10 Minutes Vs. 5 Points
In bike polo there are two general forms of play, pick-up and tournament games. In pick-up the teams and the players on the teams change at the end of every game, the people waiting to play get a turn and some of those who just played wait to play again. The games are not exceptionally important, everyone waiting to play will get more games in, there are no prizes, there is no scoreboard (other than calling out the score). And there is no set allotted time, at least not if the game ends before the crowd gets too impatient. In pick-up, games are played first to 5 points wins.
In bike polo tournaments the games are played first to 5 points wins. I think this has carried over from the majority of games being played as pick-up and never really making the move to a more legitimate time structure. But if one were to think about this in relation to nearly all other sports, our method seems out of the ordinary. Lets take polo for example. In polo the matches are played in chukkas and the score has no impact on the length of the game. Same goes for traditional grass bike polo, soccer, hockey, basketball, football and the list goes on. Even in roller derby, a sport that hardcourt bike polo has a lot to learn from, they compete for two 30 min periods.
The other day Adam put forth the format he purposed to be used at this years East Side Polo Invite 5 in NYC. A noteworthy change is that all games will end at time (that will vary depending on the round) and the widely accepted “first-to-five wins” rule is being abandoned. I think this is a good thing. It’s an absolutely necessary change that will, eventually, have to come into effect.
I’m going to end this short but there are many points to make. And I hope Adam does not mind that I post this quote from a club email.
“first-to-five is going the way of the circle-out. you heard it here first.” Adam Menace