Archive for Monday’s Impossible

Monday Impossible: Break Up Players Into Divisions?


A few weeks ago I went out to the local beer hole with a few bike polo players to talk shop and see who could drink the most while still maintaining verbal acuity (the answer was nobody). Early in our frivolities, we got on the subject of really outstanding players and how they make going to tourneys (with the idea of winning) a forgone conclusion for most other players.

In the past I’d mentioned having a major and minor league for this very reason, actually, though when I brought that up the people around me made the wise choice of ignoring what I was saying. Good on them, really.

But then Lumberjack brought up this idea:

What if we had divisions in NAH Tourneys?

Now I realize this isn’t a new idea. As far back as 2011 people were suggesting this very thing on LoBP (ALL HAIL!), but I wasn’t part of those conversations and I’m willing to act like they didn’t happen.

What Lumberjack suggested, more or less (the beer was taking it’s effect on me at this point), was the following:

  • Players would, for 1 year, have their records of goals/wins/other important data recorded
  • After that year, the club reps would tally up the group and split them into A/B/C rankings based on defined measurements from the NAH
  • Those players would then go to tourneys and play in those divisions (C players playing on Friday, B players on Saturday, and A players on Sunday, much like (he says) MTB racing does.
  • Players individual records are continuously kept, allowing them to either move up or down based on performance.

There are lots of problems with this model, but I’ll get to those in a second. First let’s talk about the benefits.

1. All levels of players have a chance to win big: Let’s say you’re a C player and you really want to go to a tourney, but realize you’re just going to be pushed out of the thing by Saturday. Well, that really doesn’t give you much of a positive outlook on how things are going to go down, is it? If we broke things into divisions like this, there’s a very real possibility that your team could make it to the podium, as there’s an equally good chance that the folks you’re playing against are around your same level of play. Same with B Players, too.

2. Seeding is less difficult: Instead of having a day where organizers try to work out who is the strongest and who is the weakest team, they can simply start up the tourney for each division respectively. Since everyone is already vetted into a group, organizers can simply create brackets and start the event!

3. bigger tourneys, smaller brackets: Sure, we’re talking about having three individual tourneys happening here, but the brackets will be far smaller for each one, and that leads to a faster event.

4. More entertaining to watch: One of the big things that gets tossed around in bike polo is making it more exciting to watch. Well if you have players who are all closer in skill, the games get more fun, and you have more people to root for. Breaking up NAH tourneys into Divisions gives viewers more champions to root for, and inherently creates more viewers simply because the people who are playing in other divisions will more than likely want to cheer on their friends who are in the currently playing group.


And now some of the problems that I can see with this: Read more

Monday’s Impossible: Introduction and First Impossible Idea


Why hello there,

A little while back I was struggling to come up with content for this little blog, and if today has been any indication (don’t worry, Nick Kruse practically forced me to punch myself for posting that eighthInch thing) , I still sometimes run out of ideas for new posts.

That last time, however, Alias of DC bike polo suggested that I write a post of “what if” ideas–ideas about the sport that might not at all be practical or possible, but were none the less interesting to think about.

Being a kinda in-my-own-head sorta guy, I thought this was a good idea, and I want to give it a try today. Recognizing that many of you will read these ideas and almost immediately see the flaws, I decided to name this particular segment of the broadcast “Monday’s Impossible.” I hope you get a kick out of expanding your mind and using your IMAGINATION.

So, for the first impossible idea:

What If We Eliminated The Dab?

The dab–the tap-out: it’s one of the first hard rules of our sport, and the one that nobody takes issue with (which is kind of unique, considering just how much we like to complain, no?) But what if we were to eliminate this requirement after someone puts a foot down/falls off their bike?

Putting on my imagination cap–oh, sorry, my imagination cap, I can forsee a few changes to our games. 

For one thing, I think that people immediately call for a rule that people playing goalie had to stay upright, which would eventually lead to people saying that there isn’t an official goalie, so how can you tell who is actually playing goalie/isn’t/league of bike polo (ALL HAIL!) thread for dayzzz.

But moving past that goalie situation, the impact would be huge, I think. A team’s strategy could no longer be to try to get the other team to dab, as  the other team could just pop back up on their pedals and keep going. This would be particularly frustrating if you were the offensive team and the defense just kept falling and getting back up like some sort of undead menace.

I don’t think it would have much of an impact as far as long-court movement went. If a player puts a foot down on your breakaway and needs to tap out or not, they are effectively out of the play anyway, so it works either way.

I think that newer players wouldn’t gain the legendary balance that polo players eventually posses-at least not as quickly, and that would be a shame indeed.

So, overall, the dab serves the purpose of cleaning out an area once someone has lost the battle against gravity, adds a requirement for a certain skill level, and also rewards those who are more in tune with their bikes than not.

As far as this fellow is concerned, this impossible idea should remain very much so impossible to enact.