Ya bunch of babies wanting to have a choice when you are being penalized.

A. Tough shit, just go ring the bell and get back in.

B. One bell is the best way to keep track of dabbers tapping in.

C. You’re telling me a player has to tap the far side bell even if they dab near the closer bell, YEAH RIGHT, how are you going to regulate that.

D. More than one bell just decreases the time that a dabber is out of the play, and I tried damn hard to get them to dab. Well hold on, maybe you all are onto something here. The faster you tap in, the faster I can check you onto your ass again. If that’s the way you want it….

E. But, when all else fails. Keep it simple.

So yeah, One tap in point is all that’s needed, any more is just being soft.

Foot to Ball Rule

Can a player use their foot to play the ball?

This is not a question we should be discussing this late in the game. I know different places play by different rules and in other sports there are rules that some might want to adopt into bike polo. Say we talk about hockey, well from what I know about hockey they are not talking about the foot really, more like the skate. And in hockey the skate is on the ice and the ice is the surface the puck is on, so puck to skate is going to happen. But in bike polo we are talking about the foot and the foot belongs on the pedal and on the pedal is where it should stay. In bike polo we have a little thing called foot down, you’ve all heard of it I’m sure. Now I know in a few instances when I have about lost balance, my foot has lifted off my pedal and floated around as I’m trying to regain a control of my bike then I set it back on the pedal, not a foot down. But never have I taken my foot off the pedal to play, stop, or move the ball then put it back on the pedal. At least not any times that I was making a legal play that I didn’t get booed for and have to tap out afterwards.

At CMWC there was a play in a game that I was involved in where a player on the other team played the ball with their foot and did not treat that as if it was a footdown. I was a bit upset that I had essentially got the ball out of control of the other player and then he put his foot down low enough to stop the ball, that’s when I called foul.

Weeks, maybe months ahead of time the basic rules for the tournament were posted on the CMWC web site and even thought it’s not actually referred to as “rules” in Canada, up there they call it “etiquette”. Maybe that’s a French word,? I don’t know, anyway here is what it says.

2. DABBING: To “DAB” is to have one’s foot touch the ground while in play. A “DABBER” must tap out at one of the two points placed at opposite sides of the court. To play the ball with one’s foot is also considered DABBING.

“To play the ball with one’s foot is also considered DABBING” For those of you confused, “dabbing” is Canadian for footdown. And street beggars don’t ask for a dollar, they ask for “a looney” but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Anyway to finish my point, the rule does not go into details about what is and what isn’t cool. Just one simple foot to ball = footdown. Now I know that just before the tournament games began there was a brief explanation of the rules. If there was some new adjustment to this rule given at that time I guess between all the other talking and more pressing rules, like ball joint and behind the goal issues, maybe I missed it. But that still doesn’t change the fact that playing the ball with your foot is cheap, and if in a poll of all dedicated hardcourt bike polo players, I feel confidant that the majority would agree with me that it should not be allowed.

Also, what the F is up with two the tap out points? This is the stupidest thing in bike polo. Even the guys in Los Marcostan play with one tap out point and those guys are D-U-M-B. Seriously, if you’re going to put a tap out on the right side and the left side of the court at least make it interesting and have people that footdown with their left foot go to the left side to tap out and vise versa.

And just to end this I want to point out that the other player in the game described is a friend and damn good polo player, the situation basicly only came up because we were used to playing by our home court rules.

May your wheels roll true to and from the courts. See you Sunday.

Question, What Should be a Penalty?

What should be a penalty? (as suggested by Alexis)

So, I guess the question is….
If in this lovely game of bike polo, players were to find themselves playing with little or no regard for our slim set of rules and/or the few accepted codes of etiquette, what is it that shall be done?

I’m seeing two parts to this question. The first part is what should be a penalty?, and the second part is, what should be done?

The rules outlining the tap back in penalty are pretty clearly defined, but in what case(s) should more be required? And if more is required, what should the more be?

If you’d like to leave a comment please note the city where you play. Thanks.

"The Angelo" aka The Ball Joint Question?

“The Angelo” aka The Ball Joint Question? (as suggested by Ben Schultz)

Mad Bike Polo already has a post about “Rules Conference 2008” so maybe check out the thoughts over there too.

I was reluctant to do a post on this because it’s just asking for more rules.
The play is not a golden ticket to scoring. It is good for passing but it is harder to gain possession than say, giving the ball a tap or light hit. It will send the ball into the goal off the end of the mallet, yes. But to carry the ball around is easy, IF you can get to it with no pressure AND as long as no one is able to even SLIGHTLY touch that players mallet. The ball is lost easily. And on rough surfaces it may be lost at a slight bump or crack on the court.
Lots of things can be said, and I’m sure they will, but two points I want to make are:
1. It is not a shuffle. (as some have referred to it as “The Angelo shuffle“)
2. Save your ski poles. Don’t go putting on over sized heads, as in a head big enough for the ball to fit inside the mallet and let the player be able to “scoop” up the ball and carry it around. That is not the same as putting down pressure on the ball and moving it along the playing surface.

To spell it out. Mallets will be broken.

On second thought I do have a few things to say. I first saw this move done by the person it’s named after. Ask him and he calls it simply “The Ball Joint”. When I first witnessed it I was take by how one could carry the ball left or right without looking at it and the release seemed pretty accurate. I will say that I can’t remember any goals being scored in that manner at that time.
Since I only get the pleasure of playing against the Ottawa crew every so often I really wanted to have a trick up my sleeve for them when we met in DC at the 3rd ESPI. In the weeks before I spent some time (using my regular mallet) practicing what I started to call “The Angelo” so if, when in a game against Ottawa, he were to pull out the move, I could counter with the same. But I’m a jackass and couldn’t keep it to myself and about 23 teams worth of players got a first hand look at something that should probably NOT be in the game of polo as a way to score.
I kind of feel like it’s my fault. Also, for the most part, I’ve stopped taking shots on goal in this manner but still use it for passing, sometimes.

EDIT: After reading what Brian of Ottawa wrote, I fully agree. It’s OK for passing but not for shooting. (in a nut shell)

Lief ball joint in The Pit, NYC

Lief ball joint in The Pit, NYC

Roughness Question?

How Much Roughness/Toughness/Physicality/Contact is too Much?

I have said things in the past about this, so for now I’ll just sit back and let the comments roll in.
Tell a story, be specific. State your personal experiences, or things you have witnessed. Make things up that might or might not ever happen in a real game of bike polo. Tell us where you play, how long you have played, the different ways you like to play. Go hog wild. Elbows, mallets, head butting, kicking, punching, bleeding, T-boning, bronco moves with the rear wheel, stopping to cause a crash, end-o’s, high sticking, and last but not least open-court checking.

(before we get too hot in here, the F word, and others, will block a comment from posting. Be nice. This is “off court” remember)

bike polo corey dumptruck
3 2 1 POLO!

"Footdown" Question?

After you footdown, what are you allowed and not allowed to do?

Sometimes going as fast as you can to tap in is the smartest thing to do. Sometimes you can’t do that, like if you are surrounded by players. What if your chain fell off? What if the ball is under your wheel and you aren’t even close to your bike? What if you don’t have your mallet in hand? What if your mallet is broken, or not even in the court at all? What if you are facing the wrong way and need to turn around to go tap in?

The general rule is basiclly that when you foot down you can’t “play the ball” till you tap in. I, like others, don’t want to see a book of rules. But the “own goal” question was positive so far and got a little bit off topic, so here you go.

I’ll start by saying that when a player footdowns that player may NOT play the ball until they tap in. Simple. And that is a hefty penalty, but in no way does that player not exist on the court. They are in fact still on a team, they just have no chance of scoring (until they tap in). That is the penalty.

Also say if I were to drop my mallet, am I required to pick it up immediately? No, I can play however I like with or without a mallet. Just as if I were to footdown, am I “required” to be invisible and be forced to do something? No, the only penalty is what I can not do, and that’s hit the ball. After all, let’s keep this simple.

If you’d like to leave a comment please note the city where you play.

Edit: This is just to see what people have to say, and not intended to make any new rules.

"Own goal" Question?

When does an “own goal” count and when does a deflection not count?

Recently a situation occurred in a game that made me want to know the answer to this question. The situation was like this. My teammate was positioned in front our goal, he was parallel to the goal line and less than a foot in front. A player on the opposite team made a hit and shot for our goal. The shot went wide (missed) and then bounced off the back wall and rolled “backward” through our goal line and then immediately bounced off my teammates wheel and through the goal. This was quickly questioned and with little time to debate, was counted as a goal. It’s my opinion that players waiting to play are totally biased and will say “yeah, that counts” to anything so they can play sooner. Another thing I have expressed is that each city should hold tournaments with whatever format they chose, but the rules should be uniform for everywhere. Take this as example, the Midwest has a format of games to 3 points and the best of 3 untimed games wins, the East Coast normally plays timed games to 5 points with one game deciding a winner. And I think the SF NACCC was something like games to 3 points but after 5 minutes the game was over. If tied the game went into sudden death. This is a big part of the fun in going to play in tournaments, but it isn’t fun to get shafted by a local rule you don’t play by. I remember at the North Side Polo Invite last year when Phillys Christ Punchers were up against Ottawa’s A-Team and playing by Ottawa’s rules. These two teams, two of the best, up against each other was intense! But in the middle of the game Mark C. of Philly recovered the ball near his own goal and with little pressure on him he was carrying the ball around to the corner as he was about to turn and bring it up. BUT, he shuffled the ball through his goal before he got to the corner to bring it up. The refs called it a goal and the Philly team just looked at each other making it clear that they don’t play by that rule. My point isn’t really about the call, but that it sucked for everybody that such an awesome game had this awful deflation of energy over a technicality.

Back to the original question. Here in New York the general rules about passing “backwards” through the goal are that if you do so you can’t be the first to play the ball, AND the first one to play the ball can not score, there has to be a pass before another shot. The general rule for the wall bounce “backwards” is “If a ball is shot from in front of the goal line and does not go through the goal but bounces off the back wall and comes out through the goal, the ball is in play and can be scored“. It is my opinion is that the ball does not need to be passed but DOES need to be hit. I don’t think a deflection should count as a goal. I can think of a few situations where if it did count, as it did recently, I could use the rule to my advantage, but to just go around scoring crappy goals isn’t fun.

If you’d like to leave a comment please note the city where you play.