There is something unique about a bike polo rules argument. Generally speaking, it involves two people that will not, under any circumstance, see the point of view of the other person. On court this means increasingly loud voices (or increasingly passive aggressive one-shot statements made when coming off of or going on to the court) and on the LoBP (ALL HAIL) boards it means people reiterating their point over and over until someone eventually puts up a picture of a pony phallus and people move on to the next board to argue.
It’s not like this happens in other sports, I think it’s fair to say. Point in fact I think this is something that makes polo completely unique. Ok, yes, the goofiness of the sport also goes a long way in separating us from the more traditional US and international sports, but the arguing is what I’m talking about today so just cram it in your five hole, naysayers.
Polo is young – it’s still being formed up. Even when I started oh-so-not-long-ago the sport was very different than it is today. When I first started playing nobody capped their mallets (at least around our area), people weren’t wearing helmets and we used to tie a dead chicken around the neck of whoever showed up last to a pickup day.
Man, those were the days.
So bike polo is a changing, bending, breaking sport. It has rules, yes, but those are still open to interpretation by tourney hosts and the general consensus of the players and spectators at any given moment. I mean, when the prevailing rule is don’t be a dick you’re leaving quite a bit up to interpretation, aren’t you?
But that’s good – it’s important that the sport isn’t cut and dry. Well, maybe important isn’t the right word: exciting. It’s exciting that we’re the people who are forming up the sport at this point in time. I try to remember, in any argument about fair play and rules, the big picture.
Fifty years from now, let’s say, people aren’t going to be arguing about scoop shots. They aren’t going to argue about equipment or what counts as a goal or if the goalie should have a protected zone. Bike polo will become (if nobody came to their senses and stopped playing this crazy sport) sterilized. It will become something that school kids play during recess – some stupid version of it that doesn’t involve checking and has uses foam covered mallets or something. Bike polo will become regulated, so much so that we – the people who played the Wild West version we have today – would be sick thinking of how everyone is doing it wrong.
So, I guess the summation of this is to enjoy the arguments. Enjoy the triviality of whether a shot originating from the shaft counts as a goal. Just breathe in that fresh sport smell because it won’t last much longer.
Realize we’re the people the guys and girls who play this sport half a century from now will think of as completely crazy.