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Being Disqualified from Tournements

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With all this talk about the rules for the worlds and checking, it reminded me of a conversation that Meg and I had not long ago in a country far away........This came up at dinner after sundays tournement. We both felt there
was just cause for at least a couple of people in the tournement play
that should have been booted for playing in such a grotesque manner.

Being Disqualified from games/tournements for rough play - what if at tournements, there was a governing body of people(the crowd even). In cases of rough play, they had the ability to DQ a person or even team for how ever long they saw fit? Meaning that if you were called out on something, you could be removed for the game and your team would have to play a man down - a penalty box/power play type of situation.

Before posting, please consider that lots of the variables/grounds for DQ have already been discussed in the afore mentioned topics. I'm only talking about the disqualifaction of players/teams for flagrent/rough play.


There was definitely some ugly play in Toronto and we've been thinking about this issue planning for the NACCC. It's really not something I want to be a scenario. However, should it be absolutely necessary, I think a course of action whereby, a person is called out early and warned that if the behavior continues, they'll be pulled. Teams that have that element on their team will have to either get it firmly in check or plan on bringing a sub to tournaments.

we got a sub lined up

really, your mom didn't mention she played polo as well...

Without going into excessive detail, I wholeheartedly guarantee that in the next tournament I throw (that's not Los Marcos Madness) I am going to reserve the right to disqualify a person for over the line behavior. The rules will be explained well in advance, and if a certain player continually shirks those rules, plays like a jerk, disrespects authority, etc etc etc, I'm telling you like I told you in Doug's thread that I will make that call to kick you and your team out. Yes, the entire team. THAT will be the punishment. All you gotta do is not get to that point. Warnings, of course, will be served. If I'm not the dude in charge, then I don't get to make that call. We'll see what happens with the tournament schedule for 2009.

I realize I completely ignored the idea of a committee to decide this course of action. I believe that there's a point where committees are useless and that one person has to be able to make important calls. They won't necessarily be popular calls that make everyone happy. Leading up to a tournament is a great time for collective decision making. That is not the case when the tournament is taking place. 

 I'm not saying that I'd ever take a disqualification based on misconduct lightly. I expect it to never happen. But I'm just saying that it could happen. 

Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

RE: commitees - i think it is a good idea to have them since the motion to DQ is a major decision, it might be best to not have this duty land on the shoulders of just one person. After thinking about it, I believe the decision should be made by the matches court referee's and the event organizer.

RE: the mental affects of DQ - I think that with a policy discussed before play begins, it might be enough to deter people from getting to that point in the first place. Perhaps a two or three strikes rule would be most effective. I think this for two reasons.

First... we all have a tendancy to get worked up and do something stupid. Do it once, fine but then you have the dark cloud of disqualification in the horizon - people will shape up really fast with this. Second... has to deal with size of tournement and inter-city play. With people comming from all over the states/world, not everyone has the same level of courtesy. If necessary, being able to give warnings(not punishing) in the early stages of play will ensure that flagrant play is taken care of before the brackets start and everyone has the same understanding.

Every legitimate sport in the world has these clauses in their rule book. I think that discussing/implementing this moves polo forward in a positive direction.

MKE -> PDX | wednesday sundown @ ne14th & killingsworth | sunday 3pm alberta park @ ne22nd & killingsworth

probably too seriously...


this responsibility can only rest on one person.  do you think that anyone questions the ref's decision at the copa del mundo?  aim high my friends.  these are not committee decisions.  two refs on the court, one with the ultimate say.  two goal judges to help and one scorekeeper, that's it.  the ref consults but makes the final decision on all issues always.  period.  that's how professional sports work, the debate has been had on this subject.  i dislike the idea that polo has to follow any previous sports only a little bit less than the idea that polo has to re-invent the wheel every time controversy appears as if we are the only sport ever to have existed.

my mom agrees as well

Seems like a solution. Collective discussion before the tournaments, match ref. and event organizer making calls during tournament play.  

Crandall & Ken - a winning combination.  

Again with the refs. Where do y'all propose these super-refs come from? In all the other sports we reference or hold up as an example the refs are professionals. They literally go to school to learn the rules and watch hundreds of hours of game play looking for the cues that mean an infraction.


If we, the organizers, want to empower a referee to DQ, penalize, yell at, blow whistles, etc. than we, the players and spectators deserve some assurances that those refs are A. Impartial, and B. have a clear and demonstrated idea of the rules.


So far, as a ref for polo, I have not been allowed on the court. Even if I was on foot on the court, I STILL couldn't get in line with every play to see if elbows come away from sides and call a shove vs. a clean check.


For the NACCC I will:

1. Post the rules on the inside and outside of each court. There will be drawings or other helpful graphics.

2. Announce the rules before each day's game begin. This will include amendments brought about through discussion.

3. Demonstrate the rules in action during those announcements. We will get two volunteers on bikes, on the court to demonstrate clean and dirty versions of the plays outlined in the rules.

4. Calling people on rules violations will mostly be up to the players and the crowd. Blowing the whistle, controlling the clock, keeping score, that's what our refs are down for right now. 


i think we need a more active role on the court than that. at least for the semis on out

Lucky, we're on it up here. Any refs we have will be drilled on the rules, repeatedly. The list of rules that will be posted on the site beforehand will also be handed out with everyone's packet at opening night registration. Before we start on Saturday, we will have a brief recap just in case anyone has any concerns. If you want to do a demo, feel free.


Calling people on rules violations will be up to the players and the crowd TO A POINT. The court refs will be there, along with the event organizer,  as the final word in a situation where it can't be worked out between the teams.





screw the crowd, there are always biases.  crowds always rule as a mob, there is no solution there.  pick-up yes, tournament play no way.  i want people who know the rules and are in charge making decisions, not some drunken unruly mob.

lucky wrote:

For the NACCC I will:


For the NACC I will do very little but my part. That shit is run by a group of great and dedicated people of which I am only one. Sorry for the implications of my pronoun. The tourney is by everyone. for everyone. It's not in my yard, I don't get to make all the rules.


For all who where at the Midwest Tourny 3 last fall in MKE. I played quite a few games under the refereeing of Lucky. He had his shit together, rules straight and FAIR, timing was on. and he gave "minute marks" . I would say that Lucky is a good example of a solid ref.


Bicycle/cykel/自行車/das Fahrrad/polkupyörä/bicicletta/bicicleta/reiðhjól/fiets/يَرْكَبُ درّاجة هوائ

If it really has to be like this the only person who should be able to dq or penalize a player is the ref. He/she is the person responsible for control over the game he/she is officiating. If in the refs opinion and after warning the ref has to kick someone out it would be a last resort to keeping control of a game. I refed soccer for 6 years I would verbally warn the player then would yellow card that player if they did it again. Now they know one more their gone, and they just let their team down by not having self-control. Once you get a card you know your being watched and should really make sure to keep it clean at that point. 

Referee's ability to see everything creates another moral issue for us as the strategy for some can become a what can i get away with without the ref seeing. And god forbide intentional dives. You can find the qualified ref's all around you. They are the people that have been traveling to lots of tourneys, dedicating lots of time to further the game. And are committed to making this game the best it can be. The King of Games! A lot of names come to mind that I feel would always be impartial. Paul, Zach, Adam, Mark from Philly. Montana, Ben, Alexis, Angelo, Allen, Jake, Kev, Johnny, Joe, Crandell, this list goes on and on.

Most of us just want to see good skilled polo games. I travel to tournaments to play and watch good polo games with you, my friends. And feel no different about winning or losing a well played polo game. Most of the time I don't even know what the score is. All I know is to get the damn ball then someone says it's over.

There are lots of games you don't need a ref to do anything but keep score. The players call themselves out. As should everybody. A check your head at the door, let's have some fun mentality should be the mantra. A win at all costs attitude is not keeping with the true spirit of the game. Focus should be on making the game work without needing the official to do anything but call 321 GO! and keep the time and score.





we say 3-2-1 kill in east van, but whatever.

I’m pretty new to polo, but I wanted to make the point that this is a team sport and I can’t think of any other team sport where a team could be DQed for one player’s bad acts.  That said, lots of team sports have warnings followed by red cards/ejections. 


I like the soccer analogy --I was thinking about some soccer leagues I’ve played in where a red card or two yellows in a single game gets you ejected from the remainder of that game and from the next game.  I think that in polo, the threat of a team having to play their entire next game 2 on 3 would be enough to address really egregious behavior within the system, without having to resort to the threat of banning a person, or team, from a tournament.  Just 2 cents.

i just want people to know if they do DQ someone from a tournament you are most likely DQ them participating in tournaments in the future. Whoever it is is going to be outraged and pissed at the organizers and anyone who supports them. If i were to DQ someone from a tournament it would have to be a malicious act that presented extreme danger to someone else. I don't think anything from any tournament i have been in has gone that far. 

 Now, i do like brian's point about warning, then yellow card then red. I think that kicking a player off their team for a game is a pretty harsh penalty and probably would be sufficient for most dangerous play. More to a point, i think that we have all come to resolutions that the game is going to be more about playing the ball and less about playing the other contact. It seems we all self police ourselves pretty good. I really think that ottawa will have the highest level of play we have seen yet. I really look forward to that.

jonny wrote:

i just want people to know if they do DQ someone from a tournament you are most likely DQ them participating in tournaments in the future. Whoever it is is going to be outraged and pissed at the organizers and anyone who supports them. If i were to DQ someone from a tournament it would have to be a malicious act that presented extreme danger to someone else. I don't think anything from any tournament i have been in has gone that far.

Yup. It's pretty much an absolute last resort method. Like "dude, we told you to quit it and you didn't. Now you're done." I wouldn't expect that to make anyone happy.  


Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

i agree also. i've watched some games and before they even started i anticipated a bloodbath (played in some of those games too)

i think that warning a player before ejecting that individual player is a good idea. making a team play short handed may be just as well a DQ (depending where that team is in the brackets) but at least it puts the fault on the individual first.

if someone is one deliberate t-bone or elbow to the face away from getting ejected from a game and their team is fighting for a spot on the podium, you better believe that person's teammates are gonna be pissed off and will try to keep that player in order.

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -




Yeah, this is all last resort stuff. I expect we're going to see the "clean but with gusto" polo at the NACCC.  chicagobikepolo.com

Disqualify is a bad description. How about ejected from the game?

or purged, excommunicated, disappeared, and castigated.

can we have a tent that the castigated get to hang out at? with red bullz and wifi for access to this site?

or two.

or three.

[ps, brian, i think you should posting as brian, not as mallets of mayhem.  you represent brian and should do so as such.]

yeah i have not figured out how to switch it yet. it is the profile from when kev first started testing this thing. Sorry bout that.


did i tell yall that i got threagted to be dq'ed at the worlds. it was after mke east van played and they changed all the rules and i was all like this is complete bullshit, and the race organizers were like we dont care we need to have the awards ceremony here now, we dont care about your tourny and i was mad and probably had raised my voice and then he was like im going DQ your, and i was like what the fuck does that mean, and then brian explained it to me and i was like you a fucking race organizers trying to push us off our courts are going to dq me for being a load prick. well i walked away, but i think we should reserve dqs  for game play thats dangourus, language that is sexist, racist, or bigotist. but different opinions. hmmm thats a good way to get a red bull poured on your head. also ken when you say that you going to be heading up you tournement and then finish the statment with does not apply at los marcos madness, does that mean that you wont be doing that ? im really confused 

Now I'm confused, too.

I believe that "does not apply at los marcos madness" is his signiature and is thus automatically appended to each post he makes.  It is not (or perhaps is?) intended to modify the preceding text.





pretty much any normal "rule" does not apply at Los Marcos Madness. And yes, that's my signature. It makes all of my absolutist statements pretty confusing, doesn't it? I think I like it that way.

In due time, I'll explain how Los Marcos Madness works. It's not like your normal polo tournament. Being the best at Polo won't necessarily mean that you'll win.... Right now, the details around that tournament are shrouded in mystery, much like the Los Marcostanians themselves. As soon as i hear from them (they're very unreliable and extremely hard to understand, considering how drunk they always are), I'll let you know how they want things to work.  


Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

i think the race organizers should've been dqed for changing rules in the middle of our semifinal game. that really made me really mad, moreso than getting seeded 8th, or some shit like that, having won all our round robin games 5-0.

brian, i yelled some obscenities in your general direction. (i couldn't see you very well due to the buckets of rain dumping on me at the time) and i immediatly knew that was out of line. i apologized before and now. i really didn't hear you call that that game would go to 5 and finishing that game to 7pts after all that really killed some mojo and we did start coming back pretty strong at the end there... but it's all water under the bridge now.

oh and speaking of dqing the race officials... did you guys hear that the race results (ie all the racer's last completed manifests with their final times recorded on them) were "blown away in the storm"?

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

now that's the pot calling the kettle kettle black if i've ever heard one.  look it up ben, i know you know i know that you know by now.

I can't comment on that moment in full just yet. I'm still waiting for some of the crap to finish from that. Your comment to Sam Houston( who was the main CMWC organizer) was something like I don't care about that/your shit. Which was funny as hell at the time cause we were in an arguement on a different topic just before that. Ben I'll have to give you a call to tell you the rest of that story.

Also "all" the rules were not changed. Just the amount of goals to play to. The playing to 7 goals gig was a bad idea to begin with. But that is a hind sight thing. Neither of those games were at beer point at that time either. Although MKE did bring their game to a 7-6 final. Nice work boys.

Another note, is when you're arguing with an official in any game you are running the risk of being thrown out. Especially when your being unreasonable and not listening. At that moment you were not listening to anything. Just raging about how you wanted to play the game to the seven goals, which is fine, you got your way and were promptly beat after NYC got the next two goals. End result in that game 7 to 2 I believe. If your game had not gotten out of hand there may have been a different situation. But the 20 minutes or so wasted argueing, trying to get your game going forward, and Johnny's injury was pretty much spoiling the event. To be honest and I don't want to drag it up again. I was pretty fed up with a bunch of bs that was going down from a bunch of people. I was also put in a situation to make a call where the was no precident. That was  the hardest decision I've had to make for a polo game. I will say when 40 people that are in the space that should be reserved for persons working the game are yelling that is is my call. It is pretty hard to communicate and get a general concensis at that moment.

There is a protocol that exists in most games for protesting. Screaming at an official, shouting obscenities, and the like is not part of proper conduct. At the very least it should not happen at our polo games. I don't think it will happen again. Hopefully we learned something.

Also your comment about complete bullshit goes both ways my friend.


Just a quick point here. I think that finishing the game with NYC was really important. It let heads cool down, it allowed us to joke around a bit ,and yeah we knew we were beat at that point but it was an important gesture that we were going to leave the hard feelings on the court. That is how it felt for me at least.

fair enough. and long story shot i feel good about how you resolved the issue. I apologize for being out of hand at that point. it sometimes hard to slow down a speeding train.  it did make me totally upset to be told a game was over that hadnt been finished, not just for my self but also for milwaukee. a game gets started with certain rules, i really dont think they should be changed. but like you said we all learned something from that tourny.  

ben wrote:

I apologize for being out of hand at that point. it sometimes hard to slow down a speeding train.


it did make me totally upset to be told a game was over that hadnt been finished, not just for my self but also for milwaukee. a game gets started with certain rules, i really dont think they should be changed. but like you said we all learned something from that tourny.




an official does not care about "speeding trains", they are trying to keep a game under control. your emotions are your emotions and not the concern of any official, even though you may feel that a "speeding train" may take precedence. 

we in east van agree about the mke decision. if mke had approached us at mid-court we would have had the following conversation:

east van: "bullshit, let's just finish this, to seven, like we agreed before the match."

mke: "hell yeah mofo's, bring it."

east van: "bring it, let them try and take us off the court."

mke: "game on"

we were waiting, to a man, for mke to talk to us, not the offical.

at no time did anyone on the court during that match want to stop before the game was over, to seven, like we agreed. if mke had approached us first, instead of bitching at the officials, all what happened would never have happened. just try and take players off the court in a semi- or final, you can't do it. they have weapons and bikes, mere mortals stand no chance. (except in the case of nyc v mad, we had to get them off the court, but they went willingly.) the call to end that match early from the sidelines without consulting the players was bullshit, sorry brian. you opened a can of worms that would've been easily contained otherwise.

just for the record, what i was to potentially be dqed for was off the court, and by a race organizer, because i was bitching about calling the games at 5

ben, do you think anyone really cares *where* you were being an ass?  on or off the court buddy, it's all the same to me.

there are no refs off the court.

your /=/ you're

I'm glad you got to finish the game. And felt better about it. It still doesn't change my opinion about the argueing, keeping a level head, or about games going beyond 5 points. But this is taking the post of topic.

 Back to getting kicked out of the game....



does yelling at the ref in polo cause for termination. is yelling at someone during halftime cause.obviously in some sports it would be. and my behavior during that one point was pretty exptreme, but i think this DQ shit needs to be for dangourous play or offensive works. 

dude, argue with a ref at your own peril, it just goes without saying.  if you have to be explained that, then maybe there are other points to the game that may require 'explaining' as well.

Oh yeah Ben I don't blame you for getting heated. I guess I would too.

Colored Cards:  Yes please. 

Yellow: Verbal abuse to refs/opponents should be grounds for a yellow card.  If your yelling someones ear off and clearly delaying the game or trying to make someones head explode - you get a yellow.  Also, if it is apparent that one or two parties are the sole agressors in the match(which is typically the case), they should get a yellow card when the refs feel that the rider/s makes the first real flagrant move.

Red: Dumbass with a repeated history

Length of banishment: < one game, >rest of play.  I don't know how to use those things anyways.  Pull them for greater than one game and less than the rest of play.

MKE -> PDX | wednesday sundown @ ne14th & killingsworth | sunday 3pm alberta park @ ne22nd & killingsworth

probably too seriously...


Again I like the way you think. Length of banishment? I don't know. In a timed game, maybe the rest of the match. But in untimed play we might have to make it like 5 minutes or something. Just tossing out ideas here.



your tournament, your rules as far as I see it. If things start getting stupidly policed these things just aren't gonna go over as well and people will stop coming to these events. which sucks

Ottawa won't stop from coming to Virginia that is for damn sure! I heard it smells like Canada there.

the tournaments already transcend the players, that i have seen for more than a year now.  "stupidly policed" hasn't yet happened in my experience on both coasts.  "stupidly unpoliced" i have seen several times however...

as far as refs go, I'm not too fond of a "professional" monitoring every movement.  I think for the most part we can handle ourselves as reasonable, somewhat respectable individuals, and if it gets to a point where someone is being dangerous or outrageous, the players can call them out and then when it comes to that the ref could make an "official" decision, but I can't imagine any kind of uniformed official running around blowing a whistle.  plus, I think someone said soemthing along these lines already, when you implicate rules or laws, people get the mindset that since they're enforced by some authority, you can commit them if you think you can get away with it.  Without sounding like too much of an anarchist, I think we can run the risk of allowing ourselves to sorta oversee the rules.  But I do think castrigating players for extreme measure is a good idea.  Someone said it should be discussed beforehand telling players they get x amount of strikes, I don't think you should tell them the exact amnount of warnings they get, because once again it'll sorta be like, "oh, I can do that this many more times before i get castrigated", but it should definitely be put out there.

Collin, the last concern you described has been on my mind from the beginning. That the competitive spirit thrives at these tournaments is putting it lightly. If we create a system of penalties, where a player knows how many chances they have before being ejected (I'm into that, "ejected") the chances that they'll use up their chances strategically, is high.


But what else can we do. Well established sports with a million rules still have people that will break them. All we can do is experiment with systems of consequences and then use them effectively.



Exactly, we definately need to try these things out - even if they don't work.  Polo is experiencing it's first big rise in popularity and gaining legitimacy as a realy sport.  Being able to talk/try/edit these types of things now is really going to help the advancement of the sport as a whole in the future.  The level of enforcement is just one aspect that needs to be worked out.

As far as players being able to police themselves - as witnessed in prior tournements, this does not work.  I'm not talking policing either.  Ultimately, I believe this discussioin of bieng ejected(nice work ben) should be a standard rule just like foot down or scorring.  Especially at inter-city/country tournements where things are way off the intensity scale.  


MKE -> PDX | wednesday sundown @ ne14th & killingsworth | sunday 3pm alberta park @ ne22nd & killingsworth

probably too seriously...


you weren't in toronto, you have no idea.  sorry, but you weren't and you don't.  t-o was a real eye-opener for me, like los marcos was last year.  the plain fact is that people want to win more than they give a shit about someone they've never met, that's the learning from the seventeen tournaments i've played in over the past calendar year.

sorry, but i think people are making a big deal out of nothing. 

we've seen some intense, fast paced games that have involved contact--more contact than i personally like, but almost all of it was 100% legit as far as existing rules about checking go.  the most "violent" act was an accidental elbow-to-the-face and did NOT warrant a DQ.  and i've never seen anything that would warrant a DQ, not even close. 

I'm not saying that we should stop discussing rules, and trying to figure out how to avoid the upward of ever-increasing physicality, which sometimes comes at the expense of skills and finesse (though i should add that it is also a result of skills, speicifically, higher-paced play).  but seriously, who's the mythical asshole that everyone wants to DQ? 

Let's not make a crisis where there isn't one.  

i bet im in ther running. so on that note i agree wit hyou kevin. although if paul would have bee ndqed we might have been able to score a few more goals, and with that being out there, maybe his actions did deserve a dq?

First of all Kev, I thought you wanted it to be "ejected" not "disqualified." That was you, wasn't it?

Second, you're right, everything has been within the boundaries of the rules. That's why, honestly, even at the pinnacle of intensity in Toronto I didn't see what the big deal was. It was polo as I knew it had the potential to be. And there's no way in hell anyone would've ejected Paul cause we knew better. Recognizing accidents is also part of this game we play and calling things fairly.

So to be clear: we're not making a crisis, there is no mythical asshole, we're just planning ahead. Also, keep in mind Chicago's going to have a tournament to run and we've got to be thinking about these scenarios and how to deal with them should they arise.


And no Ben, as much as it might disappoint, no one's talking about you in this case. At least I'm not. 





P.S. to that - Unlike you, though, I do have an instance in mind, and I know I'll be the first to put it out there on this forum and I apologize for any offense taken, but that endo/throw your bike around business, ala Ali, would get a yellow card from me. And if it continued, ejection. I'm just saying.

There are certain behaviors people are warned about and when it continues after they've been asked to stop and actually become outwardly defiant about it (again, sorry Ali but that's how you do), I think that's cause. 



 ... or throwing your mallet into the crowd... totally unnecessary and out of line... in my mind... throwing anything is yellow card worthy.... throwing games include football....baseball... not polo.

 punishment for inappropriate actions is a must. everyone has 1 basic right when traveling to tournaments... and thats to play a fair game. if person(s) infringe on that right to anyother player, they should be held accountable for those actions. 


im terrible at spelling.  


Bicycle/cykel/自行車/das Fahrrad/polkupyörä/bicicletta/bicicleta/reiðhjól/fiets/يَرْكَبُ درّاجة هوائ

on the west coast both madison and nyc would have been dq'd.  period, end of story.  we don't even need refs out here and the physical play rivals anything i've seen back east.  come on out to seattle july 19th for tour de polo and see...

 myself and mr. crandall will be at the tour. see you there. 



Bicycle/cykel/自行車/das Fahrrad/polkupyörä/bicicletta/bicicleta/reiðhjól/fiets/يَرْكَبُ درّاجة هوائ

hell yeah, see you there.  it will be one of the best tourneys all year, those people are just so rad.

agreed on the throwing mallets, yellow ass shit

did you guys kn ow that red bull is yellow, we could call yellow cards red bull cards. that would be tight

give the guy a red bull, collect $500 from sponsor, and head off the court.  i like it.  ben, you could be the richest player in all of bike polo...

 yellow as my pee after i take all my vitamins.

 throwing anything... including a fit...is tacky and unsportsmanlike. 

it is important to understand that "penalizing" someone (whether that be "carding" or "ejecting"... or whatever) is making sure that people follow the rules... 

and rules are made to make the game better.. to encourage better play... quality play.

you can get through school by cheating... but you wont learn shit. 


Bicycle/cykel/自行車/das Fahrrad/polkupyörä/bicicletta/bicicleta/reiðhjól/fiets/يَرْكَبُ درّاجة هوائ

Well said Meg.

I think carding is a slippery slope.  Too much officiating (timing and dedicated refs)

I think if persistent unsportsmanilke behaviour is exhibited by a
player the penalty is off the court until the next goal is
scored.  If it happens again a DQ...speaking of I think I'll go
for a blizzard strawberry skor.