No – I don’t mean the guy who just hangs out back there and waits for the play to come to him, a la this fellow here:
I mean having a fourth player on the team – the goalie – enabling there to be three players in constant play on the court with one fellow dedicated to defense.
Ok – before you completely destroy this little hypothetical of mine, let me give you the parameters I see this working with:
1. The “goalie” must stay behind the half (their goal half of the court).
2. The “goalie” can pop out to make a play, as long as one player of the same team goes back to act as the “goalie” – much the same as position swapping in lacrosse and, I imagine, other fun sports.
3. The “goalie” is otherwise subject to all other rules that are currently in the rulebook o’ bike polo.
Reasons I think it’s a good idea:
Besides the fact that it suites my general laziness and skillset in polo, it also allows for more people to play in a team. This is both good in the strictly selfish (less time sitting), but also in the tourney (potentially less players looking for 3 man teams, more time to play, smaller tourney bloat).
It’s also a good idea, I think, because it helps build a dynamic that most other sports have – both a defensive focus and offensive focus, rather than the willy-nilly devil-may-care focus we have currently.
And think about what tourneys look like today: most teams find themselves leaving a guy or gal in goal anyway. If we make a fourth player position, you’d have 3 attacking the goal with 4 defending it (or 3 defending and one up for a lucky dish). That’d add some more interesting offensive and defensive strategy, yes?
Having a full time goalie would also make the sport much more competitive (less dumb goals from full court), so skills would naturally go up as would tourney level play. I guess this one can be argued to the opposite as well, but as this is my post, I won’t explain why.
Reasons I think it’s a bad idea:
It’s pretty much impossible to change anything in bike polo without a bunch of players getting angsty on the LoBP (ALL HAIL) boards. People are gonna do what comes naturally, and adding a fourth player who sticks to goal will not come naturally to bike polo (see above boo).
You’ve also created more basic rules to make it work effectively, and more for a ref to keep his eyes open for – namely did someone scoot back to their half when the goalie took a break away to shoot. Refs have a hard enough time keeping an eye out for everything going on, so I can see plenty of people making a ruckus over needing to watch for even more.
Nothing. No, really. This is just me posing the question out to you folks for your hate/concern/thoughts on the premise of a full time goalie. I don’t assume that we’ll get to a point of creating an actual team structure for bike polo anytime soon, nor do I think we necessarily need one at this point. But if 30 years from now I’m being interviewed Bert Sugar style I can say “yup, I tol’ ‘em we’d be moving to a permanent goalie back in twenty-twelve. Look who’s crazy now, aehehehehehHEHEHEHEHEHE.”