The perma goalie is an often maligned character in bike polo. Sure, they can (if they are worth their PBR) stop a game from going 5-0 in the first three minutes, but they don’t lend anything to the offense and are probably daydreaming while they sit back there squinting at what’s happening up court.
After pickup on Sunday Horse and I went for our second burritos of the day and discussed our club, tournaments, and strategy. Generally speaking, our conversations go something like this:
Horse: Blah blah blah this is why you need to improve your bike blah blah
Crusher: Blah blah blah lofty but completely BS suggestion on style of play blah blah blah
However, I was pleasantly surprised when Horse (as he often does) made a suggestion considering a few things I can improve in my goal work. Granted, he cited my high gearing as part of the problem before he made the observation, but that’s just so I could feel comfortable, I’m sure.
He laid out this little piece of goalie double duty on me and I instantly seized on how intellgent and simple a plan it was. While I could explain this in text, why not bust out the figurines that Alias gave me!
First, the setup: one of the defensive players (2) has managed to strip the ball from an attacker. They are beginning their movement behind the goal. The goalie (1) sees this and begins to move out of position.
Now the ball carrier (2), the player continues his move around the goal with the other team’s player (4) following. the Goalie (1) blocks off the other team’s player (6) and extends the barrier created by the goal. At the same time, the 3rd player on the goalie’s team (3) takes position in the goal in case the plan doesn’t pan out.
At this point, the goalie (1) stops just short of T boning the ball carrier (2), effectively stripping the pursuing player (4) and still blocking off another (6). The goalie at this point has two options: to turn with the ball carrier or hold tight to eliminate player 4 from the play.
Let’s say the goalie continues on with the ball carrier. The goalie can effectively lock out player 6 and 4 from pursuing, and perhaps even create a block against player 5 if they are able to get some legs. At any rate, the ball carrier is has the momentum advantage on anyone else on the court.
If player 5 (in this example) is actually in the other teams goal during all of this, the situation becomes easier to pull off and you’ve still created a 1 on 1 situation for the ball carrier to score.
I realize this is pretty basic stuff for most of us, but I hadn’t thought of it this way before. Anyway, it excited me to try out, and I’ll let you know how that goes when I do.