! Our tournaments are long and people don’t want to watch a ten minute game where one team racks up 20 points on the other. Lets get games over with so winning teams can rest and our fans don’t get bored. You can see this effect in everyday life as well. This is why stupid Buzzfeed style lists work; people want to be entertained by short videos and a few sentences.

3. We don’t need to over complicate our qualifying season!

There has been a lot of discussion over on the League of Bike Polo about the pros and cons of our current qualifying structure. Some feel that the current way of doing things (regional qualifiers going into a North American Championship going into a World Championship) is perfect for our sport. Some feel that the only thing that needs to change is the lay out of the regions in which the qualifiers take place. And then there are others who feel we need to completely abandon our current structure and go to a points based system. This system would call for teams/players to earn points at several different tournaments around the country. The better you do at each tournament, the more points you get. The more points you obtain, the higher ranking you/your team get. An X amount of the top ranked teams would then go on to the North American Championship. This system was hard enough for me to put into words, let alone put into actual use. We don’t need to over complicate our qualifying system! Fix the regions if need be, but don’t abandon a system that works for one that is confusing and complicated.

4. Teams of three work! 

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The Beers team was made up of six players: Joe ‘Coop’ Cooper, Doug Remer, Squeak Scolari, and three other guys who never got any playing time. Much like the sport of BASEketball, all you need are three all-star players to form a world championship team in Hardcourt! But unlike BASEketball, Hardcourt doesn’t need a bench with extraneous players. I’m all for changes that better the sport for players and viewers alike, but somethings don’t need to change. We don’t need to change the backbone of the sport just so we can move toward major sports playoff style championships. If tournament style championships work for sports like tennis, then why can’t it work for Hardcourt? Tennis has been around a lot longer than the NFL/NBA/NHL etc, so we should shoot for a system that is long lasting. The pro team-sports model rely on million dollar backers and corporations to stay afloat. Take away their money and the sports fall apart. Without this financial backing, Hardcourt would have the same problem. For Bench Format to become the next NHL, the teams would need to travel all around the country, similar to other pro sports, in order to gain viewers and a national broadcast. Instead, lets follow the tennis tournament structure, take a page from BASEketball and just allow three all-stars to come together and become the best in the world.

5. Alcohol prevents us from preforming at our best!

Drinking and Hardcourt Bike Polo seem to go hand-in-hand. Getting together with your friends drinking beers and playing a fun sport is one of the main reasons many players continue to come to pick up week after week. But it’s important to remember that there is a difference between pick up and tournament play. At the regional qualifiers, the North American Championship, and the WHBPC it is better to grab one or two less drinks. I’ve seen great teams fall apart because one player decided partying was more important than playing to the best of their potential. Jordan never got shit faced the night before his championship games, Gretzky never tried to make a wizard staff while fighting for the Stanley Cup, Tiger Woods doesn’t pop bottles between important matches of the PGA Tour; I think you get the point. Save the drinking for pick up and celebrating your tournament success.

6. Psych Out’s totally work!

From getting defenders to turn their head the wrong why to completely getting them out of the play, psych outs have their place in Hardcourt Bike Polo too. The two players who we can teach us a thing or two about psych outs are Pete Abram or Chris Roberts. Love him or hate him, Abram is the best at getting defenders to turn their head the opposite way that he is going. One thing you can easily learn from Abram is talking to your teammates. Tell them what you are about to do and then do the opposite. If you tell your teammate that your about to pass the ball to them and then pause for a split second, this will cause the defender to second guess what you’re doing and it gives you the ability to get around them. Add in a believable fake pass arm motion, and you gain an even bigger gap between you and the defender. Roberts, on the other hand, using the psych out to get players completely out of the play. One of my favorite moments from the 2013 WHBPC was when a player checked Roberts off of his bike; coincidentally the player took himself out too. Clean hit or not, Roberts started talking to the player about the reasons why the check was dirty. He wasn’t yelling at the player, he was just politely standing there with his bike having a conversation. While Roberts was talking to the player, The Means were in total control of the ball and scored on the other team. It was a hilarious strategy.

7. Most importantly, don’t let the sport get to your head!

For me, Hardcourt Bike Polo is the punk rock of sports. It is a place where losers and rejects can come together and play a competitive sport that isn’t overrun with jocks and meat-heads. The worst thing this sport can do is forget where it all started. As the tournaments get more serious and the equipment gets more specialized, we can’t forget the punk and DIY ethics that helped ignite this sport. This is a sport that welcomes all races, genders and sexual orientations, and it needs to stay that way! As the sport grows, we can’t forget who we are and why we all started playing.

Video

2013 London Open Footage

November 21, 2013
LO2013 poster (1)

In the four years of it’s existence, the London Open has built a reputation as one of the biggest and best international tournaments. Last year the tournament happened to coincide with Worlds, so you saw the best players from all over the world in attendance. Since WHBPC2013 was held in America this year, we didn’t such a worldly presence at the tournament, but Europe’s best players were on hand.

This video surfaced a couple day and it allows those of us who couldn’t make it this year to join in with those who want to reminisce, and savor some hot London Open footage. Enjoy!

Hot Tip

Heckling Hardcourt – Vol. 1

November 20, 2013

EDITORS NOTE: Sam Bell has been nothing but amazing since joining the 321Polo team. When she came to me with the idea of starting a series where she heckles different aspects of bike polo, I couldn’t wait to read the first segment! I’m sure everyone will enjoy her heckling as much as I do!

HecklingHardcourt

If I’m going to be a sub-par polo player, I might as well be a top notch heckler. As I really only like participating in sports that involve heckling, I feel like I have a decent amount of experience to a my own heckling segment here on 321 Polo. Even despite what Dillman may have said on the first Mornings With Machine, which ironically happened at night.

For my first installment of Heckling Hardcourt I’m going to heckle the voters of the NAH survey.

Seriously, I have a bone to pick with whomever is voting for keeping the format ten minutes or first to five. Lets totally keep a tournament format that is impossible to organize properly because games on finishing on an inconsistent basis. Seems like a good idea right? Obviously people who are voting have never run a tournament, but I am sure they will be the first to complain and say how poorly a tournament is run. Bravo voters!

Shall we move on? Ball jointing is like amateur hour, you don’t really see much of it in tournament play and it’s even pretty rare in pick up as well. However during the worlds, I saw a bunch of calls for ball jointing in the offensive half when a player was going to scoop the ball. Lamesville. Maybe our definition of ball jointing is just a crappy as ball jointing itself, but if that’s how we are going to call ball jointing, then why the heck are we only allowing it on the defensive side?

Finally, I think we should discuss the crease. Dear voter, how often do we struggle with spectators and trying to get more people interested in watching our sport? The answer is heaps (or a lot if you’re Merican). Double goalie is the most boring tactic EVER! It may kinda work for some of the top teams, but it is a snoozer when it comes to watching. Implementing a crease totally gets rid of that for us! I mean COME ON VOTERS!!!

Editorial

You All Are The Best!

November 19, 2013

thank-you

Overnight we surpassed 1,000 Likes on Facebook. Thank you all so much for following us all these years and for telling your friends about us. We appreciate it so much! To show our appreciation we are going to have a product giveaway (more info on that will be announced soon).

Again, thank you and if you haven’t Liked our Facebook page, then you can do so on the right side of this page.

Long live hardcourt bike polo!

m4s0n501