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Informations and Slots attribution for Geneva WHBPC 2012

Here it is!
The city authorities just gave us the answer about the location of the courts and that's YES. So that's official we gonna handle this shit.

3 Courts.
We are planning to organize a 48 teams main tourney with huge amount of group games. Probably no swiss round but big groups feed on qualifications tournaments results, this for allow people to hang around to the lake and have some intensive periods of play and some chilling out sessions.
Games should begin on wednesday or thursday and Final stages on Saturday.
From 14 to 18 August 2012.

A Wild card should happens on Tuesday, 16 teams. 4 firsts teams go to the main event.
An invitational for ladies should happens on Tuesday too, 8 teams. winning team go to the main event.
More informations about this events soon. This tourneys gonna be played the tuesday 13 august.

We have already places to stay for every team, for free, in city bunkers near the courts.

Here is the slots attribution for the main tournament, 48 teams:

- 16 North Americans teams. Most part should be the NAHBPC top teams.
- 16 Europeans Teams. Gonna be the 16th first of the EHBPC Paris 2012.
- 4 Australians Teams. If possible top 4 of Australians champs.
- 3 Japan + 1 Tawain.
- 2 South American team.
- 1 Slot for the Ladies Army winning team
- 5 Slots from the wild card (on a 16 teams tournament, played day(s) before main event)

Please. If any of this part of the world know that they can't send the number of teams allowed to come, share this information as soon as possible with us.

Want to be a volunteer for this event? Fill this up:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dGRmc19rTUNyZ...

Edit:
We gonna have enough space to house people the week-end before, if you want to give us a hand for the court construction or food cooking, please let us know. This gonna be great days for sure.

Nice work, Clem, as smooth as always, well done!!!!

Rik
Berlin Bike Polo 2010
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

Awesome news! Nice one.

Just wondering why the new stance for the wild card tourney though? (16 teams capped.)

In the past wild card tourneys have been about accommodating "every" other team that wants to come to your event, even if that meant the format was a little crazy (with very few games per team, etc).

Can't handle more teams, geneva is a small city and we don't want the small card as a low level or low quality tourney. That's a slot for world champs.

I think "every" can mean a lot, and we don't want to be under the wave without any control.

Thanks for the explanation.

i'm confused about there being 2 separate wildcards... am i missing something? do girls only play with other girls in europe? why don't you just have 1 wildcard, 24 teams (including the 8 womens teams, whatever that means) & top 5 go on. what about teams with 2 girls and 1 guy, 2 guys 1 girl, etc.... i don't see the logic behind this. clem its awesome that you are trying to include more women @ whbpc , but segregation is not necessarily the best approach.

That's a good point, gonna come back with some words from our meetings.

Our first idea was making a kind of LA here using the structure of the tournament, but it seems it's gonna too hard to handle and we switch for a smaller thing, but I agree there is a lack of justification about it right now.

The same point was raised by some of the London ladies last night Clem, they would rather compete in a normal wild card (where you can still offer spots to the highest placed girls team if you want), rather than be segregated into their own wild card event.

Yes, we forgot the idea of a lady wild card because of that.
Thanks for feed back.

Thanks for your support for female involvement

wooohoooo!!! girls ROCK!

3-2-1... POLoLAND!
www.polishbikepolo.pl

Looks great, I'll be there to watch.

Lovely work Geneva! Just wanted to confirm if New Zealand has been offered a spot, or whether they would fall under Australia?

In our mind they are under Australian regional attribution.

Thanks for the clarification, cheers.

Any South American team can play...? could be awesome if we can go.... Hagame Famoso (make me famous) bike polo team Bogota Colombia....

Bike Polo Bogota.

2 can come, don't you guys have a south American champ?

Yes we have south american champ. 1er chile 2do brasil 3ero colombia.

Bike Polo Bogota.

that's the ranking from your champs? Already happens this year?

Logically i would say first two team get a slot for worlds, and the third (and maybe fourth) get a slot in the wildcard tourney.

Nicely done! It's cool that you have spots for female teams. We'll try to be in the female wildcard!
Thanks Geneva!

I'm curious about "no swiss rounds but big groups feed...."

If you do a bunch of elimination tourneys, the best teams will get worn down because they have to play so many more games. I think it best to reserve the elimination rounds for the end of the event.

I imagine Clement means as in EHBPC 2010 where groups of teams play RR and then the top X number of teams from each group go into a double elimination for day two.

The upsides to this are having teams playing on the one court and in "standby mode" and that you get more time for swimming without worrying about when your next game might be.

The downsides are that you have the potential for "unfair" groups, but as all the Worlds places will be seeded, then this shouldn't prove too much of a drama.

It is less fair than SR, but was an awesome format for Geneva's Euros where you could spectate an entire groups stage from the awesome tiered seats like it was a mini tournament in itself, very few teams grumbled about how they "could have qualified in a different group".

As jono said, it's the idea.

You can imagine something like 6 group of 8 teams.

Groups will be randomly seeded by teams from different level. The ranking (wich team is an A, wich team B, etc, etc) will use the result of the NA, EURO, etc.

GROUP 1:

A team 1
A team 2
B team 1
B team 2
C team 1
C team 2
D team 1
D team 2

As jono said it could be a bit unfair but overall the benefit is here for everbody, especially for players.

So let's say the 4 first team of the NA are rated "A", then 4 other "B", etc, etc
Same for the EURO ranking
It could be problematic with smaller communities, where if you finished third you may have the ranking "C", but in other hand you have more chance to finish first or two, so i think it's pretty balanced overall.

At the end we randomly seed the group with:

1 "A" from the NA
1 "A" team from the Euro
1 "B" team... etc, etc.

It is in gestation, it's what we have in mind now, nothing is definitive but you get the idea.

world cup style group play- i like it!

there will always be geographic and skill disparities, but if this is the method used for the most important athletic tournament on planet earth (the world cup) then i think it'll suffice for our little championship...

We are working on it, clearly there is good point for both systems. But according to the overall opinion about it in 2010, chilling out on Geneva lake side (1min from courts) was a blast, and the tourney worked as a Swiss clock with barely fair groups. We plan lot of groups game, something like 4 per day during 3 days so for sure you gonna have some hard and rough game and some easy one.

OK, I would call that bracketed swiss rounds. That's very typical for tourneys I've been to, where there is an AM and a PM bracket. As mentioned, balancing brackets with a lot of unfamiliar teams is challenging.

I like to go in with an initial seed (or ranking) based entirely on my own guesses. I then pass it around to other experienced organizers from other cities so they can make suggestions and improve upon my guesswork. At the end, you would have a 1 to 48 rank starting point to form brackets/groups and get the tourney started. (That is, group 1 of 6 would have the teams seeded 1st, 7th, 13th...etc. Group 6 of 6 would have the 6th seed, 12th, 18th...48th.)

Most players know it's an educated guess, no one complains about fairness. If they do, tell them to go jump in the lake.

i think it would be great to mix the groups by region as much as possible too. everyone wants to play new teams, and see how they stack up to far away clubs

polojoel wrote:

I'm curious about "no swiss rounds but big groups feed...."

Geneva, running without "Swiss" rounds? Hilarious.

A spot for ladies army champs is rad

it's a rad idea in theory, but it assumes that whoever wins is planning to play the season with that all-girls team, which is not everyone's situation. it's fairly obvious that plenty of girls who slay get left behind when it comes to competitive tournaments, which decreases chances of qualifying for NAs nonetheless Worlds, and while this sucks, i personally wouldn't want a "pity slot." however, that being said, me/cherri/birdie won LA last year and were 3 of the 5 girls to make it through to sunday in Seattle (although we weren't all on the same team), so i don't think it's crazy to assume that the players from the winning team of LA would make their way into Worlds regardless, this just provides a shortcut & saves some headaches.

my question is would the 3 players from the winning team be qualified for Worlds? or must that team stick together to play Worlds? regardless of what happens next weekend, i plan to play in the Northsides and fight it out in milwaukee just like everyone else. but clement, i still think it's an important initiative to make sure that top female players are represented at these highly competitive events and not everyone is going to agree with the ways in which you make that happen.

maija wrote:

i still think it's an important initiative to make sure that top female players are represented at these highly competitive events

Why? Why shouldn't these highly competitive events be about making sure that the top players (regardless of gender) are represented? Why does the gender of a player matter when it comes to whether or not they should be represented?

way less of a pity sport and way more of a "congratulations on winning ladies army spot"

Why don't we give a slot to the winners of other tournaments?

Idea was: ladies army is a great tournament, regarding to the level of the teams competiting at the end of this event we want to see some of these girls over here. I don't think winning the ladies army is easier than making top 16 at the euro, so why not giving a spot for that.

Agree that there is some ethicals issues about it that we didn't look at, we are more like "oh we have a slot, oh we really love top women playing over here, why don't give them one to increase chances to see them here. Period."

We gonna discuss about all this and come back later, your constructives opinions are really welcome.

I hope I'm not the only one who sees the 2 slots for all-female teams as blatant discrimination. And I expect plenty of folks to chime in here and try to explain why a little discrimination is perfectly okay if you're helping out a minority. It's the World Championships, every team that plays should be there by merit alone, not gender and merit.

word.
gender shouldn't have to be factored in when determining who is qualified for worlds.
if you're good enough to qualify for worlds, then you're qualified for worlds.
if not, then you're not.

but oh well.

pass

I know you have some good point about it. But the whole process is based on discrimination here, first of all is geographical one, you can live in a place where your teams have 1/50 chances to come and in some other where it's gonna be 1/500, for example. That's impossible right now to promote a worldwide perfect selection system, why Europe get only 16, why not more, why not less etc... A point is we want good teams here, and the one who gonna win the la gonna be one of these.

Geographic discrimination isn't at the hands of the organizers, you're not discriminating against Antarctica by not giving them a slot, there just isn't anyone there to give a slot to. If you're trying to put together the best teams, it's true that some geographic regions are going to be left out, but that's not because you're discriminating against them, it's because there aren't any good polo teams there.

Also, the fact that the geographic selection system isn't perfect doesn't mean that blatant discrimination based upon gender is acceptable. If you really want good teams, then you should let in teams that qualify at open tournaments. I don't disagree that the Ladies Army winner would probably qualify for Worlds if they went through the regular channels, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have to. Why not give my team a slot for Worlds? You know we'd qualify. It would, as Majia said, "provide a shortcut and save some headaches". Yeah, I wouldn't have to worry about placing well at NAs. Hell, I wouldn't even have to go.

You shouldn't give my team a slot for the same reason the LA winner shouldn't have a slot, because even if they're good enough, they haven't earned it.

grow a vagina and then talk me about discrimination.

Clement, I think having a slot for the LA winner is a great idea. In an ideal world more women would play on teams they have earned, but life is hard and this isn't always the case. Thanks for incorporating a way to show recognition for top female players and opening the door for the three ladies who win this competitive tournament attracting players from around the world. Whether or not the winning team chooses it.

whoa, nice edit! I guess I'll start editing mine too.

You say that ladies who have the talent to play on better teams often don't. Men who have the talent to play on better teams often don't as well. Maybe it's not just about skill. I know that there are really good male players who I'd never want to play with because they're hotheads, idiots, or repulsive in some other way. It sounds like you think that highly competitive men don't want to play with women ENTIRELY because they're women. I think that's little but idle speculation garnering support because it's under the familiar (and fashionable) flag of 'equality'. Bottom line is this: if there's inequality at the team level and if pairs of men really don't want to choose women as teammates solely because they're women, allowing all-woman teams to take unearned slots at highly competitive tournaments isn't going to change the feelings of the men who are discriminating.

Think about it: the problem is that men don't want to play with women, how is letting in all women teams going to solve that problem? No man is playing with any woman as a result of letting in the LA winners or having the all-woman wildcard. Not a single man will play with a woman on a team because of the decision made by the organizers. If you want men to choose to play with women, letting in all-woman teams isn't going to help. How would it? Is it the idea that men will see that these women are good and say 'hey, maybe I should play with her'? Wouldn't it make even more sense to have a co-ed wildcard so men could actually play with women rather than just watching? I think it should be obvious that playing with someone gives you better insight into whether or not you'd want to play with them again than merely watching someone play.

Imagine if Jared from FL (a highly skilled player) claimed that nobody wanted to play with him because he's freegan (not sure if true) then claimed that bike polo discriminated against freegans. How would you respond? You'd probably say something along the lines of "the fact that you're freegan is irrelevant, people don't want to play with you because of your reputation and attitude." Now I'm not saying that all females who don't chosen for teams have bad reputations/attitudes, but there it should be clear that there are a wide variety of reasons to not want to play with someone. So maybe if ladies are being excluded, it's for reasons other than the fact that they're ladies.

also: the whole "you can't talk about a certain type of discrimination unless you've been subject to that kind of discrimination yourself" is really goddamn dumb and I wish people would stop saying it. I'm not black but I know that being racists against blacks is wrong in the same way that I know being racist against whites as a reaction is wrong.

"hold your mouth for the war, use it for what it's for"

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

One or two guys complaining about "blatant discrimination" over the distribution of 4% of slots in a tourney that they aren't organizing is not going to change anything, except distract attention from substantive discussions that are taking place in this thread.
If you want to have a theoretical argument about women in bike polo, there's already a thread for that. It sucked, remember?

agreed. it's geneva's tournament.
let geneva organize it.

pass

Yeah, it's not like 3v3 leads to legit world champions anyway, so who cares? I think I'm done here.

And here comes the first person telling me that a little discrimination is okay while also claiming that discussing this discrimination isn't substantive. My posts are completely on topic here.

Ahgad. I demand that derailing a LOBP thread over absolute quibbles be deemed a minor penalty. Double minor if the offender's name begins with the letter "p."

Okay, I'll take a 30s break right now.

Excellent. Since we’re now in agreement that what you’re doing is derailing threads over quibbles, all you have to focus on is not doing that anymore. There, I fixed it.

Yes, because blatant discrimination is just a quibble, gotcha.

Sorry bro, can’t change your story now. You accepted the penalty on stipulated facts. Res Judicata attaches and I’m afraid there is no appeals court with subject matter jurisdiction.

Please note that collateral estoppel applies across all LOBP threads. Your acknowledgement of the quibbling nature of your own discrimination posts is much appreciated.

ninja edit! I forgot my place, it was word vomit and then sudden clarity clarence on how much I didn't want to get into this vortex with a philosophy major. not to mention, this really ain't the place.

but I'll tell you what, I'll emphasize with your discrimination claim. however, seattle either set or continued the precident of hand selecting a slot or two. as 2011 hosts they chose to set aside a regional (I forgot if it was "and" or "or") a city slot. blatant geographic discrimination in your own region.

life is hard bro.

Oh man, caricaturing philosophy majors, haven't come across that before. We all love to argue in the same way that all women love to clean and cook. (Hint: neither generalization holds true, so maybe you should stop using it)

People are hard, sis.

Oh noez. The white guy is being discriminated against for his Major. What is wrong with the world!?

what ever happened to that discussion of blocking certain peoples comments. Haha it came and went with Jared FTL but now...

What's your problem with my posts?

For the record, i really don't think Pete is a troll.

He believes strongly in a couple of abstract ideas and has enough time to post them here regularly, and loves to argue, even if his approach sometimes turns off those who might sympathize with his ideas, and often distracts from what are arguably much more important or on topic issues.

I toyed with adding a +1 / -1 instead of a x2, and hiding comments that received a certain number of minuses, but let's say my faith in people is higher than that, and this shit usually takes care of itself.

I'm definitely not a troll and I really don't like to argue. In an ideal world, people would actually take the time to read and understand the long posts I make, then respond with points of disagreement. Hopefully we could have a back-and-forth until we recognize the issue that we must agree to disagree upon or maybe even (gasp!) end up agreeing with each other. But most of the time when people reply to me, they don't even make clear what they disagree about.

People here keep talking about 'my approach' and 'my style' like it's something they've never come across. Do people here really have that little experience with written arguments? Do people have trouble following my posts? I really try my best to dumb it down and it seems like most of what I say is either ignored or not understood and that's pretty damn frustrating. The whole reason my posts are so long is because I know that if I say something the way I'd like to, nobody would get it, so I have to say it a couple different ways or with more (simple) words.

Also, I'd like to reiterate that the suggestion that the discrimination at hand isn't an important or on-topic issue is appalling.

the forever misunderstood rhetoric and theory junkie. empathy abounds.

Just get a blog or something. You need an outlet.

kev wrote:

Just get a blog or something. You need an outlet.

http://brofriendlybikepolo.blogspot.com/ is available.

I do think that slots for female teams/players is an important topic. You were putting words in my mouth earlier.
My point is: do you really think that you're going to change anyone's mind here? The organizers want to reserve slots for women, and if this thread is any indication, most of the community supports that. It's worth having a discussion about the details of how those slots are allocated, but arguing that they shouldn't be there at all isn't fruitful. It's just making a lot of people frustrated and shitting up an otherwise useful thread.
Pick your battles.

What the community supports isn't always what is right.

It isn't that you make strong arguments that need to be responded too. You just have more time to argue then most other people.

I would also like to point out that you rarely use data or effective simulations to prove your points. You just tend to try to pull arguments from personal experience.

.

pete wrote:

I really try my best to dumb it down

Me just dumb polo player. Thank you for letting me into your world of light. I renounce all other leaders.

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

Earn a BA in philosophy then talk to me about discrimination.

Work in a failing school district with poor black kids in the 3rd poorest and most segregated city in the country and talk to me about discrimination

So I know you didn't realize this and you actually took my post seriously, but I was mocking Cherri's (bad) logic when she said "grow a vagina then talk to me about discrimination".

sorry

edit - no not sorry

I'm sorry my joke went over your head, Brian. Next time, I'll provide a footnote just for you.

Geez, dude. Do you ever shut up?

.

As I said, Pete put some really good points about it, and in a lot of way giving a spot for LArmy is unfair. But as i said, as organizers we have the right to make some decision, and some of them can be made more by the hearth and guts feelings than by brain. LA is a high level tourney, the winning team gonna be a good one, if they want to come and kick some asses, they are welcome. It could be helpful also because LA is really early in The season so people can book tickets sooner.

After some feedback from here we are rediscussing stuff in Geneva and things can change.

hey we are 4th poorest !

Nice work Clem!

How do we register for the Wild Card tournament, and how will teams be chosen?

It's gonna probably be something as:
4 teams from Europe
4 NaH
2 Japan or Asia
2 Australian
2 South america
etc...
Come back to you soon with idea for that. that's not gonna be a first come first save.

Are you thinking guys from Australia or New Zeland, or South America or Asia gonna travel for a wildcard or not?

>Are you thinking guys from Australia or New Zeland, or South America or Asia gonna travel for a wildcard or not?

Australia would, yes.

--
bikepolo.com.au
urbanbicyclist.org

We are currently talking to New Zealand as well and there's a chance they'd be willing to send one of their top teams if a wildcard spot was available for them too. Hopefully some one can get back to you ASAP to confirm this.

What about one spot (or wildcard spot) for the PACHC (which is now PACHCSRU…) Euros qualifier group winner?
http://euroqualifier.wordpress.com/teams/
We have only 3 for the Euros ….

How does this make sense? While we are at it, why can't the Midwest have an extra spot straight to Worlds since we only get like 12 (or whatever) for the NA's?!

there's a proposal under review by Nah regional reps for sending one team from each regional qualifier, plus defending champs Crazy canucks, plus next eight highest from NAHBPC. this way some teams can start buying tickets. If we wait for six weeks notice NA would habe a poor showing in geneva and that would suck. note that the european situation is different, they are not lookign at $1200 airfares, and there is no standardized qualifier process.

Remember last year when me and Roberts got ripped apart for suggesting reigning champs receiving automatic bids- something about some nobody who got hot for a week in Berlin.

Just sayin.

I like what you're sayin Kev

well this makes a lot more sense now.

but at the same time you are kind of pulling the rug out from under the importance of the NA's. man I would've loved to not have gone to Calgary last summer. (thank you calgary for a nice tourney screw you calgary for being so far away and in canada where joe burge is banned)

Lack of attendance at NAHBPC would mean forfeiting the WHBPC spot. That's the proposal anyway.

It sounds like transportation has become something NAH wants to deal with especially since it looks like Worlds will be held on alternating continents each year(Seattle 2011, Geneva 2012, etc). If you give the top team from each qualifier a spot into the Worlds that would almost certainly help cut costs across the board for players and help increase attendance.
If Clement is trying to ensure that the spots are given evenly, it would also help to figure out some backup plan to attendance overseas in case teams that place well at North Americans in Milwaukee cannot afford to fly on such short notice. a backup plan might help NAH keep a standard of attendance. at least 15 teams should be out there.

We gonna talk about wild card distribution soon.
The thing is first team from pacs should be able to go to top 16 Europeans team during the euros, and if they are at 16 to 20 rank they gonna get a slot in the Wild card ( if we decide that)... So there is no point giving this team a direct ticket.

This all looks awesome, thanks heaps Geneva!

Pretty sure there's not a way to subscribe to a thread without commenting. So...

Who wants to move to Antarctica to start the polo mecca?

Edit:
We gonna have enough space to house people the week-end before (mostly in city bunkers), if you want to give us a hand for the court construction or food cooking, please let us know. This gonna be great days for sure.

Want to be a volunteer for this event? Fill this up:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dGRmc19rTUNyZ...

NAH announced the qualification system.

http://www.nahardcourt.com/qualifying-for-whbpc-2012/

Crazy Canucks have until June 30 2012 to claim their spot.

Just Say Mo and the Guardians have until April 30, for having won South Central and SW qualifiers. If Just Say Mo doesn't claim it, Sea Kings will until may 7th to claim it, and then it would go to Barely Legal. If The Guardians don't claim it, the spot goes to Con Safos, and then Dark Horse.

aw man are we stuck with that name??

no

This is a great way to go!
I let you kev take the confirmations and coming back to me with answer, is that works?

i've filled out the volunteer form, it would be great if i could hear back asap as would be good to start thinking about travel plans

Nice dude. that's great!

We gonna need people for almost everything. The week end before for court building, days before for food cooking and wildcard managing. During the tourney as Tournament manager, ref, and overall job. And days after for cleaning and court dismounting.

We have room in bunkers for volunteers, and we gonna spend some good days playin polo and chillin' around too!

Volunteer form send,Im there for few days extra so I can help :-)

Great Clement! Geneva hosted an incredible Euro2010. I can't wait, it will be for sure fantastic ;)

Ok, answering the concerns about women wild card, we canceled the Lady wild card :
"- 1 Slots from the Lady Wild card (on a 8 teams tournament, played day(s) before main event)"
So the classical wildcard gonna seed 5 teams into the main tournaments.

We keep the slot for the LA winners. 2/3 rules is working, so if the winning team want to play with a guy, no issue about it.

Wilcard distribution for now:
slots for the wild card, (for now):

8 for Europe (teams ranked after 16th at EHBPC paris)
4 for Nah*
2 Australia*
2 South america*
2 Japan*
2 Geneva

* Please tell us as soon as possible if your thinking about filling this slots up or not...

Could you please explain your reasons for canceling the woman's wildcard and why those reasons don't also apply to the LA winner's slot?

Because the feedback about the women wildcard Geneva wasn't good.
We are also sure that the team who gonna win the LA gonna be a real good one with pretty decent chances to make something good at the main championship. And this wasn't sure about the team who should have win a small 8 teams tournament.

Also, as said before, there is a part of non-cerebral choices that every organizers always do, we assume that like that. We can argue during ages because you put some good points on a philosophical level, im pretty sure we can also argue a lot about slots reserved for local teams last year in Seattle, at the EHBPC this year or in the wildcard this year, this is the same kind of question. This is intersting, but im pretty sure we're not talking at same level, so it's endless.

Whatever. Keep rationalizing. I'm not going to argue because you're saying that this is a non-thinking decision. How ridiculous. Yes, I chose with my heart who would be attending the tournament! Then I decided to listen entirely to my heart and not use my brain to reflect upon it at all! It's hilarious that this is how you defend your decision, by saying that you didn't and aren't willing to think about it.

This isn't the Disney universe where listening to your heart is the best and truest thing you can do. Here, in the real world (despite how much you say I think on a 'philosophical' level), we should actually use our brains to make decisions. Listening to your heart is and ignoring your brain is a recipe for disaster. Well, at least you're not listening to any other part of your body... or are you?

Seriously, how would people respond if someone said "I'm banning women from my tournament. It was a non-cerebral decision, it was just one of those unjustified things that always happens at tournaments. People are making lots of good theoretical points about sexism, but we're not thinking on the same level".

Also, some other organizers doing something questionable in the past isn't justification for you doing something questionable now.

Pete: ATMO, your error is in looking at this issue from entirely the wrong angle. You and others need to look less to league-based systems like the NHL, NFL, NBA, and more towards event-based tours with similarities to our existing structure. Look at the USTA or PGA. Their events are certainly focused on promoting the highest level of competition and the legitimacy of the tournament victors, but there is no perfect ranking system based on head to head results, and so each tour considers rankings in seeding their tournaments, but also reserves “organizer’s slots” for wildcards or other players that they believe will promote INTERESTING COMPETITION.

And I agree with Geneva offering the LA champion a spot at the Worlds because it will certainly promote INTERESTING COMPETITION. LA this year is a huge event, it’s a truly international event, and the winner will have earned the victory the hard way, guaranteed. If that team chooses to take the slot at Worlds, it will be a team that I’ll be watching, 100%.

In light of the legitimate practice of reserving organizers’ slots across event-based “real sports,” I simply don’t see why you insist on viewing the LA slot as misguided discrimination connected to righting historical injustices. When it comes to seeding a bike polo tournament, I don’t particularly care whether women have been historically discriminated against, and I don't care what the reasons for the LA tournament’s existence are. This isn’t recompense for historical wrongs and it’s not affirmative action in college admissions; it’s a REALLY INTERESTING addition to the competition that does nothing to disturb the competitive balance or legitimacy of the victor.

Geneva has allotted 16 slots to NAH and 16 slots to Euros. By all rights, those should be the strongest 32 teams in the world. There’s your competitive legitimacy. NAH will award its 16 slots via merit-based competition to the strongest teams available, and I believe one of those 16 will be the ultimate winner. I believe 16 slots was a fair deal, and so those are the 16 slots that NAH concerns itself with, and unless you want to travel to Australia or Europe and try to form a team under their rules, or find a way to qualify yourself for LA, those are the slots you have to concern yourself with. I’m not going to concern myself with the slots that Geneva has awarded to Europe, or Australasia, or the LA champ, because those aren’t my slots, and they aren’t your slots either. Geneva is hosting the Worlds, and there is no international scheme for selecting teams right now. This is year haybales+3, and there are no rights to slots at the World Championship that Geneva is bound to honor. A bunch of female players are organizing an f-ing HUGE women’s event this year, and if Geneva thinks that’s really cool and wants the winners of that event to be represented at the Worlds Championship that they are hosting, because it’s INTERESTING: then sorry, end of inquiry.

If you want to make the argument that it’s unfair to reserve a slot for the LA champion because that’s another slot that could go to a co-ed, or men’s team in the wildcard, and that wildcard could potentially be the tournament winner – you can make that argument. But you’d have to take it to the department of trivially quibbling competitive slights, and you waived you rights to that department earlier.

FYI: As I understand it, a Tennis Major is 128 slots. Players submit applications. 108ish are taken based on international ranking. 16ish are based on a pre-tournament wildcard event. 8ish are reserved to the tournament organizer to award to interesting competitors. In golf, there is a similar practice known as the sponsor’s exemption, under which the tournament organizers and sponsors may selected otherwise ineligible players to compete.

I'm going to be fairly brief because I think you can handle it. I also really appreciate you taking the time to think about this issue and respond thoughtfully and respectfully. Thanks.

eric_dc wrote:

Pete: ATMO, your error is in looking at this issue from entirely the wrong angle. You and others need to look less to league-based systems like the NHL, NFL, NBA, and more towards event-based tours with similarities to our existing structure. Look at the USTA or PGA. Their events are certainly focused on promoting the highest level of competition and the legitimacy of the tournament victors, but there is no perfect ranking system based on head to head results, and so each tour considers rankings in seeding their tournaments, but also reserves “organizer’s slots” for wildcards or other players that they believe will promote INTERESTING COMPETITION.

"There isn't a perfect ranking system in other currently (but not necessarily) similar sports and organizer bias exists in other sports, so this is okay." I think you'll be able to realize why that's a bad argument when phrased like this. If you can't, I'm happy to explain it to you.

eric_dc wrote:

And I agree with Geneva offering the LA champion a spot at the Worlds because it will certainly promote INTERESTING COMPETITION.

You can promote interesting competition without discriminating. You can let in the winner of the Hell's Belles tournament or something similarly co-ed so that all slots are open to all polo players.

eric_dc wrote:

the winner will have earned the victory the hard way, guaranteed.

I don't think the LA winner from last year would've qualifed at DPI4, but they could've qualified at the SCC. And even if they did make it to NAs, I don't think that they'd qualify. That said, I'd say it's harder (solely in terms of the competition) to qualify than it is to win LA. I know this is going to be a terribly unpopular claim, but I think everyone should take a second to think about it. Look at the top 8 teams from the qualifiers and ask yourself "could the LA winner beat this team?" I think the answer for the vast majority of the qualified teams is 'no'.

eric_dc wrote:

In light of the legitimate practice of reserving organizers’ slots across event-based “real sports,”

You're making the assumption that those practices are legitimate. I'm inclined to disagree. The fact that they've been institutionalized doesn't make them right.

eric_dc wrote:

I simply don’t see why you insist on viewing the LA slot as misguided discrimination

Only women can have the spot, men aren't allowed, that's where the discrimination part comes from.

eric_dc wrote:

connected to righting historical injustices.

These weren't my words, this is the reason that everyone else brings up as justification for LA and the winner's slot. They claim that men don't choose skilled women enough for their teams even when the female player would've made the team better. They claim that these women are being discriminated against solely because of their gender. That's the problem, and the proposed 'solution' doesn't even address it. No man is going to play with a woman at Worlds because of anything that happens at LA. The winners of LA may opt to use the 2/3s rule and pick a male as their 3rd, but that is a completely different situation.

Quote:

When it comes to seeding a bike polo tournament, I don’t particularly care whether women have been historically discriminated against, and I don't care what the reasons for the LA tournament’s existence are.

I agree.

Quote:

it’s a REALLY INTERESTING addition to the competition that does nothing to disturb the competitive balance or legitimacy of the victor.

There are plenty of other really interesting additions that don't disturb the balance/legitimacy that aren't being considered. What if there was a team of unicyclers? It probably wouldn't be dangerous, they'd lose most if not all of their games, and it would be REALLY INTERESTING. Why don't we also have a slot for unicycles?

Quote:

There’s your competitive legitimacy. NAH will award its 16 slots via merit-based competition to the strongest teams available, and I believe one of those 16 will be the ultimate winner. I believe 16 slots was a fair deal, and so those are the 16 slots that NAH concerns itself with, and unless you want to travel to Australia or Europe and try to form a team under their rules, or find a way to qualify yourself for LA, those are the slots you have to concern yourself with. I’m not going to concern myself with the slots that Geneva has awarded to Europe, or Australasia, or the LA champ, because those aren’t my slots, and they aren’t your slots either.

It's not about them being 'my' slots or something. It's about the best teams getting the slots. If there is a slot from a non-open tournament, then lots (read: half) of people won't be able to choose to compete in this tournament and thus the slot will naturally go to a less competitive team than would've emerged from an entirely open tournament. I'd bet you everything I own that the winner of the LA co-ed tournament would put a stomping on the LA winners. That's because anyone can enter the co-ed whereas only females can enter LA.

I’m sorry Pete, but I think we’ll just have to disagree -- because in an event-based sport with a large number of entrants per event I do agree in principle with the practice of awarding organizers’ slots. “Organizer Bias” is an inappropriate term that you’re inserting in order to argue that any deviation from awarding the slots to the 48 (theoretically) most-highly-ranked teams is a result of unjustifiable bias or discrimination.

That’s incorrect, in my opinion, because there are meaningful goals in seeding a tournament other than finding the top 48 teams. There is the goal of regional balance (which you have not objected to). And there are the goals of local-market appeal, sponsor attention, spectator interest, appealing story-lines, unlikely underdogs, and surprising competitors (which you obviously object to, or maybe just as long as they involved womens' teams, or maybe just as long as they are “unproven” competitors).

As I stated, Geneva has met their obligation to competition by awarding a vast majority of slots to continental organizers or continental tournaments, which are essentially merit-based. I agree with that decision. They have also reserved a very few spots for other purposes – which I believe is a legitimate practice. Having already concluded for myself that the practice IS legitimate in the absence of international rules specifying the competitors, I do not much care what teams they select for those few spots, so long as they play bike polo.

Personally, I think the decision to invite the LA champ to take a slot is awesome, interesting, makes a great story-line, and will draw positive international attention to the World Championships and our beloved sport of hardcourt bike polo. You may think that the discriminatory aspect of the LA tournament (and the decision to allow a Worlds spot to the winner of such a tournament) brings negative attention to the sport. Based on the responses in this thread, and across this forum, I believe that you are mistaken.

Plus, you’ve already agreed in your way that it’s interesting:

pete wrote:

I'd bet you everything I own that the winner of the LA co-ed tournament would put a stomping on the LA winners.

The only questions are what constitutes a "stomping" and what odds you're providing, and we'd have a wager -- a fine gauge of interest in my humble opinion.

I agree that interesting competition is a meaningful goal as well as regional balance. However, you need to recognize that not all bike polo tournaments are the same and not all of them have identical aims. The world championships is supposedly the most competitive tournament of the year, the tournament where the best teams find who stands tallest among themselves. I think that the primary goal of the tournament is to crown a world champ (which is silly already because it's 3v3 and there isn't any sort of qualifying system that makes sense) and the slots should reflect this. But that's not what Geneva or anyone else seems to have in mind. They like the festival atmosphere, the casualness, and just the general lack of competition. That's great. But they can have that at other tournaments. I feel like the people who genuinely give a shit about being competitive at this game and ensuring that the competition is of the highest level are massively outnumbered by people who don't give a shit about competition and just play polo for fun. That's why you find so many people supporting this decision.

I never said that this decision would bring negative attention to the sport. I think that it sets a dangerous precedent and it's outright wrong as well. I'm keen enough to realize that how people feel about an action is independent of whether or not that action is wrong. Plenty of folks have drank laced Kool Aid because they thought that they were doing a good thing. In fact, I think that this will bring more attention to the sport. I think that more women will get interested in polo because of LA as well. However, it's a give-and-take that I'm not comfortable with. If you want more publicity, more women playing polo, and more positive attention in general, there are certainly ways to achieve these goals without discriminating.

This is essentially what is happening here: people have certain goals about what polo should be and how women fit into it. They figure out a way of achieving these goals that is tacitly discriminatory. I come in and say "hey, that's discrimination, but I recognize your goals and here are other ways to achieve them" and they say "screw you, we're achieving the goals our way because who cares about discrimination when it's for the greater good". They're not understanding that they can just as easily get more publicity and get more women involved without treating them like entirely different creatures by giving them 'pity slots' (not my words) or giving them a handicap of some other sort. Treating women so differently is entirely the problem. Equality isn't when both sides get similar things, equality is when you refuse to recognize the difference in the sides all together because it's irrelevant to the decision making process.

Also, I don't find stompings to be interesting. That said, I'd be willing to give you 1000:1 odds if I could be sure the teams wouldn't rig the game just to try to teach me a lesson.

I think this has been a productive conversation and has drilled down a bit into the arguments. Thanks Pete.

pete wrote:

The world championships is supposedly the most competitive tournament of the year, the tournament where the best teams find who stands tallest among themselves

I think 16 NAH, 16 Euros, and best from Australasia and beyond ensures that the goal is met. I understand the slippery-slope/dangerous precedent concern with organizer’s picks or slots from tournaments that aren’t “open,” but I believe that as with most slippery-slope arguments the risk is overblown for effect. LA is already really really big deal this year, and I think it’s fine for Geneva to pay attention to that, and to reserve the champs an invite.

Great talk. I see what you're saying and I hope that you see my point that even though you think the goal of competition is met, the goals of interesting competition and promoting women in polo can still be met without discriminating. The slippery slope concern is definitely secondary.

I think we've recognize the main points of disagreement. Thanks a lot for taking the time and putting in the thought to make these replies. I really appreciate it.

Very good points you presented here. I like your reference to events-based competitions and the examples of golf and tennis.

It's cool to see it that way. An event organizer takes on the responsibility of entertainment, and should be allowed some leeway when it comes to who and how they want to entertain, so long as their choices aren't a detriment to the competition.

LA winners will not be a detriment to the competition. They will be far from it. And if they plan to go as a team (which seems unlikely), they will be FUN to watch, that's for damn sure. They will represent the sport well, and surely add to fun of watching the tournament rather than take anything away from it.

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fixcraft.net

Nothing to answer about all this, you guys put most of the points on the table in a really clear and nice argument, i would say period.
My only real concern is about this point that you Pete put on:
"They like the festival atmosphere, the casualness, and just the general lack of competition. That's great."
Choose one slot on 48 by criteria that you find unfair doesn't mean we are bunch of hippies who don't take competition seriously. Ask people who where in GVA during the Euros 2010, our primary objectives was provinding best conditions to promote best polo: good courts, good heatly food, good schedule. We almost forgott all the party side of the stuff, no prizes, no party at the end etc... Just serious stuff. If you want to argue that 3v3 always gonna be polo festivals that's another thing.

Last point, we don't force LA winners to come without men in the team, we put a 2/3 rule for this slot, so if they need a sub of any kind they can bring it. So this team isn't close to men.

About the non-cerebral answer, that's a way for me to try to leave the place without arguing as you noticed. (by the way Disney is part of the real world). English doesn't help me to really argue as I want. To be quick i would say that the opinion Eric_DC is mine. It's gonna save my brain again by trying to translating my point of view.

Cheers.

While many of your arguments tend to be reasonable, and while I prefer to stay out of the bickering arena, your assessments on this one display an inherent bias on your part. Maybe you aren't aware of how ingrained some of your attitudes may be?

Making assertions such as the top LA team would not be likely to make the cut at the majority of qualifiers, or that that co-ed tourney winners would "put a stomping on the LA winners" is a bunch of shitty programmed sexist discrimination. Obviously you think that men are generally better at polo or else you wouldn't have these ideas. You're exercising pretty overt discriminatory attitudes while arguing against discrimination. It's pretty ridiculous how you've basically shot your own argument down by asserting that it's OK to have lowered expectations of the potential and performance of an all-women's teams but it's not OK to recognize winning the first place slot in a highly competitive arena like Ladies Army, which has 30+ teams from an international makeup of polo players because all of them are women. Please Pete, I know you're willing to play with women and legitimately recognize their skill level, so why don't you just go ahead and get over this idea that Ladies Army is not legitimate enough or competitive enough or is too discriminatory to have legitimacy and acknowledge for the highly competitive arena that it is and that the winner of an international tournament is one helluva team and not simply deserves, but has EARNED the allotment of a slot at another high-level tournament. Think about it like that.

Ride, bake, polo, repeat.

so what if somebody else besides Pete argues that the only gender-exclusive polo tournament out there should not be a qualifier? ignoring whatever ingrained discriminatory attitudes you may think he has, what about the well-reasoned point he makes? at the end of the day there is no international governing body (yet) to decide how we qualify for spots at WHBPC, so the decision rests with Geneva and I don't think anybody says otherwise. it is only one spot, however, Pete makes a good point about setting a precedent. if everybody would stop accusing him of being a "bro" maybe we could have a civil discussion about whether or not we want to go in the direction of gender-segregated polo. based on informal observation i am willing to bet that over 99% of the polo community want to remain mixed gender, so where is all this coming from? LA is a cool tournament and i think it does a lot to bolster our female numbers, but once you start awarding qualifying slots to the winners it becomes more than just another cool tournament. no matter how "quibbling" it may be to point out, it is discrimination just like he says. and no matter how white, educated, male, or cis the individual pointing out discrimination is, it is still just as discriminatory. he's arguing the principal of the thing, which is something we should probably talk about. perhaps it is time for a separate thread that deals with these issues on their own, unrelated to a specific tournament?

As you correctly stated, there is no governing organization over the WHBPC, so how can there be a precedent? The only precedent it seems is that the host makes the rules. Until such a body exists, I think the worries about a bad precedent are negligible.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

you don't need a governing body to set a precedent. when NAH came along they mostly tried to build the organization around what we were already doing before them. when LA was its own separate entity, a novelty tournament like Bench Minor where hosts can experiment with the tournament experience, there was really nothing for anybody to get upset about. but now it's been folded into a qualifying structure and it's everybody's business. it seems to me that this discussion has a lot to do with where we want the WHBPC to go: to a true, bottom-to-top qualifying process that produces a legit world champ, or the festival atmosphere we've already got but blown up in scale.

...or this is a false dilemma.

Nothing about how this WHBPC is run dictates how any future WHBPC will be run. If the hosts next year think the LA spot is bullshit, they won't include it. They'll be under no obligation to do it just because it was done in 2012. That said, Geneva has a plan and they'll execute it. Afterwards, if the inclusion of the LA spot is found to be detrimental, and worth address it will be. I doubt it will be a problem. This one spot is not a tipping point between bottom-to-top qualifying and a festival.

Consider how many teams don't make it to the World Cup, and that the host is always allocated a spot. Is the World Cup not legitimate because a host team with a lower FIFA rating is guaranteed a spot?

There is very little at stake here.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

" This one spot is not a tipping point between bottom-to-top qualifying and a festival."
Yes. Around 2% of allocated slots can't be consider as a major point to make a tournament non legit. Last year at worlds a lot of good teams from euro were missing, and some were there (mine) without even playing the qualifications tournament ( ehbpc 2011 bcn). Is this enough to say it wasn't world champs?

the arguments being made about non-legit world champs aren't so much about this one spot in Geneva, but are more about the informal qualifying process we use (like the examples you give above). I don't think anybody meant to insinuate that Geneva's tournament will be any less legitimate than Seattle or Berlin's were.

I agree that this one spot is not a tipping point between anything. And I never said that future WHBPCs would necessarily follow this route either. You are right, there is very little at stake when we're talking about this one little spot. I guess I just want this discussion to turn useful. There was a thread, LA mission statement or something similar, where a lot of ladies chimed in about this exact same stuff. I think that discussion should happen in the wider community, because a lot of people seem to support this one spot but not a lot of people think we should segregate the players by gender. It's not a tipping point, but it's the first time this has become an issue so why not talk about it?

Lots of people say that the LA winner getting a slot is a good idea are tournament organizers are certainly swayed by public opinion. They won't be under an obligation to NAH or anything, but the community might feel that LA winners deserve a slot because 'well they got one last year' (which is a horrible reason arguing fallaciously from tradition).

Then cross that bridge then later. The merits of either argument can be made best after we know how this actually effects/doesn't effect the WHBPC.

You're too eager to talk about a debate that is only happening in your head a year from now. The community a year from now may say they want it because it brought something really positive to the tournament. That's not an argument from tradition. I say relax--let's not try to predict the weather a year out.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

All I'm saying is that if we take this route, then that's a bridge we're probably going to have to cross (according to my map). So we might want to recalculate the GPS to see if we can arrive at the same location using a different route.

Also, allegories.

And a year from now your position will be a lot stronger if the LA team gets shut out in every game (suggesting they didn't represent the top tier of polo), or doesn't bother to make the trip.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

I demand a recall of Rocky Balboa's title bout with Apollo Creed, he wasn't qualified.

The fight from Rocky II? No, that was a legit title-shot.

Nothing I've said was discriminatory. When I say that the fastest man in the world is fastest than the fastest woman in the world, I'm not discriminating. When I say that the best male polo player in the world is better than the best female polo player in the world, I'm not discriminating. When I say that a team of certain females would probably lose to other teams comprised entirely (or partially) of males, I'm not discriminating. Now if I were to say that this team of females would lose BECAUSE they're females (implying that females are inferior), then I would be discriminating.

Why is this not discrimination? Because nowhere in my post did I cite their gender as the reason for predicting their loses. I didn't in any way imply that I thought this because they are women. The reason I think that they'd lose is because (gasp!) they're a worse team. Why are they the worse team? Because of skills, teamwork, etc. Not because of their gender. My opinion of how the games would finish has absolutely NOTHING to do with gender. Read that again: it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with gender. I've played against Majia, Cherri, and Birdie several times each. I've also played against the vast majority of folks (male or female) who have qualified for NAs (from the last 3 years). This is what I think would happen based upon what I know about the players involved.

It is really impossible for you to imagine that gender didn't come into my thought process? It may be something that's constantly in the back of your mind when evaluating players, but it certainly isn't in mine. I recognize the skill level of female players, I really do. And their gender has nothing to do with recognizing their skill. I don't think "wow, she's good at polo for a girl", I think "wow, she's good at polo". But I also recognize that the best females aren't as good as the best males. If you think that's false, you haven't been watching. If you think that's sexist, then you don't really know what sexism is.

slow clap

pete wrote:

. When I say that the best male polo player in the world is better than the best female polo player in the world, I'm not discriminating.

Sorry for even posting this guys before i post it , but I would love to see BLANK and BLANK on a team with them choosing their 3rd. I had the 2 peoples names in their but I decided not to post them coz they are fantastic peeps as well as polo players

"So this is how it ends"MACHINE

In regards to Australia; we have already had our national championships and our national organizational body are offering the spots to qualified teams this Thursday. Initial indications are that we have enough of our teams willing to travel to fill the four spots and 2 wilcard spots. We should have an answer back in two to three weeks.

Well done Geneva, looks like a great breakdown of spots.

We will have meeting of WHBPC at early May in our Polo camp.
Please wait a few weeks. We will tell you that ASAP.

Riki@Tokyo Hardcourt Bike Polo
tokyobikepolo.blogspot.com / www.flickr.com/rikitko / twitter: RikiTokyo

Official tournament post here: http://leagueofbikepolo.com/whbpc2012

Off topic but i just thought about a good team name, i have to write it somewhere: "3 girls, 1 cup"

politics as usual

"ok Mr. Schwinn fucking Armstrong!"
www.burrobags.com

Poster is out:
http://leagueofbikepolo.com/whbpc2012
Thanks http://www.blackyard.ch/

voilà: http://whbpc2012.org/