Machine Politics vs L'Équipe, August 2010. Photo by Steph Simcox
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
* 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