Maybe It’s Not About More Big Tourneys

December 18, 2014

For the past year or so, there has existed a significant push towards having bigger, better, higher budgeted tourneys in bike polo. It makes some sense, this drive to move away from poor courts, iffy organizing, and what not. To be honest, I think this kind of shift is a natural progression of the sport (as it develops, so too do the tourneys we put on. It’s not brain rockets), but I wonder about something else: maybe the answer to growing the sport isn’t bigger, better tourneys. Maybe it’s smaller tourneys that happen more often.

First, let’s establish what we’re aiming for. In my case, growing the sport means having more people playing. That’s it. I’m not talking about getting people to watch the thing, nor am I talking about getting sponsors lined up. I’m talking about sheer number of bike polo players on the courts.

Using that as my measurement for success, I can begin to make the argument that having 5 little, regional (read: within 2 hours of where you live) tourneys might be a better bet than having 1 big regional (read: in your NAH Region) tourney, or even just 2 larger tourneys that have nothing to do with qualifying or the NAH. Continue Reading…


Help Support Ladies Army 7

December 17, 2014
ladies army 7 san francisco

The ladies of San Francisco Bike Polo are looking for your help to ease some of the cost of throwing the seventh annual Ladies Army hardcourt bike polo tournament. They set up an Indiegogo account where people from around the world can donate to the event and in return receive some awesome bike related prints. To find out more info on the event and to donate to the cause, please use this link HERE!


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.