Machine Politics vs L'Équipe, August 2010. Photo by Steph Simcox
Presenting North American Hardcourt, an organizing body
Since the World's in Philadelphia, a concerned group of our fellow polo players have been discussing and debating how to begin what lately many of us online have been alluding to often: an organizing body, one which will help us collectively accomplish very reasonable tasks and will markedly improve the overall quality of our tournaments. Here we are presenting a plan and a process to achieve this end, wherein our first job will be to choose the host city for our North Americans in 2010. Upon completion of this task, we can begin to lay the foundation for a talented organizing body to nurture and build bike polo in the future.
The first order of business will be managing the bid process for NAHBPC 2010. as follows:
- November 14th 11:59pm PST: Deadline for NAHBPC bids, which can be submitted at http://bikepolo.ca/node/add/bid
- November 15th-17th: Q&A about the bids open to all, at http://bikepolo.ca/bids
- November 18th 12:01am PST: Voting opens
- November 20th 11:59pm PST: Voting closes
The pilot organizing body will first be responsible for evaluating bids from candidate cities, voting on them, and choosing a host for the 2010 NAHBPC. Below, listed by region and city, are 24 members of our community who have considerable experience organizing major bike polo tournaments or otherwise have played a significant role in the development of the game in each region.
K Really, Atlanta
Amandaconda Tampa Bay
Jeff n-o-d PHX
You may be asking how and why this group of 24 was selected. As mentioned above, experience was a major factor. The experience found in this group will be invaluable in guiding our decisions in the early going. Balance was another. Care was taken to ensure the body has diversity - of experience, of involvement, of personnel, and of regional representation. At this stage, regional representation comprises four representatives from six regions, all of which will be adapted to reflect growth and change. In creating the infrastructure for this body, a more formal voting process will emerge wherein elected regional representatives will be determined from elected city representatives.
Two other possibilities were "one player, one vote" and "one city, one vote", both of which were considered seriously and debated at length. Both of these systems have obvious merit and, as mentioned above, we'll eventually be using the element of city representation. But, by themselves, these possibilities pose a significant challenge related to verifying the eligibility of voters, a task for which we have insufficient time before needing to resolve the bid process for the 2010 NAHBPC. Unfortunately, having an account on bikepolo.ca or posting a club on the clubs page is simply not, at this point, a viable way of establishing eligibility.
Establishing such a viable, democratic organizing body is well within the realm of possibility for 2010. It should be stressed that the list above is simply a provisional organizing body that will be able to confidently direct and guide our efforts until a more formal system is in place. Contacting any one of your regional representatives through bikepolo.ca with any questions you may have is strongly encouraged.
OTHER AGENDA ITEMS
Here are the other tasks that this provisional organizing body will be prioritizing further down the road.
Winter 2010: Work with major tournament organizers (NAHBPC, regional tournaments like West side, ESPI, etc) to establish a unified approach to sponsors. This effort will build off the sponsor materials originally created by the committee that organized the NAHBPC 2008 in Seattle.
Winter 2010: Establish a viable decision-making structure for the organizing body, including voting process, regions, etc..
Spring 2010: Launch a public-facing website about North American Hardcourt.
Spring 2010: Establish bid process for determining NAHBPC 2011, and work with polo communities in Europe, South America, Oceania and Asia to establish a bid process for determining the WHBPC 2011. By the time NABHPC and WHBPC roll around in summer 2010, we will already know who is hosting the 2011 tournaments.
Other potential tasks:
- Develop a "how to organize a tournament" resource.
- Examine the feasibility of creating a unified rule set for tour circuit tournaments.
- Keep the stakes low: For the moment, we feel that we can achieve a lot with little or no budget. This may change later. But for the time being keeping finances out of the early going will greatly benefit our progress. We will simply facilitate ensuring that the sponsor money/prizes gets to the intended tournament organizers. This will better allow tourney organizers to focus on courts, housing, etc.
- Regional representation: The benefits of coordination will be felt equally throughout all six regions mentioned above. For example, when it's time to choose the location of the Southeast Side Invite, the task will be left up to regional representatives and city reps within the region.
- Cooperation with polo organizers beyond North America. Given the difficulty of developing a global organizing structure, we will need to work closely with polo communities in Europe, South America, Asia, Oceania - wherever else polo springs up - on issues of WHBPC, sponsors, etc. with special emphasis on maintaining consistent communication.
Our goal is to ensure that both tournament organizers and sponsors get what they need to create a consistent tournament standard. We plan to take this one careful step at a time, starting with the 2010 N.A. bid. After accomplishing this, the organizing body will look to designing a more refined, objective process by which to elect the representative body in the future, as well as begin building better relationships with prominent and potential sponsors.
A sincere thanks to everyone who helped us in getting this far. This could not have happened without the cooperation and hard work of people in our community who love the game and want to see it flourish. Truth is, our list above could be twice the size. People from all corners of North America took the time to talk and critique, not only with those doing the typing but with each other and their local communities. It is a team game we play and it is reasonable to expect great things from our efforts toward organizing - as a team.
With great anticipation and excitement we present this work for our North American Hardcourt organizing body. Let's see what we can do.