Machine Politics vs L'Équipe, August 2010. Photo by Steph Simcox
League of Bike Polo is riding off into the sunset.
So the time has come—probably overdue—to start shutting down this little website.
It will continue to work in its current clunky state until the new year.
Over the last 8+ years, it's been home to 5000+ polo players, 1000+ tournaments, 600 club listings, 3000 forum posts, and 1000+ bikes. The stupid x2 feature has been used a half million times. It's also been home to a lot of behind the scenes polo organizing, hosting a bunch of bids for tournaments (Ladies Army, WHBPC, NAHBPC, etc), and voting tools for NAH business.
I will ensure that the most important content on the site—the club listings and tournament history—remain available to anyone who wants to use them for something. They belong to you all. I've talked to Jennifer K about helping to get the tourney history loaded into http://bikepolocalendar.com. Until i'm confident that some of that historical content lives on somewhere else, i'll keep the site functioning as a kind of archive, without the ability to log in and add content.
I've also published two csv files with historical content, which people can do what they want with, as long as it remains licensed under Creative Commons By-SA 3.0, which has always been the license on the site.
- A history of tournaments, with posters etc., going back to early 2008. http://leagueofbikepolo.com/lobp-tournament-data.csv
- A listing of clubs, with logos, founding dates, locations, etc. http://leagueofbikepolo.com/lobp-clubs-data.csv
I don't think anyone will greatly miss the forums, especially the occasionally ridiculous discussions on rules. I suppose they will continue to live on at archive.org.
If anyone is has the time, nerdery, and passion to modernize this ancient Drupal 6 website (originally built in Drupal 5), and keep this going, write me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can talk.
I built LOBP in 2008 because, as a bike polo player trying to find out about tournaments, other polo communities, and polo equipment, i had to use myspace or the personal blogs of a couple polo players. There were no polo equipment companies at the time, but people were innovating, testing new mallet head materials, bike builds, and wanted to share. And there was no common ruleset, and the only place where rules were discussed were on personal blogs of polo players, or on the court itself.
The site didn't evolve much after it got its mobile upgrade in early 2012. For a couple years, NAH was taking up way more of my off-court polo time than creating improvements for LOBP. Meanwhile, Facebook continually evolved and has been busy eating up independent online communities, with their very fast page loads and slick interface. To bring LOBP and all its data and functionality into the modern era of the web, i would probably need to take a full month off work, something i don't have the luxury of right now. Meanwhile, i'm not living in a city right now, and not playing much polo.
I first want to say a huge thank you to those who have helped defray the server costs over the years: Fixcraft and Milwaukee Bicycle Company have been the biggest supporters. Sean Ingram and Matt Hewitt knew their support wasn't coming back to their bottom line, but they believed in growing the sport and their support to LOBP was a small part of that. Other sponsors have included DZR, Velolucuma, Milk, St Cago, Arena, and Dodici.
Also, a big shout out to some of the people who helped approve users or delete spam when i was unavailable: first Sven in MPLS, then Nick Iwanyshyn of BPTO. Also to Pieter Blokker who leant the bikepolo.ca domain name for the first year and a half.
Finally, all those who made the forums funny, or mildly interesting, you are my heroes. I also want to to note that compared to most online forums, LOBP needed very little moderation, so thanks for being good to each other.