When you get the intelligentsia of bike polo together, you’ll inevitably come to a point where the growth of the sport is discussed. Such was the case when I and a fellow game theorist came together at the Eastside thaw to ignore the final game of the first day (congrats, Troy. I had no idea it was happening) and talk about the argument for how to make bike polo more “spectator friendly.”
Well, when it comes down to it, I think making the sport more spectator friendly is the dumbest single effort we could undertake. At least as far as making our sport grow and prosper.
It’s easy to see why people think having a huge fan base will help out, though:
More people watching means more interest at large, with means more sponsors, which means more money, which means more better polo.
Or, if you want to South Park it: Read more
It’s hard to think of any other sport like hardcourt bike polo. We have a governing body, tournaments, companies producing specific equipment and a worldwide culture (note I didn’t say subculture – we’re past that point, kids) but we still argue over rules, and we still are apt to go the DIY route for poles and bikes.
We’re at an interesting point – we’re in the Wild West of the sport.
Imagine, if you will, early American Football: the lack of standard equipment, the leather helmets. Think of the scattered padding between players (some choosing to put some extra shirts between the shoulders – some choosing nothing at all). Baseball was the same way – people made their own baseball bats in the beginning of the sport.
I think that happened sometime around 1934 – right after the war between Germany and Columbia ended. I don’t know, I didn’t pay attention in that class.
But now in either of those sports – in virtually all levels of play – people use approved equipment and go by the agreed upon rules. There is arguing, of course, but generally it’s between a lollygagging ref and a coach who has marital problems and can’t seem to win an argument unless it’s with a man at a little league game. Read more