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SYRACUSE BIKE POLO!! Recommendations on how to teach, please..

I moved up to the Syracuse area last October and I have finally recruited a number of people interested in playing Bike Polo.
We are planning to meet next week to play for the first time. I'm trying to think of the best way to teach a big group of people how to play without it being a giant mess of newby players. I'm thinking some skill practice with games afterwards?

This is me... asking YOU.. for suggestions on how best to teach an entirely new, unexperienced group of people to play polo.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if you have any extra mallets that you'd donate - they would be really helpful too.

Thanks in advance!!

introduce them one by one to the boards.

carve. smash. eat shit.

A giant mess of newby players sounds like a joy to behold.

Collect enough mallets. Have many extra balls.
Show people how to hold a mallet. Describe shuffle vs. shot.
Describe don't be a dick and game to 5. With luck those are the only rules to describe.

Then I'd throw out some balls and see what happens. Let people hit it around for a while first.

I've heard tales of similar endeavors with youth groups, and that basic one-handed bike skills were short of what's needed for actual bike polo. You might consider allowing shuffle goals if the skill level is down there in the one-hand-wobble level.

If you're talking to experienced hockey playing mountain bikers then don't bother with the don't be a dick part, it won't register anyway.

I agree.

Give them a few rules, let people dribble and shoot the ball around a bit and then play some games. I had the same experience out here in San Diego about 7 months ago. We left shuffles count for a couple weeks, then just shuffles counted for newbies then eliminated it completely.

I think new players progress faster by playing in games...practicing and hitting the ball around seems to benefit more advanced players after you have grasped the whole concept of the game.


Yo Dawg I heard you like redundancies so we got a PIN number for your PIN

give them each a ball and time to carry it. with no pressure.
then one ball for two players and have them pass. with no one stealing it.
then 3 players. two on keep away. one trying to get the ball. rotate that.
built up to a 3v3 game.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

thanks everybody!

Jousting is fun- don't forget that!

bring tools in case anyone wants to swap brakes.
kenball builds skills too.


congratulations on your crew of rookies! that's exciting.
i think some youtube homework is a good idea too, in terms of people understanding what game play looks like.
i think all the suggestions about passing and ball carrying in space are great. my main m.o. when on a team with a rookie is to pass them the ball as often as possible in a low pressure situation, pick up their garbage, and pass it to them again.

quinn! i'm from syracuse. it's tricky to get kids to stick to it there.
you guys should come to rochester for a mathc some sunday. when do you guys play. we'd love to come out and tech you guys to play! i have more than enough mallets for two teams. where do you play?

teach them the things that others taught you, and more importantly, the things you had to learn on your own. keep passin' on the knowledge. also, make sure they know how to ride...that's half the battle. foster confidence in the new players.

"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

Trial by fire! The only real way to learn is to just get out there and play. Trow them into some local tournys, playing pick up games with pepole from other citys always makes you a better player. You can also spead them out on a big parking lot it gives them more time to react to on coming players, then slowly shorten the court as they learn to handle those bikes better. The big court means they have to handle the ball longer and it gives them more time to look for pepole to pass the ball to. This should keep them from getting discouraged tell them they are doing great even if they suck I find this to be the biggest problem for newbies. Good luck! Hope to see you guys at a tournament soon!

Deaddog- sacbikepolo

Trial by fire seems to be the way, but Quinn did a great job. i showed up an hour late and those dudes were already able to handle themselves pretty well. only criticism (and advice for the future) don't allow so much dabbing. i know you said next time, but it doesn't force the dudes to try to handle themselves s well.
You did an awesome job getting them to show and teaching them.

Krist, thanks again for coming out. It was great to have you and nicole there!

there were a total of 10 people, i think. we played for about 2 hours and they all picked it up very quickly and seemed to love it. some of them left talking about how their going to fix up their bikes to be polo-specific. woo hoo!

the reason for the no-tap-out rule this time.. the point of this was to get people excited and interested in polo and if they left feeling like they couldnt stay on their bikes and were just really frustrated, they'd be less likely to come back. everyone seems really psyched to play next week and i hope to have a new bunch of people this sunday. pickup day 2 will include some more rules, including the tap out rule. i also let shuffles count as goals this time. wanted it to be as fun as possible!

thanks again everyone for your suggestions. its all (well, mostly) very helpful!