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Rules for NAHBPC

NA Hardcourt 2010 NAHBPC Rules


1 - Teams will consist of three players on the court at one time.
1.2 - Teams will be required to wear matching colors. Please bring a backup color to wear in the event that your opponent is wearing a similar color.

2 - Any common type of bike is allowed. (BMX, road, track, mountain)
2.1 - The bike must have at least one mechanism for stopping. (i.e., handbrake, fixed wheel)
2.2 - You may not add anything to the bike to help block shots (e.g., a bar under your BB, netting in the front triangle) with the exception of wheel covers.
2.3 - Mallets and bikes may not have dangerous protrusions (bolts sticking out, jagged edges, etc.) Handlebars must be capped. Bullhorn handlebars are not allowed.
2.4 - Helmets are mandatory. Pads are recommended.

General Rules of Play

3 - Start of a game:
3.1 - Each team will begin behind his/her own goal line.
3.2 - The ball will be positioned at center court.
3.3 - Play will begin with a "3 - 2 - 1 - Go" from the timekeeper.

4 - Scoring a goal and ball movement
4.1 - A goal must originate as a "shot," defined as striking the ball with the end of the players mallet.
4.2 - Wrist shots or scoop shots are not considered a "shot," therefore will not count as a goal. This technique may be used to pass the ball.
4.3 - A "shuffle," defined as a ball that is struck with the broad side of the mallet, will never count as a goal unless the ball is shuffled by a player into their own net. This is an own goal. If an offensive player
shuffles the the ball into their opponents it will not count. The defending team will get possession of the ball and the offensive team will concede half-court.
4.4 - Ball-joint: Not to be confused with a scoop pass, toss or other ball handling. The ball-joint is defined as pinning the ball between an open end of the mallet head and the playing surface and then dragging
it. Ball-jointing will be allowed ONLY in the player's defensive zone. Ball jointing in the offensive zone will result in the ball turnover and concession of half-court.
4.5 - If the ball becomes lodged on a player, bicycle or in the spokes of a wheel in such a way that it cannot be played safely, game play will be stopped. The ball will be dislodged and placed on the ground at
the point of incident. The player directly involved in the ball being lodged will get possession and play will resume.
4.6 - The ball cannot be played with the feet. Intentionally touching the ball will be counted as a foot-down or "dab" (see below) and that player will be required to tap-out.

5 - After a goal is scored:
5.1 - The scoring team returns to their half of the court.
5.2 - The conceding team gets possession of the ball.
5.3 - Play will not resume until both teams have returned to their half of court.
5.4 - The defending team may not attack until the ball or an offensive player has crossed half court.

6 - Footdown or "Dab"
6.1 - A foot-down or "dab" is defined as any player placing their foot on any horizontal surface (e.g., the ground, his mallethead, a bike, the ball, another player.)
6.2 - If a player "dabs" that player is out of play and may not interfere with the ball or other players until they "tap in" at one of two designated center court points.
6.3 - If a "dabbed" player stops a shot from going into the net, at the ref's discretion, it may be ruled a goal. Example: a defending player in front of the net loses their balance and dabs. The defending player
remains in front of the net - intentionally or unintentionally - and blocks an incoming shot. If there is no doubt in the referee's mind that the shot would have resulted in a goal, the referee can declare a
goal. If it is also determined that the defending player intentionally blocked the net when out of play they will be awarded a two-minute penalty.
6.4 - The "tap-in" area will be located at center court on either side of the court.
6.5 - If a player crashes or falls off their bike, play will continue unless a player is injured. At this point the referee will stop the game and attend to the injured player.

Contact and general court behavior

Like contact between bodies and equipment is permitted. However, depending on the severity, any physical, mallet or bike play that is considered by the referee to be excessive, reckless and potentially dangerous to the safety of the players will result in a warning or a penalty. Essentially, the choice to check/pick/mallet-to-mallet is not the issue. It's how you do it.

7 - Permitted contact and restrictions:
7.1 - body-to-body - this includes shoulder-to-shoulder contact and the use of forearms.
7.2 - mallet-to-mallet - this includes incidental contact playing the ball and lifting another player's mallet. Striking another player's mallet with excessive force, or slashing, will result in a warning or a
7.3 - Holding or otherwise restraining another player by grabbing that player, their clothing or any of their equipment using hands, elbows, feet or mallets is not permitted.
7.4 - Pushing with the hands is not permitted.
7.5 - Pushing or checking someone from behind is not permitted.
7.5 - Mallet-to-body contact is not permitted.
7.6 - Mallet-to-bike contact is not permitted.
7.7 - Body-to-bike contact is not permitted.
7.8 - Incidental bike-to-bike contact is fine. Throwing a rear wheel into another player's bike and T-boning is not permitted.
7.9 - Any check along the side boards - in this case, boards two feet high or lower - that results in the opposing player going over the boards will be heavily scrutinized. If the check is deemed appropriate and the opposing
player simply could not maintain their balance, play will continue. If, however, the check against the boards is deemed excessive, reckless or otherwise thought to have little regard for the safety of the opposing player,
the referee has the option to issue a warning or a penalty.
7.10 - Clear intent to injure another player is not permitted and will be met with a severe penalty.
7.11 - Throwing of mallets is not allowed at any time, in any situation. Intentionally throwing a mallet will automatically result in at least a 30-second penalty.
7.12 - If a thrown mallet stops a ball from going through the goal the referee may use his discretion to award a goal.


The referee reserves the right to stop game play for any reason. Time-outs will/can be called for the following reasons:

A goal is scored. A time-out can be called for a mechanical, or water, etc.
The ball goes out of play. The game will be paused until the ball can be retrieved. The defending team will then get possession of the ball and play will resume.
Mechanical problem. The team with the mechanical problem may request a timeout only after they take possession of the ball.
Serious injury.


These are the penalties available to the referee. Some infractions have predetermined penalties, such as ball-jointing in the offensive zone (see below). Otherwise, depending on the severity, the referee have the right to use any of these at any time in any order for the infraction in question.

Tap-out: The referee may instruct a player to tap-out at either side of center court. If required, a player must hit the tap-out point with their mallet or they will still be considered "out." If a player does not physically touch the tap-out with their mallet, they may be asked to tap-out a second time. Tap-outs will always happen without stoppage.

Ball turnover: The penalized team will return to their side. Once the team in possession of the ball crosses half-court, either with a player or the ball, play will resume.

Warnings: For most infractions the referee will issue a verbal warning. Repeating the same behavior will result in a more severe penalty.

30-second penalty: This penalty will follow a verbal warning or will be used to penalize players for a more serious first-time rule violation. When the referee observes an infraction, they will whistle, stop time and call for the offending player to exit the court. The timekeeper will declare when they can re-enter the game. The resulting game play will be 3 on 2 for a full 30 seconds unless the innocent team scores during the power play. At this time, the penalized player may re-enter the court.

Two minute penalty: This is reserved for striking (see below), excessive force or reckless behavior that draws blood or otherwise results in serious injury. The penalized player will remain off the court for the full two minutes, unless the innocent team scores during the power play. After the innocent team scores during a power play, the penalized player may re-enter the court.

IMPORTANT: A delayed penalty can be called. If the innocent team has possession, the referee will blow the whistle when the opposing team gets the ball. The penalized player will then be instructed to exit the court. The ball will be turned over to the innocent team. Each team will return to their side and play will resume. A goal by the innocent team will end the penalty. The penalized player may then return to the court.

Ejection: This is penalty is reserved for fighting and acutely reckless or willfully dangerous play that either results in or is deemed as having the potential to cause serious physical harm. The penalized player will be removed from the game. The game will continue as 3 on 2 until the end of regulation time.

Infractions that will result in a ball turnover:

Tossing the ball out of the court - This is a delay of game penalty. If the ball is shot and deflects off a mallet or other surface, the ball will simply be placed on the court at the point of exit and play will resume with no ball turnover.
Ball-jointing in the offensive zone - Ball jointing is allowed ONLY in the player's defensive zone. Scooping the ball, throwing the ball is permitted.

Infractions that can result in a Warning, 30-second or Two-minute penalty:

Hooking or holding- Hooking is defined as using a mallet to restrain a bike or player. Holding is grabbing a player, their clothing or their bike with your hand or elbow, a.k.a "chicken winging."
Cheap shot- Checking, hitting or pushing someone in the back. Physical blows about the neck or head, any punching or kicking will also be penalized as a "cheap shot."
Striking - A hard strike against someone's mallet may be called as "striking." You can defensively hook another player's mallet, lift it or hold it down with yours, but striking will be called.
Mallet throwing.

Tournament Format:

Two 48 team Swiss Rounds: Rounds will be re-organized after the first day. Teams can expect five matches on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

32 teams will move into the double elimination round on Sunday.

Swiss-round games will last 12 minutes. Games will also end when one team scores 5 goals.

Elimination games will be 15 minutes, they will not end if a team scores 5 goals. If the score is tied at the end of 15 minutes, the game will go to sudden death. Games will get longer for the 4th, 3rd, and final games.


-These rules were developed by North American Hardcourt and the Madison Bike Polo Club for the NAHBPC 2010.

-We decided not to allow wrist shots. Even though ESPI5 allowed them and it did not drastically change the game we felt it was in our best interest to let more regional tournaments experiment with it before legalizing them for NAHBPC.

- We are not going to penalize obstruction. This rule was too hard to enforce at ESPI5 both because of confusion by the refs and players. While it is effective at opening up the game and we can see its usefulness in the future we did not implement this rule during this tournament.

- Penalties are used to enforce the rules. Having experimented with yellow cards and penalties we decided that penalties are a more effective way to enforce our rule base. We plan to give verbal warnings to players who infract on the rules and then use the penalties for the next infraction. We have shortened the penalties to 30 secs so that teams are able to get one goal scoring opportunity during a penalty.

We are open to criticism but please be thoughtful and explain your rational.

ahhh i like i like

Looks awesome. I like the interpretation and use of penalties. Thank you Madison and Acronym.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.


You're awesome.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

looks great, love the rational for stuff. one question about man-down/up goals. in lacrosse, if a team scores a man-down goal, the penalty is absolved, unless the penalty was non-releasable (very serious infraction). just curious if a man-down goal is scored at NAHBPC, the player still serves the full penalty time?

-my stomach is a pickle-

30-second penalty: This penalty will follow a verbal warning or will be used to penalize players for a more serious first-time rule violation. When the referee observes an infraction, they will whistle, stop time and call for the offending player to exit the court. The timekeeper will declare when they can re-enter the game. The resulting game play will be 3 on 2 for a full 30 seconds unless the innocent team scores during the power play. At this time, the penalized player may re-enter the court.

Two minute penalty: This is reserved for striking (see below), excessive force or reckless behavior that draws blood or otherwise results in serious injury. The penalized player will remain off the court for the full two minutes, unless the innocent team scores during the power play. After the innocent team scores during a power play, the penalized player may re-enter the court.

Where does a penalized player exit, serve their time, and re-enter the court? I say tap out spot, just to keep things even.


off the court at the tap out point.

Will there be one or two tap-out points?

Got it. I need to sit down and read this fully instead of skimming. Jeez.

I like section seven. Well written and defined especially 7.5, I was calling it an extra-peripheral contact rule but this seems more strait forward and easily understandable for someone like Ben Hunter.

Yo Dawg I heard you like redundancies so we got a PIN number for your PIN

Thanks Jonny, and thank you too Acronym.

cant wait


If only Ghana was protected by rule 6.3 like we will be at NAs.

You mean rule 7.12?

Very well done. Concise and fair; not a single complaint. See you soon!

I move to adopt these rules as the offical rules for above said acronym.

P/M Hardcourt


nice work. i like section 7.9, low sideboards? don't check someone into them!

unless it's the CROW!

slayers are only slayers if the slay out of town...

forearms are allowed, eh? so...a righthanded player can ride up on another righthanded player's left and extend their mallet arm forearm off their bars to turn the other player's steering arm and cause them to jack-knife as long as it's near the ball? I think this cheap...so I hope this forearm contact is something else entirely...

In this case, it should be called by a ref. If I get the opportunity to ref I will definitely not allow it!

Midwest is best!!


seems like you're blowing this out of proportion. Player A (the one extending his forearm) would be very unsuccessful when player B CHICKEN WINGS HIM IN THE FUCKING FACE BOOYAH.

but seriously, forearms are allowed because physical contact is part of the game. At times, it may help you deter incidental contact that may cause you to go out of play. The point of this rule is to deter full arm reaching...

I think it's more like the situation where a defender is squeezing you on your strong side while you're carrying. You can use a little forearm to make space to maintain possesion. I don't think they mean you can go around shoving people with a forearm.

Bike Polo Ronin

shoving people with a forearm... that would go against rule numba 1

if someone is going faster than you and they are on your steering arm side and their mallet arm is extended...when it makes contact it is either going to push you forward, bump you off the ball or jackknife you depending on the agression level of the contact...I'm not talking about protection from the defense encroaching on a ballhandler's space on the side with the ball...I'm talking about coming up on the blindside off of the ball and stiffarming/extending the forearm to affect the steering arm...leaning with the shoulders can be for the most part clean and is easier to spot when it's not...

I've had this forearm to steering arm move done to me in two different tournaments both times causing me to jackknife...once when I was collecting the ball from the boards on my right at an almost stop when I got rammed/shoved on my steering arm by a player coming up on my blindside fast...tapped me immediately and made me fall...the 2nd time it happened I was about to turn left with the ball when a player blindsided me with their mallet arm extended and shoved my steering arm and caused me to jackknife and crash and therefore tap. I'm not a newbie rider...

hopefully this will be a non-issue...and the refs will penalize examples of this exploitation of a vague contact rule easily exploitable...

Great set of rules! I especially like how the Swiss rounds are first to 5 goals or 12 minutes. There were too many teams getting killed at ESPIs. Will the finals be held at the Thunderdome?

Midwest is best!!

damn, i have been practicing my scoop shots for months.

... so according to the rule 4:
if an offensive player make a shuffle and the shuffled ball touches, for example, the wheel of a defensive player and the ball go in to the nets, it's not a goal.

That's correct?
Thanks in advance!

No, I believe they have to acually hit it in themselves. I guess it's kind of confusing if you think about it.

Fuck off

For me (and for the EHBPC 2010 rules) that's "no goal". If you allow this, you can too easily score. That's the same idea of a soccer player who score with the hand into the goal. No goal if the ball is direct, but goal if the ball touch the goal keeper or any defensive playerm that's weird.

Perfect... I fully agree with you, but I have to ask because when I played the IHBPC I was pretty surprised about this fucking stupid rule (shuffled ball that became a hit if touch a bike, or player... really no sense!!!)
See you in Geneva soon.

There was no mention of nets! so were going with cones??? Like allll the rules execpt the "own goal" rule. If no nets are used and until then. I think an open goal "cones" should be able to be played though. Like riding you bike through during or not during a shot. What "if" your only pass to a team mate is through the goal to get it away from opposing team? I can see this rule if we had nets! I would support this rule if it came with no riding through goal or passing either direction through the goal when playing with cones.

Besides that, I Can't wait!

Matt Messenger
since 1998

protect your net at all times. nets or no nets. you shouldnt want any ball to ever cross your goal line.

im pretty sure it is with nets

thanks coach. then Disregard my blurb!

Matt Messenger
since 1998

In 7.2 what is "lifting" another mallet? perhaps we just have a different deffinition here in NZ, but I'm curious. Wisdom please.

This is tough to describe. What we are saying is that it is legal to lift another players mallet. This comes in use when a players is going for the ball or has a fast break.

with regards to 6.3 i have a hard time with allowing a goal that hypothetically may or may not have happened. in other words if the ball didn't cross the line it should be no goal. there should be restraint in the part of the offence to hold off on their shot untill the dabber has a reasonable amount of time to get out of the way. there is no magical vaporizer that removes the player. this happened at espi 5 and in my opinion the goal should not have been allowed because the defensive player was reaching for her bike and had no time to get out of the way. a simular play developed in another game and seabass simply waited before releasing his shot to score the goal. i know of no other game where a point is allowed where the ball had not crossed the goal line in the first place. if the defensive player is waffling in the way a penalty should be given, but not awarding the point that may or may not have happened.

x 2 coach


i saw this happen during the Ladies Army as well, with a goal being retroactively awarded after the regulation clock ran out. that is even worse in my opinion, especially considering the team that was awarded the psuedo-goal never had to concede half court to the other team in return.

there should be goals awarded for penalties that stop an obvious goal. Look at the uruguay game verus ghana. Uruguay cheated to keep the game tied and they did this in a manner in which it robbed ghana of a goal. Other sports such as rugby will award points. This type of goal will not be awarded without thought but it will be part of the rule set.

Jonny, i would say omit the "award a goal" and go straight to 2 min. penalty. But i doubt this will come up, much.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York


"wear a face mask or duck" - Tall George
stick 2 da code, stop snitchin'

should the goals be awarded if a blocked goal was an unintended consequence of falling (or whatever)? in rugby penalty tries are based on intent of the defender, not as simple as "he would have *obviously* scored a try, so he gets the penalty."

if there was one universal gripe at ESPI it was the inconsistent enforcement of a new rule. i don't see being able to train volunteer refs for a major in a way that's suitable for them to judge intent or what's an "obvious" goal, like many people have said (about other rules), change it next season when there's time to start 'training' refs at small tourneys under these new rules. if we're going follow rugby... when's the last time league or union changed their rules mid-season or before a cup?

x2 for sure.

I think a lot of trouble with this is it comes down to the murky land of intent. I've had shots go off my wheel/foot/mallet after I wiped out near the goal that I just couldn't have gotten out of the way of because I was still standing up myself. I've also seen players do things that come to mind as, "They stopped there to block that shot". That was my opinion on their actions though.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Really like the look of these rules, well done guys! I really like the penalty system over the yellow card/double tapout systems i have seen before , the idea of the power play is gonna make the game so much more interesting!


Hi jonny + everyone,

Great set of rules, we've been having a bit of a duscussion about these by e-mail in Melbourne.

FYI Here's a some of our comments.

Bart: Am suprised that there is no rule about mallets above handle bars.
Damon: (not a big problem in Melbourne, but in cities with more fixies, yes)

Bart: Also there are no rules about substitutions.
Damon: (this was a BIG issue at our nationals last year)

Rob/Damon: Wrist shot, is a "scoop" shot a better description?

Damon: Really like "no contact from behind" rule

Damon: Mechanical timeout (with posession) nice touch.
added: I have sympathy for people who get t-boned into mechanical oblivion but less for people who have a poorly maintained bike. I think this could be considered by the ref if things start to repeatedly delay the game.

and a comment from JOL...
"I thought the main idea with bike polo was that the less rules the better."

and AJ:

Whats the name of this game again?

bike lacrose?
bike hockey?
bike demolition derby?

and it kept degenerating from there on in ... :)


hey damon, thanks for the comments. We worked hard on this set of rules.

mallet height can be a problem but i don't think it is realistic for it to be a rule that sets it as a strick at the bars. I think that if it is dangerous it could be called but only after a couple of warnings. The second thing is that mallet to body contact is illegal and could be given a 2 minute penalty.

Subs are an issue that hasn't been explored thoroughly yet. No tournament has set up a system that was used before this tourney well so i didn't want to implement something untested.

I think that less rules is fine but having a defined ruleset could really increase the quality of play.

You worked hard and good :)

Really well done set of rules!!

I also think that's good to have pointed every paragraph, so if any editing will be necessary in the future, it's good idea to have a reference number for any of them.

Thanks a lot, really appreciated.

Good point about the poorly maintained bike versus one simply affected by a crash, etc... Referees ought to investigate the mechanical timeout request at least once to inspect the bike. If it's determined to be a singular glitch on an otherwise healthy bike, ok. But if the bike has obvious problems not caused by the incident - ones that may occur again - the referee should tell the player to select a different bike/require that they visit the bike tent immediately after the game.

We like it! Nice progression to a safer, more entertaining game. I Can't wait!

There has been some debate over the following points, can someone please clarify?

4.6 Kicking/Touching/Kissing: Hands and feet should be forbidden
Q: "I want to be allowed to catch a scoop pass against my body/arms/whatever. To say nothing of shots at my body."

I interpret this to mean that you can block or stop a shot with your body, but not carry the ball in anyway. Also, you cannot stick your hand out to block a ball. Is that correct?

6.1 6.1 - A foot-down or "dab" is defined as any player placing their foot on any horizontal surface (e.g., the ground, his mallethead, a bike, the ball, another player.)
Q: "Am I allowed to put a foot on someone/someone's bike if they are upright?"

Please clarify

7.10 severity of intended injury:
Q: We would like to see "up to ejection from the tournament." added to the end of this line. If someone is actually aggressively pursuing injury of another player, they shouldn't be allowed to play. Yes I know its up to the ref to decide what the intent was, and that is hard to prove.

*Tossing the ball out of the court results in a delay of game penalty.
Q: "This is written with some anti-scoop bias. If I accidentally scoop it out of the court, there should be no penalty. If its on purpose that should obviously be penalized." What is the rule for the accidental scoop out? Again, how do the refs define a persons intent?

Thank you

I don't know about the rest but...
tossing the ball out of play should be a delay of game penalty regardless of intent, it does delay the game. AND like you said, how can you define intent? blah blah about oops i missed.

"wear a face mask or duck" - Tall George
stick 2 da code, stop snitchin'

So, you are basically saying that of all the hockey rules we could possibly transfer over to polo you would pick the most controversial and hated one? Lame.

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

Yea learn how to pass within the dimensions of the court. If you allow this I will hurl the ball out of the fucking court when I am being pressed in my defensive zone. Its like grabbing or leaning on the goal, something that may accidentally happen but why would that be allowed?

"wear a face mask or duck" - Tall George
stick 2 da code, stop snitchin'

You scoop the ball it goes straight out....delay of game.....if you scoop it, it's low, but deflects off another players mallet....no intent...no delay of game.....seems pretty easy to me.

6.1 question is covered under a different rule...no body to bike contact

excellent set of rules guys, thanks for spending the time putting all this together. I think this is, and will be for a while, a work in progress. Rules in other sports change all the time. I expect new technologies, capabilities and better players to constantly push the envelope of rules. Great start with this set!!

this space intentionally left blank.

Rule 1.2! Mandatory uniforms!!! It's great for both the players and spectators. I hope this is the norm from here on out.

What about refs though? How will they stand out in sight and sound? It may sound trivial but when there's 50 screaming maniacs around the court some stripes and a whistle will go a long ways.

If someone could elaborate a little more on "slashing" it'd be appreciated. 7.2 says "permitted contact...lifting another players mallet", and that a slashing penalty is for "excessive force"- but the notes at the end read "You can defensively hook another player's mallet, lift it or hold it down with yours, but striking will be called". Which is it and where's the line? (as far as mallet-on-mallet goes)

(1) Sticking your mallet in the path of a big windup swing is a great way to mess up someone's shot, but the resulting hard strike might be considered "excessive force".
(2) Sweeping a tripoding goalie is pretty normal, but since the mallet is perpendicular to the ground it's impossible to "lift". So is that a penalty?

(3) And what about pulling the mallet off of a balljoint? Does it have to be a lift from the underside or can i just swipe the mallet?

Thanks to everyone who put in the time to write these rules up! Loving the codification... and Scoop Shots 2011!

if it's approaching the point of breaking somebody's mallet, it's slashing.

although a restrained "strike" on the shaft of a BJ in progress should be allowed in my opinion.

So no intense mallet-on-mallet whacks, but a little "frotting" is ok? That makes sense to me, the rules on it just seem a little ambiguous.

what about when a defender is trailing an offensive player and the defender extends their mallet out in front of their bike/front tire to disrupt the shot and the offensive player whacks/smacks the mallet down into the defender's own front tire and causes them to wreck at full speed? I've seen some pretty vicious wrecks from this and even been the victim in more than one myself...is slashing acceptable if it's in reaction to a non-slashing hook?

We allow this to take out the mallet, nobody's ever really put it under someone elses wheel just to self mallet them. In my view, you're responsible for your own mallet, but if it started happening lots and I had more direct experience with it, we might change our view on the details. still it starts getting into the realm of intent.


i may have missed this somewhere, but what time does this thing begin on friday?

Half the teams will start at 10am, half the teams at 3pm. We'll announce what group you're in early next week, so for now plan on getting there by 10.

Those rules look really nice. A model to follow and build upon!

"Two 48 team Swiss Rounds: Rounds will be re-organized after the first day. Teams can expect five matches on Friday and Saturday, respectively."

That is 24 games X 5 rounds X 2 groups = 240 games per day! (Am I working that out right?)

I've found that a big swiss rounds go rather slowly. It takes a while to get through 24 games, meaning teams will have long periods between matches. You may want to consider breaking this into more, smaller groups of swiss rounds. I believe they did many small groups at ESPI and are planning it for Worlds.

Joel, we'll have five or six tournament courts, killer swiss round software developed by Vince in Como and successfully used at the Midwests last year (and since improved upon), a nice communication system, and probably only about 32 teams per group (AM/PM), which probably means six 12 minute games per team per day, plus lots of pickup. In other words we have it under control, Jonny and I have organized the formatting and scheduling for about a dozen tournaments, often at the last second at tournaments we've attended, and we've been working on this one for awhile. We'll provide all the details next week once registration is closed.

Kev, Format question for you. The description is that teams should expect 5 games, but in this most recent post you say 6. What will determine this?

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

the number of teams. we were originally anticipating closer to 96, looks like we'll have about 65 unless there's a ton at the last minute. we could probably get 7 games per team on both friday and saturday but we'd rather have longer games and a more laid back schedule.

Thank you for being a reasonable person as well. Not that I wouldn't love to play 7 games. I just wouldn't love to scramble for it.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Speaking as both a player and someone who's going to ref a lot at this tourny, I'm a little concerned about all this "penalty at the ref's discretion". With only a couple of short meetings, a group of probably a dozen people from all over are going to have to come to some sort of consensus about what to penalize so that officiating is as even as possible between courts.

For sure, an aggressive move that would shake a rookie probably wouldn't even phase an experienced player, but I think we'd do better to legislate the move, not the result.


you want robots calling it?

yes. Sexy, sexy Rulebots:

heh, rulebots... well played, that's tight.

stop now, you'll never post anything tighter than that. go out on top, retire a champ.

real talk...

Sure, if the robot option is available. But seriously: If we penalize for effect not for the infraction then in a situation where the ref does not have a clear view of the play (which will happen often), the penatly will be awarded to those players who raise a bigger stink after a bad touch than those who just ride it out.

As a ref, I will assume that all players are honest, and will be inclined to award penalties against infractions I could not see when a player tells me that they feel fouled and make a reasonable appeal to me. This may not be the case across all the courts, which means uneven officiating.

Can I get a lifegaurd tower/chair so I can see the action better?


^like the one at Karlsruhe/Griefmasters? Tennis style!!

And seriously, how are the refs going to be distinguished from the crowd? Just yelling "hey guys, stop" isn't going to cut it. Whistles? Stripes? XXXL tees that say "respect my authoritah"?

I think like midwests we will get a chance to get introduced to the ref but you bring a good point up. I suggest a sombrero for the referee and maybe a cap gun.

shock collars would work best!

I just bought a whistle! I managed not to buy the black and white stripped shirt, though. 26 is a lot of dollars for a polyester sweatbox of a jersey for just a weekend.

I'll stop by the pet store tomorrow and ask about shock collars.


yeah should we track down our own whistles?

and everyone buy a different pitch! different sounds for different courts, plus afterward we could start a staccato chamber group.

i plan to have whistles available for refs but if you want a fancy one bring it.

can I use a vuvuzela instead of a whistle?

Perfect. I'm bringing my wooden train whistle!!!!

"ok Mr. Schwinn fucking Armstrong!"

I gotta pan flute, we could break it into 8 pieces. It would go well with the sombreros.

Hazahhhhhhh I'm excited. Rules are solid.

"ok Mr. Schwinn fucking Armstrong!"

so as far as 7.9 is concerned, play will be stopped as soon as someone goes over the boards?

And everything else is great. x2 on solid rules. I can't wait to have crazy fun!

Also, does anyone know about accommodations for two more polo wanderers from denver? I volunteered to ref but I am not sure I want to do two shifts and my teammate/homie needs a place as well and I think he said he is not really into refereeing much either. we are crazy poor and just two of us carpooling to madison from denver so we're paying out the ass to get there, would really appreciate free housing and will partake in plenty of medicinal goods.
Ask ebbin from minneapolis he'll say we're great house guests!

I got a couple of hits via couchsurfing.com I would suggest trying that!

madison has tons of hippies or just get drunk and hit on some local chick and give her a pity story how you have no where to stay...worked at espi3 DC for hero squad

sounds good. I'll make sure to bring a tie die shirt and plenty of pachouli beads.

don't forget the Phish LPs

LPs? What are those? Long poles? Leg panties? Large penises? Limbo poles? Legume pineapples? Lemon pears? Licking puss?

If you wanted to come off as a true hippie you would have phish bootlegs.

I don't think Kirstin is talking about scooping the ball out of play to avoid a defeder, but a scoop pass to a teammate that is just out of reach. This in my understanding is a pass within the deminsions of the court. So is any out of bounds ball a penalty?

Deaddog- sacbikepolo

Building on my own interpretations as someone who is going to referee I will end up hollering at someone who does this the first time, probably hollering again, or a tap out the second. I like this rule because it allows referees to keep the game going, if someone is throwing the ball out of the court again and again, intentional or accidental they need to change their behavior. Shouldn't be an immediate slap in the face but honestly if after the second time you try and again throw the ball out of the court you should have a seat for a bit and think about your actions, or stop taking so many steroids.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

What are the dimensions of the court? Has that been posted anywhere yet?


just measured them out yesterday. 40 by 19

If its true they are 132' x 66', then these are the most perfect sized courts ever.

Oh Jonny. You and you're metric measurings. We live in NA. : )

Midwest is best!!

big up the metric! makes so much more sense!

It does make sense, but alas, being 'merican my frame of reference is in Ye Olde English Standard. I blame the Brits for everything. But yes, Metric as a system makes more sense in the division of units type of way.

Bike Polo Ronin

I agree as well. I was just giving Jonny shit.

Midwest is best!!


down with the imperial axis of evil :)


I thought of an defensive foul rule that may make sense to everyone.

Checking/hiting/contacting on the opposite side of a player controlling the ball merits a penalty. Player A has the ball and is facing the goal in the offensive zone. Player B is on defense. It would be illegal for Player B to check or hit Player A opposite the side they have the ball.

I thought about this last night when I was getting ready to make a shot and someone ran into my left forearm, nearly causing me to go flying. Most people play clean in this situation...no contact on the off-hand side of someone with the ball.

One could argue that was acceptable "body to body" contact according to the rules posted above. I think most of us would recognize it as a bush-league, crash the player if you can't reach the ball bullshit.

Looking back in the thread I believe this is exactly what Jason FtL was talking about.

yes, exactly...if you get outfinessed our juked then just ram/shove/push...contact is incidental in polo or we would need full safety gear at the speeds we're going.

my complaint isn't with the contact itself it's with the inconsistency of this being acceptable before the game starts...I will gladly play a bike hockey full check game...but it's gotta be known and agreed upon in advance. think about how easy it would be to jackknife someone if that was what you were solely focused on doing...ball control would become secondary to checking...

Im no into checking or unsafe play but I think a little pressure applied on the opposite side a player is controlling the ball on can safely move a player over the ball giving you a chance to steal it from them. Holding your line even against pressure is part of the game. Cheap thuggish play I could do without.

I fuck wit thugs fashooooo!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZt0j7KOebU

  • full_trick_daddy_artist_photo9.jpg

"wear a face mask or duck" - Tall George
stick 2 da code, stop snitchin'

The situation I have in mind is a drive on the goal. Basketball has the same idea where you can't just hit someone shooting the ball. Pressure or holding your line are different.

I think for bike polo the defender should get a penalty if they strike the shooter. Most regular players paying attention would be able to identify it as a foul. The distinction between foul and stiff defense is grey area but no rule is perfect. The clean move is to get in front of the person with the ball to get a wheel or mallet in front of the shot, if you're fast enough.

When, in your opinion, would be a good time to use a clean, tactically played, shoulder check against a player in possession of the ball?

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

that's like saying you shouldn't be able to tackle the quarterback because he was about to throw the ball or you shouldn't be able to tackle a runner because he was almost to the end zone. Keep in mind that the rule already allows for and specifies certain types of contact.

- Beaver Boys * Milwaukee Bike Polo Club -

Joe it's a great question. Based on my experience clean is identified by things like:
- defender in front of offender
- offender turning into defender
- defender attempting to block shot with mallet, as opposed to mallet on bars attempting to knock offender to the ground

I think the better football analogy is pass interference. You can't hit or hold a receiver about to catch a pass, doing so is a severe penalty.

Ya know when I play defense on the opposite side of the ball, I limit shoulder-on-shoulder to holding a line or limiting the defender from being able to get around me. If my front wheel is ahead of them I may turn in to bring them to a stop or turn them away.

What about left vs. right handed people, which--if facing the same way--would leave it shoulder to shoulder, is that ok? How did they "run into" your left forearm? Do you play with a pack of wild ninjas, did they karate chop you?

I agree with you Joel, that's outrageous, ninjas and bike polo simply don't mix, recipe for disaster.

Gettin' a little soft boys aren't ya? Foul. Foul. Foul. Foul. Play some ball, score some goals, have yourselves a rip roarin' good time.


yeah Ange, lets take them back to 2007, see who can take it.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

I think this is abotu the time frame I heard about portland playing on percocet. I think we can handle it.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Shit, I use to chew on a bag of nails before playing against you back then. It made the match, or battle if you will, seem less painful.

Is it a bag of dicks now? I know that helps me out.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Ha ha ha, yes Ange, yes....

Mallets of Mayhem
polos finest


Fuck off

I practiced reffing by this ruleset at pick-up yesterday. I remain concerned about the amount of discretion the officials have to issue warnings, taps, 30 second and two minute penalties, and ejection for offenses. The intensity and character of a particular game and it's participants will help a little in judging the intent of any contact between players. But there is a lot of stuff I will not be in a position to see clearly, leaving me to judge only the outcome of the offense and the reaction of the crowd. I do not believe that it would be a good idea use the crowd to officiate.

I would prefer a straight list of infraction A gets you this penalty, B gets you this one, etc. At least then, the penalty won't be seen as coming out of left field should I, say, give someone 2 minutes for what they thought was a clean check that just happened to be close to the boards and the offended player went over and scraped their knee.


mad_sam (not verified)

I did the same thing, practicing the reffing at pick-up, and it just was not that difficult. Somebody did a bj really close to the center line and I warned them. They didn't do it again. There was a T-bone - not intentional at all - and I warned the players to keep their heads up and watch that kind of contact, and they complied. Somebody did some incidental mallet contact with a bike, nothing came of it, so I just said to keep control of their mallets, and it was all good.

Lucky, calls will be missed. That's just life and the consequences of using humans to do this job. We're not perfect. But I think you're approaching it with the right spirit - call what you see, understand that different games will have different characters, and most importantly, use some common sense. Do Not Rely on the Crowd.

If somebody executes what they thought was a clean check and it sends somebody over the boards, I have no problem issuing a 30-second penalty. After all, it's in the rules, players should know the rules, and should conduct play accordingly. Perhaps they didn't intend to send somebody over the boards, but that's what they did.

Look at it this way: if a penalty results in an injury (or potential injury) or an advantage for the offending team, blow the whistle and issue the penalty. If it's just ticky-tacky shit and stopping play is going to ruin game flow, issue a verbal warning and let the game continue.

I'll see you on Thursday, so we'll have more opportunities to discuss this.

I appreciate your support and advice. What I'm most concerned about isn't necessarily whether or not I do a good job reffing as an individual, but that we all do a consistent job as a reffing team. The number one complaint that I've read about from the last few major tournaments has been inconsistent reffing. If one of us would warn for what another of us would penalize, that player and everyone who shares the court with them will have different experiences court to court.

Also, if we do not talk amongst ourselves enough, a player may get a warning from every ref about the same thing every game, without us knowing that they were a consistently dirty player and treating them with a little more prejudice.

Looking forward to meeting and talking all this out with y'all and doing my small part to make this the best tourney ever.


Agreed on the most important thing being consistency. I'd be fine with almost any ruleset as long as it was standardized and used at every tournament. It's really frustrating practicing for months using one set of rules and playing at a tournament with some significantly different rules. I'm not driving to Madison to play bike hockey.

no, just space hockey.

what about air hockey?

blame the rules all you want, pete. it wont make your game any better.

Really?!?! I was under the impression that blaming the rules would in fact make me better at bike polo. Thanks for clearing that up, you've been extremely helpful!

Now if you'd like to discuss the one call you made on me at ESPIs, I'd be happy to, but this isn't the thread for it.

you're not even funny. step your game up.

lucky, we will have you court captain for sam on friday so you can get a good feel for his reffing style.

Mmmmmm creamy. I just made it to minniapolis. Anyone coming through here anytime soon to hook me up with a ride to Madison? I'd like to wt there early. Can't wait to see my polo bike again. Jonny, I had it sent to just coffee, it will be take care of yes? How do I get a hold of it once I'm in town? I appologize if this has already been adressed. So excited!!!!!

"ok Mr. Schwinn fucking Armstrong!"

bikes will be at the party on thurs night. If you need them earlier get ahold of me and i can hook you up.

i would like to thank madison bikepolo/hunter bros in advance for their level of understanding and competence.
let the subterrenean pig slaying begin...BLOOD AND HAIR EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

slayers are only slayers if the slay out of town...

how come you're not bring the Butcher with you?

More photos/collections to come, but for now, enjoy mr. Jake Newborn (sp?) in all his rad sunglass glory.

One of a series of about 50 from Friday.

currently running Photo Blog www.gustavHoiland.com
formerly of http://legitbikepolo.com

i didnt know there was a sunglasses rule gus

what was the rule on making subs?

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York