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North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Official Rules

So here it is a seperate thread for discussion of the rules.
find the rules here:


I'm tired of editing the google doc, and this post, everytime there is a tiny change to wording or something.
***Please keep in mind these rules are for North American Championships, and Regional championships only. We're not trying to tell everyone they have to change their local rules of play. These rules also are still being developed. Nothing is written in stone yet, and they will be voted on before being accepted as final.....we're not trying to ram anything down anyone's throats.....just working towards a standard, and a concensus....that is why I posted this up here, so we can hear what everyone thinks so far, and get ideas for additions and changes.

I'm not from NA, but I have been playing with a 20cm mallet, and i dont think it is EXCESSIVELY long.
I think that your maximum head length rule is too short.

Where did the 18cm measurement come from? Is it just a number you pulled out of your head that you thought was too long? Have you every played with anything this long or longer?

it's bike polo, not bike jai alai, eh?

and maybe you're right, maybe 20cm isn't EXCESSIVELY long, it's only 2cm over the maximum, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.

i dunno, with all the scoops it's starting to look a lot more like jai-alai

Yeah sure, but I'm still interested in understanding where this maximum came from.
What the exact reasoning is that makes my mallet 2cm too long.

The rules laid down here be NA Hardcourt are going to have a huge significance in the rules that bike polo across the world will accept as "normal" for years to come. Sure some things my change a bit, but this is going to be the basis.

I don't see "having to draw the line somewhere" as a good enough reason for my mallet to be considered "illegal"

This does feel a bit arbitrary. I'm currently enjoying a six and half inch mallet and I can't imagine why some out there may not want to rock a seven and a half inch mallet. I once saw someone playing goalie with a nine or ten inch mallet and that sucked, but I don't play goalie at all. I just think the extra room helps catch passes and gives me more shuffle room.

What about bumping that max length to 7.5 or even 8 inches?

i think 20 cm is 7.87 in

i think they are using cm cause its cool. and inches aint.

its not just a line were drawing. i think we all just think that 8 in too big for us here in NA, but yall can play with whatever you want.

and everything is bigger in Australia- i.e. knives and beer specifically


P/M Hardcourt

I think people need to start considering the NAH as a professional level, that is not going to be for everyone. They have their rule set decide upon, just like the NHL. The NHL has rules on the amount of curve in a blade and also the length. Lots of players don't like but it is a rule of the NHL non the less. Players are going to hate it even more because they just changed the cure rule from 1/2 inch max curve to 1/4 inch curve. Instead of having these repeated threads about the same issues over and over, the NAH should have an email address to the board members that make up the rules board. Players can submit their issue and it will be discussed and a verdict will be given and that will be that until it is decided that the rules are adequate. Once that specific issue has been added it will be up to the player weather they choose to play in the NAH tour abiding by their rules or the choose not to and go to other tournaments.

On the official NAH rule page things like mallet make and style, bikes and parts will be listed in red lets say. You check what red represents and it say "rule finalized and will not be disputed". Something is in green, Look at the green meaning and it states " Rule not finalized" then people can submit an issue with that rule. after 2 weeks that rule will be decide upon and switched to red.

Thats just my thought!

I need a sugar momma so I can work less and play polo more!!

Mr. Anderson, I admire your forward thinking. But, I worry about putting so much responsibility in the hands of just a few elected officials in a very young organizing body. To my understanding many of the regional reps have fallen off the face of the earth anyway. I guarantee that if I knew the regional rep position held the sort of power you are recommending I would have voted differently. I do agree that a few years down the line this could be a viable option. However given the dramatic range of opinions and the youth of the organizing body, moving on a system like this, at this time, would be a mistake. I think we need to continue as we are now, feel out this NAH tour system and re-evaluate come fall. Piece by piece its all gonna be right, eventually.

I agree. I use a 20cm mallet sometimes other times I use an 18cm one. Other people here use the same, someone has one thats even longer.
(plus I've used my 20cm mallet in Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria with no problems)

I'm all for clearing up some ambiguous rules and averting some disasters/confusion in their application, but there's no real controversy relating to mallet length that I'm aware of.

** I cant access google docs (because of the work firewall - boo) most of the time, can someone cut and paste it and e-mail it to me? **

Before anyone says. this is for North America, you can do what you like in Australia... this is exactly the same argument that people here with no broader experience use to push their silly ideas - mandatory subbing off after goal scoring - goal keeping should be banned - fixed gear only bike polo etc etc.

I've played polo all over Australia and all over Cascadia (aaahh cascadia) and I can tell you, we are all doing exactly the same shit, sitting around, drinking beer, stealing traffic cones, working on our plays, taunting our comrades with cries of "shuffle" after sweet goals, scavenging ski poles. the similarities are remarkable and amazing. Despite the minority who keep trying to show how different we are, I maintain that we are all a part of the global bike polo family.

besides, I'm halfway through my Canadian immigration papers anyway.

In other news. I wrote/coallated the rules for the Australian Nationals last year, and after a few gaps became apparrent, (officials, multiple substitutes, no shows, seeding, etc) I'm doing a bit of further work on them to cover off a few topics. see bikepolo.com.au in about a week.




warning: in an Australian Context

urbanbicyclist wrote:

Before anyone says. this is for North America, you can do what you like in Australia... this is exactly the same argument that people here with no broader experience use to push their silly ideas - mandatory subbing off after goal scoring - goal keeping should be banned - fixed gear only bike polo etc etc.

Thinly veiled, misinformed and a bit of a disappointing comment, Damon.

Maybe Melbourne polo has been played long enough to have a matured ruleset, ie you know what works and what doesnt, but how did you get there?
For the lack of a cohesive national body and ruleset emerging polo centres will always experiment with new rules in a casual situation. Where's the rule that says we can't try new ideas?

I am all for a consistent national ruleset for high stakes tournaments. I expect that and I think most would too.

Last weekend we tried a new rule for a different style of play, turnout was marginal, the rule didn't work, we scrapped it. I don't think anyone was pushing anything.

The same occurred at the Nationals. Months prior you kindly published a draft ruleset and invited comment. I raised the issue about behind the goal scoring play. There seemed to be a lack of interest from other cities regarding this and other minor issues. Mostly they just wanted the host city to set the rules. The draft rules become official.
Come the day of the Nationals and you were up reading out the rules, that exact rule became an issue of conflict with a lot of players. So the rule was rewritten on the spot 5 minutes before the first game!
Who pushed it? Was it a silly idea? Or did it end up being a trial and error process and was it such a bad thing in the end?


I'm sorry you're disappointed, but I dont think anything I said is thinly veiled or misinformed. I've been pretty clear, and I do my research.

(that wasnt a specific dig at Adelaide, it had been discussed in the lead up to our bench tourney and I'm sure we're not the only ones)

As for the rest of your post, I think I agree with everything in its entirety.

The national rules development was an open process, even to the point that we read and approved the rules in front of everyone. I was just as happy to make the change to the passbacks rule as everyone else at the nationals.

>So the rule was rewritten on the spot 5 minutes before the first game!


at the request of the majority of people there and with the input of everyone there. I'm not sure if you're saying this as a good example or a bad example, but I think the process was great.

I also amended the 3 extra large copies of rules that had been posted around the courts too.

>Who pushed it? Was it a silly idea? Or did it end up being a trial and error process and was it such a bad thing in the end?

Nobody pushed it.

It wasnt silly to begin with, it was just a matter of a subtle difference between how some cities play vs others
(it had also sat online for months with no comments)

>Or did it end up being a trial and error process and was it such a bad thing in the end?

yep. all good.

So I think the only thing that we disagree on is that subbing off after goals is a silly rule. even though we agree on that now too.

I hope you're still not disappointed. :)


13th at the Nationals, took about a week. Didnt it?


Interest in what the yanks and 'nucks are doing is a good thing but don't rule out that for the most part we aren't playing them..
Coming from a sailing background the rulebook is strict, concise and internationally binding but within are written terms that give permission to a club or local authority to change certain rules where they see fit to address local issues.

I think that is a good idea for Australia where our following and ability havent evolved for as long as our northern friends and we play in different facilities on different bikes etc.

This thread is not the place but I look forward to working with people for an Australian standard ruleset.


In the future can you two post your personal pissing matches not in important threads like this. You may have ended up discussing a few good things but you end up discouraging the casual reader for reading this entire thread.

i thought my post was quite relevant.


Sveden wrote:

In the future can you two post your personal pissing matches not in important threads like this. You may have ended up discussing a few good things but you end up discouraging the casual reader for reading this entire thread.

you oxymoron.

If you want nice, clean, censored threads get moderators.


Awwww... lookit. I drew you two together in your dislike of me pointing out your pissing match. How cute. I can rest peacefully now.


Couple of points, mostly nit-picky stuff that were probably just typos or oversights on a tedious and difficult job for this committee. Thanks for the effort, everyone.

3.2 Although the stamp on the pipe says "2 inches" the actual outside diameter of the pipe we most commonly use is 2 3/8" (60mm). Also, I see no benefit to regulating mallet length.
8.4 Where does the defending team get possession of a shuffled goal?
18.1 The pauses we take after being scored on are fine, but they aren't technically "time-outs" because the game clock does not stop.

Now for a bigger issue: This yellow/red card system is interesting to me, but totally untested in a tournament as far as I know. I'm in favor of establishing consequences for rules violation and sketchy play. But I am not in favor of forcing upon organizers a never-before-used system for a year.
Please host a tournament, try it out, let it get talked through by all the participants/observers, amend it if need be, then bring it up as a overarching rule.


lucky to answer the shuffle question,defending team gets ball behind the goal, when ball crosses goal line its game on.

lucky to answer the shuffle question,defending team gets ball behind the goal, when ball crosses goal line its game on.

yes to what Brian said....I'll make it more clear in the rules.
For time-outs, I'm not talking about the pause before play resumes after a goal, I'm talking about if you want to call a time-out you have to wait until a goal is scored. For example, if you flat a tire, either fix it on the fly, or wait until a goal is scored for a time-out. The game won't be stopped in mid-play.
and as for mallet size, I wanted to quantify some things (specific goal sizes, etc). I had to pick someting for a number, These aren't written in stone (yet), but I think it was something that should be looked at. I realize the pipe most people use is 2" (inside diameter). I don't think it will ever really be an issue anyway, since a larger diameter isn't really practical, but I figured if I was going to put in a max length, I should put in a max diameter as well. I'll adjust it to say 2 1/2" that should cover everyone, but stop someone from putting a basket on the end of their stick. As for the length, I had to pick something, but if everyone agrees it should be longer, I don't have a problem with that. I think there should be a max though. You make a mallet with a 24 inch head on it, and defending the 5 hole would get much easier....

make sure you specify O.D. or I.D.

the j is for jesse
Troy, NY: 2008 - 2010
Seattle, WA: 2010 - 2013
Austin, TX? polo!???

Speaking of clock time...

What prevents this scenario:

There is a score of 3-2. Team A has 3, Team B has 1.

Team B scores another goal which brings the score to 3-2. Team A has possession and the lead. They sit behind the goal until the time runs out and they win.

Can the refs stop the clock?

At the Australian nationals, the ref was able to call "game on" if he believed the scored upon team was ready to proceed but was wasting time/stalling.

It was called once or twice during the tourney that i saw.

Ya I think the clock should stop when there is a goal, and resume when play starts again.

qpang wrote:

You make a mallet with a 24 inch head on it, and defending the 5 hole would get much easier....

yea so would figuring out who totally sucks... keep your standards off my mallet

le mallet

To prove a point, we tried it, (yes, even defending the 5 hole), it sucked, after 10 mins nobody wanted to use it. Major liability.


These are suggested rules or did a secret vote occur?

people wanted a standard set of rules for major tournaments. We set up a committee to work on this task. This is the first draft (we had to start somewhere) and everyone will have a chance to voice concerns, and we will make adjustments as necessary. I'm sure we'll never make absolutley everyone happy, but we will do our best to make rules that are agreed on by the majority of the players out there. Everyone can still use whatever specific local rules they want, but at the major tournaments (NA championships, and regional championships) we wanted a standard set so that everyone knows what they are getting into before hand, and we can eliminate the 1/2 hour meeting at the beginning of each tournament where the rules are stated, and debated, and voted on, and changed, etc...

can someone post who are on these committees and what these committees are responsible for?

edit: since it says in §9.2 to submit suggestions etc to the Rules Committee.

rules committee members:
Justin Calgary Chair
Doug D NYC
Meg DC
Joker LA
Coach Ottawa
responsible for the development of standardizing rules for the North American Championships and it's regional tournaments


3.1 - Modified ski poles, and plastic pipe are the most common materials.

This isn't even a rule, may just save this for the wikipedia page.

good point, I changed how that was written.

6.2 - The minimum court size will be 30.5m X 15.25m (100' X 50') (Tennis court or basketball court) and maximum size will be 60m X 26m (200' X 85') (NHL rink)

By this rule our new court, which we like a lot, of two full tennis courts (100 x 100) would be excluded. It would also exclude our first indoor court which we also enjoyed. This rule just feels wrong to me.

this rules is mostly to address minimum size....if you are going to a major tournament I think most people expect to play on something bigger than say a 10' X 10' driveway for example. As far as your 100' x 100' court, I would suggest if you are holding a large tournament, that it would make sense to divide that court in half and have 2 courts anyway. Again some number had to be chosen, this can be modified if everyone thinks it should be bigger/smaller or whatever....

im also thinking there should be a minimum behind the net play area of 3 meters or 10 ft anything less is a hazzard which would more importantly create a goal line to goal line minimum
seattles courts were all 100 ft from goal line to goal; line. two courts had 12 ft behind the net the others had 15
ottawas court is 120 x 80 with 100 feet goal line to goal line

I think a minumim goal to back wall is a great idea too.

I disagree with there being a need for a rule like this. I also disagree with splitting our court, the overall square footage makes is play like a medium sized court. We're always looking out for a court we can call our own and hold tournaments on. We've got our eye on 4 open tennis courts which is 100 by 200, so this rule would exclude it as well. Maybe there just isn't any need for a rule here. Clubs and tournament goes can sort this out on their own.

I think they're setting up these standard rules for just North Americans and the major regional tournaments. There needs to be regulation for serious tournaments. You can't just hold them on a square piece of pavement anymore, and that's a good thing. It will help legitimize the sport, both to players and observers.

I'm sure no one is going to pull out a rule book when you want to host a tournament in Tulsa and play where you play. That kind of thing will hopefully always be okay. This is just for the serious business tournaments.


square courts seems odd, but why not set up a square footage maximum/minimum?

A court that's 100x50 is about the same ft2 as a court that's 12x417, but obviously they'd play drastically different.

I think the wording they used is good for this rule (no opinion on the court size itself), the max/min ft2 is implicit in the upper and lower bounds they listed and makes it so there will be no chance of a 12x417 court which would still be possible with only a ft2 max/min.

i fee like there is a way to word this that will allow for differing sizes. perhaps a minimum of two sides being XX ft. i dunno.

Different sizes should not be allowed. These are the North American Championship and regional tournaments -- the big ones. There should be a very narrow range and specific size that is predetermined and accepted, and they did this wonderfully. Ideally, and hopefully in the future, there will only be one size allowed at all major tournaments. The best size. The right size. The size court that hard court bike polo is played on, just as there is only one officially sized soccer field, hockey rink, football field, basketball court, etc... This is a sport, not kick the can. Let's legitimize.

mad_sam (not verified)

I disagree very strongly. Coming from a baseball perspective, one of the joys of the sport is how different ballparks play differently. Some enhance offense, some enhance pitching and defense. While there are iron-clad ways in which all fields are standardized (90 ft. between basepaths, foul territory extends down first base line and third base line, etc), the variability beyond that standardization makes traveling to new places a unique and engaging experience.

One of the joys of bike polo is playing the Thunderdome in Madison, or the Pit in NYC, or the Garage (RIP) in MKE and seeing how each unique implementation of a court can affect play.

I *do* believe we need to have some standards (goal width, distance behind goals, max court size and min court size, etc), but beyond those, I think a little local color is good for the sport.

Okay, yeah I can see that. Thanks.

Edit: for real baseball sucks though.

No, baseball is pure Americana...football sucks. And you better apologize or I'll throw every game in MPLS.

Bike Polo Ronin


emo sucks

capt. jake wrote:

emo sucks

=( that was harsh and a little true.

If you are playing on square courts you should really stop.

Sveden wrote:

If you are playing on square courts you should really stop.

6.2 - The minimum court size will be 30.5m X 15.25m (100' X 50') (Tennis court or basketball court) and maximum size will be 60m X 26m (200' X 85') (NHL rink). If you are playing on a square court, stop.

All in favor?


I see your point. Our court used to be 107 x 120. It was this size that was used for the courts at the 08' NA's. But I have to say that since bisecting this area and creating two courts our playing here has improved. Playing in a square just screws with your spatial relationship. Trust me, not only are you better off making that court a bit more slender for your own game but it makes perfect sense for this shape to be limited in it's application.

I think the rules should specifically state that anyone who is footdown is "out of play" and should not influence the course of a game. this should be an addendum to 10, or an entirely different section. because with the addition of rule 17.1, it suggests that a player can foot down, and ignore the tap in for the sake of playing the ball in a certain situation. This seems dirty, allows teams a chance to abuse it over the course of a tournament (since cards do not carry over) and referees may not be ready to make a red card call on a team that continually abuses 17.1 each game.

.edited to add an example. for 17.1

team A has 3 players. 1 of the players foot downs while in front of the goal but team B is on a break away, instead of leaving the goal, he waits for the break away player and pokes the ball away. thus breaking it up.


conversely, team A is on offense. team B has two players that manage to footdown with two players on team a, creating a 1v1 situation. while the four players go to tap in, the offensive player takes a shot, foot downs, and rebounds the ball purposefully to take another shot (knowingly drawing the yellow card/red card).
(edited again)
over the course of a tournament, this will be something that referees need to keep an eye on. it may not be easy being a referee but I better not see a damn team abusing 17.1 or I will lose all faith in this rule system.

I'll change the wording for the "out of play" thing. I'm hoping that people don't just sit around looking for loopholes to abuse the rules, as in your little scenarios....how is it any different from the current system, where there is no way to enforce someone ignoring a tap-out? Maybe wouldn't hurt though to add something about a goal scored by a player who ignored a tap-out will not count.

there isn't a way to enforce them now... but there most certainly will not be if there is no rule written about them. non-interference while dabbed is a big one i'd say, lots of people cheat interfering while dabbed.

I may be looking for loopholes but that's because I wanna help get these balanced out.

I guess my little scenarios are pretty common or can happen in the heat of the moment.

tapping in is like second nature for most players. those who don't will forever be branded a dick, which leads us back to the golden rule..

qpang wrote:

I'm hoping that people don't just sit around looking for loopholes to abuse the rules, as in your little scenarios....

As they say... hope in one hand...

Pay attention to the "Control Theory" section:

As the bike polo community grows, I see the bonds becoming more fragmented which I also agree will free people do deviate and exploit the loopholes. I know this because I'm generally that kind of person. I will / do push this shit to the limits and work *just* within the system... partly because it's fun for me, other partly because I don't care what most people think, I'm very unsentimental like that. I detail what action would be an unacceptable outcome and then I do everything I can, just short of what it would take for that unacceptable outcome.

For example, a person like me might decide that not being able to play in the final is an unacceptable outcome. Then they'll do an inventory of what it takes to win and still be in the final. If that means they can legally get two yellow cards each game for questionable behavior and still play in the final, and it'll help them win... they'll probably take advantage of that... even if people are booing and jeering them because they don't give a fuck what those idiots think. If the difference between winning and losing a big tournament is legally sitting behind the goal (like in my scenario) and killing the clock... they'll think long and hard about it and consider it as a real possibility and odds are, if things get desperate enough, will act on it. If you haven't made a rule to address what they're going to do... and it's some HUGE tournament you better believe it's going to be a big deal.

You need to detail out rules for people like me (there are a lot of us) so there's no ambiguity or room for argument... it's a real drag, but usually people that look for and push the loopholes are also the same people who are pretty decent at arguing their case. We don't need rules for people like you who are going to follow the "spirit" of the rule and just be good with that.

note: i'm not going to physically hurt anyone, i'm talking about strategy exploiting loopholes.

loophole scmoophole you'll never make into the semi's of a big tourney to have chance to use the loopholes


and you and people like you will probably never commit murder, but I'd like to know that on the off chance that you or people like you do, there are rules that prevent you or people like you from just getting away with it on a technicality.

i might not get into the semis (which i don't care about, really) but someone like me will... and that jake, that's the point, because when someone does beat you, and they're a real fucking dick about it you're going to be whining like me at spring break about whatever it is they did that was questionable, but still *technically* within the rules.

daniel may not be popular here for pointing these things out, but write a poor ruleset and watch players exploit them to the limit as they are perfectly allowed to do. in fact we should expect them to do so, anything less would be plainly naive.

it happens all of the time in tournaments (and pick-up)-- there's a lot of interpretation out there on the differences between the letter and the spirit of the law. players chicken-arm each other, deliver elbows from behind, and disobey the refs for the calls they don't like-- all because none of these items are addressed in the current ruleset or have proper penalty and enforcement structures.

as this game moves from one governed largely by unwritten etiquette and personal relationships on the court to a more rules-based standard, these grey areas will get ironed out and plays will be able to be judged from a more objective stance instead of just what someone's opinion on the sidelines that day is.

until then i think the ruleset should be tend toward being more exhaustive and cover all of the little technicalities that we tend to think are just common knowledge rather than erring on the side of familiarity. i keep saying that the rulebook for simple games like ultimate and tennis are twenty pages long and polo should be no different. we haven't discovered some perfect game that requires fewer rules, the sport is just too young for us to have written a complete and accepted set.

everyone likes to play and watch good polo, and no one likes to get taken down unfairly or see someone cheat. smart, well-written rules don't chain a sport down-- they free it from the shackles of controversy and allow skilled players to make beautiful plays without worrying about cheap take-outs and subjective calls.

i concur

well said...especially the last bit.

Bike Polo Ronin

well said piet

If everyone were able to play together without resorting to hurting each other we might not need as many rules.

sorry, I was just repeating what I said to my 6 year old son........

....... __o
.... ( )/( ) \o

I've been without internet for most of last month, but after coming back and reading daniel's post (which captured the spirit of what I was suggesting in my scenarios), I'm quite happy with how jackal puts this rule system into perspective. so, touche, remind me to smoke some 420 with you or give you a micro brew or two, whenever we meet.

9.3 - The defending team may not attack until the ball or an offensive player has crossed half court.

If you are going to have this rule you should have a rule that requires the offending team to wait until the defending team has at least crossed half court before taking the ball up.

agreed...I think it says that in 9.1 but perhaps I'll make it more clear.

I am NOT a fan of this conceding half court issue. Especially on smaller courts. It gives too much advantage to the offense and havent you all ever heard of a fullc ourt press!!! WTF

my solution is to say defending team can not cross their half until offense has brouhgt it from out behind their net. then allow full court press. PLease speak p if you agree with me!

I completely agree. In my mind once the ball has passed the goal line under offensive control, it's GAME ON.

those may be fine for pick-up, but it's a different story at tournaments.

the problems are that the ball doesn't always just stick around behind the net after a goal, so players are moving around getting set up and the opposition doesn't know what's going on and comes in too early.

the real deal though is that the game needs to be reset after a goal-- for the players, the officials, and most importantly, the fans. the spectators already have a hard enough time following what is going on, giving pause to the game and announcing the score lets them know something just happened. it is a useful break that allows the game to be restarted without the controversy that always seems to follow the 'hurry-up' version.

this is also the rule that's been in place at every tournament i've ever been to, it works. if it ain't broke...

I very much like Pieter's idea here. Reset.

How about making like hockey and re-jousting after goals?

that's an interesting idea...I like jousts, and why penalize a team for scoring by automatically giving the other team the ball.....what's everyone else think about that?

I think it's a stupid idea.

qpang wrote:

that's an interesting idea...I like jousts, and why penalize a team for scoring by automatically giving the other team the ball.....what's everyone else think about that?

i think it's a major change to the way we've been playing, and major changes like that don't belong in the first iteration of the rules.

also as a lefty i think it's bullshit.

i think you are right john, the lefty thing is bullshit. if people are stupid enough to ride right into each other at mid-court then i think we should let them.

jousts after every goal would waste a lot of time in tournaments.

[it may just be my opinion, but i also think the joust is the most over-rated play in bike polo. that people would hurt themselves over one possession in a game is almost laughable.]

eh jackal wrote:

i think you are right john, the lefty thing is bullshit. if people are stupid enough to ride right into each other at mid-court then i think we should let them.

haha, i actually meant that since we lefties rarely get to joust, making the joust more important to the game means making lefties less important. i don't mind missing out on a joust at the beginning, but missing out on eight during a game would start to bug me.

i've always thought that on the joust the two players should go on opposite sides of the ball (agreed upon before the start). if i have to joust a righty, i'll do so with my arm and mallet across my bike and ride the same line a righty would so that we don't collide. i also think that both teams should allow the jousters a clean shot at the ball and enough space to slow down and turn afterwards, because sending someone up just to fuck with the other jouster is dangerous and boring to watch. but i dunno how many people agree with that or how you'd even write a rule about it.

my bigger point, though, was that these rules should mostly codify what we do now, with small changes as needed. making big changes to the structure of the game should be left for another argument after the rules are written.

when our club was starting, we had a joust for every possession. while this is arguably a really exciting start to each possession, there's just too much time lost resetting the ball in the middle.

and arguably it's the most dangerous part of the game having two players ride full speed to middle court. I personally had a really gnarly wreck during this time and then we decided to use a rule pretty much the same as these official ones. wait for the defense to get back across, then if the ball or offensive player crosses then it's on.

This is how Perth used to play (re joust) in 2008/09 the ACMC polo comp was played under these rules.

It was changed shortly after, maybe so that they could practice for the nationals Nov 09?


i think i could agree withthe time to reset score call out. just reset it from behind the goal.
it has been in place at many tournaments but nows the time to consider changing it. i disagree i think it is broke.

this is the way we always used to play in Calgary (full court press...soon as it crosses the goal line), and I like it, that said I agree with Pieter for tournament play.

Things are going do be different playing with nets though.

What happens if you allow a full court press, and the ball gets stuck in the net after the goal?
The conceding team is only allowed to take the ball behind the net and then they are in a defensive situation again.

Team that just scored must retreat to their half until the ball is out of net and behind the newly offensive teams goal to begin the pressure. or as soon as the team gets it out of the net and moves the ball forward...game on... not that hard.

Even under rules that force the scoring team to return to their half, they can be back on top of the conceding team in moments, and very near the conceding team's goal.

I'd really like to see more formal restarts after goals, with the conceding team beginning their possession behind their own goal, and the scoring team returning all the way to their own goal line.

Actually, in a perfect world I think I'd like courts marked in quarters and would require the scoring team to return to their defensive quarter. The scoring team would then be unable to attack until the conceding team leaves their own defensive quarter.

Another good idea.

How about writing in something that captures the idea of a reset after goals and puts it to the tourney organizer to figure out?

Rules can be written with some flexibility.

it's the *north american* ruleset, i thought the whole point here was standardisation and the removal of interpretation.

the rules shouldn't be flexible here, we want to actually come away with something concrete, not a list of choices that just serve to create more controversy.

i'm all for localisation, but that's for another thread and another discussion.

perfect. i think max 2.5" outer diameter should actually be 2 3/8" (2.375"/60.2mm)

i particularily like the yellow card/red card system as previously it has been difficult to enforce good play on out-of-line players.

minimum court size is great, nearly all the courts at tournaments in europe are too damn small, and they put the goals 1m out which is also ridiculous, so i second the need for a minimum or standard goal to rear wall measure

11.1 - If there are time constraints games may be timed. In this case the game will stop at a set time, of five points whichever comes first.

or five point

12.7 - Bike to bike contact is not allowed. (incidental contact/blocking is fine. deliberate hitting or T-boning is not)

Interesting call here.

To whomever worked on these rules, overall very nice work and thank you for your efforts.

stevenso wrote:

12.7 - Bike to bike contact is not allowed. (incidental contact/blocking is fine. deliberate hitting or T-boning is not)

I'd like elaboration on this- a popular move around here is while in low speed traffic to get your bike slightly ahead of your opponent's and turning sharply- sufficiently to cause a foot down on your opponent. I nickname it 'the stuff' (Joel calls it "getting fingered" heh)
It's definitely bike on bike but nothing like a t-bone since my front wheel doesn't actually contact anything, you're just basically forcing your opponent to turn into such a tight arc that momentum and balance are, well, 'stuffed'.

I'm also wondering about this because I do the same.

Now also a guy that also plays here (I'll call him "Greg") is always looking at his BB while away from the ball and he makes wild turns (left or right) without looking. As a result he has crashed teammates and opponents. He claims you have to anticipate the play.

Is this incidental contact or bad playing?

I think anyone causing a crash (and I'm talking crash here- player is off the bike, bike is on the ground etc. as opposed to forcing a dab) is not adhering to the spirit of the 'play safely' rule. This applies whether it is on purpose or not.

Is Greg's BB really cute or something? Why is he staring at it?

it's a tough call without seeing the play.

technically greg is all good because what control does he have over the player behind him? why is that player so far up greg's ass if he isn't able to turn our stop in time to avoid a stop or quick turn by greg? greg's front wheel is ahead and has the right of way, he's not crashing into anybody. people are crashing into him because they can't stop to avoid a predictable collision.

however greg may just be reckless and not know that he is causing accidents, we have a guy named greg like that too.

all plays should allow a player to back out and avoid a crash if they choose to. yes, they will lose ball possession or position as a result, but they won't be on the pavement and a lot of people not named ben actually care about that stuff. t-boning and pulling on someone's bike hand are illegal because the victim has no defence for them, there is no escape move.

riding too closely and crashing into someone turning in front of you, on the other hand, is optional.

I |heart| this question.

My most painful wrecks fall into this category. I have been on both sides and neither side it does not matter because it resulted in high speed unanticipated crashes. It's often two front wheels colliding sending both people flying.

I have no recommendation or idea on a rule. What the hell counts as interference?

Some is "bad" playing, meaning you have to keep yourself out of situations. You have to control your bike, speed, ability to swerve. If there's no rule then you have to deal with it in the way you play.

Against some people this requires "training" -- meaning if someone like Finger cuts you off then you ride over the top of them to let them experience consequences.

With sports this is what separates the good ref from the bad. Good refs will be on the lookout for raising aggression and cool people down with penalties as need arises. Rules are one thing, effective enforcement is another. Let's not over-engineer rules when have yet to train referees.

polojoel wrote:

Against some people this requires "training" -- meaning if someone like Finger cuts you off then you ride over the top of them to let them experience consequences.

some people call this kind training "t-boning".

polojoel wrote:

Rules are one thing, effective enforcement is another. Let's not over-engineer rules when have yet to train referees.

what are you going to teach the refs if you can't agree on the even the most basic rules? i say over-engineer the rules and get them right, no use having refs if there isn't a clear rulebook for them to follow.

all plays should allow a player to back out and avoid a crash if they choose to.


Write a constitution and have honorable and loud refs and constituents interpret it. Joel has tossed an idea of what a good ref is out there. Don't think it's more than an idea yet ... but I'm glad the laws are getting laid that will support a ref in their tough job.

The point of having a choice out of wreck is important to me. My interpretation of t-boning is any move where where the bone-ee had no choice in the impact. Varies with skill ... brake setup ... hard to write rule ...


Credo quia absurdum

There is a move that some stl kids (and i'm sure others do) where one player rides into the goal they are attempting to score on so that none of the defenders can block the goal. so they camp out perpendicular to the goal with their front wheel in the goal, and there isn't much the defenders can do about it if they can't try to force a footdown or ride-out with their front tire, which is bike to bike contact. i am not a fan of that move. but that is the only scenario i can think of where a strict 'no bike to bike' rule could be abused; i'm sure there are others.

While we don't have permanent goaltenders, I do think this is a good point and that there should be some kind of crease violation, or that may be a bad way to word it. What I mean is just what you're saying, an offensive player shouldn't be able to stick his front wheel into the goal. Now, admittedly I've done this before, but only after having it done to me (as Paul knows, I play goalie a lot). I'd rather see people score with skilled passing and shots rather than gimmicky exploitation of loose rules.

That being said...is it not skill to set a screen and allow your teammate to shoot through your BB? I think it is, as long as you're not parked with a wheel in the freakin' net.

Bike Polo Ronin

I don't think you'll get much support for this stance.

I see the "block the person attempting to be a goalie" as a strategic pick. But having said that, I almost never use it because I think it's more helpful to be moving around the zone rather than sitting perpendicular in the goal your team is attacking.

On a somewhat related note, I would like to see some protection for the person that has established himself as the goalie (meaning: he's between the pipes in the crease). A new trend I see developing is for the attacking team to send a player (without the ball) to go plow/check/fall into the person in goal. The ball isn't anywhere near them...It's unnecessary contact off the ball and a Bush League play in my opinion.

If you want to get the goalie out of goal, there are ways to do it without smashing into him. I would like to see something in place to help avoid kamikaze attacks on people attempting to defend their goal.

i agree with just about all of that. I suppose if its a big deal that an attacker is sitting in the goal i'm defending, maybe i should have gotten there before he did; something else to be conscious about. If a strict no bike to bike contact stays then i'll have to deal with this move in a different way. I just wanted to point out what i saw as a gimmicky move and a possible exploitation of that rule.

This idea has been discussed at length in other, and at least one dedicated, thread(s). I want to say that the issue hasn't come up lately because the loose consensus was that the a player in in goal is always "in play" (as the goal is always in play, cos it's the objective of the game) and therefore subject to all the "on-the-ball" rules of conduct and contact. Including those about conscientiousness and safety.


I'm all for disallowing bike on bike contact at speed but will miss the boards play. Does this mean that if both players are stopped fishing for control of the ball against the boards that one can't turn their handlebars to knock the opponents front wheel out of the way?

Or for that matter in front of the goal?

A question concerning section 3. Are you implying mallet heads cannot be drilled or cut a certain way (i.e. made easier for scooping) to have some sort of standardization?

I say yes...meaning we get to break Pete's mallet as it is against regulations.

Bike Polo Ronin

snow cone!

Justin thanks for spending so much time explaining the rules. I applaud your willingness to listen.

Penalties at bench minor worked like this.

If a player committed a foul (which was defined in the rule book ahead of time) then the ref (sometimes) would blow his whistle if the team that committed the foul kept the ball or the other team turned it over during the play. Play would stop for a second or two while the ref told the player the foul and sent him to the bench. Then the ball would be given to the team who the penalty occurred against. Then the time keeper would call out the amount of time left in the power play. When the penalty was over then full play would resume as normal with 3 vs 3. The penalty would be killed if a goal was scored.

If the team who was fouled kept possession of the ball then the ref wouldn't stop play until the ball changed possession or another stop in play occurred. The ref would then blow his whistle and set the penalty.

This worked really well. There are a lot of finer points but that is the main way it worked logistically.

sounds pretty good. I get the delayed penalty and stuff I'm from Canada, I watch Hockey eh!! My only concern with this is stopping the play all the time. I'm not sure but wasn't the bench minor longer games too? 2 25 minute periods or something? In a game that is only 8 or 10 mins long, or to 5 points, which is usually the case at a tournament, I'm not sure if one minute penalties would work. Plus the whistles and stops in play would really interrupt the flow of the game in a game that only lasts 10 mins, or 5 points. I'd like to look at this more, and maybe work towards something like that, but I'd also like to try the card system where play isn't stopped all the time....I think it may be better for shorter matches.

§1 How are players defined? Do you mean there are only three people per team on the court at one time? Can a team have an alternate "player" available to sub in? Is any able bodied person able to be a player?

§2 ANY type of bicycle? Tandems, penny farthing, recumbent? Can it be a bicycle that has a piece of metal welded to the frame to block the 5-hole? blah blah blah

§2.3 What's "exposed" mean in this context? Is there a max length on axle bolts? Discs for disc brakes (they can be sharp)? Brake levers?

§2.4 What kind of helmet? ANY kind of helmet?

§ 3 How come mallets can't resemble a polo mallet, it is bike *polo* after all?

§3.2 Personally, I wouldn't have any rules that say "should," that's not a rule... that's a suggestion.

§5 The goal apparatus will be constructed of _________

§12.2 Is punching or headbutting allowed?

not an exhaustive list...

Good job compiling a list, though... that makes the next steps easier for you guys.

Before we start adding a bunch of stuff... maybe the first step should be to define all the areas generally that need rules... then release that list publicly and see if anyone has any additions of ONLY general areas (no specifics). Then once that list is done... then move on to crafting these rules a section at a time (each with their own thread)... as it stands now... we're going to have 250 replies in one mega thread that's hard to follow.

Sorry Ben, I know how much you hate it when I get involved.

are you a lawyer or something? I think some common sense can be used in reading the rules. we're trying to make a set of rules to make expectations at major tournaments standard, and keep the game safe & fair. wasn't my goal to make an all inclusive list that covers every subtle technicallity, we all know how the game is played...it's about clearing up a few gray areas, and setting a standard. to address your 3rd point, the rule is to keep people safe....if the bolt is sticking out and looks potentially dangerous we'll address it....if not, we won't, end of story....same goes for pretty much everything else you said so I'm not gonna waste my time discussing each one. The one good point you brought up is about a bike with a pice welded on to block the 5 hole, I might elaborate on the bike section a bit.....if you wanna ride a penny farthing...go ahead.

if you want the game to be "safe & fair"... fair especially... you'll go into as much detail as possible so everyone knows where they stand... if you think it's a "waste of [your] time"... maybe you should've volunteered for the party planning committee instead.

I wouldn't call defining a player a "subtle technicality," there was recently a sub discussion on subs etc in the Berlin thread... so... I guess I'm not the only one who's possibly looking for a little more clarification.

If this is supposed to be "THE" set of rules to rule them all... then your goal should be to make it as robust as possible... otherwise why even bother?

this is a draft right?

can i see a written list of new orleans rules? i'd like to see how detailed that is.
and i agree that much of this will need elaborating but its a start. much is being assumed. you do already know you can't head butt or punch, kick etc don't you? once feed back by proactive players like yourself is compiled those vague descriptions will be fixed.

feel free to point out areas you think need further clarification.
you can email me directly with any questions.

yeah, it totally is.

our rules are irrelevant, we're not positing our rules as the continental standard, right? unless you want to see them as a model... in which case i think you're crazy... but there might be a google doc somewhere from that tournament we did, even those aren't exhaustive, it was will and i sitting at a coffee shop for an hour banging them out.

i know the answers to some of those questions, but some i really don't (like the *any* bike thing). some of my examples were exaggerated to illustrate some of the ambiguity like the punching and kicking.

i'm sorry if i was terse with you, qpang.

DanielNOLA wrote:

§1 How are players defined? Do you mean there are only three people per team on the court at one time? Can a team have an alternate "player" available to sub in? Is any able bodied person able to be a player?

§2 ANY type of bicycle? Tandems, penny farthing, recumbent? Can it be a bicycle that has a piece of metal welded to the frame to block the 5-hole? blah blah blah

§2.3 What's "exposed" mean in this context? Is there a max length on axle bolts? Discs for disc brakes (they can be sharp)? Brake levers?

§2.4 What kind of helmet? ANY kind of helmet?

§ 3 How come mallets can't resemble a polo mallet, it is bike *polo* after all?

§3.2 Personally, I wouldn't have any rules that say "should," that's not a rule... that's a suggestion.

§5 The goal apparatus will be constructed of _________

§12.2 Is punching or headbutting allowed?

not an exhaustive list...

Good job compiling a list, though... that makes the next steps easier for you guys.

Before we start adding a bunch of stuff... maybe the first step should be to define all the areas generally that need rules... then release that list publicly and see if anyone has any additions of ONLY general areas (no specifics). Then once that list is done... then move on to crafting these rules a section at a time (each with their own thread)... as it stands now... we're going to have 250 replies in one mega thread that's hard to follow.

Sorry Ben, I know how much you hate it when I get involved.

When I first started playing the main rule was "Don't Be A Dick".
Just sayin'.

fuck ur face


me three.

sorry you do have a point, and I will try to make the rules as exhaustive as I can, so I looked at the rules you brought up and added a few things to address them:
added rule 1.1 about alternate players.
added to 2.3 to make it more clear.
any kind of helmet - until we have a reason to change that.
I removed all occurances of the word "should"
don't think it's vital that the goals be made of a specific material at this point, more concerned that there is a standard size.
I think the punching/headbutting thing is covered by 12.8
I made the rule regarding types of bike a little more specific, and added rule 2.4

Since it's at the beginning, let's start with Section 1 and work on how it one might word it. Take this in the least condescending way possible, these are just the steps I would go through. FOR THE RECORD: I'm not implying that the spirit of this particular rule is what I'm advocating, I'm simply using it as a model for illustrative purposes.

#1) What's the spirit of the rule I'm trying to define?

In this case I'm trying to define what constitutes a team, a player and a sub and how they interact.

#2) What's the general wording do we use for the rule... what's the rule's "common knowledge"? Does the rule have any esoteric knowledge that needs to be explain that can't just be "gotten" from watching or playing a couple times. i.e. how would you explain it to a friend if they asked how it went down, including their "what if" questions?

We'd explain it something like: we play the game with three people to a team, there are two teams on the court at once. Right now we allow anyone to sub in if there's an injury or a bike problem but we only allow people to sub in during time outs, which happen after goals... unless there's an injury, then play is stopped. Anyone's allowed to play provided they can ride a bike... they don't even have to ride a bike well... just safely (sometimes).

#3) Assuming that's how we want the rules to be, then we can move on to wording it "technically" and trying best to account for any of the "what ifs"

A quick writeup would be something like:


Players: a player is any able-bodied person with the capacity to operate an approved bicycle [approved bicycles defined in Section XXXX]. [that's assuming that being able to hold a mallet isn't a requirement... a la a one handed person using a bicycle simply for screening purposes... JIM ABBOTT]
Live Play: Duration of the match when the game clock is actively running.
Dead Play: Duration of any referee called or player called time-out.
Substitute: A legal substitute is a player replacement for another player during dead play.
Match: [define match here]


  • (a) a team consists of not less than one player and no more than three players on the court during live play. [assuming that there are no declaration rules of who is eligible for a team, i.e. it's not required to declare, say, 5 people who are going to be a "team" for the duration of the tournament]
  • (b) there must be only two teams on the court during the duration of a match.
  • (c) during the duration of a tournament no player may play or substitute for more than one team.


  • (a) a team may substitute one player for another one of their players provided that substitution does not violate any other regulation or rule.
  • (b) two substitutions per team, per match are permitted
    • (b1) the substitute player may only enter the court during dead play. The player who has been substituted for must exit the court before live play resumes. If the substitued player remains on the court after live play resumes, there will be a 15 second penalty assesed against the player who has been substituted in.
  • (c) substitutions will be documented by the on-court referee and all substitutions must be declared to the referee and the referee must acknowledge the substitution.
    • (c1) If a substitution is not declared and/or acknowledged by the referee, the referee will declare dead play, the substituted player will be returned to the court and substitute will be remove, a 15 second penalty will be assessed against that team.


That's just my quick take on that particular rule. I'm sure there are some technical things that could be added, it's not perfect.

Anyway... I think the problem that's going on is that you're trying to write the technical rules before the "spirt" of the rules are even codified. If you haven't already, sit down and just write it out liked you'd explain it to a friend (that may well be what the google doc is) before you get into any technical shit / quantity shit. Then list out everything that requires "technical shit." e.g. size of teams, court sizes, bike sizes, goal sizes, mallet lengths, time out durations, penalty durations, number of refs, number of goal judges... basically anything that can be quantified. Then basically go down that list and decide on preliminary quantities for those things. When it's time to write the "technical" rules you'll have that list to refer to and it'll make it so much easier.

Right now it's a jumble of both, you've made it clear that you're tired of editing and updating... and it's no wonder... you're changing stuff over and over when there isn't even a consensus... I'd be irritated too. That's why we use the methodology that I listed above so you don't have to go and edit the "final" 3000 times. Just start a thread (or gather info from past threads) for each section gather all your input, then in your committee decide on what you guys think would work best out of what you've collected... THEN codify it. Everyone on that's on your committee knows what makes for good play... it just seems like you guys are having a problem with your methodology/expression.

Your committee was chosen because you all have tournament experience and you all "get it"... you don't need to be asking EVERYONE on here what their opinion of the technical rules are (note: my only input was really ever on how you were wording it all)... you're getting people who are arguing what a goal even is and you're never going to come to a consensus.

Make a list of sections, post a thread for each section, set a deadline for input, take that input to your committee, decide what technical specs to use, codify it in a near bulletproof way, post the rules so everyone can read them, and put it up for an adoption vote to the regional reps... let the individual contact their rep with a yes/no & reason. If it doesn't pass with a 2/3rds vote (or whatever majority BenS/polo lords decide) then ask for input (with a deadline) then do it again until it's accepted and passed... make use of this "governing body." It'll be way more efficient to let the reps vote than you sitting here editing the rules for each post we make.

I just said I was tired of editing the google doc AND the post on here, so I changed it to a link to the doc so I only had to make the changes in one place.
I'm not changing and editing things everytime someone makes a post. Only things that make sense or we've missed, or if a lot of people seem to think something should be changed. I ignore the rest. And we've done a lot of what you suggest already, we're just showing people what we have so far and getting some feedback. If you want to take what we have so far and codify it in a near bulletproof way, be my guest. I'm always happy to accept help, and I'm always willing to listen to people with solutions, but I've been known to ignore people that just like to complain. I haven't seen you offer a lot of solutions really, mostly just complain about the way its being done.

umm, wasn't daniel's whole last post just one big suggestion?

Ok, then I misinterpreted what you wrote about the doc. I'm not putting you down, I meant I understand how this can be frustrating.

I'm not complaining about anything. I've offered you solutions, I gave you the abridged version of a systems development cycle to work from, if you want to read books about it I can forward you a list. But I'm guessing you don't because it's not all that interesting if you're not in this field. I haven't offered "solutions" on the technical aspects of the game because I don't know what makes it better. I don't know if a goal that's 6' or 6'6" is better for the sport. I don't know if a mallet that's 8" is too long. I have an idea, an opinion... but there are people who've been playing 5x as long and seen 5x as much and are better equipped to make those particular suggestions so I'll leave it to them to make them and trust they know what they're talking about. What I do know about is systems development and project management.

You asked if I was a lawyer... I'm not... but I organize groups, manage large pools of diverse people, and help make policy for organizations. This type of exercise is what people pay me for and I'm pretty good at it. Every day there are hundreds of people across different continents who follow (and sometimes break rules) I craft, or help to craft. I'm trying to help, but rather than come in and do it for you, I'm trying to show you how people in the systems engineering / human resource profession tackle problems exactly like you're dealing with in hopes you can glean enough information from it so you can do it adequately on your own in the least frustrating way possible. That's why I gave you an example of one rule and tried to illustrate how I went about writing it. I know you want to think I'm just interjecting myself here because I like to read what I write... you're partly right... the other part is that there is a well established way ("best practices") of doing this type of activity and the suggestions I'm making follow those.

I'd be happy to help you codify the rules but as it stands it's being changed daily and in order to avoid the headaches you're getting, there are a few things I (or anyone) would be good having. First we need all the sections and technical specs, are you going to keep collecting suggestions until there's a consensus or are you going to put a deadline on it? You're never going to reach consensus, and if you want to have these done anytime soon you gotta put a limit on how much feedback you're going to take for this iteration of the rules. Once you have that info you can start building the detailed rules of play and then go from there...

You can't bake a cake without detailed a recipe and all the ingredients in place... well, you can but it's going to take you exponentially longer.

I haven't set a specific deadline, but I think we're getting pretty close to having everything addressed, and I don't want this to drag on forever. Maybe I'll try to set a specific deadline. Either way if you want to help on "codifying" the final draft, I'd be happy to accept the help. Sorry if I come across a bit harsh too, from past experience lots of people are all talk and no action, so I tend to brush people off a bit unless they prove they're more than just talk. When we have the draft in a workable form, if you want to help with the final wording, that would be great.

Nets, I think that the net heights should be reviewed, my sugestion is 90-110 cm height. probably closer to the 110cm.

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

I also think the heights should be reviewed. A shooter should have the option to try to go above the goalie's wheels. A 700c wheel plus tire is about 28 inches. If the goals are 32" high, that's an impossible shot. I'd rather see something like 36" - 40" (90-100cm). Yes, a shot above a goalie's rear wheel is impossible for the goalie to defend, but that's the point -- the other defensive players should have to work to take that option away.

the main consideration for goal heights in east van was that we wanted them to be over the height of a 700 wheel but underneath the height of people's handlebars so that players wouldn't interfere with the net when maneuvering their wheels in and around the goal line. that came to be 33 inches or 85 cm.

90 - 100 cm puts the crossbar pretty much right at handlebar height.

you could go much higher, over the elbows of players, but that makes the nets a little more unwieldy to move around and store. plus the construction has to be stronger to make up for the increased pipe lengths. too high and you start to get into face level. i'm pretty indifferent, but that was our take on it.

Perhaps this discussion is best broken into multiple threads. Lots here, challenging to get through it all.

Only water balls? I think choice of ball should be at the discretion of tourney organizer.

19. These are the official rules of North American Hardcourt. All NAH sanctioned events will use these rules.
19.1 Any suggestions, modifications, additions, or deletions of rules may be submitted to the rules committee for consideration. These rules may be modified for particular events. Notice of any rule modifications must be made public 1 week prior to an event.

Dabbing rules...
With dabs (and other offenses) in front of the goal the ref needs power to make huge penalties. Easy goals may be blocked by a dabbed player being intentionally slow or obtrusive. Offenders may dab in front of the goal and continue shoving at defenders. One idea is that a shot blocked by a defending player with foot down may be deemed a goal by the ref. It clearly motivates defenders to get up and out of the goal. Otherwise, just hit the dabber and count it.

polojoel wrote:

Dabbing rules...
With dabs (and other offenses) in front of the goal the ref needs power to make huge penalties. Easy goals may be blocked by a dabbed player being intentionally slow or obtrusive. Offenders may dab in front of the goal and continue shoving at defenders. One idea is that a shot blocked by a defending player with foot down may be deemed a goal by the ref. It clearly motivates defenders to get up and out of the goal. Otherwise, just hit the dabber and count it.

And this alone is why each section (and some rules) need their own thread... this one alone has been the subject of hundreds of replies... and I'd imagine we'll be going there again... in this thread.

says NOT water balls actually.
These are rules for NA championships and regional championships....use whatever rules you want everywhere else.

I see there is no more "don't be a dick rule" so I'm going to use a hypothetical scenario here where I am a dick:

Say I'm playing in a rather spirited match in the finals. I put my foot down. I'm the last defense against an attacking player. Do I a) go to the centre and tap back in or do I b) not tap in, take the yellow card, and defend?

What I am trying to say is that if a card is given to a player play should stop. A player could, again hypothetically, commit two fouls like dabbing without tapping in before being ejected from a game. I just don't think it's strict enough.

As polo stands right now it's not really a problem. You'd be heckled and ostracized by the crowd/other players enough. I just think it's something that should be looked at.

Don't worry Chris we'll still Heckle and Ostracize you!! (especially you), and I think this is perhaps somewhere where the ref's discretion can take effect. Unintentional conduct...yellow card....blatant intentional abuse of the system....go straight to red, and I bet that won't happen much after that..... maybe we can also revise rule 13.1 to add a thrown mallet, or dabbed player. I think its fair that if a dabbed player blocks a shot that would otherwise have gone in....it's a goal.

Personally I like the "don't be a dick" rule. but we have had circumstances before where two different peoples ideas of what a dick is are different...

[quote=qpang I think its fair that if a dabbed player blocks a shot that would otherwise have gone in....it's a goal.

this can be to grey. and is a good reason to have another thread.
edit: i do like the wording of the new edit 10.3 but think it might still be grey.

I added Rule 10.3 in regards to a dabbed player blocking a shot.

it's a REALLY tough and controversial call for a ref to award a goal for anything that doesn't cross the line. what if if the ref deems a dabbed player to have blocked a goal, the offending player had to go off court until their team was scored on? this way the opposite team would get and easier chance to earn that goal, and the offending team doesn't have the potential to lose the game on a ball that never went in

also any rule that says "the ref may rule" is an argument waiting to happen. if it's to stay as is, it should read "any shot blocked by a dabbed player that would have been a goal, will be ruled a goal by the ref"

I think equally common is when a dabbed player hits or kicks a ball that is sitting right in front of their goal. What is the penalty for that?

Eye for an eye. Hit or kick them in the balls.

Its common for a downed player to kick or hit a ball in front of goal? What?

No way. I've probably seen that never times in my life.

It might have been in some pickup but It made an impression on me. Surely it won't happen in a game, no need for a penalty?

it happened to me at worlds. it was behind the goal, but still a dab then a kick

you didn't have to do any of that, you're still a dick.

X2 for Heckling chris

In soccer if you intentionally cause a flagrant fowl it's an immediate red card for the player. Its not like basketball were a player can have so many fowls before the benching commences. the use of red cards is totally up to the ref and the ref has to see it for it to be called, but the over all spirit is play like a gentleman or you don't get to play its either that or we have a penalty box with one minute penalty's.

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

how many birds are required?

Big question is what offence gets a card? How do we train the refs? Contact acceptable in Cascadia could be unacceptable in another region. I like the card idea but I think they should be kept for dangerous play.

I think the reason that penalties work better then cards is that while they do effect the game it can't profoundly effect the outcome with a single bad call.

Case and point Cesc Fabergas yellow card against Arsenal yesterday. Didn't deserve that card and now he is going to miss the second leg of the fixture.

that was actually exactly why I thikn the card system is better....I think a one minute penalty could profoundly effect the game, for a bad call to profoundly effect the game with the card system, the ref would have to make 3 bad calls....unless he went striaght to a red card, but that is intended for serious blatant dangerous moves, that I would think would be obvious to everyone. (for example my friend and teammate at world's last year getting in a fight nyc Adam vs nyc Adam) That sort of thing would be grounds for immediate red card. A yellow card is a warning, and you can get two of them with this system before your penalized....however at that point the penalty is severe.

If I understand well, there's no grey zone, if a player is kicked out by red, he can't get back. So people gonna know that they have two or trhee bad fouls free.
I think that keep the idea of a one min penalty is good, hockey style (if power play team score, player kicked out get back on court).
If ref see a bad foul who deserve a immediate kick out, does he only have possibility of yellow carding?

And the equation is like in football:
Yellow+Yellow=Red card

Barcelona all the way.

What about 12 minute minimum time limit. In my opion 10 minutes is too short for a polo, 8 minutes is just silly. 15 minutes per game is ideal.

i agree, 10 min is too short, 12 min is a decent time considering the constraints of tournament scheduling. 15 min for all bracketed games.

Yeah if you are going to regulate court dimensions, board height, require nets, then why not also regulate time? Eight minute games are too short! Good teams can come back from 0-3 start and win if they have enough time. I'd like 12 minutes be the standard length if games need to be timed.

I really like this idea, and I agree 8 and even 10 minute games always seem way too short to me. I'm going to add a rule about this unless a bunch of people disagree.

what about 3-2-1-POLO instead of 3-2-1-GO? Very important matter.


Im against the 3-2-1 call in any case. A single shot from a gun is realy much more clear, no fals start.

what kind of gun?



kids these days. no imagination ...

What about replacing a moved net? Whose responsibility is it to put the net back in place? What if a goal is scored on a net that is not in place?

or provisions for goals scored while the net is off the moorings?

at tournaments, there is a goal judge right there, and nets get moved back pretty quick usually, I don't think that will cause too many probalems, but I think the goal would be where the net is supposed to be if anything, meaning lines painted on the ground are important.

hypothetically if you score on a net thats not in place, its still the same size. its not like scoring on a fucked up cone.

bike polo hotline

but should it be the net or where the net used to be or does the game stop while the net is put back?

can't imagine goals counting into a net that is three feet from where it is supposed to be.

id imagine or even put a rule that the goal judge is responsible for that. stopping the game, no.
but there is also the pick up rule if you fuck up the goal your responsible for fixing it. any other ideas?

bike polo hotline

The game should be stopped but if the goal gets moved by the defense and a goal is scored immediately afterwords, before there is time to stop the game, it should count. If the goal is moved significantly by the offense, ball should be turned over.

okay, now codify all that. remember that daniel is reading.

What's about rules concerning handle bars. Playing against people with horns is kinda beat, same for drops.

x2 wrote:

What's about rules concerning handle bars. Playing against people with horns is kinda beat, same for drops.

For sure, drop bars are fine but bull horns are just wrong.. even if they're plugged


i dislike the idea of nets only. just sayin'.

I like everything, mostly. Why make proprietary goals and nets? I think hockey goals are ideal. They are easy to obtain, sturdy, proven, big enough to not be fully guarded by one bike, they allow growth of the sport in ability to lift shots, and make the game more dynamic. Most of us have access to them already. Why change it.
Overall Great work

That will never work.

I considered that, but I think they are more likely to cause injury, they aren't necessarily easy to obtain by everyone, whereas pretty much every city has a hardware store, too easy to lean on, and I think there should be some area for scoring over a wheel, but not several feet. I think that to score over the wheel it should be a precise shot, not just anything you can get into the air. Plus the shorter nets don't interfere with people's handlebars. Build a set and try them out. I've played with both, but I bet once you're used to them you'll like the shorter ones better.

x32, one for every tooth i still have. hockey nets are serious potential injuries waiting to happen.

remember this is a tournament ruleset, you can do whatever you want on thursday nights in hoboken.

I edited the original post.....read it....note that nothing here is finalized yet, this is just a draft. Secondly I made a few additions today, so you might want to check them out.
added the following:
1.1 - 1.4
11.2 - 11.3
17.5 - 17.6

added these to try and cover as many possible situations as I could think of.

well done sir.

Hey qpang + everyone, great work to the rules committee, thanks to Daniel for sending the rules through to my e-mail.

My comments.

>1 - Teams will consist of three players on the court at one time.
>1.1 - You may have substitutes as long as they are not playing on another team in the tournament.
>1.2 - A substitute may only be made during a break after a goal is scored.

What about some acceptable reason for substitution? gone to get lunch? cracked the sad's and stormed off? slept in? This rule could allow a team of 4 or more to play bench style.

Are you allowed to sub 3 players over the course of a day?

Need a rule for "No Show" > forefeit match? forefeit tourney?

>2 - Any common type of Bicycle is allowed. (bmx, road, track, mountain bike)

A picollo isnt common, folding bikes have been used by a few here?
Are you just trying to exclude recumbents and unicycles here?
Rollo bikes in full size polo?

>2.4 - You may not add anything to the bicycle to help block shots (ie: a bar under your BB, or netting in the front triangle) with the exception of wheel covers.

What about water bottles?

>3.1 - The head of the mallet will be a maximum of 18 cm (7 inches) in length and 2.5 inches in Diameter (outside diameter) .
This is the first I've seen for rules governing mallets.

It still does not address the 2 most controversial mallet design issues we've had in Australia in the past year:

Side jointing, large cutouts on the side of the mallet, started as weight reduction, function essentially as side balljointing holes, if not a little longer.
AND flicking (when you use the lower profile of the side of a cut out mallet to flick the ball up and over an opponents mallet.)

Also this size rule is unnecessary and too restrictive. a 2.5inch diameter limit is exactly the size that everyone uses, so there's no leeway at all.
A bigger mallet is more unwieldy, that is the regulator in this case. so much else is left to interpretation, so should this.

(I think should shorten my mallet, but not for the sake of mallet rules... to improve my game, the longer mallet is hardly giving me an unfair advantage.)


After reading the rules, I'll reiterate what I said earlier. The similarities in Australia and North America are so strong, I see these rules being applied just as feasibly over here as well.
These rules are pretty much spot on for Australia (nets, and left/right handed jousts excepted) and thats not because we would disagree with them, we just haven't raised those issues (too busy dealing with sneaky sidejointing, silly seeding, sleep in substitutions and no shows :)


i just thought of an issue. i
f it says right v. left jouts are not allowed how is it determined if the right or left handed jouster is chosen? it's not right to automatically disqualify leftys from jousting, especially if they may be the stronger jouster of the team. in our club, one of our best players is a lefty and this would eliminate him from this and put our team at an automatic disadvantage.

Last tourney in Sydney, I played with 2 lefties (Team "Two lefts dont make a right"), and generally I don't joust. Part of the joust is not knowing who will go out. sometimes 2 people go out and the first covers for the following player.

I presumed that this was already common. how does it work? does it result in pre-agreed left vs left jousts?

If we are going to make teams agree who will joust before it happens, then this needs to be applied equally to lefties and righties.


urbanbicyclist wrote:

does it result in pre-agreed left vs left jousts?

in my experience, yes.

as for fairness in opportunity in jousting, i'm not really that concerned with it. as long as it's just one possession a game, it's not that big a deal. in the extremely unlikely case of 3 lefties vs. 3 righties, someone would have to man up and ride the opposite line with their mallet across their body. same goes if a team's rigthiy(s) were unable or unwilling to joust.

in my experience that's the way we've been doing it and it seems to work fine.

We have a lefty that jousts all the time and it's never been a problem. It might be that he's super fast or maybe we just avoid each other. Truly I've never even considered. I understand the problem you're trying to avoid but in practice I don't think people just run into each other. Our team rarely has a plan about how we're going to play anything much less the joust, sometime one of might say I got this but it would be a hassle to prearrange anything like that. If people want to crash into each other over one mir possession then I say so be it. We shouldn't discriminate against a whole group of people.

Ya one of my teammates is a lefty, we have lefty/righty jousts all the time. I personally don't kave a problem with it...maybe we should look at getting rid of that rule.

first time we had a lefty joust. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RkSKrysOak

The issue had not come up yet. I think if the players are conscious of who they are jousting against the crash will be avoided. Lefties that joust in PHX just to turn out left (like a righty) and cross over to joust.

Thanks for a good laugh.

Anyway, paying attention + experience = no problem.

loved it, thanks for the laughs.

If you can make your opponent cranky and walk off the court you effectively have a game-long powerplay. Lefties for the win.


If I am repeating someone else sorry, I did not take the time to read ALL the comments.

My one concern is the foot to ball equals a dab rule. I gave a quick read of the rules Doc. and did not see it.

But, I did see it in this Rules Video, it's rule number four.

Bike Polo Rules Sequence from Mo Ghayour on Vimeo.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

i agree about foot to ball, but what about ball to foot? If the ball is in the air and it hits a the side of a foot (no kicking motion) i think that's fine.

Thought I had a rule about not playing the ball with your feet...I know I thought about it, but I must have forgot to write it down. I'll add it. It is kinda covered in the dab section 10.1, but I'll add something about playing the ball with your feet too.

what about playing the ball with your foot while it's still attached to pedal? e.g. blocking your five-hole with your heel before a shot occurs, then a shot strikes your heel. is that playing the ball with your foot, or is that ball to foot?

i can pretty effectively close my five-hole by doing this, and usually don't because i consider it a bullshit play.

foot must stay on pedal, after that all shoot blocked by a foot is legal. If not, we need a rule to force goalkeeper to have their cranks horizontally disposed...

Why would that be bullshit play, you are attached to your bike you aren't dabbing. if someone hit the ball and it hit your hip would you consider that an illegal hip block? the foot rule has to do with feet off pedals not on.

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

I propose this rule as 12.1 or 12.9 or whatever, somewhere after the "12 - Body contact is allowed. "

If the player who initiates body-to-body contact cannot control his/her bike during the play, i.e. loses control and "dabs", [penalty is imposed].

I think this might also be an appropriate addition to the "bike on bike" section as well, for the same reasons.

I think this is a good rule but what about players who make dangerous hits on a player and are able to stay on their bike. I'm thinking about the hit that Lee put on ben during Como. He plays a clean shoulder check but it is still a dangerous play because he comes in from behind and the player he hits is unable to see him make the hit. I think that we should set it up so that body on body contact can only be made when players are traveling at similar speeds.

In Geneva for the euro we just begin to argue about that.
The body to body rule don't fix a lot of problematic situation. In europe we play with less check than in USA. The shoulder on shoulder seems right everywhere, but what about a check. What is a clean check?

For me the idea is that a good check is a check who can be handle by the "victim" of the check.
For example:
A) a check from a blind vision aera (behind) isn't allowed. A check on a player who can't see the oppent isn't alowed
B)A check with a speed to high who can't be enforce by the victim isn't allowed. If the victim could do nothing but fall, the check isn't allowed...

But all this is really complexe to ref...

at some point the entire contact issue needs to be reviewed. If contact at any level is to remain in this sport there will be more and more safety gear required. as safety gear becomes more prevalent the hitting will become harder and harder. i truly believe that polo is a finesse game and not a brute physical one. i find that physical players for the most part are not very skilled and use physical play to make up for their own inadequacies. i would hate to see the future of the game if it would require lots of dollars in gear and keep people with lower incomes from being able to afford to play due to a high cost of equipment. the injury rate going up will also create a need for more liability insurance when renting facilities. personally i would like to see the game become a zero contact game. it would be much easier to enforce, whom ever initiated the contact gets the penalty.

you said:
"i would like to see the game become a zero contact game."

I don't agree.
Coach, I love you but right now you sound like Montana.
This is not chess or tennis. Contact is a huge part of the sport and should never be taken out.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

ok with you about the zero contact.
But what's your definition of a legal contact or of an illegal contact?

I am all with you Brian, except that it is impossible to enforce. There is no team sport (where teams plays simultaneously on the same field) that I know of without any contact. There is finesse needed in attack and solidity to be had in defense. The rules have therefore to be balanced to allow both types of players to thrive equally. (Moreover one could argue that a player uses finesse to compensate his lack of presence on the court).

Bearing such similarities, I believe that hockey is the sport to look at. We have ice hockey, where contact is fully endorsed, inline hockey, where checks are not allowed, and then field hockey. I think that polo should be closer to inline hockey than ice hockey. The reasons are the following :
- No checks means smoother play which is, I think, more enjoyable
- It means as well less injuries, risks and equipment (therefore less investment and liability issues as mentioned above)
- It keeps the level of animosity a little bit lower and encourages fairplay.
So all in all I believe that it should be kept to shoulder to shoulder. Bikes are big enough to be used efficiently as obstruction in defense and lower the need of using your body to put someone down. It should enventually still be required in competition settings that players wear helmets, gloves and shin guards.

Another security problem that emerges from hockey is high stick, and a rule about equipment breaking in play.

great points jonny. i don't think there should be body contact from behind OR body contact from the opposite direction. it's way too easy to fuck someone up on a reckless check like that. basically the victim is a sitting duck and can't do anything to avoid the hit, most of the time they can't even see it coming. it is just so easy to line someone up. you might as well allow handlebar-grabbing if you are going to allow hitting from behind.

if you can't steal the ball off a player with your mallet or block them out with positioning, are the rules going to reward your lack of skill by just allowing you to knock them off their bike?

shoulder on shoulder around a corner is fine but this body check from behind or leaning a shoulder out to clothesline someone coming the other way is borderline intent to injure. there's a lot of violence in this game inside of the rules, do we need to sanction more?



11.4 - In a timed game if the game is tied at the end of the time, the ball will be reset (as in Rule 7) and the game will become sudden death (first goal wins)

I was wondering if this rule is in full agreement out there, I have always liked to watch and play games that the play just continues on after a tie game times out. I feel that resetting slows down the game. A tied game is one of the most exciting parts of our game and when you stop play I feels like it just takes away some of that excitement.

i agree leon that resetting slows the game down, but i think that it's the point of the rule. i've seen so many useless arguments about what happens at the end of a tie game because no one can agree on what happened or what is going on. this way at least everyone knows what the deal is, the audience too. i haven't noticed that it takes away from the excitement, but i'll look next time. perhaps it could even heighten the attention of the crowd?

I agree with Leon, just let the game continue. At the LA tourney the entire crowd was well aware of the time countdown and nearly unanimously chanted away the final seconds, and followed that with a very loud "SUDDEN DEATH!!!" and the games continued right where they were. Suppose at the end of regulation a breakaway was in place, it would suck for the game to end without a shot fired because a clocked ticked down. Jousting is cool, a good way start the game off when 5 goals have yet to be scored, but it's kind of random who wins that, and to have a game decided because someone got the joust or didn't and wrecked would seem anti-climactic. That being said, this weekend in Portland, the hockey style start between the top two Vancouver teams to kick off overtime in the quarterfinals was fucking wild and I hope someone got pix/vids. Talk about high octane!

I feel like the reason that this is done is for the crowd. I also agree with Leon that from a players standpoint keeping the momentum of the game going is more rewarding. The only upside I see to doing it this way is so that everyone is clear about regular time being expired and the game moving into sudden death, it sort of takes away the possible confusion.

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

i like the reset, if only because you'll often have people on the sidelines counting down the last few seconds so players will often stop playing when they hit zero, not realizing that the game is still live and in sudden death..

I'm interested in why we decided to limit the players use of ball joints. I prefer the half court rule as it allows for players to use the BJ initially on the defensive end to grab the ball from a corner or to use it to turn quickly but it doesn't allow for drag up and score.

Is anything decided yet?

I've kind of warmed up to ball jointing. I still don't do it but I understand the usefulness of it. I think the half court idea would be too restrictive. If there were marking for three forths court I think that would be great. If there was a three point area like in basketball that people couldn't ball joint in that would great too. As it stand with courts having no markings so I think it would be best to have the must release and shoot rule. As someone that never ball joints and enjoys passing I think the rule as written is fantastic but I wonder if it's fair to remove most of the joints offensive potential.

what about high sticking?

4 - The ball will be a street hockey ball.
4.1 - The ball will not be a liquid filled ball

WHOA, really? Balls that are *not* counterbalanced (read: liquid filled) are ridiculously bouncy and make the game almost unplayable. Do people elsewhere really use "dry balls"?

My personal opinion is that the red Franklin liquid filled should be the standard.

well, I'm all for majority rules, but in my expoerience playing in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Philly, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Pullman, Pensacola, etc....I've found most use non-liquid filled.....maybe we should have an official poll and find out for sure.

I've only played in the Midwest, so that's all i can really speak to. Maybe you're using a different type of ball, but (in my experience) the difference in play between a red Franklin (wet) and a red Mylec (dry) is like night and day.

Liquid filled balls are generally, that is by most clubs, reviled in North America.

There, I've went and said it.

Maybe I'm confused as to what you mean by liquid filled then... isn't a red Franklin "liquid filled"? And isn't that what was used for Midwestern's last year? (and at the lockin, which i know you were at)

zach-bloomington wrote:

Maybe I'm confused as to what you mean by liquid filled then... isn't a red Franklin "liquid filled"? And isn't that what was used for Midwestern's last year? (and at the lockin, which i know you were at)

typical franklins are not liquid-filled, just the ones labelled AGS which stands for anti-gravity system or something

they come both liquid and sans liquid and you can always drill a liquid ball and shake that shit out.

Yeah you're just confused. Red franklins are typically not liquid filled, just higher quality than the red mylecs. The lockin and midwests both used dry balls. With the water filled ones you can actually hear the water inside when you shake them.

the liquid filling is to make the ball drag like a hockey puck on ice, not really ideal for polo in my opinion. i've never found the regular balls to be too bouncy really, though we don't get temps over 90f too often. in fact in vancouver they keep the balls on ice to give them more consistient play


in charleston they chill their balls

For me, Dayton, New York, Ottawa, Boston, DC, Madison, MKE, Chicago, Toronto, 818, Long Beach, AZ, Columbus, And some others, Since 2005, every single place I have played bike polo has been with a standard NON-filled ball.

Doug D
Brooklyn, New York

Everything i thought i knew about polo is eventually proven wrong- guess I'll just add this to the list!

I think most people dislike the liquid filled balls cause with a non liquid ball you might get a little bounce off a rock or something now and then that is a bit annoying, but that is far outweighed by the fact that you get no bounce off the boards with the liquid filled ones, and no rebounds off goalies...

Also, while dribbling it can behave in a strange fashion. I've seen the AGS balls spinning furiously, but stationary like a top, because of the fluid inside. It's like there's a little demon inside.

At least that's what our tribe blames things on. Demons.

until I played with non liquid balls I didn't quite get how people could shoot so fast and so hard. that said I'm glad we play with AGS balls in Portland, it keeps my dental bills down.

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

SF tends to the Franklin AGS ball too. Despite comments above, I thought Cascadia tended to the AGS as well. LA does not like the AGS. We still like playing with LA, and sometimes we'll switch balls when they're in town.

If there's a rolled up piece of tape on the ground, I'll swing at it.

Water filled vs. non water filled is too narrow. I have a non-water ball that's extremely soft, no bounce. I have other non-water balls that rebound from one end of the court to the next, may as well hit a tennis ball around.

I'd be happy if I could be informed of the balls in use before playing in a tourney. A rule could state the organizer must announce specifically what they're going to play with at their event.

Yeah we really don't like the AGS balls in LA at all. They suck. You can forget about redirecting hard shots hockey-style, into the goal , or shooting off the boards, etc. Liquid filled balls are a lot heavier and slow everything down in general. I'm sure they're great for street hockey but not Bike Polo. In re: to Cascadia favoring them, I believe Portland is the only Polo Powerhouse up there that still uses them, and Seattle has stopped. And in re: to Tourney organizers publishing the ball they would use, I agree, and wish SF had done that for us last time we were at yer tourney!

What do you mean by "too narrow". I think fluid filled v. non fluid filled is the only distinction the rules should make because of the different climates we all play in. Temperature plays a huge roll in what ball I want to be playing with. But I definitely prefer non fluid filled balls. At our last tourney we played with Franklin Red AGS balls with the fluid drained out. Works pretty good, they're still a little heavier than a normal non-fluid ball but performed better when it heated up than other balls we have used. Not too bouncy, and didn't get any weird rolling tenancies.

another rule i was thinking about... is it like hockey or basketball with regards to buzzer shots?

does the shot only have to be popped off before time runs out, or does it have to be scored before time is out?

that's a good one, I've seen this come up before....don't think there is really a right answer...just personal prefference. I would vote for hockey style, if it isn't in the net before the buzzer goes off, then no goal. What does everyone else think, and maybe we can add it in.

I vote basketball. As long as the ball is shot and not touched let it roll. Even though basketball is one of the worst sports in the world (I said it) I love watching those half-court buzzer beaters. They make the highlight reels far more often than hockey.

i like basketball style too for the same reason you mentioned. i think that might lead to arguments about if the ball was touched or not... who knows... seems like hockey style is more practical for our applications... i'm sure either one could be made to work, though.

tough call. hockey style seems more efficacious (i.e. it has a distinct effect on a team to make that goal before time runs out) whereas basketball style leads a team to get that one last shot on the goal in and in any tied or 1 point game this could be huge.

x2 with the hockey style approach. any good team worth their salt will make sure no shots get off at any point between the 30 second mark to the end of the game when they're in the lead.

on a side note, I had no internet for a whole month and like very much how this thread and the rules have turned out.

Is there a working copy of, The Official Rules Of Hardcourt Bike Polo, for the 2010 tournament season?

I desperately want to know if checking is allowed, or not.

12 - Body contact is allowed.
12.1 - holding (with hands, elbows, or mallets) is not allowed
12.2 - Pushing with the hands is not allowed.
12.3 - Mallet to mallet contact is allowed. (however it is poor etiquite to hit another players mallet if he is not playing the ball or in front of the goal.)
12.4 - Mallet to body contact is not allowed.
12.5 - Mallet to bike contact is not allowed.
12.6 - Body to bike contact is not allowed.
12.7 - Bike to bike contact is not allowed. (incidental contact/blocking is fine. deliberate hitting or T-boning is not)
12.8 - Intent to injure another player is not allowed.

My question is more about whether these are the rules everyone is planning to follow for the upcoming tournament season. I don't really want to waste my time studying them if they are going to change before the next round of big tournaments.

When do they become official and endorsed by our governing body?

I only have two things to talk about and they are:

I don't think the rule of after ball dragging you have to pass! Usually when you do drag you end up passing, but what if you have a great shot?
And last.... What if I skid into someone to take the ball? Not really like an aggressive means, but just skid in front of someone to defend. Obviously not while doing 20mph down the court.

Fuck off

Section 8.2 should read "struck" in place of "striked"

Question: Can/will dabbs that are the result of illegal play be waived off by the refs? (i.e. Player A pushes Player B with his hand causing Player B to dab, a violation of 12.2) In this case I would like to see Player A issued yellow card or whatever gets decided there, and player B to continue play without tapping but it is not clear how that would play out in the rules.

I think that this is a good point.

I'm, uh, going to close this thread, cause it's from spring 2011, and the discussion here is kinda out-dated. there's a rules committee in NAH that should be making an announcement soon here.