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Putting a Form to the North American Hardcourt Season

I'm wondering, does everyone see the natural progression of a typical season of polo in North America as a season in which major regional invite tournaments become regional qualifiers which then decide those who participate in the North Americans which then decides those who participate in the Worlds?

I've always thought that a professional tennis season's format along with its varied styles of courts was a much better match with polo than the way in which a pro/college baseball, basketball, football or hockey season is organized.

Our year is composed of tournaments rather than 1 team vs. 1 team weekly matches and I think that if NA Hardcourt plans to put some sort of official form to the season this needs to be considered.

I'd like to hear how others see the ideal or necessary form to the polo season.

I am for personal stats, like the way riders are selected for the tour de france.

Portland United

slayson wrote:

like the way riders are selected for the tour de france.

i'm with jason. weekly drug tests in ohten.

Garmin-Slipstream Bike Polo?


weekly drug tests in ohten.

Why do I have to cut my drug testing down to once a week?


RUCKUS wrote:

Why do I have to cut my drug testing down to once a week?


test your drugs early and often.

nobody rides alone. you play as a team.
how will ye be judged, especially for skill upon which you cannot place a numerical value?


very nice!
now if you combine that with age, yrs played and tournys attended...
i'm IN!
polo is more fun with stats

Portland United

jawn wrote:

nobody rides alone. you play as a team.
how will ye be judged, especially for skill upon which you cannot place a numerical value?

Their will come a time when polo riders that are in the same pool/cat. will only be able to make certain tournys...
Those riders come and go, as do teams
i expect the league will sort this out shortly
yes sometimes you will find yourself alone
its not that i am an elitist
just sayin we have a league now

Portland United

We should be judged individually on our poise , sociability and overall the slinkiness and vibrance of the skin(fur) we're in...just like a cat show. "So this is how it ends"

  • IMG00772.jpg

"So this is how it ends"MACHINE

i think you'd still just put your mallet in your own spokes in these new areas machine.

I see this thread is kinda quiet...
Let me add this thought.
With the the progresion of polo through the next few years I see tournys offered up to various levels of players. i.e.
OPEN- All catagories
A- level only
B- level only
A-level with the option of some teams that are not all A players to join in on the action
PICK UP- will always be there to play against and with people that are better than yourself
or some tournys could have multiple classes with a chance of the B players who win their brackets to play in the main event
not to mention a masters 30+ class tourny and juniors 18 and under tourny
or seperate prizes in tournys for these different classifications
and of course all season long stats so players know where they stand so when planning on travel they can choose what is their best move/who to play with and which tournys will further their rankings. also making it more clear which tournys should be qualifiers and what not

Portland United

If/when I host a 24+ team event I will strongly consider running parallel A and B class events.

A dedicated pick-up court should be part of all tourneys. I'm only an OK player so my joke about tourneys is that they suck if what you want to do is play a lot of games. The Saturday night, 4-court pickup in LA was awesome!

These are challenging to deliver but seem worthwhile.

I've talked about promotion and relegation tourneys with a few people before. Pretty hard to seed based on self-reporting. I was really excited to see a parallel elimination bracket at the Worlds last year for those who didn't make the cut to the title bracket.


slayson wrote:

...not to mention a masters 30+ class tourny and juniors 18 and under tourny

Give me a break, really!? A 30+ masters class?!?! Come on man! Masters should clearly be 45+ at least

i've always thought of it as a beer-point category, 44 years old and up.

Stats: Beers per night average, how many mallets you've made, and throw-in count per city.

in deciding what to keep stats on we are deciding the most important aspects of our game/sport. think about who you really enjoy playing with and what should never be lost. record what really matters and be part of something bigger.

P/M Hardcourt

embrace the future of your sport or be left behind...

Portland United

if you have to record stats, not to be left behind, i'm sorry...i'll be playing. just embracing rule #1

P/M Hardcourt

yea, thats what the game is about. tournys should be fun, and competitive. the current system now could be bettered by having easier knock outs (no taking two days playing a total of six games to find out your out) double elimination 2 day tourneys with lots of pickup. everyone gets what they want. play lots of polo, play hard competitive matches. watch amazing competitive games . polo at its best. plus food, entertainment, and a whole new city to explore

yea, good one...
you mean the part of the city where you stay to the courts and back, hmmm.
yea yea yea i get it, you want to sound all nice and responsible like. now that you guys have the "bid" perfect ben purrrrrfect

Portland United

If the option of a pick-up court was going to be there anyway, I'd just as soon travel all that way to play 6 tournament games over two days and lots of pick-up versus two tournament games and lots of pick-up.

The competitive tournament games are where you test yourself and learn the most. The more of them, the better you'll know what you're capable of. Playing pick-up with people that you ordinarily wouldn't is a lot of fun, and there is plenty to be learned from it, but it doesn't beat tournament experience.

Vote "no" on double elimination tourneys! Keep the round robins/swiss system/groups!


competitive polo > mixed pickup > locals only pickup

Just to clarify, do you want to keep double elimination as a method out tournaments or are you just speaking against "double-elimination-only" tourneys. Swiss rounds seems the best option for rounds and seeding, but you have to start knocking out teams somehow.

I'd also like to highlight that http://www.tournamentdesign.org/ has lots of great info. I especially like their 4-team/triple-elimination brackets.

the future of the sport according to you.

i think polo as we know and love it now needs to be safeguarded with minimal additions.

how the tourney season goes could definitely use some definition.

i think that the tourney description, which is up to the organizer, should be the way in which tourneys are defined. if your city wants to host an A-level, two day, single elimination for people with yellow mallet heads and pink bikes go right ahead. if you want to host as many teams as possible for a three or four day epic go ahead.

i think people are creating these National Polo League scenarios that are a bit premature and silly.

Play five nights a week and remember all the reasons that you started playing and how awesome polo is now, focus on that and preserve it! IMHO

if the new teams never play against the best teams, which i'm guessing ben is considering himself a part of, how will the new guys get better? do you want to play with the same good teams over and over? sounds like a good way to get stagnant. why not play the easy games? you get a 5-0 win (pretty much a bye) and they get invaluable experience. everyone "wins."

carve. smash. eat shit.

This is a contentious point in East Van right now drizz. Better players seemingly playing polo with themselves. Yes, we all want the intense "high octane" (as it is so affectionately called) games, but where does that leave newer players, or those that aren't up to 1st place par? Where does that leave the future of bike polo?

As for the rest of this discussion, as a regional rep, we're working on it folks, we're getting there.

As a general comment, the sport is changing, we're growing up, these are growing pains. But I wouldn't change anything for what's happening right now - creating the future of a sport that's bound to become as common place as tennis was in the 80s. And thank goodness for that, because now we can use the infrastructure to evolve.

Lil_Miss_Used wrote:

...bound to become as common place as tennis was in the 80s. And thank goodness for that, because now we can use the infrastructure to evolve.

Yeah also all those abandoned inline hockey rinks built in the mid-ninties are going to come in quite handy as well.

i personally take responsability for derailing this thread...
mr lane has a valid point "putting form to the season" should it involve variuos styles of brackets and what not is not what the point is, i think what mr lane is asking is when certain toumanents should happen and a way to map out the season ahead of time
correct me if i am wrong matt.
all these other aspects will come into to play and should be dealt with by our league, i guess. so mr lane lets hear your thoughts sir.

Portland United

been away from the computer this last week.

So my reason for this thread was just to get people talking about an NA Polo season, the various forms it could take one day, whether that's as soon as next year or not for another 5 years. With NA Hardcourt possibly deciding the future of our polo season I thought it would be to our advantage to start discussing it.

I was hoping that others who have experience in sports/athletics outside of the big 4, would post how the format of those sports/athletics might relate to a polo season, like what you posted earlier.

the dark end (aka Bobb Todd, Marzipan, B.R. Fuck Face)

i think we should pick the big ones and work backwards from there. Euros, NAs, Worlds, cascadia holds three tourneys for the Triple Crown, ESPIs, Northsides.....et cetera.

Pick the big ones, get a general weekend when they're held and ask the clubs if they want to commit to those dates/tourneys at the beginning of the season so we can get a calendar set out.

Please keep the North Side Polo Invite off your list of "big ones" It's not big. In fact it will be quite small, and invite only so be nice to us. Also we'll hold it whenever the fuck we want to hold it and will not be held to some kind of made up fantasy schedule.

That is all


Portland United

X2 and thanks for the derailing...stats of some kind or another will be fun. Who know some day kids maybe trading your cards. I just wanted to add what I see as important to our future.

I have been reading about baseball and it's origins, there are some fun comparisons. The bit that spurred my earlier response was the fact that a lady struck out Babe Ruth and another Yankee. The result, I feel because of people putting importance on the wrong things, was that the ladies couldn't play in the league anymore.

My main point is that in "putting a form to the NAH season." We have a re-emerging, if not new sport which we determine the future. When I think of our league and sport I see something bigger then the organized sports we see on TV. What I like about our sport right now is the willingness of 09' World Champs to come out to a tourney a small brand new club hosts. In putting form to the "NAH Season" and recording what ever stat we should never loss this. We have lost everything if potential champion players don't play because it could effect their stats, that is why I think we should record what is really important to our sport.

Rambling, I know, thanks for getting me started I've been muttering this to myself all day.

Harcourt Forever!

P/M Hardcourt

right on
i am a bit of an instigator
and well most of the time i agree that having a league is important for the future of our sport i too know that in a round about way it will detract from the origins and playful nature of this passion of ours
so that said, i am preparing myself and others for the times ahead even though its not clear yet how it will affect our sport i am throwing out random scenarios in the hopes of getting feedback
i have played since seattle 2002 and still feel the same way i felt after my first game! i really care where this sport is going and how it affects us all
seriously we need the big five (as aaron said) to be established with in the first month of the year or even before so that we all can plan accordinglly
this will be an interesting year for sure
i make a motion for the league of bike polo to have a polo summit where most of these issues will be hashed out, not just emails and tourny chatter deciding the future of this sport
form people! a little bit of form never hurt anyone in fact a little form goes a long way...

Portland United

x2 on the Polo Summit!

agreed there should be maybe like a series 5 A league tournaments between april and sept.