My Argument for No Goal Limit


Game format is something that people get mighty touchy about when brought up. By way of example, just bring up the idea that bench format should be more prevalent (and see how many people either tell you how wrong you are, or just stop listening altogether and decide to not invite you to their son’s Bar Mitzvah). It’s one of the holiest things in bike polo–surprising, given what bike polo is.

Currently there is a vote occurring to determine what rule changes are on the minds of bike polo players. The NAH (Specifically Chairman Kruse)  hopes to gather up enough information through the votes in order to better determine how they can create rules which satisfy players. I for one think it’s pretty awesome that they are going about it this way. One polokin, one vote, I say.

So naturally I voted, and generally speaking, I don’t share opinions of where the sport should be heading with bike polo at large (save for jousting, contact rules, and the idea of the crease (though my vote is in 2nd place right now, I still have lots of people that agree with me (I just need validation))). But what bothered me most was this:

game formatOkay. Okay. I get it. Doing unlimited score would fundamentally change bike polo. I’m not fighting that argument because I don’t have much ground to stand on.

But PEOPLE! We’d be introducing two elements to bike polo that are very important and valuable: consistency and the importance of strategic planning! …at least in my mind right at this moment.

Consistency: games would always be 10 minutes the first day, 12 minutes the second day, and so on. Organizers would be able to keep better track of which games were happening. Players would know, for example, if there were 3 games before their next match, they would have 30 minutes to leave the tourney for food/a nap/a quick game of tag. Right now you don’t know if you’ll have thirty minutes or ten, and that means at at least one person needs to stay from your team to alert the rest of the team about what’s going down courtside.

This, I think, would also help with flow. People would be able to have a good idea by the second day when they were required to be at the courts (instead of all showing up in the morning.

I recognize that nobody is early to polo. I’m talking hypotheticals.

underdogStrategic Planning/Surprise Wins: there are teams that depend on throwing all their power in the first few minutes of the game to lock down opponents. If you have one player who is a slayer with shots, really all you need to do is get the ball to that polokin. But let’s just say that you had an unlimited score to fiddle around with. Well then, my friend, that one slayer wouldn’t be nearly so important as far as shutting down a game in three minutes, would they?

No. No they would not.

Instead you’d have games that were much more focused on the overall strategy and planning that the teams could manage over the course of ten minutes. I think there would be more daring plays as well – as people wouldn’t be as concerned (at least at the start) about turtling up on the goal.

The larger concern would be how to figure out what that would mean for seeding/placing teams, but I recognize that there are smarter, more number-ey heads out there that could work something so confusing (to me) out.

Really, I just think having two limits (time and score) isn’t nearly so fun as only having one limitation–and if we’re only going to have one, it necessarily needs to be time.

And, just to cut down on some of the haterade right here: this is just my opinion (and one that only 81 other people are willing to say is theirs, at this point), so don’t get too feisty thinking I’m calling out everyone else for being a dumb dumb dumby head.

kinda am, but really it’s because I love you.

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