Archive for Tournaments

I’m Back

2013-10-19 15.54.50

And wicked tired. Between the heat and excitement, I’ve developed a head cold and a sleepiness that makes the 12 hours I got as soon as I arrived home feel like a cat nap. I can’t imagine what the players of the 2013 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship are dealing with today (probably nothing–they are athletes and I’m just a little hobbity fellow who hasn’t been so far from the Shire ever before).

I have lots of pictures, lots of articles, and lots of fun things to share with you, dear reader. I just need a day to decompress before I can share them with you.

So hold tight, travel safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow with my review of Worlds.

…now to not fall asleep at work.

Traveling to Worlds, Breakfast, and the First Day

My flight leaves in just under an hour, and I’ve missed my final exit I need to take to get into BWI.

It’s not unexpected: I’m well known in my own  little circles for having no sense of where I am. I don’t get angry. Okay–I do stare down someone in the car next to me, but they don’t see it and the impact is remarkably low. Still, I loop around another exit to get back on the highway and make the exit. I park in the long term parking, telling myself that I’ll remember where I put my car, but knowning it’s a lie.

On the bus to the airport, I’m flanked by a family whose daughters speak a mix of lyrical Japanese and perfect Valley Girl English. They are beautiful in only the way a stereotypical image can be while traveling. Getting through airport security is instant, as is getting on the plane. I guess I didn’t look enough like a polo player.

But here’s where it got interesting. Flight 255, coming out of Baltimore for Fort Slaughterdale, was delayed because one passenger decided to threaten a stewardess just before takeoff. Because a seat in front of him was stuck in the recline position.

It was magical, and that’s all I feel I need to say about that.

The rest of the night was full of trips to the airport, meeting new fraaans, and really wishing that Lomax would just stop putting his bike together at 2 in the morning so I can sleep.

The morning came too quickly, but breakfast was hot and full of polo players discussing brackets and looking blankly at Faux News. The shuttle is here and Lomax (1/2 of my room-mate BFFs) is just about ready.

Here we go.

For Those Traveling To Florida: 10 Travel Tips

travel

Bike polo travel is a tricky business, wrought with the possibility of paying for your bike to travel with you, people not understanding the smell that your skin giving off, or thinking that you’re a cast member of a new, hipster version of Mad Max.

But take heart, I’m here to help. With these tips, you’re sure to make it to Florida safe and sound:

1. Do not practice your mallet swing while in the airport

2. If someone asks you what’s in your over sized checked bag, don’t say “sports equipment” and then start giggling.

3. Always keep one extra pair of clothing in your carry-on, just in case your “sports equipment” bag gets lost.

4. Try not to drink until after you arrive at your destination (okay, maybe a few quick ones in  the airport).

5. If you’re travelling with a life partner, stop talking about bike polo. Just stop it right now and talk about anything else.

6. Charge all of your electronic devices. Make sure to get all of the cords tangled up so you have a reason to swear under your breath repeatedly during the flight.

7. Enjoy the cavity search.

8. If you find yourself running late for a flight, resist the urge to ride your bike to the gate. You will be tased, bro.

9. Act like you’re a famous sportstar. See if anyone asks for your autograph. You’ve already got the swagger, don’t you?

10. Practice your impression of Machine.

One Day Till Worlds, One Day Till Destiny

So, as any of you longtime readers know, I’ve never been to a World Championship competition. This being my first (five years from the very first World Championship), I’m pretty amped to be attending. In particular, I’m pretty excited to be attending as a reporter for Urban Velo and my own humble site here.

I’ve been thinking about how to report the events in Florida to you, dear readers, in a way that is both unique and entertaining. I think I’ve come up with a good formula, so let’s see if you pick up what I’m putting down:

I’ll do live updating via the Facebook page. Expect to see interesting products, snapshot interviews, and other shenanigans there.

I’ll try to do a daily post after the day’s events, starting on my trip down and ending with my trip back up. Each of these posts will go live either late at night or early the next morning. I’m not super willing to say this idea is 100%, but I’d love to be able to do this, as I think it’ll add a little sum-sum to the reporting aspect.

On top of that, you can look for a feature length article at Urban Velo, which will be much more of a in-depth look at how Worlds has grown, the event itself, and the people involved. I’m very excited to see how that article goes, as it’ll be the first deep-dig reporting I’ve done on the sport, and that’s just thrilling the little writer’s heart I’ve got.

I’m particularly excited to meet bike polo players from all over the world, and hope to make some good connections with you cats as the event progresses. No doubt I’ll be trying to pull a dozen or so of you aside for five minute interviews. Don’t get frustrated with me, please–I’m probably overly excited to see you in person.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the bearded, short, round fellow who is wearing a pith helmet and is smiling at nothing. Search me out!

 

 

 

Pictures from Lancaster United Happy Funtime Tourney

Lancaster United Pick-up tourney (51)

This past weekend Lancaster United hosted a fun-time tourney: a regular three man/woman/horse tourney followed by a bench format, then followed by some more pickup. We had a great turnout and lots of fun to be had.

As is often the case, I brought along my little camera and snapped away some pictures. Notably this one of the WINNERS OF THE 3 man/woman/horse tourney:

Lancaster United Pick-up tourney (81)Rodney, Liz, and Brian who are:

  • The best polo players in
  • The best polo team
  • In the universe (is that close to what you told me to write, Liz?)

The winners of the Bench format game are altogether not important, as neither Liz nor I were on that team. Who says winner write histories?

Anyway, here are handfuls of pictures (after the jump) from the day. Enjoy!

Read more

The 6 People I Plan to See at Worlds

We are now a mere day away from October, or as I like to call it, Worldstober. With the heralding of the greatest month put together by Augustus Caesar comes, likewise, the greatest bike polo tournament put together by the people who put together bike polo tournaments.

This will be my first time ever traveling to the championship, and I’m more than a smidge excited by the idea. Point in fact, I’ve been daydreaming about the sorts of people I may or may not meet while attending and reporting on the scene. Here are a few of my more favorite potential attendees/players:

Paul GiamattiThat Guy I Only Know From The LoBP Boards

I’ve conversed with him, challenged him, made jokes with him and ultimately feel as though I have a pretty good understanding of the kind of person this internet buddy is.

And then I’ll meet him, and I won’t believe he’s the same person at all. You’re that short?! YOU ARE MISSING AN EAR?! (note: I’m probably going to be this guy for a lot of you. Just accept my hobbit-ness.)

The Super-Pro who is really approachable/The Super-Pro who is really just as scary as I imagined:

beavsI’ve never met the beaver boys. Any of them, I don’t believe. But I’m horrified to talk to any of them. Chances are they are either going to live up to my nightmares of them ( “Lancaster Polo? What’s that? ::pushes me away while someone pulls down my pants::) or they are going to be alright guys who are willing to chat me up a little bit ( “Lancaster polo? I heard of you!” ::pushes me away with a smile while someone pulls down my pants while laughing::).  Either way, I think it’ll be interesting to see what players from the top teams in the US make of me running around and asking for a few moments of time.

I’m not worried about it. No, really. I’m sure it’ll be juuuuust fine. Read more

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: WHBPC Halftime Show REVEALED

bike polo champ

After a few weeks of tough investigative reporting, I’m finally able to release that there will indeed be a halftime show for this year’s World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship, and it will be amazing. 

Here, with exclusive footage of the halftime performers practicing, lancaster polo is proud to finally reveal this secret.

Click here to view the video, and be prepared!

Announcing: Keystone Classic Tournament 2013

keystone

It’s that time of year again: pack up your straw hats and your farm equipment to head on out to Lancaster, PA for the annual Keystone Classic:

2013KC_poster

 

You can learn more by visiting the LoBP (ALL HAIL) info page right here,  or just go ahead and register here but generally speaking, it’s a small 16 team cap, and as long as your area is in green as shown in this graphic, your eligible to come:

map1

That Kid Who Got Pegged At North Americans:

Hat tip to Alias for pointing this out (click on the picture if it doesn’t start up automatically):

kid pegged

Bikepolo.tv, Podium, and Throwing a Tourney: My Thoughts

bikepolotv

There really isn’t’ much else that needs to be said.
Anytime I wasn’t actually playing polo this weekend, I spent glued to the couch with my ipad in hand, streaming the greatest game on earth. I’m pretty sure my wife had a few conversations with me, but you’d have to ask her, because I certainly didn’t hear any of them.

North Americans and the stream on Bikepolo.tv brought a few things to my attention. First, despite some comments to the contrary, good hard polo is super exciting to watch. If there’s anyone who got bored watching the first game of the finals (Beavers vs. Guardians) then you’re clinically dead.

Second, was the streaming has seriously improved since the first time I tuned in. Good quality feed, most of the time the cameras were on point, and there were multiple angles! The commentary was excellent, and by the end I even learned to appreciate Machines endless banter.

The last thing that I noted was about Podium. It seems that every tourney I go to, someone is bitching and complaining about Podium. It doesn’t work. It sucks. It screws everything up. OMG I can’t work the internet.

It seemed to work pretty damn well for 48 teams, over 3 intense days, on 3 courts. Maybe trying to run your tournament off of the 7Elevens wifi from two blocks away is contributing to your issues?

Anyway, big shout out to Mr. Do, machine, Vince, Chandel, and everyone else involved in making bikepolo.tv my porn for the weekend.

And big shout out to Beavers for again making almost every other team look like newbs. Its hard to like you because you’re pretty aware of how good you are, but you can’t deny results.