Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Throw-In, Throw Down Results

The downside of hosting a bicycle polo tournament is that instead of focusing on playing, or in my case playing at all, one has to focus their energy on doing stuff.  Like making sure Vive doesn't drink all the beer.  Or making sure Sam has first aid for his boo boo.  Or telling people to stop acting like monkeys with mallets.   


Or making hats for the MVPs.  

Now sure, this hat-making nonsense happened the day before the tourney.  But I bring it up, in the context of potential burdens for  a tourney organizer, mostly because it's the only bit of the whole ordeal I managed to photograph.  



 

This was the fabric, in a lump sum, that I picked up in op-shops early Monday morning.   Old shirts, suits and dresses mostly. 




This is Scott and Caff, my fearless colleagues in bike hat-manufacturing.  You can see how the dynamic of this team goes... 

 
Things did become a bit sweat-shoppy, as evidenced by this photograph of Scott feverishly at work.  We labored the whole day through, 11 til 11.  
 
Again, hard at work.  This was our prototype, produced early in the day.  I think it brings out my eyes.    

In the end, I brought the hats from Scott's house back to my place to finish the work.  My roommate Emily had a bit of expertise for finishing the hats and by 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning, they were ready for action. 

 
Though I completely failed at taking shots of the tournament itself, I did manage to snap a quick photo of the players warming up on the court.   Damon and a few others have some photos so stay tuned for the latest.  I'll post them here as they become available.  



Below are the tournament highlights along with a list of the rules (Adapted from our North American friends) which guided the tournament's structure.  



Thanks to everyone who came out and played, barbecued, and shared a laugh! 



These are the teams from yesterday’s tournament:
Team 1:
Scott, Melbourne, Captain
Leigh, Melbourne
Sam, Melbourne (Voted MVP)
Benny, Brisbane by way of Melbourne
Liam, Seaford OZ
Daryl, Seaford OZ
Bart, Melbourne
Simon, Seaford OZ


Team 2:
Damon, Melbourne, Captain
Niki, Belgium
Kez, Melbourne
Vive, Melbourne (Voted MVP)
Dan, U.K. by way of Melbourne
James, Seaford OZ
Caff, Melbourne
Thorin, Melbourne


Team 3:
Rob B., Melbourne, Captain
AJ, Melbourne
Rae, Melbourne (Voted MVP)
Tom, Belgium
Chris, Belgium
Maija, Toronto
Wade, Seaford
Will, Brisbane by way of Melbourne

The Day’s Highlights

The first game pitted team 1 against team 2 in a sixty minute bout of pure polo fury. After a fairly even first period, ending with team 2 leading by only two goals, team 2 quickly widened the gap and never looked back. At the end of game one, team 2 was victorious, winning 24 to 13. I would credit team 2’s victory to effective team play; namely, fluid substitutions and the ability to identify which players from their team were well suited to play specific players from team 1.

Game two saw the losing party from game one (team 1) taking on team 3. Again, the game stayed fairly close throughout the first period and a half, but then a lack of morale appeared to hinder team 1’s efforts. Having played polo for almost two straight hours, team 1 was undoubtedlyfatigued. But again, great team combinations from team 3’s bench led them to a 23 to 15 victory over team 1.

The final game saw team 2 and team 3, both victorious over team 1, squaring off in a very close, very exciting 60 minute polo match. The team play was quite good for both sides, and neither had a lead for very long at any point in the game. Defense was especially good, with heart-breaker shots being deflected or blocked at the last minute. The final minutes of the last (third) period were ferocious, with both teams putting forth their best efforts. Fast and carefully close physical play defined the closing minutes of the final match. With Team 2 behind by one goal in the final seconds of the game, a scuffle on Team 3’s end of the court led to a number of dabs and eventually a goal from Team 2. In the final seconds of the final match, Team 2 tied the game: 14 to 14. After a 5 minute break, the sudden death overtime match began: two on two, first goal wins.
Team 3 won the sudden death joust and immediately attacked. A fast and hard shot from team 3 was quickly deflected by team 2’s captain, Damon. After a bit of mid-court scuffling, team 2 took a shot and scored. Within 2 minutes of the start of sudden death, team 2 emerged victorious over team 3: 15 to 14.

Below you’ll find an adapted version of the rules for a Bench Tournament, adapted from the North American fellows preparing for a bench tourney in New York City.  

If you have any photos from the day, please post a link in the comments section.

Rules and Regs


Teams
Teams will consist of between 6 and 8 players. Teams can switch players in and out on the fly as long as there are only 3 active on the court at any time.


Game format
There will be three periods of 20 minutes per game. There will be a 2 min break in between periods, during which time each team will change to defend the opposite goal. The clock will stop only when the referee calls a penalty and after goals are scored.

A tie will result in a game restart with standard
“joust,” but teams play 2 on 2 in sudden death. Whichever team scores first gets 2 points, losers get 1 point.


Mallets
Mallets and bikes must not have dangerous protrusions (bolts sticking out, jagged edges, etc), and must be capped on the handle/handlebars.


Helmets
Helmets are required. There’s also plenty of other safety equipment out there. So don’t complain about your little fingers getting booboos when you could be wearing
gloves.


Goals
Shots must come off the business end of the mallet, unless a defensive player shuffles (or deflects off their mallet) into their own goal. They can deflect off any number of wheels, bikes or walls. Shots that deflect off a teammate’s body are considered shuffles.

Shuffles do not count unless you are shuffling into your own net. That is an own-goal, and for this tournament you’ll have at least 5 other people pissed at you for doing this, instead of the standard 2.
After a goal is scored, both teams will have a chance to switch players. The referee will whistle to begin play.

Half court will be given to scored-on team: play starts when ball or scored-on player crosses half court.

If goal gets accidentally moved a referee will fix it. Play does not stop.

Rules and Penalties
The following section is set up to first present the rule, immediately followed by the penalty (along with a description of the penalty where necessary).


Rule: Footdown
Do not put your stupid foot on the ground. Also, touching the ball or your mallet with your foot while it’s not on your pedal is considered a footdown.

Penalty: Tapout
Hit your mallet on the cone at either midcourt location. If you miss it, you need to circle back and hit it right, or you will still be out. If you go back to bench instead of tapping out, you will not be required to tap in when re-entering game.


Rule: Delay of game
Remaining active after a foot down results in a delay of game penalty. Having too many active players on the court is also a delay of game.

Penalty: Ball turnover
For delay of game penalties, the ball is given to the non-offending team exactly the way possession is granted after a goal is scored. Both teams are allowed to switch players during this time. After the referee blows the whistle to signal
start of play, the penalized team will wait until the other team either crosses mid-court with a player or the ball.


Important: some penalties will result in either a one or two minute Power Play. A Power Play requires the offending team to play with only two players for either one or two minutes while the offended team can continue playing with three players. If the offending team within the current power play incurs a second penalty resulting in a second power play, the offending team will be required to play with only one player throughout the duration of the initial offense.
 

Power Play Penalties
The One Minute Power Play
This is for when players are intentionally breaking rules (slashing, roughing, interference) or accidentally being reckless (most hooking and high sticking). When the referee sees one of these rules broken and the offending team has possession of the ball, (s)he will whistle to stop play and call it immediately. Play will stop while that player exits to the bench (the penalized player cannot play for the entire minute, while the rest of the team can switch out players as necessary as long as they only have two players on the court). If the innocent team has the ball when the penalty occurs, the ref will raise his arm for a delayed call. He will wait until the rule-breaking team gets possession to blow the whistle and make the call (this is called a delayed penalty, it’s so the innocent team doesn’t have to slow their roll.


The only time the call will be waived off is if the innocent team has the ball while being say, slashed or roughed or whatever, and ends up scoring before the other team possesses the ball. After the call is made, the teams will be playing 3 on 2 for that whole minute unless the innocent team scores during the power play, at which time the rule-breaking team can go back to using 3 players (including the original rule-breaker).

Typically, a warning will precede a power play penalty call. Warnings will be issued only once.

Rule: Hooking or holding
This includes hooking an opponents bike or person with your mallet, or holding something you shouldn’t with your hand (handlebar, elbow, mallet etc.). “Chicken winging,”
or holding someone back with your elbow is a penalty. Hooking the crook of an opponents’ elbow with your own elbow while they are holding the handlebars may cause your opponent to crash. This will earn you a one-minute penalty.

Penalty: One Minute Power Play

Rule: Roughing
Hitting someone in the back, hitting someone above the shoulders, or punching or kicking someone pretty much anywhere is considered roughing. T-boning and just riding right into someone regardless of whether they have the ball is roughing. You big goon.

Penalty: One minute Power Play

Rule: Slashing
Please don’t hit anyone anywhere at anytime with your mallet. If it bumps into their legs or bike it’s fine, but if you take a swipe at the ball and it ends up on someone’s spokes or fingers, it will be called. Chopping mallets is allowed, however if you accidentally hit someone’s finger or bicycle a penalty will be called. You can defensively hook an opponent’s mallet, lift it, or hold their mallet down with your own mallet.

Penalty: One minute power play

Rule: Unsportsmanlike conduct
Throwing your mallet (or dropping it in a conveniently bad place), being an asshole to the referee, etc…
Penalty: One minute Power Play


Note: “The Two Minute Power Play Penalty” is saved for slashing that draws blood, roughing that causes substantial injury, or malleting that causes a lot of bike damage. Pretty much any call can be extended to 2 minutess if considered severe enough.

This is reserved for slashing or roughing calls that draw blood or otherwise serious injuries (up to the refs discretion- if you get little cuts on your leg or hand from random shit and you’re not wearing appropriate gloves or padding, you will be mocked for being a big baby). This will be served just like the one min penalty, but that player will have to be out for 2 minutes.

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