Last weekend Geneva Bike Polo hosted the fourth annual Hell’s Belles ladies only bike polo tournament. Making the trek all the way to Switzerland from Australia, Claire Wilson of Style She Spoke, wrote an amazing round up of the monumental event. Find out more info and read her roundup, HERE!
Turducken was a blast. Truly. I couldn’t have asked for better teammates than Carter and Ransom, and we went further along (I think tied for 7th/8th? I don’t know) than I imagined possible. All in all, I’m deeming it as a success. The hosts were very hosty, I ate more tacos in 2 days than I normally eat in 2 weeks–yes, I eat tacos every week–and the hotel only had one toilet that didn’t work (thanks, Alias, for letting me use yours).
The tourney was also my first ever 2v2 tourney. The rule for this was very simple: you play 2v2, and you have to switch out one of your players with your third each game. While I had played 2v2 at pickup when we can’t get numbers, I never did it at a tourney and, to be honest, I was disappointed when I learned that this tourney wouldn’t be 3v3.
The first day was difficult: I kept expecting to have a third person on my team, and I quickly learned that a tourney of 2v2 counts on a few things:
1. The other team messing up
3. Getting the other team out of position
If you manage two of those 3, you’ll win your games (or at least not look horrible in losing).
I’m going to be honestfrank with you and say that my playing on the first day was horrible. For one thing, my heart was going nuts and that made me not necessarily care how I was playing (as dying is something I’d like to avoid), but I also just wasn’t carrying my weight on the team. Carter and Eric were clearly the strong 2 of we 3, though they were both very kind to me in my uselessness.
The other teams seemed to have the same difficulties we had (save for a few slayers, of course, who could probably play with 1 and 1/4th of a player and still do well). The games weren’t slow, as I was expecting, though the pacing was certainly different. There wasn’t necessarily constant movement, but rather a ebb and flow of movement that dictated how a play either was (or was not) going to work. I found that I had more open breakaways, obviously, but I also felt like every action I took had a much more profound impact on the game than I would if it were 3v3.
I think that’s what the most valuable lesson was that weekend, outside of learning about the Turducken Taco from Cultured Swine, was that new sort of court awareness. I was keenly aware of helping the ball carrier rather than just trying to become the ball carrier. I either worked towards getting the 2nd player out of the play, or in getting my own guy to a good position.
That being said, I found that my leftyness came into play in an enormous way, as did my slow-game-ball-control nonsense that I do so enjoy. Furthermore, tricks became somehow more important (tricks, in my book, include dribbling the ball around other players in the air, weird shots, etc.).
The second day was a much better showing in my case, and I believe I managed to help Carter win every game we played together. I had a stronger understanding of what my role should be and managed to remind myself of that understanding whenever I got in the heat of a match.
Even so: as I left the tourney without saying goodbye to most, and drove my little truck the 7 hours it took to get home (thanks, traffic), I knew that I wouldn’t want to play a 2v2 tourney again. It was great fun, but it didn’t really scratch that itch I look to get scratched at a tourney. Or, maybe I should refine that: I don’t see myself playing in another 2v2 tourney unless it’s happening within 1 hour of driving distance. With Turducken Tacos, maybe 2 hours.
Europe’s bike polo governing body, the EHPA, made a few announcements last week on their new Facebook page. For those who are unaware of the new page, here is a LINK! On top of that, here is all of the information that they gave:
This contest may not be for bike polo equipment, but two of my favorite bike polo related companies have joined forces for a contest, so I feel that I have to help promote it. Black Star Bags and DZR Shoes have come together to give away an exclusive collaboration weatherproof rolltop backpack and a pair of Strasse shoes. To enter the contest, all you have to do is head to the BLACK STAR BAGS FACEBOOK PAGE and the DZR SHOES FACEBOOK PAGE, like both of them and then share the photo. Easy as pie!
Fixcraft and 3-2-1 Polo! are proud to present a win it before you can buy it drawing. It’s very simple. all you have to do is Instagram the above picture with the hashtags #fixcraft #bikepolo #321polo and you are automatically entered into the drawing. This ends at midnight Thursday the 20th, and the winner will be picked at random the following morning on the 21st. Open to anyone world wide, but only one entry per Instagram account.