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NAH update - the first 7 months

NAH update - the first 7 months

This has been a long time coming. First and foremost we want to thank everyone in the poloverse for entrusting us with the job of getting an organizing body off the ground and running. Doing this over the internet and in the heat of the 2010 season has made it challenging. It has required much patience - from you all and within NAH - and everyone deserves a huge THANK YOU. No community, no polo.

What you'll find here are the cleaned up but otherwise raw notes from the first face-to-face meeting of NAH. We took advantage of many of us being in Madison for NAs (which was AWESOME) to sit down and figure out what our tasks would be for fall and winter, looking ahead to 2011. The committees we've created with NAH have met individually since February but this really helped us flesh out ideas and prioritize.

One of the more significant decisions was to move ahead with creating the first ever NA Hardcourt tour for 2011. This will consist of five major tournaments, including the 2011 NAs. Though it's not 100% confirmed, we are also anticipating that World's will return to North America for 2011. There will be a more detailed thread to follow, but if your city has an interest in hosting one of the 2011 majors begin discussion NOW.

Here are the notes:

NAH meeting-in-Madison 7.19.10
Members in attendance: Justin Gullickson (Cascadia), Doug Dalrymple (Eastside), Brian Whitmore (Northside), Jonny Hunter (Midwest), Alex “Joker” Dash (Southwest), Ben Schultz (Midwest), Mike Tretter (Southwest), Meg Lee (via-telephone, Cascadia), Ian Dunwiddie (Eastside), Angelo Salazar (Northside), Kevin Walsh (Northside). Also in attendance: Alexis Mills (Ottawa club rep), Britt Willey, Robbie Eccles. Brief appearances by Ben Hunter, Nick Vaughan, and Mia. Thanks to Underground Food Collective, Just Coffee and Heather.


* Current ruleset will be kept for 2011
o Develop rule book / reference manual for main table at tourneys
* Develop corresponding referee guide
◦ Emphasize one-warning, 30-second, etc., progression
◦ Use video examples in a training guide
◦ Stress importance of game flow. Referee's calls shouldn't become overly influential in the outcome of the game. No “activist” refs.
◦ Accept small inconsistencies, grey area, etc. that is present in other sports
◦ Include a definition for “dicketry” on the court (Thanks Joker)


Five tournaments (north, south, east, west and NAs) – finalize tour by mid-October

* Immediately solicit submissions for cities to host one of the five, including NAs. Also, anticipate World’s returning to North America.
o World’s gets date precedence. Late Sept./early Oct. best for NAH. Needs to be discussed in Berlin.
o NAs will happen early August.
o Remaining four must happen three weeks before NAs
* Separate local (facilities, etc.) from logistics (brackets, major sponsor, etc.)
* Develop tournament host questionnaire
* Develop host expectation guide
o Shade and water requirement
o Bike racks outside
* Develop tournament etiquette guide – for players and spectators.
o Separate party tent – no illegal substances near the court.

Qualifiers (or, how to address the issue of limited space.)

* Give cities/regions a limit of teams.
* Create tiers for people/team finishes. Points system is tricky. Must accommodate players who may not be able to travel often but do well. Develop DD’s idea on players who have been on top 16 / bottom 16 teams.
* Tourneys have spots reserved for up-and-coming regional teams who haven't yet played in a major.
* Polo resume, both international and regional
* Keep our community familiarity as a legitimate part of decision making for the time being.


* Must increase visibility and media coverage.
* Talk to Mr. Do, others who can film final games. Create video for sponsorship packet
* Say “no” to low offers
* Have to be able to tell sponsors what they’ll get, a.k.a sponsor packet
* Request/suggest ad event promotion from sponsors that will get eyeballs.
* Online flyer –with sponsor logos as links – for the tournament sent to all cities.
* Relationship building
* Arrange to have a polo exhibition at high profile events, bike related or otherwise – hugely effective toward increasing visibility

NAH Structure

* Committees vote, then NAH votes. Majority rules.
* Co-chairs are fine but not necessary. Person(s) doing the work and pushing the agenda are in charge.
* Keep three reps per region.
* Establish club reps as a greater presence by requiring they take on these responsibilities:
o Able to referee and train referees
o Get people to court on time
o Establish how many players are present
o Disseminate information to their club
o Create a FAQ for their club

Bladow! nicely done everyone.

coffee, whiskey, beer. repeat.

I like it. Can we please address the communication from the top down and vice versa? I'm really not getting as much communication from the eastside reps as I would like to see. Have you discussed this?

Didn't Ian give you a chicken wing?

I think part of the discussion on club reps being more involved was motivated by the desire to improve communication in general. Updates, kind of like these will be more frequent as well, but yeah, this is on the radar.

Where were you South Central? I'm never voting for you again!

But really... where were the people from the South regions? None of the six reps showed up (or were available via telephone)? I'm asking in *official* capacity about our three as the NO city rep, because it was asked about today at pickup.

There are THREE reps from the Southeast. Sauls is one of them, so ask him why he wasn't there because he was at NA's.

Midwest is best!!

I'm more interested in South Central, we're not part of SE.

When I said SIX, I was talking about BOTH southern regions (THREE South East + THREE South Central = SIX total)

It just seemed like out of SIX total people from the South ONE could have been there somehow.

all three south central reps were at NAHBPC this year.... Rob, Malakai and Tall George were all in attendance....so why they weren't invited is beyond me. all I know is the planning on this meeting obviously didn't involve our region.

and I think south central should just be carved up to fit other regions. Out of our 16 clubs in our region, 4 don't even have reps on this page... And out of 12 clubs in the region, Colorado makes up 1/4th of those clubs with Denver, Boulder, Co-Springs. So really, the question is, is our region actually a region or is it a mash together because the person doing the planning doesn't actually care about our clubs in the region? If they didn't, I can't blame them, Lubbock, Wichita, Amarillo and 'north texas" all count as clubs in our region.. YEAH RIGHT. Denver and Austin and NOLA should all be put into southwest/east regions and south central should be forgotten about.
cause that's what happened to us, we were forgotten about at this meeting.

max, chill out. they were invited three times, they didn't respond.

dude I am chill, internet just makes me sound more intense.
I just think our region shouldn't exist and have thought so for a long time, would gladly join the southwest region or something.

[edited later] If we continue to keep this region, I would like to fill a position as a backup rep or something like that. It seems like our region has no interest in being heard or seen (as aforementioned) but if I can do anything to help that just let me know. I would have liked to have attended the meeting even as an informal bystander.

and the Southeast?

But seriously... What happened?

Can a rep in attendance tell us that the southern reps were at least invited?


This is bullshit.

God, what an embarrassment. You're an adult, pull it together, keep your righteous indignation under wraps for just a little while longer.

All 21 reps got at least three invites, the first one was sent one month ahead. For the record, it looked like this: http://doodle.com/dezcf2yw5pma6utr

You tell 'em, Kev.

Now you see what I have to put up with and why I am the way I am. You're lucky he didn't accuse you of bombing the levees during Katrina.

Does that satiate you William, you god-damn conspiracy theorist? Simple explanation... everyone in the South (both of them) is just fucking lazy.

That's what I figured.

Thanks, Kev!

Makes sense, thanks for putting that on the record.

No midwestern major??

Great to see the organization moving forward! Keep up the good work.

X2 on this. The midwests is one of the tournaments with a long history and huge attendance. The spring midwests (before NAs) should be one of the majors. The one after (November) should be a "for kicks" tournament. I'm sure you just said (north, south, east, west) as an example, but this should be considered in the upper ranks if it hasn't been already!

RookieNick wrote:

I'm sure you just said (north, south, east, west) as an example......


Yeah what gives?

You'll see. Unless you drilled out your eyes because they were too heavy.

7 regional tournaments plus NAHBPC plus probably WHBPC is just too many. The idea is to have less tournaments (4 majors, plus NAHBPC plus WHBPC) but be able to support them better. We'll make sure they're spread out regionally.

Too many tournaments?

[Edited later]

Everyone can do tourneys as they please and NAH can be behind them all the way. If we're talking about an official series with concrete support (money or prizes or sponsors or officiating) then clearly NAH must start out small.

Having an "NAH Series" is a very good idea. What the "NAH Series" is and how it works needs more clarity. I know the intention here was to air the idea and get feedback from everyone.

I think you've got the right idea. One major about every eight weeks. That gives people enough time to plan and save.

Did you discuss about whether these were going to be two or three day tournaments?

- two or three day tournaments?

The suggestion was just about the number of tournaments to package together, not so much about setting format structure and time frame for said tournys.

Or at least not yet. I think you have a good point. If we all agree that NAH can group together 4 to 5 "majors" then those might just be the most popular/well attended tournys of the year. Which brings up the time frame to accommodate so many people. 3 day majors might end up a popular way to address the issue.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

DanielNOLA wrote:

Did you discuss about whether these were going to be two or three day tournaments?

Not sure about other people, but this is a big deal for me. If you have 4-5 tournaments that you want to go to each year, and they are all 3 day tournaments, that's upwards of 10 days vacation time. WAY too much. I really think some of these tournaments need to be limited to 2 days. it makes sense to have the NA and Worlds 3 day, but the others don't need to be, IMO.

i completely agree with this. majors might require 3 days, but i'd attend a lot more tournaments if I didn't have to take off Friday.

we aren't asking you to go to all of these. I dont' think that we would expect people to go to all of these. Logistically 3 day tourneys are really only necessary for more then 40 teams.

gotta confirm w/ Schultz, but I think he said they'd like Bench Minor to be 5 days and unlimited subs during that 120 hour period. chicago 2011. get drafted, beotch!

Finals score: 1379 to 1322

I'm on board with 2 day tournaments with an exception for NA's and World's being 3 day. I can't speak for everyone from MKE, but I know for sure a handful agree.

I don't think NAH should be planning tournaments, they should however sancition tournaments. Leave the hard work in our (clubs and regions) hands.

P/M Hardcourt

The suggestion was just about the number of tournaments to package together, not so much about setting format structure and time frame for said tournys.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

But setting a looose tourney format structure and time of frame by NAH...
would allow for More MaJJor Marco tobeplayedatmoreNAHtournamentsgivingsponsorsmorecoverage even nationalcoverage...
so please we need to encourage more clubs and more tourneys local sponsors regional polo tours more numbers...sorry practicing my poloetry in the wrong thread.

@Doug thanks for all the time poured into passion this 010.

P/M Hardcourt

We specifically talked about separating duties on the ground (building courts, arranging water, tents, etc) vs. overall organizational logistics. It just makes sense to split these responsibilities, absolutely agreed.

I'm sure that we could wrap the Midwest in to the North side, or some other side, for that matter.

I like your polo.

Yeah, as long as one of the "majors" happens reasonably close to us, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

Bike Polo Ronin

I have opinions on some of these issues. Whom do I bring them to? Club rep? Relevant NAH committee-person? The forum?

By the way, were you laughing when you wrote down the phrase 'activist ref"? Who's the teapartier on NAH?


where's the fancy region map again? Probably easy to make 4 tournament regions out of that. Also might be worth addressing location in the sense of smaller clubs getting help from bigger clubs because they have the court space to host a big tournament. I don't think that the concept of these four tournaments should be the traditional single club tournament organization. I'm sure Cascadia has the man power between all the cities to put one of these together but I know that one city probably won't want to do it alone.

In regards to the Club reps as cat herders, this is in regards to tournaments? Does this mean that some one has to baby sit the members of their city? Can you clarify on the thoughts about reps as Ref's? It's ambiguous enough that I'm not entirely sure of the aim. What happens when Reps are playing, or can't travel, seems dangerous to rely on one group of people for a ref pool.

No to low offers? Where is that line drawn?

So much trepidation.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Medic.Mike wrote:

I'm sure Cascadia has the man power between all the cities to put one of these together but I know that one city probably won't want to do it alone.

Yeah, greater club/regional collaborative effort will be needed for these larger tourneys.

Medic.Mike wrote:

In regards to the Club reps as cat herders, this is in regards to tournaments? Does this mean that some one has to baby sit the members of their city? Can you clarify on the thoughts about reps as Ref's? It's ambiguous enough that I'm not entirely sure of the aim. What happens when Reps are playing, or can't travel, seems dangerous to rely on one group of people for a ref pool.

1. More like rally and coordinate the helping hands. This should be a group of people that know what's expected and have committed to the event.
2. Club reps as refs: very simply, with a increasingly standardized ruleset, it would be great to see the club reps take a lead in helping their club become familiar with the rules. If that club will be part of an effort to host a major tourney in their city or region this is even more crucial. (Use an hour or two of pick-up to have people ref and get used to the calls. And the unavoidable grey areas that will arise.) And this way, when club reps aren't available, you can rely on having a confident base at home.

Medic.Mike wrote:

No to low offers? Where is that line drawn?

We're figuring that out. A major tour in 2011 will require major contributions to accomplish. The ability to bring in local businesses won't be affected. This is just a line drawn to ensure that we get the big donors and have the appropriate funds to run the tourney.

Thanks ben.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Can you post a list of all the committees and the secretary or chair of the committee so we know whom to contact?

So, for example, if any of us run into someone who's interested in sponsoring this shit we can just give them the contact info of the "sponsorship committee" chair/secretary and we don't have to deal with it beyond that?

New Orleans is also interested in what the "current rule set" is. We're trying to only play tournament rules at pickup but we're not sure exactly what it is anymore. Primarily, messing with the "goalie."

Just keep abusing the goalie. thats why they are there

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

All the committees and chairs are listed here.


thanks... sorta.

it would be tight if it were listed in a prominent location like "www.leagueofbikepolo.com/nah/organization" and it listed the name or committee name and contact info (front facing email or phone numbers) so we don't have to go "go to this website, and go to this thread, then go match this person's real name to their screen name--if you can even find it--and then send them a message through a third party interface." Not all screen names are as intuitive as ours, St Lucky.

if the league is trying to get sponsorship dollars it should be made as easy as possible for them to find out who to talk to in order to facilitate that.

i'm mainly talking about sponsorship and media contacts.

10-4, we'd like (i'd like) a separate website for NAH, but in the meantime i'll try to get something up like this ASAP.

I am more interested in NAH, as the governing body, presenting a method for hosting sancitioned NAH tournaments. It seems like the above *'s and o's are a good start. I'm curious how many sancitioned tournaments will happen next year in NA.

P/M Hardcourt

I would be disapointed if it were only 5, even if those 5 were MAJOR.

P/M Hardcourt

I understand the issue with only being able to accommodate a limited number of teams at a tournament. But I'm concerned that if only the top teams from each region get to participate in the major tournaments, then there won't be any women playing.
We have a LOT of amazing women talent, however, not many women place on the podium, or even in the top 10 teams at many tournaments.
As a co-ed sport, how are we going to ensure that women are playing in these tournaments?

"Kat" wrote:

As a non-segregated sport, how are we going to ensure that women are playing in these tournaments?

The same way I'm going to ensure that I'm playing in these tournaments... steroids.

x2!! Unfortunately, there are not enough women playing to have our own league. One tournament (Ladies Army) is not enough to satisfy my polo appetite.

Midwest is best!!


I, for one, will flip a shit if there's any attempt to cut women out of NAH. Separate leagues would = bullshit.
Although if anyone's interested in seeing me spontaneously combust, that'd probably be the easiest way to go about it.


NAH has never entertained any conversation that involved cutting women out. If a women's league is established, it'll be women that do it and not due to exclusion.

I agree Danya. NAH should always remain coed and equal treatment. You get to the podium with hard work and practice, traits that do not belong to any one gender.


...jen book has a 2008 naccc's trophy to prove it.

hell. yeah. or amanda @ sespi, or christi-an @ nola, jill I believe has been on a podium or two, and I'm sure there've been cascadia ladies that I haven't had the fortune of yet meeting nor been around long enough to be aware of.

also, after watching 2 70lb 12 year olds school the best, any doubts of limitations based on size/weight/speed/strength have disappeared. thank you phoenix.

I agree Kat I never want to see women cut out/left behind from playing in these bigger tournaments; its a hard issue to be discussed with so many layers/conflictions, a harder one to answer. but the more I talk with other women, and the more I turn it over, I wonder if this isn't to be resolved first at the local/regional level (huge props to every city-including yours-hosting co-ed tournaments as a significant part). I wish I had gone to LA if only to mull this over with many of you, I hope Austin affords us that chance.

go to LA! krista'samazingsoisdanyayeahthejokernotbadtoo.

x2, well said ben.

the j is for jesse
Troy, NY: 2008 - 2010
Seattle, WA: 2010 - 2013
Austin, TX? polo!???


This packaged/grouped/tour, or what ever the proper term would be, is at a basic level going to be a limited selection of polo events to pitch to sponsors so they can get exposure at larger or "major" events in a range of locations and times of year. Meaning to get sponsors to support the whole package. More sponsorship/support.

This has nothing to do with limiting the over all number of tournaments to take place throughout the year. Or even limiting who can play in or support and other events.

I think there was some suggestions made that the selected tour events could be used to qualify for N.A.'s and Worlds but those details still need to be discussed and worked out.

From what I remember, there was no talk of how to limit who can play in the 4 smaller majors, N.A.'s being the 5th and Major, major of the 5 Tournaments in the tour. So I think there will not be a problem seeing women play in these tournaments.

If anything has to be done to limit how many and who is and is not accommodated to play in the lower 4 majors I'll be vocal about giving first dibs to those from the region. That's one way women can be in these tourneys.

I might be alone in this thinking but lets say the South has a tourny in the tour and there are good but not great teams from the south excluded for the purpose of including a team from the North. I would disagree.
One, I think when it's said and done the tour should have the greatest number of unique players possible. To ensure the sponsors get the greatest number of unique eyes witnessing their support AND to have the most possible players to have a change to qualify for Worlds. Because it will come down to that.
And two, if a team from the North really wants to play in the South, there will be many other chances (all the non-majors) to do so in the rest of the tournys throughout the year.

Even if we say: Each of the 4 regional majors are designed with priority for those within the region. I still think these will be very big tournaments and every effort should be made to accommodate really big turnouts.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

This is just an idea that I thought I would throw out there, but since large attendance at tourneys is starting to be an issue, and we are talking about the 4 majors being qualifiers for NA, what if the N, S, E, & W "majors" all happened at the same time? You could go to whichever one you wanted, but obviously you could only attend one of them.....this would also leave all the other weekends open to all of the regular tournaments....I know there are pros and cons to this, but just a thought.....comments?

This idea has been talked about quite a bit. I love it. The idea that we'd have one weekend's worth of returns from all over North America is not only an exciting prospect but also potentially a good way to filter teams into larger tourneys.

One change I would make would be to not leave it up to the discretion of the team to decide where they get to enter. I would lock it somehow, whether by region, or a random drawing, or the prevailing birth sign of the teams. A team that knows they probably won't move on in a certain region may look to an "easier" region where they're more than likely to beat the other contenders and then advance to the big show.

However, if there are a number of teams overflowing from one tournament roster, and another tournament roster has spots, then and only then would space open to people outside that of a particular tournament roster... or something like that... figure out some way so even if it's locked there isn't one roster with 10 empty spots and another roster with a 10 spot waiting list.... or maybe not and you just leave those spots vacant, I dunno.

Just a thought...

prevailing birth signs. pisces only tournament.
hey baby whats your sign!

These ideas aren't mutually exclusive. There can still be 3 or 4 tournaments throughout the year designated as "majors" that all the A teams plan on attending (resulting in high level competition and high visibility for the sport) but regional qualifiers are done at the same time so that teams must necessarily play their area- a "regional's weekend". Regionals qualify you for North Americans, then use that as the bar for Worlds.


I really like the "regional weekend" idea. Having the majors all on one day frees up the other dates for more polo.

My concern is using these as qualifiers for bigger tournaments. If you have a powerhouse region, like Cascadia, it will be much harder for the average joe to make it to the big tournaments. Will number of qualifying spots be tailored to number of badass teams competing in the Regional?

This correlates somewhat to having more women involved at the higher level tournaments. Cascadia women did quite well at Ladies Army, but would not likely make it through a "top 10 advance" style Regional. I'm not asking for special treatment of women, I'm just trying to find a way to advance all the appropriate A to B+ teams from a region.

Maybe a sliding scale based on the regions past performance at big tournaments could be used to decide how many teams each region can send.

Regional Weekend is a good idea. It allows room for more "local" teams to enter and keeps regional tournaments, well, regional. As much as I would like to go to ESPI or something like that those tournaments should reflect their name. In the bike racing world national championships are all on the same weekends. It makes planning the international calendar easier and avoids conflicts.

Berlin hosted a 40-team "Pre-qualification" tourney for all the teams that were not guaranteed a spot on Friday. Doing this allowed for the "average Joe" to get another shot at making the main event. They extended the tourney an extra day to do this, not something to be taken lightly.

The "class" issue is a good one. Kiersten you talk about women but we may as well talk about youth, senior, rookie or whatever. It's like minor league and major league competing in the same weekend. It would be super cool to do this sort of thing -- makes it possible to have more people winning. Also very challenging as it adds layers of complexity to organizing.

Well said Doug! We have to have structure to have a good marketing pitch. I think some people are losing focus on that. Even if we want to add more tournaments to the series later, we need to start small and do it right.

such a good point kat, i hope we can work toward an answer. i think major tournaments need to examine these issues closely.

When is the next round of City/Regional voting happening? I think now that we know what we need, we have a better idea of who to vote for.

Fight you for it.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

"Im not weird. I'm magical" - Ben Schultz

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

What is the job of a rep, what are they responsible for. And also is it possible to see the list of regional reps?

I need a sugar momma so I can work less and play polo more!!

Not sure on specific duties but a lot of the job is communication and organization. You get fancy forum access too.

I know the cascadian regional reps are Justin, calgary, Lisa, east van, and Meg lee, portland.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Since Meg is moving to MKE, will she still be a Cascadian rep?

Midwest is best!!

Are you proposing an interim election? How about appointing the person with the next highest vote count? Ithink that would be Rory.

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

That sounds most fair to me. But it's not my decision of course. : )

Midwest is best!!


I need a sugar momma so I can work less and play polo more!!