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What were the rules for the Toronto Tourney

Did the different cities come together and discuss the rules or did the organizers have a set of rules ready when you guys got there?
What rules ended up being used for the torney?
Was the ball joint allowed?  I've also read where some areas allow blocking with your foot... was that allowed?

ball joint allowed for pass not shot
no cross check (head to head)
goal height was the top tube, but i think a real vote would have established a higher goal
not tbone.
foot to ball contact was allowed, but no added momentum.
tap out on either side of the court on center line.
was there anything  else?

I heard own-goals counted against you. Is that right?
I like the idea of this, but without a real goal, the practice of it sucks a little.
Example, if the ball comes through the back of your net and you put it back through.
But if somebody is attacking and you decide to shuffle the ball through your goal, your a dick and it should count against you. I think there should be some sort of incidence ruling on this. If you were putting it through strategically to keep your opponent from scoring, it should count. If the ball randomly rolls through or you have the ball completely alone and go through your goal, it shouldn't count against you.
I do not like the touch the ball with your foot rule. I mean, we aren't allowed to put our feet on the ground, why should we pruposely put our foot an inch fromt he ground to stop the ball? I mean, your mallet should already be there anyway.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

an inch from the ground and on the ground are two very different thigns.  the former is not a dab, the latter is a dab.

Oh, I know the difference between an inch away from something and touching something. I guess I used a bad example. What I'm trying to say is, kicking the ball is a dick move, use your mallet. Its going to bring about a lot of "I was only trying to slow it, not move it!" arguements. It will be worse than when you call somebody on a shuffle and they try to say it wasn't.
Without a ref, I think it would be too complicated.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

i think kicking should be illegal, for sure.  but i think blocking should be fine.  but i realize i'm in the minority here.

I'm not OPPOSED to using your foot to stop the ball. I'm opposed to the arguements that are going to come out of the intent of the block. Until there is a ref to say "no, he didn't kick it, its a goal" (hockey example), it will be a bit of a hassle.
Unfortunately, games get competitive and I think it would be argued.
As a response to this discussion though:If the ball is off the ground, can a player reach out, grab it, and drop it next to them (like hockey)? I vote for yes.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

ya me too.  which is exactly why i think blocking a shot with your foot should be allowed, too. it's the same principle. and i don't think we've ever had problems distinguishing between kicks and blocks with the feet.

Yeah, blocking with a foot just seems odd to the guys in our area.  The grey are between a block and kick just seems like it'd lead to disputes.


This is exactly what I was trying to say, only way more clear. I suck at words.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

um, i don't think that the foot rule was discussed.  this needs to be nailed down.  some cities (including madison) play the rule that any part of the body can touch the ball, so long as there's not forward momentum.
pieter also described t-boning as a pretty much any wheel-on-wheel contact.

i think foot to ball should be a no no

back when doug was running the NYC polo myspace page, he started a post about the different rules cities play by. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start the same thread here, since I presume this will be a much more accessible, more permanent hub for polo...


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

i think there is a rules bit pn the forum part of this.
just for the record i dont think people should be allowed to touch the ball with their faces.
anyways what are you going do if someone does touch the ball with their foot. also calling someone an asshole when they dont play the same way as you is sort of a dick move. and through the goal thing will forever be a problem untill we get rid of this godam shuffle rule.

I thinkt he shuffle rule is here to stay. And I suppose that you are right, calling somebody an asshole is a dick move. I am sorry Ben.
I have hit a ball into somebody's face before. It wasn't on purpose, but I still felt bad for doing it. Should he be DQ'd for using his face?
This forum is totally taking away from my productivity at work...

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

ben is kinda joking about the shuffle rule. kinda serious, but kinda joking.  same for the face thing.

ya no kidding about the procrastination potential here.

If the ball hits your foot seems different than sticking your foot out to stop the ball.


yea but with the way i ride my bike my foots all over the place, and most of the time its in a convenient place. so, um yea, i also am not getting anything done at work.
but thats fine, im still getting paid

hey everyone who was at the 3rd ESPI's remember when ben shultz hit that girl from NYC(sorry i cant rememebr her name, maybe i should consult doug's photo series) right in the face with a slap shot while she was on the ground after falling...that was a jerk move ;)
hey im not getting anthing done at work either and im still getting paid!
no dice nyc...MKE!

That was Meena. I wasn't there, but I heard the stories.
Hourly rates! They rule!
Your signature though...


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

salary...and benefits woooooo!
check out dougs wheel cover for my signature, and its nothing personal ken-just hijinxs
no dice nyc...MKE!


benefits. pfft. I have as many vacation days as I want.


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

How about PAID vacation days?

I got paid vacation days. i actually used 2 of them to go to toronto.
no dice nyc...MKE!

I saw the wink, but in case other's don't, for the record, the mallet began its descent to late to be recalled. Pure accident. Plus, Meena and I worked it out. She got a free shot on balls with her mallet and no complaining.

Foot to ball contact should not be allowed. Ball to foot is a different story.

This is clearly a regional variant, but I agree. My next new rule for a tournament is going to be "no intentional body to ball contact. You may only impede or progress the movement of the ball with  your bike or your mallet." If the ball flies up & hits you in the arm and you jerk your shoulder to knock it out of the way...sure, that's fine. But you can't reach off of your bike with any extremity to intentially contact the ball. That's just my new rule.


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

that is a pretty tough rule to enforce, sure in the game with nyc in the semi's i threw my foot down to block the ball, depending on how you interpret the rules that could be a foul, but what if i'm playing goalie and i have my foot off the pedal hanging below the bb. That can't be a foul because the ball is then shot at the bb hole the player didn't intentionally use his foot to touch the ball.

i think it's fine if it's an intentional block.  the question is if it's ok for the foot to leave the pedal to block.

Dangling your foot on the off chance that the ball might hit it it different than reaching out and kicking the ball, or dangling your foot while moving (basically a kick in my mind). Kicking would not be allowed. My 2¢

Ken here's a signature file for you: "does not apply at Los Marcos Mayhem"

I cant sit here and read all this but i read the first few and want to say playing the ball with your foot is straight BS momentum or not. BS. play the ball with you bike or mallet not your body. seriously, it's a cheap play for people who get out played going stick to stick.
that is all.
Doug D Brooklyn, New York hardcourtbikepolo.com

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

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.
as found on http://www.cmwc2008.com/bikepolo.html take that!
Doug D Brooklyn, New York hardcourtbikepolo.com

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

doug decent point on the tourny rules, i was under the impression that it was ok for contact at that tourny`, and i was never gone over during the rule section, so some clarification woul` have been helpful. on the other hand the way you make your point only lets us know what your point is. it doest give and justification for why you have that opinion, only that if people dont have same opinon then you think less of them.
wich is fine with me, the blocking aspect seems natural to me, but i cant really see foot to ball action making tons of sense or a difference during play.
so its a bit of a distraction for someone to try to utilize his foot when he has a perfectly good mallet there, and if he happens to make a decent play with his loaf, then congrats, but are you worried about this degrading the game?

Johnny how can you say depending on how you interpret the rules when you and I had dialog back and forth about foot to ball contact and I made it very clear it was not at all allowed. You decided to0 play outside of a rule that was definately made very clear. If you like I'll post the emails. with that being said this is the problem with creating any rules to the game. what is the point if you can't follow them.

Brian, i actually thought the email dialogue we had left room for using the foot as a way to stop the ball. But maybe i was mistaken. You should post them that would be great.
I think what is confusing in this dialogue is what does it mean to play the ball with ones foot. I agree that i don't think one should be using the foot to control and pass the ball, what gets less clear is the way that a limb can be used to stop the ball.

Here is the response i got from brian when i asked him about the body to ball play.
"it is pretty simple "DON'T PLAY THE BALL WITH YOUR FOOT!  so it is legal to have your foot in a position to stop the ball, just not to actively try and move it?"
in the game with nyc in T.O. i threw my foot down and stopped the ball I didn't actively try to move it, i stopped the forward momentum. But as the rules said it seems to my interpretation that what i did was legal.
Now, i really don't care much for where this ruling goes, i think that in the game against NYC it was the first time i have used my body to stop a ball since i started playing small ball and for all the discussion it seems to be fairly small point. Even in the game against NYC, the play was fairly incedental, i gained a small advantage but in the tiniest degree and if the ball would have kept moving and little would have mattered. I don't see much advantage either way.

I thought you had stepped on it. Which would be a dab in my books. For the most part it rarely happens. I don't really care either. But I am wanting to get through as many of these little variances this year so that it will be real tight for next year.
Also we have a meeting on Sunday for the NorthSide so Look for that info soon.
If you guys are flying let me know your itinerary and i'll get you picked up at the airport.

lame.  "it's not about the letter of the law, it's about the spirit of the law.", i think some dead white american said that.  
the question really is, does playing the ball with your feet help or hinder the game of bike polo?  
in my opinion it doesn't because it doesn't reward pure bike or mallet skills-- in some ways it even penalises those skills as it gives an advantage to a player that doesn't them.
but above all else footed balls are always too controversial on the court.  little beirut rules, which are the general set i like best, (plus the tap-out, i'm going to see if i can get the tour de polo in seattle to try it here in july), produce in my opinion the least controversy.  which is the polo i like best, where no one argues because the rules are fair, clear, and understood.
when debating these questions try and forget what ruleset you've played with, and look at each point of difference and list the pros and cons of the various specific aspects of play.
later tonight i'll write an excessively long diatribe on the circling vs tapping-out rule as an example.  we circle-out out west, it's what i am used to.  tapping-out is an example of a rule that is just superior to circling-out, i realised it right away at los marcos mayhem last year.  better because it almost solely replaces a circling rule that was unenforceable, ambiguous and open to interpretation, and least fun of all, controversial.
go forward ten years and think of bike polo in the olympics again after a hundred-year hiatus and imagine what rule-set you think would be the funnest format to watch a gold-medal match as a spectator.  
get over the regionalism and think about what is best for the game: what is easiest to explain to people, what is enforceable, what is fair and what rewards
superior bike and mallet skills, what will be easiest to introduce to the existing players.  
and then opinionate until the cows come home, but save the lame unproductive you-suck-i'm-right  commentary for the court.  by all means, make people laugh, but at least contribute something to the conversation.

so if the ball is rolling, say tward the goal and i set my mallet down to stop the ball, BUT I don't give it forward motion. Is that or is it not "playing the ball with my mallet"? so if one were to do the same with thier foot what is the difference? I see no difference other than one is legal and the other is not.
Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

so what if i put my foot between the my bottom bracket before a play a ball is even shot. I don't think that is playing the ball but it could create contact.
You seem really adimant about this rule and i don't really care, so i figure it is probably best to scede this to the side who thinks it is important. So i say fuck it, a body to ball contact is a foul, player should have to dab out and the ball should be awarded to the other team.

i agree anywhere on the body should be a foul. theres no other way to judge intent since your entire body is moble. otherwise when in goal, my foot will be dangling and youll have to check me down to get me to tap out 

so am i to understand this correctly that i can use my feet at los marcos?

Dude, you can pretty much do anything at Los Marcos Madness. But let me check with those Los Marcos dudes. They might've gotten all strict about shit in the past year. Who knows. Those guys are cryptic. I also can't really understand a go*damned thing they say, so things get lost in translation pretty quickly.
Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

I just signed up for Los Marcostanian as a second language at our local community college. I'll help translate for you. I also noticed that the Los Marcos have started to multiply. Is anyone else concerned?

if somebody is out there kicking all the time. They are gonna get called  out on it pretty fast. I ve kicked it sometimes when im down and the ball is under my wheel but not to gain any advantage.

just to see if you could?

I don't know Ken. Batting the ball down, like in hockey, would seem to make some sense. If it's in the air in front of you, it should be on the ground. So put it there. Doesn't mean score; it means get it down.

That said, the definition of "play" when applied to foot-on-ball should include stopping it, not just forward momentum. Because really--if you're moving forward you can say you meant to stop it but most likely will carry the ball with you a bit.

The only time foot-on-ball should even be considered a legal move is while in goal. All other intentional foot contact should be removed from the game. It really does give license for folks who haven't worked on their ball handling / bike positioning to play cheap, as Doug pointed out. And for the record, I'm not saying anything about people who have the skills and have CHOSEN to play the ball with the foot.

the ball isnt supposed to be on the ground. if we can use our feet why hands, if the balls in the air, and you want it down, use your mallet ben 

People use a lot of hockey analogies to justify what they believe should be allowed in bike polo and I'm not sure that they completely corespond.  

I'm not one that believes you should be able to grab the ball out of the air and drop it in front of you.

It seems to me that the ball should be played with the bike and the mallet.  If there is incidental body contact then so be it, but purposefully using your body to play the ball seems wrong.

Just another opinion. 






i'd rather have people put their hands in the air than swinging their mallets up in the sky.

I don't like the idea of swinging a mallet at a high-flying ball, but I'm not sure I like the idea of playing the ball with your hand either. I usually just try to put my body or shoulders in front of the ball and let it bounce down. If it's out of the reach at that point, I feel like I should be chasing it down, not grabbing it out of the air to put it down in front of my mallet.


But if I had to choose between using mallets or hands to take balls out of the air, I'd definitely pick hands.

if you touch the ball with your body at all you should get banned from the sport.

I always try to knock it down with my mallet. If we made it so that only the mallet can touch the ball, I wouldn't bat an eye. I'm just interested in a fair compromise with a particular interest in getting the ball back on the ground. If we're going to get into semantics then I say no intentional body contact and agree with the whole of kg's comment above.

And I just read Kev's point. Hands in the air are better than mallets. That's a legitimate point for a compromise on this issue. I'd only draw a distinction between grabbing or holding the ball and simply batting it down. No to the former, yes to the latter.

Ben Schicago wrote:

I'd only draw a distinction between grabbing or holding the ball and simply batting it down. No to the former, yes to the latter.

I definitely see your point (and agree to an extent), but that's yet another big grey area.

It's grey for sure. If we could limit it to batting the ball down, I think we'd be good.

Hands aside, your description of the body/shoulder/bounce down scenario is right on.

theres a duff between a swing at the ball and a reach with your mallet. there really no place for hand on ball action. unless its off the court, ad then only for adjustments