Archive for April, 2008

Rush Rink Reconnaissance

Just two weeks till the East Side Polo Invite 3 in the Dead City. One of my teammates and I, with two other dedicated NYC players took the chinatown bus to DC and scoped out the Rush Rink. Tink, of NPR fame was waiting for us at the bus dropoff, and lead us to the court, or courts rather. The main court (Rush Rink) that will be used in tournament play is better than most other polo courts, and it has lights! They say it measures 100′ by 75′ and that sounds right, it’s big but not too big and wide enough to pass across the court and not feel cramped. The boards play well, have rounded corners and are 2 feet tall in all but one corner where they are 4 feet tall. On three of the sides there is an 8 foot chain link fence standing just a few inches back from the boards. The court has a slight slope to one corner. And the playing surface is smooth with few cracks and the ball rolls well, not a bouncy court at all. The goals are about 8 inches wider than the NYC goals, not much of a difference. But the goals are a lot closer to the back wall, less than 3 feet off the back boards. If you have never seen or played on the Rush Rink, you will like it. I did.

Now the other court, which will remain nameless, is not far. We rode over to it but could have just as easily walked. It is yet to be determined what roll this other court will have in the tournament. So I will only say what I said when a saw it, “It’s so awful it’s awesome”, and “I don’t hate it enough to not like it”. Come to DC for the ESPI and you’ll see what I mean.

DC, thank you. I’ll be seeing you in a couple weeks!

I have photos, they will be up soon.

South Jersey Bike Polo

Who loves bike polo?

South jersey bike polo flyer

The mouse the deer and the warthog of course.

For more info South Jersey on Myspace

Balls

I went to Paragon Sports to check out the different types of street hockey balls that Franklin makes.
This is what I found.

Hot Weather (above)
This is by far the best street hockey ball made by Franklin. I’d say for use in any temp over 45°F. Red pink in color. Cost $2.99

Warm Weather (above)
When the hot weather is too hard in the cold. And by too hard, I mean cracks from hard hits, this orange “warm weather” is the next best choice.
Cost $3.99

Cold Weather (above)
This ball is much too soft to use unless it is really, really cold. And then it’s still soft. Yellow in color.
Cost $3.99

AGS Hot Weather (above)
This is how Paragon sports online store describes this ball.

Superior performance in a no bounce, tournament-grade street hockey ball. Liquid-filled AGS? Anti Gravity System keeps the ball from bouncing. Designed for use in HOT WEATHER temperatures above 70 degrees F/21 degrees C.

I say this ball sucks for bike polo. It is heavy and dies against whatever it hits. Never buy this ball for bike polo. Cost, not worth it.

With that, I’d like to say one more time that the first ball listed here is the best ball, by any maker, for bike polo.

"Official" Question?

Does it need to be “Official”?

With so many tournaments going on this year, and I’m guessing next year will be even more crowded with events, one begins to think which is the BIG, big one. You have need for an international tournament, and a national tournament. Right now CMWC and NACCC are basicly messenger race events with polo tournaments included.
The West side, East side, North side, and Mid-West all have reginal tournaments. Most of the time it’s a polo event that sometimes includes a race. As the community of devoted polo players gets more and more in touch with other regions, and reputations are developed around the best players in each region, one begins to think which is the BEST, best team. I am guessing more than a few teams want the title, but beyond the regionals there is no “Official” title. Should there be one and what should it be?

I’ll repost some comments on the subject,

From Angelo in Ottawa:

CMWC Toronto. Is this really a world polo “championship” or a CMWC polo tourney? This the CMWC and that’s the main event. It’s a messenger event. I think that if this is a “World Polo Championship” it shouldn’t be piggy backed on the CMWC. It should be it’s own event. Polo isn’t just a messenger sport.
And don’t get me wrong i want this to go down. I want to play polo in TO. But what title is really on the line here.

From Brian in Ottawa:

Yes you are correct it is the CMWC polo tourney. The race is the main event. However there are 8 countries registered so far so it is truly an international polo event. Who ever wins this one will pretty much be able to lay claim to being the best at least untill the polo community holds an “official championship”. The CMWC organizers jumped the gun originally and billed this as the world polo championship. What can you do?
Also to clarify the messenger status an ex messenger is the same thing as a messenger.
Hope that helps. I will be posting a list of all the registered polo players in the next few days.
The early registration deadline has been extended till April 20th so get on it.
For those that have already registered I will email updates directly
Regards,
Brian

From Lucky in Chicago:

I’m calling the North American Polo Championships (going on concurrent to the NACCC race Labor Day weekend in Chicgao) an “Official Championship”. There are no restrictions on entry. Chicago is a centrally located city what’s cheap to fly to. Look to chicagonaccc.com and chicagobikepolo.com for registration info in the next coupla weeks.

Can I get a second?

From Kat in Boston:

in boston we’ve been talking about getting some sort of national tournament together for next year – unofficially dubbed the battle of the year. this is the proposal: any city can register a qualifying local tournament. they can make their event as big or small as they like, throw an alleycat or other events in conjunction, whatever. each city will use the event to not only determine which team will represent them, but also to raise funds to send that team to the national finals – each city sending only one team for the battle. there could be a second bracket for additional teams that didn’t qualify for the main battle bracket. what do you guys think – anyone want to help get this organized for 2009? boston’s putting in a bid for 2009 naccc’s – perhaps it would work in conjunction.

I think what some are getting at is some Lord of the Mallets type sh*t, “One tourny to rule them all”.

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

Dayton Polo Invite

Repost from myspace:

Dayton Polo Invite!

Sunday April 13th at 12:30pm. The Midwest is invading Dayton Ohio for bicycle mayhem. If you ride a bike and live within a 100 mile radius, you have no excuse to miss it.

My excuse for missing it is I live over 100 miles away, and the 5 day notice. But I hear Chicago, Lexington, Cincinnati, and Columbus will be there. The court in Dayton is awesome.

April 6th, 2008

A lot of really good games today.
Weather called for rain but it was dry all day.
Kansas brought the boom box.
Brian’s last day in NY for a while. Coach is going back to 5 feet of snow.
Paul snapped his bars and a few games later snapped a crank arm. I think last week he ripped out a chain ring. Paul strong.
I realized that about 90% of the players in NYC are on fixed gear bikes.
The worst part of my day was when the freewheel in my cranks froze up and kicked my legs as I was ripping up court to hit the ball. I pretty much got tossed right onto my knee.
Everything else was great.
Thanks Johnny, for doctoring up my knee.
Thanks to Wang and everybody else who let me document your equipment.
And who cares about polo when puppies are around?
bike polo hardcourt hard court<br />
bicycle doug d<br />
DSC06922

hardcourtbikepolo

hardcourtbikepolo

bike polo hardcourt hard court<br />
bicycle doug d<br />
hardcourtbikepolo

hardcourtbikepolo

All Photos © Doug D 2008

When I see what you see I want to punch myself in the face

Update: All fixed, Thank you Luke.

The worst thing about having a site is the fact that I don’t know anything about web stuff. I can upload photos and make clickable links and add new categories. But after that I’m useless. Asking friends questions gets one of two results, either some jibber jabber that’s way over my head and does me no good or I get really cringe-like body gestures and mumbled groans as a response.
I want to just pay someone but when I hear $1000 and $1200 estimates, I’m the one who cringes. I can afford something but it’s not like I’m making any money with this. I just really like bike polo, as a hobby.
I know how the side bar is all jacked up, and how when you open a post with photos it smashes the images and makes them a third less wide but still the same height. I know that this is the most boring looking thing on the web, but I still try to work with it. I tell myself that I have ate some damn good meals off of paper plates and I can just keep working on the content. I’m not going to die because my site looks like 83′camero with a primered door and missing hub caps. But I’d be a lot happier with it if it was on point.
One day my dreams of a interesting looking and functionally sound website will come true. Till then, this is a Thank You and  I’m sorry.

Doug D

I Bike MCR Bicycle Polo Tournament

I Bike MCR Festival
Bicycle Polo Tournament
April 20th, 2008
Manchester, Lancashire UK

I don’t know much about this one but here is what London Bike Polo has to say about it.

Coming up, after the success of the championship we held in London as part of the Bicycle Film Festival last year, the Manchester lot are trying their hand at putting on a tournament.

The date for the actual tournament is April 20th. They’ve invited teams from Kent and Oxford and there should be a few teams from Manchester. So it leaves London to get some people together to go up. If you are interested in registering a team you can drop them an email at info@ibikemcr.org.uk.

The event is part of a month long festival in celebration of the bicycle in Manchester, there are loads of events happening throughout April, check their website for more info http://www.ibikemcr.org.uk/timetable.htm.

Results: Winners: “The Internationals

"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.

4th Biannual Midwest Bike Polo Champeenships

Midwest bike polo championships flier 2008

4th Biannual Midwest Bike Polo Champeenships
Hardcourt Bike Polo Tournament
May 3rd, 2008
Madison, Wisconsin
At the Thunderdome

This will be small ball.
For more info Madbikepolo.org

Tonight I looked at the cost of a flight, about $375 round trip and direct from NYC. I know a handful of players that will be at this and I would really love to play in The Thunderdome. But I feel like I’d be going solo and finding a team might be difficult. I’m undecided. One thing I’m not sure about is, this being the 4th, does that mean the fourth year or the fourth tourny counting two per year?

Results:

Winners : “Mercenaries” Ben, Joe, Doug (Chicago/NYC)
2nd : “The Militia” Jonny, Ben, Kevin (Madison)
3rd : “Hero Squad 2” Jake, Joe, Crandall/Cody (MKE)

10 teams with players from CHI, NYC, MAD, MKE, STL, and Columbia, MO

Groups were single 12 min games to 5 pts. Bracket was single un-timed games to 5 pts. Final was best of three untimed games to 3 points. After winning one game each, CHI/NYC beat MAD 3-2 in the third game.