November 11, 2014

(You Won’t Believe #3)

Bike polo is all about honing in on a skill set that all great players have. The problem is, of course, that the repetition can make you overlook other skills that are just as important to your game (and you somehow keep ignoring the development of). Well, Ol’ Papa Crusher is here to help. I ask only this: keep an open mind. I realize that all of us are on our own little paths to polo greatness, but if you look at your own development in an objective light, you might find some things you’re simply overlooking.

1. Pass more: this is aimed at hero polo players and newer polo players: passing is scary and unrewarding at times, I get it. But passing is the bread and butter of great plays, and only a silly goon would think otherwise. If you’re finding that the teams you’re on typically don’t do very well with holding onto the ball or staying in the offensive half, try more pass-work. Try passing when it’s not even necessarily called for. Try passing on your bad side and in poor passing situations (like when you don’t have a clear view of your team-mate or when you’re surrounded by opposing players).

2. Learn to stay between the goal and the ball: This one is super simple but lots of players don’t do it. When the opposing team has the ball, try to stay in the way of a direct shot on goal. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 feet from the goal or 50 feet: getting in the way of a straight shot increases the chances of stopping a point happening. If you go out to challenge the ball carrier, don’t go out too far from the goal, and get back in line to block their direct shot.

3. Shave your eyebrows off. Just do it. Do it. Do it now right now.

4. Have a goal: I feel like lots of folks go out on the court with the ambiguous goal of “not messing up” or “winning”, and those are both noble pursuits, but aren’t valuable ones. With every game, try to have one big goal: not get stuck on the boards, pass more than I shoot, not get caught facing the wrong way when an opponent gets the ball. These are all situational, of course, but they help you stop yourself from just zoning out and getting tunnel vision during play. Bike polo is a thinkin’ game, and as soon as you stop thinking, you’re suffering.

Really I think that’s life advice. Don’t stop thinking.

5. Don’t be hard on yourself: there is nothing so useless as self hatred in the sport. It shuts you down and closes you off from your team mates and from the fun of the game. Messing up plays, plopping your foot down for no reason, and missing easy shots are part of what bike polo is. Just allow it to happen. I mean of course learn from it and try to avoid it, but don’t hate yourself for it, either. As a wise man once said: it’s not worth it.

Tournaments, Video

2014 Hallowmeme Footage

November 10, 2014

There are two things that the Midwest knows how to do well:

  1. Throw bike polo tournaments.
  2. Party.

This video from the Hallowmeme tournament held in Grand Rapids, MI last month proves my point exactly. Enjoy the video and head to a tournament in the Midwest as soon as possible!

Continue Reading…


2014 WHBPC Team Photos

November 10, 2014
liv minh whbpc2014 team photos

Yesterday we told you about Liv Minh’s crowd sourcing campaign to help publish a book of hardcourt bike polo photos. To give you a little taste of what would be found in his book, Liv released his team photos from the 2014 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship. There are some hilarious photos in the bunch, so be sure to check them all out. You can enjoy them HERE!

Culture, Media

Liv Minh’s Book of Bike Polo Photos

November 9, 2014
olivier minh 3-2-1 Polo!!! book

One of Europe’s top bike polo photographers, Liv Minh, is looking to bring his hardcourt bike polo photographs from the digital to the physical, and he is looking to the bike polo community for help. Liv set up a crowd sourcing campaign on Kiss Kiss Bank Bank to make it easier for people to help him out. If this seems like a project you’d like to get behind, you can find information on Liv’s project HERE!


Code of Conduct: Here, Take This.

November 7, 2014

I’m one of the “elders” of my club–that is: I was elected, along with two others, to be the executive branch of our group. When it comes down to it, the post means that I interact with the local government, I try to carry out the will of the club, and I act as a mediator when tempers flare or stuff goes down.

It’s both good to do (as I feel like I’m helping) and stressful (as nobody is every very happy with authority figures in our game).

Part of what I was tasked with doing was to create a “code of conduct” for our club. Essentially, we recognized that we didn’t have a locked down way of dealing with situations where players were acting against the interests or enjoyment of the club.

The document is, effectively, something that our club can fall back on to remove emotions and subjectivity from tense situations. Previously we’d have a spat or raised tempers and we’d go through this series:

1. everyone would yell at each other

2. We’d all email each other and keep yelling

3. We’d agree, more or less, that something can’t happen again.

4. repeat.

With this document we have a series of steps and procedures that, more or less, takes discipline and behavior out of the hands of anyone and into the hands of an agreement. If you do X, you are disciplined with Y.

If you play with our club, you’re agreeing to the code of conduct. If you’re a member of our club, you’re agreeing to the code of conduct (naturally there was a voting on the document from the start, to see if anyone actually wanted it to exist at all).

So I offer it up to you, readers. Use this as you think you need to (or as a starting point for the discussion in your club). Keep in mind, however, that much like the Torah of my people’s religion, it was written by a small group for that group, not for the world. Make sure if you’re using this document that you modify it to fit your culture and own club’s needs.

Lancaster United Bike Polo Code of Conduct