Magbee (Magpie, as I call him) has been a bike polo player since before I started playing. While I am certainly more frequent (due to work obligations he took about a year or so off, more or less), he has witnessed this club’s beginnings and is now part of its growth. Here he shares a recent experience with throw-in politics:
Lancaster United Bike Polo has very regular pickup days. Sundays after Noon, and Wednesdays after 4pm (for those who apparently don’t work regular business hours) or “after work” for all the rest who don’t skip out of work. We play our pickup games in typical fashion, with mallets being thrown three to either side to determine teams. This is a simple, unbiased, and effective method to randomize game play. This works.
Now and then, the club has a great showing (typically on Sundays), and there are 12+ players in attendance. This is great for the club, as we have many new players eager to play and hone their skills. However, players are sitting longer, drinking more beer, and ultimately bummed they’re not playing as much. This can be a trying time. Usually we move to fairer approach to selecting teams to increase gameplay for all involved. This would be the A, B, All-throw method.
The A, B, All-throw method is highly effective at selecting fair-ish teams to play in a semi-regular rotation. You have your “A” players who have attended tourneys, played for several years, spent more money on their bikes and polo gear than their kids for the holidays, and who are just all-around great players. There are your “B” players who may or may not have played for several years, may have taken time away from polo, are new to the sport, or just can’t seem to hone their hand, eye, feet coordination to an “A” playing status.
It is relatively easy to determine who will be categorized as A or B, but this process can be a bit discriminatory for those who wish to increase their skill. Yes, the selective nature of categorizing as A or B does make games more fair, and it does help with the self-esteem of those honing their skills in hopes of someday achieving A level, but it still discriminates.
Now, I could easily rant and rave this whole post away discussing pick up polo discrimination and how the A players are keeping the B players down by keeping them out of their games, but this is not that post. This post is focusing on the A, B All-throw method that keeps the discrimination to a minimum when properly executed. So, now that we have the explanation out of the way, let’s dive into how this should really work. Read more