Product

Fixcraft Fridays

June 6, 2013

It’s that special time of the month again! Fixcraft Fridays starts tonight at 12am central standard time. I guess TECHNICALLY 12am would be considered tomorrow and not tonight. Whichever way you like to look at it, 12am cst Friday June 7th, Fixcraft will have a treat for us all!

Starting last month , Fixcraft Fridays are a one day super savers deal held on the first Friday of every month.

While Fixcraft doesn’t announce the specifications of the deal until midnight, they have been dropping several hints via Facebook and Twitter. It seems that this months deal will involve the new Fixcleat. After months and months of waiting, it seems that Fixcraft is finally ready to drop it on us!

Stay up late, wake up early; whatever it takes to not miss out on this deal!

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Culture, Editorial

The Original Bike Polo Experience

June 5, 2013

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There has been some outrage over on League of Bike Polo about a company out of England offering a hardcourt “bike polo experience”. Kirrawee Events, ran by people who have never played bike polo, offers a single person bike polo experience for £75, a group bike polo event (up to 5 people) for £330, and a full bike polo event with training, a tournament, and “entertainment” for £1,200. For all of those people that try the bike polo experience and fall in love with the sport, Kirrawee sells Magic Bike Polo balls and mallets, as well as a “Black and Orange fixie bike”, so they can continue playing.

While Kirrawee Events may operator the website www.bikepolo.co.uk, London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association says that they have no affiliation with the company, and are in fact worried about how this company could ruin their reputation with the city of London if something goes awry at a bike polo experience. In a conversation with the guys over at Throw In Polo Co., Kirrawee Events admitted to lying to their insurance company about bike polo to, presumably, get cheaper coverage.

Kirrawee Events is turning out to be another MalletHeadz; a company trying to profit off of a sport that they know nothing about. What may be a surprise to you is that Kirrawee Events is not the first company to offer a “bike polo experience”. Thanks to Eric Crandall (Portland United fame), I was informed about the original bike polo experience.

Eric’s parents (Gary and Sarah) have organized the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival in Cable, Wisconsin since it start in 1982. In 1989, Sarah approached a company called Know Fun Club, Inc. about bringing Official Bicycle Polo to the festival for a demonstration. While the company was unable to attend the festival due to Official Bicycle Polo Worlds in Mammoth, California, they did send the Crandall’s a packet of promotional material.

Eric was gracious enough to photograph all of the promotional material and send it to us to share with the Poloverse. You can find all of the images HERE!

I encourage you to read through it all, but I will highlight some of my favorite parts:

The Know Fun Club, Inc. did what Kirrawee Events is trying to do, but they did it right. KFC was ran by members of Official Bicycle Polo Federation as a way to help promote their sport and plant the seeds to help it grow. The OBPF started in 1987 and here it is, just over 25 years later and the organization is non-existent. With the help of organizations such as Bicycle Polo Association of America, grass polo still exists in America (and around the world) so the OBPF must have done something right while preforming demonstrations across North America. This begs the question, what, if anything, can we learn from Official Bicycle Polo Federation’s strategy to expand their sport?

The NAH is concerned with outreach; each region has a representative in charge of outreach and Malakai Edison heads outreach for the NAH. With a group in charge that is concerned with outreach, these documents could really help hardcourt bike polo learn what to do and not to do, in order to help the sport grow.

For $380, the Know Fun Club, Inc. offered a “League Promo Packages” which included: 20 birch mallets, 8 practice balls, 8 tournament balls, 4 rulebooks with 16 summary sheets, 4 officials’ manuals, and 4 team memberships in the World Bicycle Polo Federation. For an additional charge, you can even order goal markers, a timer, numbered jerseys, and helmet covers. If NAH (or the European/Australian/South American equivalent) were to work with hardcourt bike polo companies, they could sell “Club Starter Packages”. This would help the sport grow by allowing a new clubs to form quickly and skip searching thrift stores for starter ski poles, while at the same time help NAH make a little money to help throw qualifiers or pay refs, any of the things we have been complaining about for years.

On the more local level, the regional representatives could work with bicycle festivals, such as the Know Fun Club, Inc. did, to organize demonstrations in their respective region. The regional representatives could then invite clubs to the event to help run clinics and play a small tournament for the audience. While it may be harder for our hardcourt version to find an adequate playing surface at such festivals, it is still worth thinking about.

With the information about Kirrawee Events reaching the hardcourt bike polo community, people are quickly being turned off by the idea of a bike polo experience. While Kirrawee Events is attempting to profit off of a sport they know nothing about, under the right guise, offering a bike polo experience could help the growth of hardcourt bike polo. If we take notes from the originators of the bike polo experience, the Know Fun Club, Inc., we can push hardcourt bike polo outreach in the right direction.

Editorial, Tournaments

Mean, Median, Mode… POLO!

June 4, 2013

046820cecb0e11e2873722000a1fcfc8_7Photo courtesy of the new League of Bike Polo Instagram.

From Podium to live streaming,  governing bodies to official rule sets, team Facebook pages to sponsored teams; there is nothing more exciting than to see the steps taken to make hardcourt bike polo a more official sport. This past weekend at the Bench Minor 4 tournament, Los Angeles Bike Polo helped the sport climb another rung on the ladder of legitimacy. Going above and beyond their general tournament hosting duties, LA Bike Polo decided to keep a heavy amount of statistics during each game.

For all 15 of the round robin games, Chris and Olsen, of LA Bike Polo, kept track of every goal, shot attempt, assist, turnover (giving the ball away), steal (forcing the ball off a player), save/block, and dab by each player. They used these statistics to hand out awards such as MVP (most goals scored), Golden Mallet (most saves/blocks), and Most Efficient Scorer in a Single Game (goals made per shots taken). This leads the sport down a road of awards for actual achievement and not just crowd pleasing, which has been one thing that has always bothered me about bike polo tournaments.

Check out all of the statistics yourself, on this well organized spreadsheet HERE!  

One statistic that I wold like to have seen is time on the court. Podium’s Bench Format function, when used correctly, automatically keeps tracks of this statistic. Once time on the court is calculated for each player, their plus/minus can factored in to see how well a player truly did. For example, a player that was +10 while on the court for only 15 minutes of a 60 minute game is statistically different than a player who was +10 while being on the court 45 minutes. The more accurate the statistics, the more legitimate this silly sport we all love becomes.

Hopefully the Euro Bench organizers will follow LA Bike Polo’s statistical path but diverge where LA decided to not us Podium, so we can all see the most statistically accurate tournament to date.

Tournaments

Qualifier News: UK Euro Qualifier

June 3, 2013

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This past weekend, Cambridge bike polo club hosted the 2013 U.K. Championships/Euro Qualifier. With only six spots allotted in Krakow for U.K. teams, the 29 teams that played had to constantly be on the top of their game in order to clinch a spot. Fighting the hardest this weekend and taking the championship was London’s Spring Break (Jon, Adam, Ryan).

Winning all five swiss rounds on Saturday with only 2 goals allowed, Spring Break sat in 1st place going into the double elimination tournament. They didn’t meet their first loss until the tournament final, where they played the 2nd place seeded team, Depth Charge (Cameron, Alastair, Ed LDN). Coming back from the losers bracket, it was a huge deed for Depth Charge to force the tournament final rematch.

Spring Break, feeling the pressure of one loss, fought hard in that final rematch and took Depth Charge in a 6-3 victory.

We offer congratulations to Spring Break, Depth Charge, and the other four teams that will be heading to the Euro Championships:

  • 3rd Gettin Wild (josh, Lee, Hayden CBG)
  • 4th 50 Shades Of Daverage (Jamie, Chris ESH, Dave LDN)
  • 5th Vikings (Jacob ?, Andy, John LDN)
  • 5th Tres Locos (Ben, Antonio, Sebastian LDN)

Good Luck!

Culture, Product

Help Produce Better MILK

May 31, 2013

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MILK Bike Polo is looking for help from the Poloverse!

The company has a survey floating around the internet, in which they ask players which characteristics they prefer in their mallets. They plan to use the final data to help design future MILK products.

Please take 5 minutes and help one of the companies who are doing something right for our sport.

You can find MILK’s survey HERE!

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