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No contact?

What do people think about no contact bike polo? I don't mean no rubbing shoulders there will always be contact in vying for the ball. I mean no checking, hitting or shoving. Kinda like we play pick up (in Ottawa anyway) It would clean up the game and bring out the skill. Tapping out with two or one cone would be less of an issue because there would be less of it. Ottawa and East Van had a game in Toronto that was clean and still the bike polo that we know. It went to beer point, no one got hurt, hell i don't know it anyone even dabbed. All the talk about changing rules to make the sport better may be wrapped up in one simple rule. I think the future of our sport is coming. It's either going to be the x-treme crash up derby that redbull would love to sponsor. or it can be a sport that makes the highlight reel with it's spectacular passing, scoring and shot blocking. A sport that can be coached and taught to a younger generation.

I think almost everyone plays like this at home, i.e. not at tournaments.  And ya i think most of us like it that way, too.  "shoulder rubbing" sounds like a big grey area, but i think it could be worked out.

That seems to be the problem everytime, the grey area.

yea right now i ahve a pretty bad taste in my mouth as to the whole checking scene. i have totally played the check and had some fun with it. i just would rather play a game where someone stole the ball, pressured me out  or blocked my shot than knocked me down.
but like the shuffle rule ange i thik the check is here to stay. but if it comes to a vote i would vote against the check. i guess thats me being soft, but im fine with that

I vote nay

No one is soft because they want to play a skilled game of bike polo.  Personally i don't think checking is here to stay, it's on the way out.

That brings up the questions of penalites again.  If you make a no checking rule, and someone checks... what's the penality?


put them in the box

I am all for checking.  It keeps the games lively, and adds some intimidation factor as well.  However I would like to keep it from become violent or angry, which some people seem to get (especially here in the bay area) when I get physical.

the intimidation factor is where the violence comes from maybe?

left_hand_sam (not verified)

Checking ruins polo. You don't want to ruin it, do you?

i'm done with checking. I have never really done much of it and i don't like being checked either. We played a great game with milwuakee today and there was little to no checking. it was way more fun then i had in toronto.

i had some awesome fun in milwaukee today, and i was noticing how clean it was, super fun. but i did check cremmin a couple times to keep him in his place. but in the future ill save that for off the court.

Checking can be used judiciously and I can't see eliminating it.

That said, as it's be noted here, it's mostly a tournament problem. Therefore, it's our job as hosting cities in turn to make sure there are trained refs watching the play. They see someone getting overzealous, they warn that player. Player does it again, they can have a seat for 30 seconds. This would go for intentional and unintentional occurrences. Not having control over your bike, while maybe innocent, should be no excuse.

A clean game with skilled ball movement, shots, and blocking is phenomenal. But I have seen some skilled physical play, as I would imagine have all of you. The skills should be allowed to rise to the top but without burying completely the physical aspect. In Chicago, the emphasis is on fundamentals with the understanding that you might feel a shoulder or two.

Well put ben.

here here

What we are talking about here is the blatent not even trying to play for the ball and only playing the body. which is often and to the point where it is the only skill set demonstrated by some. I'm not talking about coming in hard and banging off the body to move the player off the ball. I'm seeing lots of not even trying to get the ball. And checks not even in the play. That is where the whole problem lies. You hit me when I'm not in the play, then I hit you back. And away it goes. I have spent the last three years trying to develop a skilled game. Personnaly the way it was going down the last few tournaments was dissapointing at best. Definatly not the game I am willing to participate in or promote. And don't get me wrong I'm not a pussy and I fight better than I play polo. Think I'm kidding, check me out of the play in the next tourney. when I hit back I won't be on my bike.


ill take your word for it

I think a clean and well played check where you cause a dab and come out with the ball is just as beautiful as a great pass or somefancy stick work. it's just as integral a part of the game as anything else. However, ithink some people with no skills get desperate and start blatantly checking people cuz they can't do anything else. A good tactical check vs. crashing into someone from behind cuz you're the last defender and just got juked out by a better player and are about to get scored on.

i think cheking to play the ball is ok.  but what about checking someone who's blocking you from the ball. crandall and i got into it a couple months ago durring a weekly pickup game about this. his argument was that i was checking him nowhere near the ball. my arguement was get the f*ck outta my way then.

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

That is a really good point you bring up. On one side I consider the "pick" playing the ball and at the same time it's not on the ball. I'll have to rethink that one. If the player is running a pick and veering towards the goal to get his/her teammate some extra space than yeah they are essentially in the play and should be fair game. And I know what you mean about Crandall, I have played against your team twice in the last two tournaments and he does it very well. Cmments from all on this one please.

Good point Joe



god, i hate crandall's picks.  and the way he sneers "oh, good to see you" as you fall to the ground and he bikes away. 

I hate that sneer too. Is there a picture of it. Maybe I could make a background for my dartboard with it. I thought it was a "have a nice day" smirk myself. All thats missing is the tip of the hat.



its ok now that hes with pdx he doesnt have joe to cover him for mustle he goina have to eat that grin hear that eric. how do you like me now 

left_hand_sam (not verified)

See, this is why I think checking just shouldn't be allowed at all. We say only "on the ball" but then somebody's going to want to check to get "to the ball" because somebody else is screening effectively, and then people are just checking all over the place, and then before you know it there are people wielding switchblades instead of mallets and breaking beer bottles on heads and each team consists of two folks with skillz and a third who exists only to put the hurt on the other team.

I can handle some contact, but I think forcing somebody to dab can be done through skillful manipulation of the bike. Just like you can set effective screens just by being generally awesome on a bike, and can get out of said screens by being yet more awesome on a bike if that's even possible.

If people just want to start shit, go play rugby.



I agree with joe. We played an awesome game in DC (richmond VS milwaukee) and I noticed that each team was comfortable using contact as a part of our overall strategy. It CAN be a skill to use on the court and definitely shouldn't be banned. Most of the time the crowd and players notice when it's out-of-line anyway, so I think it pretty much needs little to no outside refferee-ing (wha?). Anyway, you get the point.

that richmond vs. mke game was awesome! and probly the toughest game we won that tourney.

i'll rematch anytime 

no dice nyc...MKE!

Checking should stay. When RVA played MKE in DC this year I don't know that I had ever been in a more physical game before. I don't think any of it was unnecessary. 

I'll agree with Joe about moving people out of the way too. Don't run a screen if you don't want to get run over.  

And as far as goal tenders go they are just asking to get wrecked. I would much rather see outside shooting than cluster fuck slam dunks. 


-Don't bring cake to a donut fight.-

Don't bring cake to a donut fight.

yeah, i disagree here.  picks are great and skilful.  you aren't ever allowed to run someone over, that's a t-bone.  it doesn't matter if they're in net or whatever, they played the position on you and you got burned.  it's called charging in basketball and roughing in hockey and bush-league in bike polo.  we want to reward good positional play in bike polo, not penalise it.

All I know is cycling and soccer.  Is this what you mean, pieter?   if you are in someone's way it's ok, but hitting them with your bike is never ok.

Tackling from behind is illegal in soccer, so is tackling 'studs up', i.e. with both legs extended (people get their legs broken in pretty greusome ways when this happens).  Is this pretty much equivalent to charging/roughing?

checking - nay  / blocking - yay

-blocking = opponents traveling in same general direction, with bodies aligned, can and should bump with elbows or shoulders on eachother, AS LONG AS YOU DON'T LEAN.

Once you lean in, then you are putting other people at risk and not playing polo.  You are essentially taking yourself out to take someone else out - not good for alot of reasons.

So, in retrospect, what joeMKE described between us was just damn fine blocking.  We were riding as described above and I got elbow nudged over at the weak point in my turn. I should know better than to turn inside on my opponent.  

MKE -> PDX | wednesday sundown @ ne14th & killingsworth | sunday 3pm alberta park @ ne22nd & killingsworth

probably too seriously...


this coming from someone who checked me so harder than anyone has ever checked me before. except for doug but that was off the court

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pete_d/487566965/in/set-72157600185354116/and look at the following 3 pictures  

There's somethign wrong with your court... it's all green and shit. 





thats our grass court, you should see our clay court

im trully at odds with the ban of the check. its going to take nacc for me to decide if people can behave themselves. anycheck that kevin or crandle or even joe would give me in a friendly match would be fine. especially if it was super talent based, but shit that happens in the final four isnt interesting polo

I used to play a rough game from time to time because I didn't have any other skills to work with. But the more and more I practiced my finesse, the less I have to play in "berzerker" mode. Let this not be an advocation for a wholesale ban on contact though. The fact that this is a (more or less) full-contact sport is what gives it a lot of its appeal. In New York, we play a skillful game where not much checking is needed. However, I get leaned on & pushed around by Doug, Paul, Zach, Adam, Corey, Chombo, et al. all the time. And I lean back on them. Sometimes defensively, to get them out of the way of my offensive player, who'll have a good line on goal if I get my opponent out of the way. I don't play *overly* rough, only because I don't want to hurt myself. With that in mind, the only rule regarding contact I'd make is banning bitching about being roughed up when you're playing a rough game to begin with. No Bitch League Polo!


Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

was that directed towards me. im just talking about idea, its just that if were trying to elevate this shit all options should be on the table. and its not like menace is bringing this topic to the table so... 

Pretty much. That match left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths for a lot of different reasons. That's just the way I personally saw it. I'm sorry if it offends you. OK...I'm not really sorry. But I'd hate for a rough match between, say you and me, to escalate to such a contentious point. In situations like that, I generally go tit-for-tat. Of course, that's all up to circumstantial interpretation - which is why making rules & penalties for this is so difficult.

There was this one time Adam elbowed me twice in a Thursday night match. After the first time, I vowed to paste him, whenever I had the opportunity. I never had the opportunity. After the second time, we both dabbed in a corner. I was furious for a) getting shouldered again, and b) not getting back at him, so I threw a punch at him - landing on his chest. Immediately, I knew I did wrong. As I rode away to tap out at the one tap out point everyone should be implementing, I said "Sorry about the punch Adam, that was unsportsmanlike and I apologize". Adam's team won, but neither of us fucked with eachother for the rest of the match.

I'm not sure what the point of the story is. We've just got to contain ourselves. If it were tournament play between me & Adam, I probably should've been taken out of the game for something like that. Also, if it were tournament play, I would've tried to get back at him, and someone might've gotten hurt. Nobody really wants that. I spent a month or so away from the game because my wheel got hooked and I sprained my ankle so bad I was in crutches for a week and the ankle STILL hurts from time to time (this was in March). If I remember correctly, I threw my mallet at one of my best friends for doing that to me. Oops.

I *would* be interested to hear Menace's take on it, but he seems to slink away from most things internet for some reason. The little punk can be quite eloquent at times though.


Does not apply at Los Marcos Madness


Does not apply at Los Marcos Melee

no i want to be called out. i also dont think that that game takes me out supporting the angelic one in his pursuit of purity. also if it comes to blows, even like it almost did at that match games over. espessially if both parties start thowing blows.  you should ask kevin about the time that we came at eachother like dwarfs from lord of the rings with our mallets 

crandall, i'll agree with you that that was some damn fine blocking. It was so good in fact that it left me with little options. checking in a situation like that i think should be okay. i didn't throw an elbow in your eye afterall. it's different when someone gets blocked or checked and then hauls off and retaliates with a check nowhere near the ball.



- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

off the ball checking should go straight to the box. you didnt break my  skin cause i got leather 

Yeah, Crandall I gotta go with Joe on this one too, and you know why. He drew a pretty razor sharp distinction, the one that Brian took note of. I've been there with you too. To say nothing of the fact that you've given as good as you've gotten, my friend.If shoulders are ok, then I gotta lean to get it on you and if I do it correctly, no one gets hurt. And everything Ken said is on point. When it's a good game, not much checking is needed.

Word up!  It is nice to see that we (royal) are becomming a bit more civilized about the pain game. 

Before the worlds, I looked deep inside myself and took a vow with the polo gods that the way I played there would be the way that I would want other people to play me - clean and with gusto. 

May I be so bold to suggest for the betterment of polo that we all do this?

MKE -> PDX | wednesday sundown @ ne14th & killingsworth | sunday 3pm alberta park @ ne22nd & killingsworth

probably too seriously...


Clean and with gusto. That's the way. I'm in.

I would suggest no contact whatsoever if the opposing bikes are pointed in different directions. The "situation" in Toronto may have been avoided in this instance 


i agree, checks should only come from a player who's going parallel and in the same direction.

i also think that sideways skids with a fixed gear or rear brake bike sliding should not be considered legitimate.  that's just too much momentum and asking for injury.

No oncoming checks, that makes sense.

With skids, there's a difference between a controlled move to steer your opponent, easily accomplished by either making no contact or minimal contact, and haphazardly throwing your bike, and youself, into someone. Skids don't kill people, people kill people.



Again, I'm reconsidering my own comments, regarding oncoming checks. 

Opposing players passing each other on the court shouldn't be completely restricted from throwing a bump with the intention of causing a dab. As with all actions on the court, it's whether or not the action was delivered with a particular venom. Clotheslining someone would be in this category, as would knocking someone backward off their bike at a high rate of speed, aka no jousting.

But I can't see where tactful low-speed and parallel checks delivered while facing in opposite directions would be cause for penalty. It's a quick bump and it's over. And, of course and in general, watch the elbows.

Sound reasonable? 



i think that checking should follow hockey in its form of allowances. I think checking someone coming towards you is dangerous and is unneccesary.



oncoming checks are allowed in hockey. the only things that aren't allowed are: elbows, leaving your skates, and checking from behind (someone correct me if i'm forgetting something).

upon reading ben's comment above, i don't know where i stand on this. i don't think it's a huge issue tho, cause it's a risky maneuver for the defender on this play.

boarding and charging are also (more or less) applicable to polo i think.

Fuck, 10 years of University and I still can't read a date stamp.

i dont think it makes sense. too much momentum. paul barely touched jonny, and it split him open

I really like what I'm hearing here. Especially since everything seems to be oriented around etiquette rather than penalties or DQ. Obviously these latter two need some standardization but in general I think that effective rules are based in trust and respect, and that is what we're all building here.

One of the main principles that I 'try' to ride/play/check by, and that I think will help to keep things clean as we're talking here, is that the goal is to stay on our bikes and keep playing. So any play where I 'check' an opponent that requires me to go down in the process should be suspect and we should think about whether it is the best way to play. I didn't say illegal, since any initiation of contact could backfire and the initiator could go down, and I know this a really grey area, but my meaning is to discourage suicide plays - where one player intentionally sacrifices themselves to take out someone else - or rushes for the ball that will likely result in both sides going down. So if I'm going to rub shoulders or get physical going after the ball, I should have a pretty good idea that I'm going to be able to stay up to play it once I get it. Otherwise, wait, and look for another opening to take it from them. This doesn't mean that we can't try and unseat our opponents, nor does it mean that we can't get physical in blocking or trying to beat blockers, but we should all be trying to do these things without Dabbing out. 

Also, open hand pushes and shoves should not be considered an acceptable part of the game, nor should skid checks. Both of these contribute to an escalationo f agressiveness rather than an escallation of quality play. And I tend to agree that joust style contact should be thoroughly discouraged as well. While I see your point ben, there are some instances where it isn't dirty or overly dangerous, too often it is and in general it is unecessary. 

well said. but what about sacrificial saves? or taking a shot that lands you on the ground?

we are all aware of the escalation of emotion that occurs with physical play. it may cause the game to get angry and quite dangerous. you non-midwesterners say that it's just a passing phase, but learning polo from milwaukee and madison, it is an integral part of the game (the clean, well behaved physical play that is). yes it may get to the point where people are angry at each other, but it is still a part of the game. eliminating physical play will only cause people to use the lack of physical play as a way of saying that because they got hit when cutting somebody off that they are not at fault. <p> and who ever said that bloodshed, fighting, hatred and unnecessary violence weren't necessary in polo?

While I think that Angelo's proposition for 'no contact polo' is an interesting one, and I appreciate what he's going for here and the ideas behind it, I think that we are taking about the grey area between 'rubbing shoulders' and 'shoving'.

I agree Joe, that we can play a clean, well behaved game that involves physical contact. But we have to be able to agree on what that consists of or else it won't be considered clean and well behaved by everyone. We're not trying to make rules to keep people from getting angry at each other, some people will get angry if they miff a shot or get scored on, that is a whole different aspect of sports-person-ship. However, we are trying to make rules to avoid an unnecessary escalation of violence and injuries - that should be left with bike jousting.

Crandle put it best I think: "the way I played there would be the way that I would want other people to play me - clean and with gusto."

I want to be able to feel proud about how I play on the court, and I want to feel proud to get drunk afterwards with anyone who I play against.

There will always be some contact in polo - we're riding bikes at speed around a small court whacking a ball with mallets, for God's sake! When I cut someone off so tight on a parallel run that they crash into me, it could be a good play, or it could be a dirty play, and it depends a lot on how, and with what 'venom' it's done. That is why etiquette is better than rules in most instances. rules can create just as many arguments as they solve, so I for one am not interested in overly investing in making strict rules in the hopes that they will solve all our problems.

And yes, cutting people off, and diving for that gaming winning shot are fair plays and will continue to happen, that is why dabbing is a penalty and should be thought of as such. But in each of those instances, we need to be considering how our actions will affect the game as a whole, and be interpreted by the other players on the court, rather than simply whether they are 'legal' or 'illegal' according to some rule.


yes nick!!! etiquette over rules any day when it comes to "levels" of phisicality. i couldn't agree more. (that's why i still tell you i love you after i beat the shit out of you). let's have that beer now...

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Wow, i missed a lot here, and to be honest i stopped reading em half way dowm(i'll catch up later.)This push for no contact is pussy shit. sorry if thats blunt, or rude, or whatever.

The line of thought that you havre to have one or the other...finesse or contact, is horse shit. Hockey does fine with both. so does football for that metter, even basketball to a point has some hard picks. Everyone brings their own unique style and strengths to the game...like hockey...and football...and... get it?

Fuck man, this is depressing. If you feel like your stick skills are nice, but you get pushed around a little bit...do some fucking push ups.


I dont care how physical its gets during a match. when the match is over, the match is over, and it stays on the court. Any one who takes it off the court needs to check their shit. Thats how sports work, play hard on the court and !!!!!!!!LEAVE IT THERE!!!!!!! sorry for yelling.


you have no idea what your talking about. This type of machismo is exactly why i think that we need to have control over the level of contact.

I second that, Jonny. If bike polo gets all 'Hammer style', I'm not playing any more. And I don't think anyone else I've met at a handful of tournaments or my NYC friends would play either.

Mr. Hammer: calling other people's opinions 'pussy shit' is, well, pussy shit. (Especially when a lot of those pussies can effortlessly play circles around you). And apologizing for what you write right after you write it doesn't make you look any better, it just makes you seem unsure of what you are saying.

Polo doesn't need an injection of testosterone-laden, macho-man frat-boy attitude. Most of us, I think, are here because we are not interested in that aspect of other sports - and because we just like to ride our bikes and hang out with our friends (some of whom have pussies).

So if you are going to tell people you disagree with to "do some more pushups", why don't you go play foot hockey and leave the most beautiful game on earth to the rest of us.

not true, i will take it off the court. its not like the court is this free zone to do whatever you want then afterwards if chill.  to an extent its within the game, but at times it has gotten so out of hand that it hasnt stayed on the court. so i think the converstation is good to get broached and talk it through and see how to make it a better game, all cards on the table. i can garentee you this the game can get too rough.

come on now man, i have no idea?... is that a general statement, or was there one certain  point you so strongly disagree with that you would say i have NO idea? Im dont want to be a dick or anything but it sounds like maybe you get pushed around a bit... just because its not your strong suit doesnt mean you should push to have it removed from the game. It should be left up to ettiquite and common decency to regulate contact, not you, or me, or any one else. And, again, its a sport, a certain level of "machismo" is required.  


yeah, you're talking about ben here, you may know polo down in l-a, but you don't know polo until you've met him.  telling ben that it sounds like he gets pushed around a bit is a bit of an understatement.  he *loves* to get pushed around.yeah, falling may not be ben's strong suit yet, but he's working on making it an integral part of his game. hamma-time, it's good to see you out, but don't think that you're talking to a bunch of lightweights here, or ones that even care what the word machismo means. come out to a couple tournaments before you start calling people that you've never met 'fragile'.  ben eats chumps for breakfast and you'd best watch out for those dives of his, he usually scores on them before he eats the pavement. ben's a fine player from the north, and as such, i will stick by my man.

Even though I'm sure that he some how came out of that one scratch free it hurts just to look at that picture. Ben, wear some gloves for god's sake.

The band-aids on the fingertips are more than adequate hand protection.

I will repeat this, ben can't be hurt. But he does were gloves now.

band-aids?!  i thought that was blood!  bloody band-aids?  it was ben so i just assumed it was blood.

Despite that god-awful jersey? 


"Despite that god-awful jersey?"


Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

you all know, however, that even though the leafs are the greatest team in hockey, that the flyers could eat them for breakfast any day of the week.

perhaps an old canucks flying v for the flying man? the canucks are out there to slaughter all teams in their path this ye . . . who am i kidding? i'll shut up now. at least i'm not a leafs fan...

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Holy! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? No dude, you don't seem to know what your talking about. Tone it down, take another steroid or whatever it is that makes you feel you need to flex on a forum. You mention etiquette and common decency but in the same breath say it is not you or me or anyone else to regulate? Who exactly created this etiquette you speak of. I was under the impression that it was you, me, and everyone else.

Side note: football and hockey wear saftey gear, we do not.


this series has had some of the toughest players in polo coment and add thier two cents, so dont write jonny off cause hes a scrotem. there have been some seriously tough and strong and powerful people to comment ideas on this line of thought. even god, umm i mean doug said the violence is taking the fun out of the game for him. and paul backed down from a fight at the last tourny he was at, and have you seen paul. i hear the guy who made him walk was a scrawney bitch too. its just not worth it.

 Wait wait wait... Boston was the last tourney was it not?  did i miss someone try and fight Paul in Boston? was he walking away towards the donut shop? that just seems like common sense to me.


-Don't bring cake to a donut fight.-

Don't bring cake to a donut fight.

seriously, "tha hammer," when you have ben and jonny telling you to check the machismo i think it's time to do so. different people are to be played differently and that's all there is to it. if you got on the court with that attitude against my girlfriend i guarantee you you wouldn't shoulder into her. you would be able to read the situation like anyone who is perceptive of what they are doing. dig?

and anyone who hasn't read all the posts before posting really should go back so that their opinion is based on a knowledge of what has been said by all. it's just common decency.....:) 

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

body on body = check, although i rarely (if ever) see them get to the level of a charge with intent to injure (out west anyway).  but a good clean body check has a place in the game in my books, just as it does in hockey (we didn't wear pads playing shinny in winnipeg brian, and we didn't get hurt when we ran each other into the boards).  at le tour de polo in seattle recently i was checking with casey and the ringer quite often, and none of us even dabbed, or even cared about it during or after...it was physical and aggresive, but clean, and we all respected each other for it and never would have escalated to anything more.  but this all happened when one of us had the ball...

checks when you're going in opposite directions seems viable to me as well (as per ben schicago's comments), but paul should have gone for the shoulder, and not the face in toronto (although jonny had it comming after he tried to put me off balance in the previous game by pulling my handlebars when we were rolling side by side down the boards- the polo gods will even things out)

but in this game a check seems like a completely legitimate play to me...but a charge (or "berserker mode" as ken(t) calls it) is a play (or play) that shouldn't be allowed, and should be penalized, or whatever.  if you get checked (or cut) hard, get the number and get them back with another clean hard check (or cut) when the opportunity presents itself- that's good polo from where i stand.

but cutting people off is a smarter play than a check anyway, and we do it all the time in east van, and nobody gets hurt...too much : ) and we play with plenty of skill too...




Adam I think you missed the point about the pads. There are no handlebars and other extrusions to fall on either.

Also Adam, I have a friend in wheelchair from playing shinney. Compliments of some dumb ass that thought it was cool to throw a cross check. Life altering moment because someone thought winning at all costs is acceptable behavior.  You would be hospitalized for checking someone in a pick up hockey game at my local rink. No raising the puck either, right? Why? Cause no one is wearing shin pads. I have had my fair share of trips to the emergency room playing shinney so don't try and make it seem like it is injury free. A bit naive don't you think. Hockey accounts for 27% of all sporting injuries in children in Canada (Statistics Canada) Football was 3% (guessing that we don't play a lot of football here in Canada. And could not find anything on our national sport lacross guess we don't play that much either).

 I don't think we can use football and hockey as examples of what intensity of hit is acceptable. Due to the padding factor. Rugby is the only game i can think of where they are not wearing gear. Their tackles are not anywear near the intensity of football. Personally soccer and basketball are more fittting of tolerance levels. In soccer you can shoulder the guy when playing for the ball but you cannot tackle from behind. Which brings us to right of way. Pieter tried to explain that in Toronto but I think it fell on def ears. We will have to start a new thread for that.

I do appreciate your analogies and also feel that checking to take the man off of the pedals is good play but to knock him off the bike is probably too much.And  I'm pretty sure Paul did not intend to hit Jonny in the head but rather give him a bump. Looked like an accident to me. But this is why head to head checks should not be cool.

The point I'm trying to get to here is that I don't want refs, I don't want rules or enforcement. I want fun out of this. Someone getting hurt is not fun. Especially when coming from some bush league style of player who just can't keep up.

I don't want to come down too hard on you Hammer, but what we all learned in Toronto was that this game can get too physical, and that aggression does have to be checked. Beyond padding and anything else, we are not playing football and hockey, we're on bikes which is what makes this a different sport, and brings with quite different dangers and responsibilities.
You are right that people should be able to play hard on the court, and leave it there, but this is not a cage match no-holds-barred game, save that for the south pole polo invitational. 

And as much as we'd like to be, we're not professionals with benefits packages. This is a pick up game. It is still young. We first of all need to be thinking about how our play style can attract new people, and bashing up anyone who comes onto the court will kill this sport faster than anything else cause people won't give it a try and they won't come back twice. And while some gusto is definitely required in this sport, machismo can stay at home.

Every single person who has put their two cents in here can play hard, as hard as anyone I've ever seen. This is not about making up for a lack of muscle by making rules, we are collectively deciding  what our etiquette will be.  Etiquette is not  born out of thin air and it does not magically appear, it is built over time, through relationships that are fostered out of respect and communication.

hear hear nick.  the other point that gets missed is that fast, fluid, flowing bike polo is way better to play and watch than some smash-fest.  the smash-fest gets old really quickly.  it's the difference between watching WWF and the final game of the stanley cup.

the sub-mainstream bike culture that exists at this point in time definitely has its share of meatheads and aggro-poseurs who love to front and end up fucking everything up for everyone else. I see it at every alleycat I attend as well. I'm not saying there are any of those types here, but it would be nice to try to keep that element at a minimum... because the cool thing to do right now in both the mainstream and subculture outlets is to paint bike polo in the same light as ultimate fighting championships - no holds barred violence.

I agree with Doug, Jonny, Ben and everyone else who has a common-sense approach to what should be tolerated and what should be squashed in this game.

Like the t-shirt says, "bike jocks are still jocks"

{}------- lexington -------{}

wow, Nick thanks for not being a dick.ˆI dont want to give people (johnny,brian,redarmy,brokebike) to think im some juiced up berzerker, who cant play but is rather just looking to hurt people out there.  'cause thats not what i'm saying, and thats not my style.

all im saying is, play hard, within the guidlines of common decency, not going out there trying to injure people.  and as long as everyone plays with that in mind, it shouldnt be a problem leaving it on the court.  its when people do things maliciously that pople cant leacve out there. I dont think there really needs to be a discussion on what constitutes trying to hurt some one as opposed to making a good good play, whether it be a on the ball or on the man.  I've seen peope and their bikes get just as  fucked up from "cutting off" as from getting checked.

I agree with the pad factor ruling out football, hockey..etc, the point i was trying to make there is that these sports are very physical, but still require insane amounts of skill and turn out plenty of highlight reel material, both contact plays and finesse plays.  Some one commented that it would be one or the other.  I dont agree. (side note... i played rugby, and it sure hurt a lot more than gettting hit in football.  

 And of course im not gonna check your girlfriend,haha, or any girl for that matter, unless they instigate that style of play... and even then, it all falls back on, dont do anything maliciously, that is, with the intent to injure. I'm not an asshole...all the time. 

And...define meathead, cause that sounds a little derogatory.... I mean, can you imagine how much drama there would be if some one said, and i'm not saying any one here has or will...but imagine if some one said..."This scene has so many pussies, we should try to keep that to a minimum....etc etc...... "all hell would break loose.  

 And for the record... I am a bike jock.  


the whole point here hammer is that someone instigates "that" style of play. i'm not worried that my girlfriend, for example, would be the one to instigate that style of play and that you would have to meet her at that level. i'm more worried that others would instigate that type of play and those who are the victims of it either have to "man up" (which is macho-agro bullshit) or leave the game they love.

this is another argument, i think, bred from the "tone" posters have on this forum (ben versus leon versus pieter blah blah blah). i am the first to admit that i have a hard time reading tone into people i don't know. on that note, hammer, if you aren't an asshole ("all the time" - is this part a joke?) then i apologise for assuming that you would want to play both aggressively AND maliciously. i think people were getting a little pissed at your posts because they felt that that was how you were coming across. so, you are either a dick and deserve the words others have written or your tone has been misinterpreted and we all need to work on communicating better. what it comes down to hammer, is that i'm not judging you. fuck, i don't even know you! just try to say what you mean - especially to people who don't know you.


top center 4-eva!!!!!

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

and i'm afraid that you don't get it, and i don't even understand your last analogy there.  bike polo already has a healthy amount of violence *inside the current rules and etiquette*.  we don't need more jock, we need way less.  seriously, come out to some tournaments before jumping to conclusions.  oh yeah, martin's girlfriend could kick your ass.  

bike jocks = meat heads, or at least come off that way sometimes.

perhaps "meathead" was too strong a term, and I apologize if anyone here is a self-professed meathead, and was offended.

what I'm saying is, there are some people out there who see things like bike polo, alleycats, critical mass, etc. as a way to either show off how badass they are by projecting an overly aggro attitude, or simply because it is an easy way to disguise doing stupid, pointless shit to hurt other people in the name of "sport"... or in a broader sense, riding a bike.

this attitude I am talking about is pretty easy to distinguish, and the folks who know better and have more integrity can see it a mile away. I'm simply saying that I support efforts to keep that kind of stuff in check because if it's not, then you open the door to negative factors that do nothing to help further the sport and make more people want to take it seriously.

...and in all fairness, I'm not the one who implied that this "push for no contact is pussy shit". Just sayin'. Because 1) no one here is actually pushing for NO contact at all, and 2) no one here is a pussy, simply by merit of being here, discussing and supporting bike polo across the boards.

{}------- lexington -------{}

^points well taken, tone is damn near impossible on the interwebz, and mine probly  even harder, "all the time" def. joking, im only an ass sometimes.  haha.when it comes down to it, we're all here for the same reason, we love this crazy game called bike polo. 

I guess my  "agro" tone probly leaks out in  part because i do catch a lot of heat for playing aggressively. 

but i never, and i mean NEVER do anything maliciously, if i think putting a shoulder on you  will take you out of the play(is this the dabing you guys refer to?)  for a minute, im gonna do it.  im not gonna go about it to hurt you... but im not gonna leave it up to chance either.

lastly, the topic of this thread is " No Contact?" so... maybe i took it the wrong way......... and ...damn, i almost wasnt gonna say it...but, like i said...sometimes,right.... just cause we're on here talkin bout polo.... doesnt by merit eliminate anyone from the category of pussy.  im not sayin...im just sayin....


That being said...i think you guys are all rad and i cant wait to play with you...no homo. 


"no homo"?!?!?!?! what the fuck hammer? we don't need to propigate homophobia on this site any more than we need to promote aggressive behaviour.

and also, if you get a lot of heat for playing aggressively maybe you should listen to people's rationale for giving you heat. maybe they have a point...

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Yeah Hammer, I read your first post in this thread and replied without reading the rest of the discussion. Then I read on and thought maybe I had reacted too harshly - all the way up to the second to last sentence of your latest post. Then I read "no homo" and realized my meathead radar had been well tuned all along.

Hey everyone.


LA Bike Polo is still young. We are where you all were at a
few years ago, and we’re still coming into our own game. We take the body/body,
bike/bike, mallet/mallet rule seriously. That said, we too are focused on
building our skills – stick handling and bike skills.


Hammer’s shit-talking ass didn’t come off very well on this forum.
But he is just trying to make a point – with which I agree – that we think that
an important part of the game, indeed, and important skill, is being able to
give and receive body checks.


I agree with many others that mediocre players often
overcompensate by playing physically. But personally I think our version of
bike polo is necessarily a physical game, and it is better as such.


I like the “Don’t be a dick” rule. As long as your physical play
is made as part of a legitimate play, and you are not doing it to hurt someone,
it should be fine. It seems to me that self-regulation is better than trying to
ban contact.


Like joeMKE, I think physical skill is an important part of the
game. I’d like to see it stay.


Btw, Hammer also has serious stick-handling skill. That
being said, Jonny and most of the other veterans on this forum would probably
play circles around him. I don’t think there are any pussies on this forum.


I’ll stick up for Hammer because I know him – he’s not a
meathead and he’s not a homophobe. He’s a good kid and a serious, bad-ass
biker. That said, I don’t agree with his use of the term (which seems to be
widely used in many parts of the bike community here in LA, and is strange, but



MALICE for the people.

geez, maybe its a local thing... people say that shit all the time out here.... i'd say at roughly half of my friends are openly gay...so, please, dont everyone get all up in arms thinkin im a homophobe.

Redarmy.... maybe your right... help me out here, cause when i was introduced to the rules of the game, i was told shoulder to shoulder, bike to bike, mallet to mallet, so thats how i've always played.... if thats not legit, then its its not legit and i will change my style accordingly.

*edit* i love you matt...no h...wait...j/k


Those are the general rules. Some local crews play rougher than others.


People are starting to question those rules because some tournys have gotten pretty rough. 

MALICE for the people.


Lame excuses.  You disappoint yet again. 

'half of my friends are gay'?  Just like "I'm not a racist, I have some black friends!" (a cop-out that's hilariously parodied here: http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com/).

People saying something all the time does not make it more ok when you say it. And having gay friends does not excuse you when you throw around homophobic jokes. Those excuses are as tired as using 'gay' or 'retarded' as an insult.

It ain't about banning words, or about telling you how to think, it's more about having some tact and using your brain before you communicate with a forum full of people you don't know... Or even your gay (or closeted) friends who feel a tiny sting every time you say 'no homo'. Oh, I forgot, it's ok because lots of people say it...

point well taken, i sincerely apologize if i have offended anyone.  I guess it one of those things that people can fall into the bad habit of saying, and i fell victim to it.  Again, my apologies.


Thanks Johnny, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Hammer, I shoulder people all the time while biking alongside them down the court and push off of them when i know they are that type of player (just ask le jackal, drunkie, rorybear, adam, etc.). "Dropping" the shoulder is another matter. It is unneccesarily violent. If that's the way you play in L.A. (and eat hay and rhyme today, haha) go ahead and beat the shit out of each other. Just don't be surprised if you don't have a huge influx of people who want to play the sport after witnessing it (especially women - most of the female polo players i know are awesome in terms of skill but would not play with males, most of whom are bigger than them, if those males were dropping shoulders). Also, don't be surprised if you venture out of L.A. for a tourney and get shit from people about your play.

Seriously dude, it is more fun to be inclusive and beat someone because you are a better player than them and not because you are bigger (or "tougher") than they are. The chest-thumping shit is the ugliest side of polo and I assure you most of the people on this forum would agree with me there.

Thank you all for continuing this thread so that we could flesh this out and not accept that it is okay to be violent and prejudiced. And if you think I can't hold my own on the court I challenge anyone to play me. Mad love to you all!


Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Just read your last comment as I was typing mine Hammer. I'm glad you recognized that we sometimes get into the habit of saying things but that that doesn't make it right. I think it takes a big man to admit when they are wrong and I, for one, thank you for it.

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Thanks for yer words Matt. I remember we played that pickup game in T.O. and it was aggressive but clean. That's the shit in my book!

BTW, how's that EastVanguard shirt treating you? Has it improved yer play you sloppy mother fucker? hahahahahahaha

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

It's on RAR! tonight in the rain,  me and you!!!!

Northern Standard

hows about thursday in the sun buddy? we might be the only two tonight...

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

as always, east van does not disappoint.  great polo out there last night, it was a pleasure to drink to your highly pain-tolerant skillz.

brian: maybe i didn't express myself clearly enough...

when we played shinny in wpg, we hit people, cleany...no elbows, and for god's sake we didn't cross-check people.  we weren't playing to win at all costs, but we played hard, and within the rules.  the puck got raised a bit from time to time too, but was done in spots where people weren't going to get seriously hurt, but it's hockey afterall, so people are going to take the odd lump. and if people didn't want to get hit, we didn't hit them (and i guess we definitely wouldn't play in ottawa :).  play people the way they play you, and if they're outta control, get them off the rink/court, but that never happened in my experiences (i'm sorry that it did to you, and more specifically your friend).

which is the same as bike polo.  the point i was trying to make is that you can check, cleanly, so as not to injure someone.  yes, there is the added element of falling on a bike , but that's part of the risk in my opinion, and checking doesn't necessarily increase this risk (what does stats can say on this one?).  plug your (royal you) bar ends for fuck's sake!

but i know what you mean...it just takes one dumb-ass to do something stupid...but soon we'll all know who the likely dumb-asses are, and then we just don't invite them to tournaments... milwaukee can represent wisconsin ;)


hicks shows this every time we play:  how to check cleanly where we both hit the pavement but nobody gets hurt.  as far as i am concerned, adam is the master of clean hits on me.  too many crashes to count, not one injury.  good times, good times my friend, i'll be back on my steed for thursday night.  thinking about ottawa this weekend though, but i need a team.

yea, i want to say i came down pretty hard on you hammer, and with all the hammers that have been dropped on you, its kinda enough.  but  just to reiterate, i get really upset at anti fag statements, and i know about cultures that arnt sensitive to that shit (east texas and racism) but change doesnt happen by following along. every day get down on your friends, never use it in a negative way, use it in positive ways. i want to put out there that i think straight people are the wierd ones. its like just playing defence or only being on offence. the fields too small just to play one side.

oh and get a camera and show us your bike

Yeah sorry Adam I read that a bit wrong. I was just really trying to stress that accidents do happen. Even in friendly pick-up games. And that we have been pretty lucky so far that there has not been too many serious injuries, but that possibility is very real and excessive force when playing the body will for sure increase this chance. (sorry no stats for that, it was hard enough to find the thing about hockey in the first place.) I'm trying to point out that hockey's physical aspect should not be the comparison for polo. For sure anything that is a penalty in hockey should not happen in polo. (off the play fouls) We are not geared up, we don't have a penalty system for a dirty player, and we don't have a structure for dealing with the fighting that will happen. And it will continue to happen. As more people come into this game the "grey area" of our contact rule is always going to create confusion with new players and those that don't comprehend well. We are fortunate enough to have been playing for sometime and have no problem adapting to any style of play. It is the new players that are really at risk of getting hurt. Even if this game were to be classified as no contact the clean checking we refer to would still be there.

I'll see you in a couple of months and we can trade some of those clean checks.

redarmyrebel: martin?

on the East Van shirt -- i rock it proudly.

on the play -- bring it fool.

MALICE for the people.

oh yeah baby! see you in august?

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Bike polo rules.

Aaaaand CUT.


Sorry Ben, I'm unofficially renaming this "The Post that Never Ends."

(It goes on and on my friend...)

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

i started reading it not knowin what it was...... sonofabitch!  WestSidePolo

Damn, I'm sorry I know the reference. 







Who's up for some no-contact matches up in ottawa this weekend????? 

"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

And the silence is deafening 


mrfixedgear wrote:

And the silence is deafening


I KNEW it!!!! once competition starts, it's on.

well, let's just say the gray area expands slightly 

"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

I'm up for getting extremely high with our old smoking buddy Chombo 


yeah btw, that "gray area" will mainly consist of a huge cloud of smoke hanging over your neighborhoods for a couple days

"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

That grey area is already forming over my house. Enviroment Canada is posting a warning about the air quality in Ottawa this weekend.


and in beijing, everyone's wondering if the skies will clear before the games.

on another note, for all the "pussy" "dick" "homo" uses/missuses on this post, why don't we just say "don't be an asshole" 'cause everyone's got one of those.  

left_hand_sam (not verified)

Yeah ben, I know that check you laid on me was clean but I still felt it was uncalled for and man am I going to be sore tomorrow. Getting old sucks, let's ban contact.


yea, but that was my ball

Yeah i just laid a hot check, it was a hard one, full on contact. Super sore right now.

hot , hard ones, full of contact, super sore...  if i had a dime for every time i've said that...

now THAT is what she said....

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

Longest thread ever. 





I was thinking the same thing as I scrolled down to read that.

so is that a case of great minds think alike?  or small minds seldom differ?

I was thinking the same thing. 





I'm just posting a comment to see how far we can stretch this out 


Mallets Of Mayhem


I walked away from the tournament in Ottawa feeling really good about the level of contact. The communication before hand was done really well (two fingers pointed towards you alexis). One thing that i liked was the rule that a person who pulls out someone else wheel is forced to tap out.  Anyway, i will post more later.  

yeah, i was totally impressed with how low-key everything was in ottawa, i didn't get taken out by anyone except doug.  tapping out when you wrong someone is de riguer out west, double tapping out when it is really bad (both tap-outs) works for us well. we let the players decide how bad they've been.  it's amazing how much arguing you can get rid of if you just take an extra five seconds to hit both tap-outs and really tell people you know you screwed up.  also, tapping out *after* the player you've wronged is the only fair way to do it.  if you pull someone's wheel with your mallet, where's the penalty if they are still on their ass wondering what happened and you are up and just tapping out to run the ball up the court and score?  make sure they're okay, pick up their bike, grab their mallet, and tap out behind them like a rock star.

rock stars dont help the looser out. sorry, those are social workers. but point taken anyway

Piet - I totally took you out on accident and grabbed your mallet for you. I enjoy to play a bit physically, but when something happens where sombody could have been injured, I like to make sure that they are ok. I said it on the NY site, but I'll say it again here. The first person I ever saw use this kind of courtesy dab was Adam Menace at ESPI3. I really liked what I saw, so I took to doing it in pick up and tournament play, regardless of if the rules said to do so or not

Jonny, playing against you was so awesome. The contact was clean and used only when necessary. Jill definitely put me in my place a couple of times as well. And she blocked like 4 shots in that game. I definitely look forward to playing Madison again.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

you da man, thanks bro.  come to vancouver for the northern crown in september and i'll buy all of your beer...

Well, it'd be a cheap date for you, considering I don'drink.

September is bad for me. We're hosting our tournament on the 13th, then cross season starts the week after.

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

slapdick bike polo - washington dc

Just to help keep the thread alive...

Pretty good example of acceptable contact. And a great way to break up the Ball Joint.

mrfixedgear's picture

Mallets a bit high though.

jonny could lift him 5 meter with his left arm...  better watch it alex

Can he lift him 5m AND hold the ball joint? 





agreed and agreed

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

I definitely got the feeling that he could have swatted me away like a fly. He only didn't because this was BEFORE I started referring to him as Ben's brother 


Mallets Of Mayhem

I believe it was "Jonny with no h from the mid-west, Ben's brother Hunter"

As far as the mallet being high brian. I compare it to the contact in hockey. Often when it is initiated sticks/mallets get a bit high, but they are still controlled. I would be more concerned with backswings and follow throughs
Mallets Of Mayhem

true that

still laughing at 'hammer style'… if you only knew ;)

My favorite hammer moment would be having my face 'cheese graded' along the fence for several feet… that was an odd sensation =P

i did it with love though

on a similar but separate note, since joining this board and getting some outside views on the topic, my play has become less hammerish and the other parts of my game are developing faster. not saying im a pacifist now, just saying i can see the benefits of playing a lil more relaxed.
Thank you ... that is all


you're rad hammer! just know that none of us are pacifists - well, most of us anyway. when i play, i bring it. and if and when we ever meet, let's have some terribly exciting games and a well-deserved beer afterwords. here's a big ol' cheers to you buddy! see ya on the courts!

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

i cant wait to hit the road and play!!!!!!!


A couple of us are driving up from central cal to play in the Terrible Twos.



come on up for the terrible twos if you can get away. and bring matt with you...he needs an east van reminder!!


Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...


- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

Bump for nostalgia's sake