Alias, in between preparing for the tourney(s) this weekend and murdering people with is mind, managed to sit down at his computer and allow me to interview him. He talks about how he came about coming up with the inventive structure, challenges he faced, an the rewards that come with that effort.
Totes wrote that in Terri Gross’ voice, btw.
Eastside Thaw – when did you decide to have this event?
Foremost, The Thaw is largely inspired by Polo Camp. DC Bike Polo has hosted a social tournament twice before at the nearby Frederick, MD courts. Polo Camp II was my first tournament experience, and first time meeting players from other clubs. The experience was very positive for me.
Lastly, I had noticed a theme in many posts from polo friends in other clubs. Lots of people expressed that their clubs suffer from low numbers and loss of morale in the winter. I saw a need for an early spring event to kick-start the polo season and raise spirits.
I added “Eastside” to the name because I wanted to do something to regionally make the Eastside stronger. Also, if the event proves successful, I hope for it to be culturally adopted into the annual cycle for the region. In my mind, the Eastside event calendar begins with the Thaw, and ends with Turducken. Rince. Repeat.
By time I attended the Keystone Classic and Turducken in 2012, I had talked to enough people from other clubs, and the response was positive enough that I felt like I had a green light.
You’re doing it outside of your club, right (it’s a 1 man show) – how hard is that so far?
I deserve every bit of hardship I’ve put on myself here. It is incorrect that I’ve done it all by myself. Many critical components of the Thaw were handled by members of DC Bike Polo. This is my baby, and I’ve obsessed over it for months now. It has been hard, but I did it to myself.
Tell me about the days setup and what you think you’ve done that’s inventive.
The Thaw is actually two tournaments for starters. Because of this, it also meant that players could elect to only play on one of the days without messing up the roster.
Saturday is a “Shuffle deck 3v3″ tournament. The 72 player roster was sorted into three skill groups of 24 people. Each team will have a player from each group making the playing field more competitive horizontally. Each team will have strengths and weaknesses. Players will check in and draw a card. That card will determine their team, so I’ve left it to chance–I didn’t want to try and engineer the outcome. We’ll be playing several swiss rounds, then playing a single elimination bracket. Stats for individual players are significant because they will determine who are the team captains for day two.
Before we rush off to day two, we return to DC and have a big house party in the heart of the district. No survivors.Sunday is a “Schoolyard Bench” tournament. The 8 players that became team captains on day one will do a player draft, and all players will arrive knowing what team they are on. There will be one pre-bracket match to get to know your team, and then the teams will fight it out in a double elimination bracket.
2 – 6′ x 4′ goals will be used.