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WHBPC 2015 Bid: Timaru, New Zealand

The Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Association is formally submitting a bid to host the World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships in 2015 in Timaru, NZ. This is a joint submission from the entire region of New Zealand and Australia to host the event. Approval of this bid a full year in advance allows for proper planning and would allow participants access to cheaper airfares.


Southern hemisphere weather lends itself to a spring/summer tournament in November until January. November sees warmer weather and the start of our daylight saving time and the maximum temperature in summer is a perfect mid 20 degrees.

We would prefer direct consultation with the NAH tournament organiser as well as Europe before deciding on a fixed date.


As with any tournament, courts are the number one priority.

A space has been acquired which has the capacity for up to 5 courts of 40m x 20m. The barriers will be the standard 1.2m in height with an inside lining of plywood. This can be accommodated with adequate space around the court barriers for spectators, i.e. no current fencing or walls above 1.2m that would impede viewing. There is additional space for necessary HQ, medical, sponsor tents as well as food stalls next to the courts.

The surface is asphalt which is only two years old. It is currently used for netball/basketball and is textured just enough to provide excellent grip for tires.

Location and Facilities

The court location is Aorangi Park in the town of Timaru, New Zealand which is close to accommodation, food and the town centre which makes for the perfect setting for a fantastic tournament to decide the 2015 World Champion team.

Timaru is a small sized town. The courts are reasonably close to it’s centre. Traffic is non-existent, riding is safe and the town is easy to navigate.

The site of the court has plenty of parking, grass fields and areas to setup and chill.
We intended to provide food stalls, a bike workshop, first aid, sponsor stalls, and all the other bells and whistles expected. There is also some capacity for undercover bike storage but this is yet to be fleshed out.

Below are shots of the court location, the adjacent pavilion and an initial layout option.

Tournament Format & Numbers

WHBPC 2015 will be a three day tournament and could hold up to 64 teams. Having up to five courts allows us to easily accommodate this many teams with a decent time period for each game - i.e. up to 15 minutes.

The exact format and number will be worked out over the coming months with the advice of the polo community. It is most likely to be a 48 team limit with a large wildcard tournament prior.

Complimentary Tournaments

There is already some initial planning regarding complimentary tournaments in capital cities on the eastern side of Australia.

Players from around New Zealand and Australia have already committed themselves to arriving a week or two early to aid court construction which also provides an opportunity for other tournaments on site in the week leading up to Worlds such as a Wilcard Tournament, an international bench or womens only tournament. All are viable and highly likely. Once again, we are happy to receive input from NAH and Europe on the types and structure of Complimentary Tournaments and with locations and dates that are travel friendly to Timaru.


Timaru’s top motels, backpackers, and holiday park (for super low cost camping) are all within 10 minutes to the courts.
- http://www.timaruholidaypark.co.nz/
- http://southcanterbury.org.nz/Accommodation

Getting To Timaru & Transport

The closest international airport is Christchurch International Airport in the great city of Christchurch. Timaru is a picturesque two hour drive south from Christchurch. The next closest is Queenstown International Airport, which is 4 hours drive.

Almost all flights within Australia and New Zealand do not charge for bike bags, as “sporting equipment” is free even if it is in oversized luggage. However, some low cost carriers charge for each item of checked baggage. The price charged is cheaper if bought in advance.

While not yet planned for, there may be the possibility of arranging a number of buses or group car-pooling between Christchurch and Timaru. Once in Timaru everything [range of accommodation, supermarket, cafes, bike shops and the town centre] are within 10 mins bike ride. A valid USA or European drivers licence allows you to drive a car in NZ.

Importantly, New Zealand is built for tourism and backpacking. It has an incredibly large and well structured economy for tourists. What this means for polo players visiting is a big industry for car/van hire, well maintained roads, lots of facilities such as public toilets, friendly guidance and help from locals, great signage and wayfinding all because the country is SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL!

Why Timaru?

● Convenience once in Timaru - EVERYTHING IS REALLY CLOSE!!!!
● Cheap! the NZ dollar is pretty affordable
● There is already support from the whole city including city council, businesses and public attending to assist as well as make for a great vibe.
● Timaru has carved a bit of a niche market for hosting sports events and tournaments, with amenities, venue, accommodation, downtown, and the beach all in short walking distance
● The entire country is an orgasm for the eyes. The stunning landscape and ease of travelling make it a great place to tag on a holiday to the trip.


In March 2013 we proudly hosted the Australasian Championships. A two day tournament with 36 teams. Everything ran to schedule or under (crazy but true). The success of this tournament has been fairly well expressed. For the WHBPC 2015, we have already formed a committee of organisers from Timaru and clubs across New Zealand and Australia to pool in the experience and knowledge. This includes players that have been to WHBPC since Berlin. While spearheaded and run by Timaru, this is a united bid from the entire New Zealand and Australian polo community.

As discussed at WHBPC with NAH and EU reps - we are calling on any other cities to post an intent to host WHBPC 2015 (not a full bid, just an intention) by the 30th of September. This is to allow Timaru to begin planning as soon as possible and to allow the international community as much notice as possible.

Note: The maximum number of courts is 5 and teams are 64 but is likely to be reduced. This is simply a provisional number Timaru is planning for initially.

Fully support this!

NZ is the best country in the world.

So awesome! The more lead time the better. Flights to NZ from North American are HELLA expensive and people would need to plan trips Down Under to make it worthwhile. I am stoked to be going to NZ in February and to meet some Kiwi slayers.

EVBP foreva

we figure there will be plenty of others who come for a more extended stay than just the tournie due to the cost so one of our first tasks is locking in some dates with satellite clubs for tournies either side that are travel friendly. i.e. two tournies the weekends before in Australia that have international airports with direct flights from NA/EU then a weekend after in NZ.

Queenstown is less than a day trip away and has some awesome trails, especially if you are into all mountain/downhill

Fully pumped for this

Yes, New Zealand November 2015 sounds good!!!
Only if there is a whbpc 2016

We are Animals

Well, that's the question. If this happened at the end of 2015, would we want another worlds potentially 7-9 months later?

At the meeting at the worlds, there was a lot of support having an 18 month schedule, so the next one would be summer 2017.

Looks awesome! I totally support this, too!

even though I most likely be playing in the worlds tournament, I totally want to take my vacation here at the exact same time as this tournament.

Solid bid!

About cool tournaments around WHBPC, would be better to play them after than before.


William Jr. wrote:

Solid bid!

About cool tournaments around WHBPC, would be better to play them after than before.

I agree with lefty bill. Don't want to travel all that way to then get injured before the big tournament!


How do you people get so much time off work?

Workers' rights that aren't a joke

Tom Morello would like a word from Seattle...

Do you have the ability to provide world class refs for 5 courts, 8+ hours, 3 days? Not including goal judges*

3 Round Robin brackets would potentially help this problem, as well as aid in the overal fatique of players.

Joey, this has been discussed recently and we are looking into requesting funding to fly over dedicated referees (non-playing) as well as providing a roster of our region's best referees (also non-playing).

Go on....

The message from EHPA:

The EHPA is ready to fully support the Timaru bid for WHBPC but would like to propose to the european clubs to express, on the LOBP and by October 1st, their SERIOUS interest to host it in 2015. The clubs should be ready to get a bid public in the following months.

Also apparently the pavilion at the courts has broadband with 'plenty of capacity' for a stream.

This bid looks really though and serious,

I just want to write one of the feedbacks about 2014:
Lot of players told me during the final games (the ones on the last court open) they didn't listen the time, so I think this is an important point for all the big tournaments of the next season: try to find one (or more) numeric score board with Time included.


or give a megaphone to the refs

The Bisons;


David aka zerge wrote:

or give a megaphone to the refs

A megaphone to the assistant (maybe even just a cone) would help tremendously with advantages as well.
Quick tip from my countless reffing this year:
- Always give the remaining time, and avoid making a sentence. Give the time only.
- Repeat it twice, as loud as you can.
- Except for the last 90 seconds, never give precise times. Instead, round off to the closest 1/2 minute. Players can't spare that much brain time to care about the 13 seconds you're rounding off.

Since I adopted this protocol, I haven't had complains on this subject, I suggest you try it out.

Sounds pertty much like what I did. My experience is, that shouting the time twice as loud as possible is still often overheard. People are really zoned in, sometimes even your reffing partner :)

Having a megaphone for tournaments with big crowds should be really helpful. For calling the time and for calling advantages.

Another remark: Calling "90 seconds" often sounds like "20 seconds", but calling "1 minute 30 seconds" is long and may just sound like "30 seconds". Solution?

We had this problem again this week end at swiss champs, on player was thinking it was like 20 seconds remaining. And i often saw this as an issue, as a player and as a ref. The strangest part for my brain when it happens is the fact that ref say 90 seconds, then 1 minute, then countdown in seconds. For me, calling things "seconds" should only happens under the last minute. What i say as a ref or assistant is : "one and an half" or "one thirty", and when im under the minute, i say "45 seconds" " 30 seconds" "20" "15" and then the 10 last sec countdown.

NAH and the European Reps have both stated that they support Timaru's bid but will wait until the end of September to allow for any other clubs to post an expression of interest to host. As September has now passed, we are taking this as official confirmation that the next WHBPC will be in Timaru, New Zealand.

We wish to thank the international polo community for their support and are eager to begin the work for this huge event.

Our first task will be discussing with the heads of the various global scenes to set and lock in a date.

NAH will not be bidding for 2015, and approves the Timaru bid.

please solidify dates ASAP


********** February 2016 ***********

Agreed, from an NAH point of view that works best, as it allows to fit everything into the 2015 season that we want to. I know that's not your main concern, but just so it's out there ;)

November right? Let us know ASAP, ready to book.


For those concerned about dates because you want to start researching airline tickets and save money: you usually can't book a flight more than a year in advance. you also won't save money by booking more than six months advance (which is a long time away). For the south pacific in 2013, apparently the cheapest tickets were purchased, on average, 70 days in advance..

Even if the dates are announced just one year in advance, that would be twice as much lead-up as people have had in the past. So... chill out and let the organizers pick a time that's best suited to the many factors that need to be considered: NAH and Europe's season calendar (not yet established), other local events in Timaru, organizer availability, etc etc.

No matter what, you're looking at $$$ to fly there from anywhere other than Australia, so start saving!

From the research I've been doing, from the east coast of USA, be ready to spend on the order of $1500-1800 for flights alone. Saving needs to have started yesterday, so save your pennies where you can.

So instead of cheap beer, buy cheapest beer.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

No more buying purple things for your bike until NZ

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo


shotgun your bike!