Thursday, April 21, 2011

Highsticking? / Keep yr head up!

This is why we look UP... from Travis Davies on Vimeo.

For starters you should always keep your head up and know what's going on around you. So many t-bones and mallet-to-body contact could be avoided if people just paid attention. We tell bruce this all the time, yet shit like this still happens.

Nick (the player who gets hit) rolls up and sets a block. Even though bruce is looking downward the camera angle shows that he could clearly see nicks bike in front of him... so why the hell did he swing and follow through right at nick? Not cool, not cool at all. Sure you can argue we should all be wearing facemasks, but that's not a reality yet this is just pickup. I also bet bruce would argue he couldn't see him or didn't know he was that close- and that may even be true- but if you're gonna swing your mallet at face level it's your responsibility to know if someone is already occupying that space.

This video is a perfect argument for why high-sticking should be a penalty. If no one is around you feel free to swing about, but if people are nearby then you're responsible for what your mallet contacts. Let's file this one right next to slashing.



  1. I feel like there should be a penalty for high sticking, but I really don't want bike polo to be a game of penalty minutes. The game is too short to have people sitting penalties. Consider hockey, 3 period of 20 minutes each. That is 60 minutes total of ice time. A minor penalty is 2 minutes in the sin bin. 2/60 = 1/30. So, take a 10 minute polo match. 1/30 of 10 minutes (600 seconds) is 20 seconds. 20 seconds is such a short time that is hardly worth stopping the clock and pulling the sinner out of play. But to make it worth calling a penalty would mean a longer penalty time and a longer penalty time would make for a HUGE disadvantage considering short games. I suppose a 40 second penalty in a 20 match would make much more sense.


  2. Don't get me wrong- i don't want polo turning into something like basketball where the clock stops and there's a penalty everytime someone farts- but we have to have penalties. Period. If there is no consequence for being reckless or a dick than people will continue to be reckless and/or a dick. The discussion we're having though is more about the enforcement and timing of the penalties.

    i think our current system of 30 seconds ("minor") and 2 minutes ("major") makes sense. You say 20 seconds isn't really worth it, but even at 30 seconds you should at least get 2 or 3 good attempts/shots on goal... that's worth it to me. And maybe if people got annoyed at those little stops they'd stop doing the stupid shit that got it called in the first place. The 2 minute penalty is a gamechanger and it should be. If you're doing something so extreme as to draw a major than maybe you should be sitting down and calming the fuck down for a while. Just like in hockey playing shorthanded doesn't automatically give you a goal, but it at least gives you the chance. It's all about balance.

    Now, that all being said I'm actually in favor of longer games. I think 20 minutes with a quick break to switch sides halfway through makes perfect sense. The 10 minute mark (or 8 or 12) seems more about necessity (ie tournament time constraints) than it is the flow of the game. You gotta get those swiss rounds in so ya gotta keep it short- i get that. But i love love love those epic finals where you play to 5 no matter what. I think 20 minute games would bring a lot of depth, balance, and flow to polo that the short games are often missing.

  3. bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce.

  4. You have to know who is around you. I'll often find myself taking a shot and using all of my strength to avoid having my follow-through klobber the person next to me. The shooter and defender are both responsible for making sure the play is safe.

    At the same time, the people defending shots have to be aware. When I'm riding next to someone in a defensive position, I have a pretty good idea when I'm in someone's wheelhouse. When I find myself in those situations, I have my mallet up, perpendicular to the attacker's follow-through so that if they swing comes toward my face, my "guard" (mallet) will hopefully take most of the sting out of their follow-through.

    As for this play, commonsense needs to reign. You can't fling your mallet up in the air with a player so close to your wheelhouse. Use your head. Know who is around you. Be smart, or be prepared to experience penalties, payback, and karma.

    I'm in favor of penalties. I'd even be willing to enforce longer penalties. Scoring chances in polo are much harder than hockey due to the limitations of our bikes (we can't really back up all that well). But penalties need to be called by quality, unafraid, consistent refs. One minute for reckless plays seems acceptable. Two or three minutes for malicious fouls and mouthing-off to refs.

    Bruce is also a notorious face-crusher when it comes to reckless mallet action. Kick him out of the sport (75% kidding). Also, tell him to stop sexting pictures of his butt to girls in your club.

  5. to that last sentence Ben, HAHAfuckinHAHA! Also, if you notice, the ball didn't even go with the mallet. That's double lose in my book...

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