Should Each Club Have A Medic?

December 17, 2014

The first time it happened, I think, I was at the Thaw–Peter took a hard crash in front of goal and was groaning a bit and not getting up, so I ran out to make sure he was alright. I had him breath in and out, pushed where he said he had pain, all that jazz. He was fine, but that’s when it started.

From that point on, I’ve been increasingly called on to address (either through my own will or by people shouting for me) cuts, falls, and broken bones.

Now let me be clear on this: I’m not a legitimately trained professional in any way. I was a boy scout who learned a little bit more than the basics of first aid, and my mom is a nurse, so I have some background knowledge on top of that. But when someone is bleeding like a punctured bag of Capri Sun, I’m not the worst guy to have around to address that.

What concerns me is not that I’m asked to help in first aid situations (I’m more than happy to help), but that I specifically am needed to be called at all. There were only two instances where someone else was more qualified than me: Worlds of 2013 (Medic Mike was there, as was an ex-marine with trauma training), and North Americans, where Jacques (an EMT, if memory serves) was more than capable, though he did let me hand him things, which was fun. Every other tourney, however, I had the distinct feeling that nobody was really ready or willing to jump in if needed.

This is also where I note that, while at Worlds 2013, I did the ol’ “follow my finger with your eyes” move that Mr. Do captured and  Horse is so fond of making fun of me for. If I don’t say it here he’ll mention it in the comments, so here it is. HERE IT IS, HORSE.

And that gets me to thinking–should clubs at least try to get one person to be first aid certified? Would it be beneficial if we, as North American Bike Polo, could be sure that at any given tourney we have at least some first aid certified folks bopping around? If you go through the Red Cross it’s about 90 bucks for adult first aid/CPR certification, and that could go a long way in addressing ouchie boo boos in a good way during a tourney (or knowing when a person needs to go to a hospital).

I’m not saying that we all need to be trained EMTs or nurses, but it’s concerning when a group of people surround someone on the ground and nobody knows quite what to do. We’ve been terrifically lucky as far as injuries go in the sport, and I say that in full knowledge of some of the big injuries players have had. I’m curious about how other clubs deal with this, if at all, and if getting some club members to enroll in a simple first aid class would be helpful to the sport as a whole.



December 16, 2014

Recognizing and Avoiding Positional Traps in Bike Polo

Editor’s note: I’m only writing this post to use that featured image.

There are lots of easy ways for an experienced player to get newer players out of the way. The first might be the smell of their equipment, but the second is maneuvering in such a way that the newer player is out of the play. You’ve experienced, witnessed, and completed these sorts of maneuvers quite often yourself, I’m sure. The problem (and the way to avoid getting put into this situation) is fairly simple: recognize when the trap is occurring, and do the opposite of what triggers the trap.

One example of this is when the opposing player (who has the ball and is approaching your goal) tricks you into coming out of position. Let me draw you a picture:

out of position

As you can see in this highly skilled, somehow patriotic diagram, the player who is helping cut the line steps out of place (to attack the upper opposing player who has the ball), leaving the goalie to have a harder time either a. dealing with a pass to the other player or b. be facing the wrong way when the ball carrier moves further down the court. The advice I have for you here is to stay closer to the goalie (not like, in the crease or anything, but close enough to help disrupt a pass or block off another player) and to not face the opposite way as the ball carrier (or at least not put your momentum into going the opposite way that they are going). As I and many other smarter people have said before, it takes very little to get past someone when they are pedaling towards you. Continue Reading…


Photos From Spoke Invaders

December 15, 2014
spoke invaders

This past weekend Melbourne Bike Polo hosted the Spoke Invaders hardcourt bike polo tournament, and today a set of photos from the event were posted online. These pictures make me miss shorts, tank jobs, and hanging out in the sun. I decided to post them for you all so that we can bask is the summer vibes and dream of warm polo. You can find the photos HERE! Thanks to Phynyght Studios for sharing the photos with us.


Modifide: Why You Shouldn’t Have Favorites

December 15, 2014

I have used a Modifide Arc 4 mallet head since October of 2013. I am crazy about it. I reviewed the original arc and its little brother on the site, and the Arc 4 has been as reliable as it has been fun to use.

And now, as I’m sure we’re all mostly aware, Modifide has called it quits because, let’s face it, life often dictates that sort of thing. Now I’m faced with a few choices to make as a player:

  • Do I try to buy up all the ARC 4s I can?
  • Do I hope that someone else buys the company and continues to make the head?
  • Do I learn how to use a standard shaped mallet head (there are plenty of great options out there, no doubt).

This is a dumb situation to be in, but one that I think folks in our sport come across more often than not: a company makes something you integrate into the way you play, then that company disappears and you’re left needing to fundamentally change a few key aspects of your play in order to keep up.

Now I’m probably overstating this (hell, this is yellow page journalism at its best!), but it is an inconvenience I’m going to find myself in sooner or later. There simply isn’t enough of a market for multiple companies to really find value in competing with each other for sales, and that leads to a lot of good folks stepping away from fine products only a year or two into the business. And that’s fine–the fault isn’t at all with them. The fault is in a flooded market & a lack of demand.

Instead of leaning so heavily on a single product that has the chance to simply disappear (which is such a funny thing, really, when you think about how the shape of a game’s equipment is traditionally specific), you should try to be strong on all sorts of mallet heads. That is to say, you should be at least comfortable using various types of equipment. I’m not saying at all that your entire game will be different for years after company XYZ stops making the Wizzbang mallet head, but it might push into a different product which, for at least a little while, will take more of your attention to use (in my case, having mallet heads that are longer and catch on the ground in a different way than what I’m used to).

So how do you familiarize yourself with different mallet heads without spending $200.00 a year? Hell, I don’t know. I realize this is the part where I’m supposed to give you some sort of over-the-top solution about the problem, but I don’t have one. I guess maybe you should be aware of the situation and be open to re-learning your equipment. Does that work? Okay maybe that doesn’t work.

Anyway I’m just frustrated that my currently most-used mallet head’s company is stepping away from production. Sure, there are so many options out there for me to have fun with, but MAN that gets my goat.


Fixcraft’s 2015 Tournament Head

December 14, 2014
fixcraft tournament head

Wow, just wow; this is the sexiest hardcourt bike polo head that I’ve ever seen. That color, that lip, that inlaid logo; just wow. Fixcraft‘s amazing now tournament head weighs in at only 78 grams and can be yours for only $25.99. Head over to the Fixcraft webstore to pick one up now!