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Can we get rid of the 3-2-1 countdown already?

For the longest time, we've said "3, 2, 1 polo!" to start a game. And we all know that everyone goes on 2. Much of the time the winner of the joust is just whoever jumps the gun more. It's also hard for the ref to watch both teams at opposite ends of the court at the same time to determine if there are any false starts (which wouldn't get called anyway...).

For all the games I ref'd in Bloomginton, I told the teams that there wasn't going to be a countdown and it was going to be started right when I drop my hand and yell "polo!" There aren't any disadvantages to this other than having to get used to something different. There are plenty of advantages though. Can NAH put this in the rules or something? Everyone seems to agree that it's better, but most people revert to the old 3-2-1 whenever called upon to ref. Let's lay it to rest once and for all and make some progress. Baby steps.

P.S. I'll toss in a few bucks for http://321polo.net/ to purchase http://go-on-polo.net/ or some shit.

but when you just yell "polo", you KNOW everyone's gonna go on "pole", not even waiting for the "low". total bullshit.

i say use a whistle, or a single shotgun blast into the air.

agree. shotgun blasT haha! best if you whack something with a mallet, starter gun, whistle or something. people never wait until 'polo' to go.

-my stomach is a pickle-

We've ditched the "3,2,1" and use a "ready team 1, ready team 2, random break in time, whistle" for tournament games (everyone agreed that it's fairer, although you still cheat by looking at the ref raising the whistle to their mouth).

We still use 3,2,1 in throw-ins... go figure.

Maybe keep 3,2,1 and give the goal refs the opportunity of calling false starts?

+1 to get rid of the "3,2,1, polo"

whistle is the way forward I think

Zaragoza Bike Polo 2015
Berlin Bike Polo 2010 - 2015
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

what about "3, 2, Polo" ?


X2...86 321!

In tournament paintball they used to do silent ten second countdowns starting at 10 (announced by ref) then a airblast, whistle, or someone yelling go would signal the start. Seemed fair enough and it was always real obvious who was counting in their head since they would inevitably jump the gun.
+1 on silent countdowns. This way teams know that it's about to start and to be ready.

Wow, next we'll be questioning road cones as goals and swapping fixed gear bikes for freewheel... Games aren't won or lost on the joist anyway so do we really care for false starts? OK, maybe we do a little.

just go on 3?

I'm really not into having to change my license plate you guys.

But seriously, I'm all for: "Left side ready - right side ready - Polo!/Whistle/Shotgun/Whatever

Out of curiosity, Pete, did you get approval from NAH and/or Bloomington to do that at the games you reffed in Bloomington? It seemed like a bit of an anomaly that your court was doing it and everyone else's wasn't. I think it's a bit out of your jurisdiction to make a say like that if you didn't clear it by everyone ahead of time.

Though on the whole, I agree with you.

Nobody gave me the okay besides the players in the game. And frankly, I don't care jurisdiction because it wasn't a major change to the game, it doesn't have any disadvantages, and it has plenty of advantages.


Seriously, when someone doesn't follow the NAH ruleset, can we vote to kick them out of the polo community?

With the high level of uniformity in the rules at all of these NAH tournaments, these anomalies and violations of "jurisdiction" can not be tolerated. When I showed up at bloomington, my bike was checked for safety, my mallet was measured to make sure that it didn't exceed the specifications, and my games were exactly 10 minutes long, every time. I don't want to go through all of that red tape just to have my game start at "polo" instead of "321 polo". Rules are rules, people.

Uhh Nick, I believe the rules state that the joust commences at "3, 2, 1, Go!" not polo. Seriously read the rules already.

The countdown seems like tradition, i wouldnt ditch it. As far as people jumping the gun, just gotta really yell at whoever does it and restart the game. after they have to line up again, they generally dont cheat a 2nd time.

Get rad

Tradition is no reason to keep something that's clearly obsolete.

You also need a punishment for two "false starts": 30 second penalty, etc.

Make it like hockey, if you jump the gun someone else has to charge.

Don't you have a philosophy degree from a big state university?



eeyy bob wrote:

The countdown seems like tradition, i wouldnt ditch it.

Okay, we say 3-2-1-Kill in East Van.

Some cities say 3-2-1-polo

Others have a call and response marco-polo

Still others have ready? ready? go.

I vote for 3-2-1 Ready to kill Marco Polo? Ready? Go!

A lot of traditions we have to keep alive here. Very Canadian...

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


GaGoosh wrote:
eeyy bob wrote:

The countdown seems like tradition, i wouldnt ditch it.

Okay, we say 3-2-1-Kill in East Van.

Some cities say 3-2-1-polo

Others have a call and response marco-polo

Still others have ready? ready? go.

I vote for 3-2-1 Ready to kill Marco Polo? Ready? Go!

A lot of traditions we have to keep alive here. Very Canadian...


Agree, kick "321polo" out is great.
Gun shot or single blow after checking teams.

Credo quia absurdum

this what we need for penalty boxes, too.

hell, imagine if jousted from the side, too, like where the penalty box is. would make a way more interesting joust.

"And we all know that everyone goes on 2"

Big help, thanks my jousting just got better.

I like 3 - 2 - 1 polo, we used the whistle this weekend and there was a few early starts. I like getting the warning count down because you are not guessing when they are going to say go!

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

guessing when they say go is the whole point....I've watched you take enough Jousts Trevor to KNOW you jump the start pretty much EVERY single time....no wonder you didn't like the whistle. watched you twitching trying to anticipate the whistle too....frustrating when you can't automatically gain that little advantage eh?

I'm with Trevor. I also found the whistle boring. There was no excitement throughout the countdown, it was just nervous energy. Bring back 3, 2, 1 Polo!

Awww....crying cause they couldn't jump the start.....that's the point. I asked them to do that in Saskatoon after watching the one guy from Winnipeg (I think....skinny guy super low gear, so he looked like a sewing machine when he sprinted) going on 2 everytime.....did you notice he jumped it on the whistle too? he went as soon as I put the whistle to my mouth....guess he didn't think I was going to wait a second before I blew it. I take the joust most of the time for our team, and ya that nervous energy was there, just like back in highschool track getting ready for a sprint....but I couldn't jump it. Makes it fair. I'll also openly admit I jump the start pretty much every single time with a countdown, and I do it simply because I know the other guy is going to as well....but when I'm jumping the gun, and the guy on the other end of the court is going even sooner than me, where do we draw the line? Whistle eliminates the problem, and it becomes very obvious when someone jumps the whistle...as several people found out in Saskatoon. Keep 3, 2, 1, polo for pickup. Whistle for tourneys. Otherwise I'm going to keep jumping the gun a bit every time, and guys like sewing machine will be jumping it a lot everytime. Games aren't won on the joust....oh wait we scored twice on the joust last weekend....maybe they can be.

JustinGullickson wrote:

... I'll also openly admit I jump the start pretty much every single time with a countdown, and I do it simply because I know the other guy is going to as well...oh wait we scored twice on the joust last weekend...

are you being a cheater because you expect the other guy to cheat,
or do you expect the other guy to cheat because you are a cheater?
(your post makes it sounds like the latter).

whatever the countdown is, (and i like the 3-2-1 polo, by the way) it's up to you to not cheat.

if we need to have specific penalties for cheating on the joust, then how about this:

let's make it so a team that jumps the joust forfeits possession (similar to a ball joint on the offensive side). if both teams jump the joust, then re-joust with different players.

I like this is as a theory as practice it may be hard to implement. It would clearly be something goal judges become responsible for and lately it seems like tournaments can't get goal judges until day two. If you look at olympic track events they have all those beeping noises. I can only assume they are a countdown. They also deal with false starts quite often. I see no problem with having false starts and penalties associated with it.

I wasn't crying. I just disliked it and considered it reasonable to voice my dissent and reasons why. In the early stages of implementing a new start to the joust it is entirely reasonable to voice your opinion. In fact I am insulted by your assumptions that I don't like it because I could not jump the start. Did you see me joust this weekend Justin? I didn't. Not once.

I think he was talking about Trevor, not you (Winnipeg Trevor, not Alberta Trevor).

And geez, Justin and Eryn need to kiss and make up already. If there's a prairie polo region next year, yer gonna be seeing a lot more of each other. Leave the rivalry for the court, boys.

Do it like hockey, blow the whistle and the person who was going to joust then sits out of the joust and another player goes. Just like if you try to snag the puck that is not dropped you go to a winger position and the winger now takes the face off?

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

i like this

Ugh. I really don't think we need any more rules. Pick good refs who are trusted by the players, and leave it up to them.

All this complicated shit about switching jousters and adding more responsibilities on goal judges and shit...
That's horseshit, you all know how we are and what is most likely to work with us, increasingly complicated bullshit is not one of those things.
A whistle however, is really really simple, and solves all the problems we're looking at here.

You'll see. Unless you drilled out your eyes because they were too heavy.

More air horn starts please!
Or how about an air raid in the beginning of start... then air horn!
Wait now its coming to me... start the air raid 5 mins after the last... you would then have to line up up before the air horn goes off...dddrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! If youre not on the ct you're still playing... never another late tourney ever ever ever. So we can all go back to our jobs and whatnot

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

Eh, nothing really new to add to this convo, just thought I'd throw my support behind a whistle start. Yeah, you could have refs step up, but at SC and SE at least, refs were pretty much anyone who happened to be at that end of the court until the final rounds.


ha ha ha.

that is all.

We cannot get rid of the 3-2-1 countdown. It's forever.

Move on to something else.

the dark end (aka Bobb Todd, Marzipan, B.R. Fuck Face)

Why don't you quit pussyfooting around and just say it Matt.

You'll see. Unless you drilled out your eyes because they were too heavy.

i don't think the problem is with the count, its that some fucking bozos like to jump the gun. address the issue here.
the count down doesn't hinder the game. the fact that people can't follow rules does. go, a gun shot, a flag drop, a bird call. it's all the fucking same. you know when youre supposed to charge, quit being dicks.
we have a count down here and when i count when someone moves is top counting, they look like and ass and i restart the count as theyre riding, facing the wrong way.
find a way to deal with the issue.

I like the idea of starting the count again while they're going back to the line, facing the wrong way. Perhaps we could take it one step farther and make them touch their front tire at the wall as a penalty for the false-start. HaHa!

And then Joey grabs your front tire ... haha.

The only way is to take the competing humans out of the decision for when to start cranking. Now all we need is money in the game to pay for these damn things and figure them into courts somehow.


Credo quia absurdum