Hot Tip

Love It or Hate It, Ya Gotta Joust

July 15, 2013

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Per the latest NAH rule set, bike polo games still start with a joust. Some players look forward to the joust, while others dread it. If you’ve been around the sport awhile, you’ve seen some impressive shots on jousts, hilarious misses and probably some unfortunate crashes. Regardless, the joust remains the official way to start our games.

Since that’s the case, 321 wanted to solicit the opinions of a few players on how they handle the joust. We reached out to a few people who weren’t interested in responding (that included a female player who was tacit in her response after several attempts to get one). So I, Christian, will actually answer this question, too:

“What’s your strategy for success on jousts? What do you look to do with the ball if you win the joust?”

Me (Christrian Losciale) – Seattle: Go hard. If I’m halfway to the ball and it’s clear I’m not going to win it, I still want to be quick to defend. In my head, I’m looking to read my opponent and take the ball away. If it’s clear I’m going to win, then I look for my teammate. I hope he/she is in front of me so I can push the ball forward. Otherwise, I like when my teammate finds space, draws the defenders and gives me room to charge the net against the goalie.

Nick Dellwo – Minneapolis: Learn to track stand and work on those sprints. If you know you won’t reach the ball ball first, don’t give up. Focus on disrupting the other jouster’s control of the ball. Not letting the other team make a play off the joust is more important than controlling the ball yourself.

Cody Riggs – Seattle: I pretty much just try to crank as hard as I can for the first three or four pedal strokes, then look up and assess whether or not I think I’m going to get to the ball before the other guy. If I think I am, I keep going hard and check the far right where Dustin and Julian are probably going to be and will usually dish a pass straight over to them. I’ll maintain my speed moving to the left side of the court and look for a quick pass back from them. Sometimes if I win the joust uncontested I’ll gather the ball and move it myself, but the majority of the time I try to be the first one there, touch it long enough to pass it to someone in a better position to control it, and then keep moving within the play.

There you have it. Readers, what’s your jousting strategy?

Product

The Milwaukee Travel Bag

July 5, 2013

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There are only two major tournaments left this season (actually, only one for most people around the world) but that shouldn’t stop you from finding a convenient way to fly with your bike. One of the newest travel bags on the market comes to us thanks to Ben’s Cycle and Milwaukee Bicycle Company.

For $109.99 (come on, why not just round up to $110) you can purchase the Milwaukee Bicycle Company Polo Travel Bag. It is made out of 18oz heavy duty vinyl and measures at 39″x35.5″. While this is more than the 36 linear inches limit that most airlines mandate, I’m betting that you can fold in the loose corners and the airline staff won’t measure it. Since it is shaped like a tote bag, I’m betting they wouldn’t measure it anyway.

Pick one up, fit your bike and mallets in it, fly to Minneapolis or Fort Lauderdale, and enjoy easy bike travel.

Hit up Ben’s Cycle, go to the Milwaukee Bicycle Co. Section, click the Milwaukee Bags image, and find the newest way to travel with your bike.

Tournaments, Video

European Championship Final Flick

July 3, 2013

992902_10151668830824454_1228849984_nPhoto courtesy of Adam Pawlowski

Footage of the 2013 European Championship final surfaced today. In it you can see Call Me Daddy (Greg, William PARIS, Paul TOU) play Edisons (Piks GVA, David FRA, Eddy MUN) for the crown. The video is a little hard to watch due to the camera facing the sun and the videographer’s inability to zoom, but listening to Europeans chant makes you not want to stop watching.

Quick discussion point, is the hit at 11:16 clean or dirty?

Tournaments

Qualifier News: Cascadia

July 2, 2013
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1010291_550800544962448_2125716759_nPhoto courtesy of Fixcraft

The seventh and final qualifier of 2013 season took place this past weekend in Seattle, Washington. Cascadia is known for being one of toughest qualifiers and after watching the games, the teams definitely lived up to this reputation. Twenty four of the regions best teams met on the hottest weekend in Seattle of 2013.

Like the other qualifiers, there were Swiss rounds on Saturday followed by a double elimination bracket on Sunday. Cascadia did do one thing differently though; they decided to use Strength of Schedule to dictate the Swiss rounds, as opposed to Goal Differential like the other tournaments. At least they decided to use Podium this year instead of Seattle Swiss, so all of us losers could easily follow the tournament all weekend. In case you were not able to follow, let’s get to a round-up of the tournament.

At the end of the Saturday’s Swiss rounds, two teams finished with a record of 4-0-1: last years Cascadia qualifier champions, The Guardians (Cody, Julian, Dustin SEA), and their gentle giant neighbors to the south, Portland United (Arlyn, Jason, Eric PDX). Sitting in third was Big Country (Alex, Rory VAN, Henry VIC), who is made up of two-thirds of of the 2011 World Championship team Crazy Canucks. While these teams sat at the top, one team sitting in 12th place decided to ignite the fire under their wheels on day two.

On Sunday The Assassins (Joe, Koyo, Evan SEA) fought their way from 12th place to the Winner’s Bracket Semi-Final where they met The Guardians. Taking last years champs to overtime, The Assassins lost to The Guardians 5-4. In the other Winner’s Bracket Semi-Final match up, Portland United took Big Country in a 3-0 victory. This sent Portland United and The Guardians to the Winner’s Bracket Final and The Assassins and Big Country met in the Loser’s Bracket Final.

In the Loser’s Bracket Final, The Assassins snuck away with a 5-4 victory, leaving Big Country to finish in fourth place. In the Winner’s Bracket Final, The Guardians walked all over Portland United with 5-0 sweep. This sent Portland United to the Loser’s Bracket, where they met The Assassins. Here, Portland United met the same fate as in 2012. Finishing third, Portland United lost to The Assassins 3-1. With this victory, The Assassins met The Guardians in the Tournament Final. In what felt like a quick tournament final, The Assassins fell to The Guardians 5-2. The Assassins jumped up two spots from last years fourth place finish.

Cascadia was awarded nine spots at the North American Championship and here were the other teams that will be heading to Minneapolis this August:

  • 5th: Thunder Buddies (Matt, scooter SEA, Martin VAN)
  • 5th: Bill Murray (Emmet LDN, jake SAC, Sterling SEA)
  • 7th: Grumpy Town (Leon, Drew, Wade SEA)
  • 7th: Short Shorts Shorties (paul, Sean, Stiven SEA)
  • 9th: Mosquito (Daren EDM, Duane REG, Will SKN)

Congratulations to them all!

Tournaments

Qualifier News: European Championship

July 1, 2013

998654_682417085108077_1217027989_nAll photos courtesy of Paulette à Roulettes

Krakow, Poland was the site of the 2013 European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship this past weekend. This years tournament had 62 teams from 16 countries and spanned over three days. Using three courts, the first day was split into a morning and an afternoon bracket that consisted of four Swiss rounds. The morning bracket consisted of 30 teams and was lead by the 4-0-0 Call Me Daddy (Greg, William PARIS, Paul TOU). Following Call Me Daddy’s lead, Edisons (Piks GVA, David FRA, Eddy MUN) took the afternoon bracket by storm and ended with a record of 4-0-0.

1000142_682334688449650_173943815_nOn the second day of the tournament, the bottom 44 teams played for 14 spots in the double elimination bracket on day three, while the top 18 teams had a four round playoff to find the perfect seeding order. At the end of the second day, Call Me Daddy sat in first place with a records of 7-1-0. Their only loss was to the Edisons. The Edisons, despite beating Call Me Daddy, sat in second with a record of 6-1-1.

Heading into the third day both teams kept their engines full stream ahead. After four wins, Call Me Daddy and Edisons found themselves in the Winners Bracket Final. After a heated game, Call Me Daddy walked away with a 3-1 victory, sending Edisons into the losers bracket. Never saying ‘die’, Edisons fought their way out of the losers bracket to challenge Call Me Daddy in the tournament final. Edisons ended 1016040_682384055111380_1917783046_nup beating Call Me Daddy 5-2 forcing a second tournament final. Here, Call Me Daddy showed what a world champion team looks like, beating Edisons 5-3 to be crowned the European champions for a second year in a row.

To check out the full results, head over to Podium, HERE. It is not clear how many spots Florida has set aside for European teams at the World Championship, but we will be sure to keep you updated as we get more info.

You can find some great photos HERE and HERE, as well as checking out #ehbpc2013 on Instagram.