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Where to Start the Joust

A while back, we converted to starting the joust at the back boards. The problem here is that many think it should be okay for someone to track stand behind the goal line before the whistle blows in order to get a better jump. It is impossible to do this with your rear wheel touching the back boards for any amount of considerable time. Maybe we could move the starting line back to the goal line and dictate that courts for the 2014 season must have goal lines extending across the court. Maybe we should leave it because it makes it easier to see if someone is cheating? What do you think and why? Go:

Current Form
§3.1 – Start of the game
§3.1.1 – Players are stationary, on their bicycles,with rear wheel touching the boards behind the net.

I say send it back to the goal line and extend the goal line across the court. This won't even be necessary if there is a goal judge present because they can stand at the goal line and watch for early jumpers.

Paris did the goal line start at the euros last year, and it made much sense.
I, for one, thought that it was going to become a staple in polo (at the very least in Europe).

*Somebody please think of the children!!*

This might seem over-the-top, and would need some testing, but how about a keirin or team sprint style start. The goal ref could be responsible for holding the rider in a track stand and letting go of the bike at the whistle. This would also ensure that there's actually a goal ref clearly identified before a game--something that often fails to happen.

The jouster's teammates don't need to be as closely watched... just that they remain behind the goal line until the whistle.

  • keirin-start.JPG
kev wrote:

This might seem over-the-top, and would need some testing, but how about a keirin or team sprint style start. The goal ref could be responsible for holding the rider in a track stand and letting go of the bike at the whistle. This would also ensure that there's actually a goal ref clearly identified before a game--something that often fails to happen.

The jouster's teammates don't need to be as closely watched... just that they remain behind the goal line until the whistle.

ideally this is perfect. but if we're playing in a perfect world lets just get bmx start gates.
this won't happen. you can't get a ref to watch a game let alone get a goal judge to get active in a game. also hat happens if a goal judge fails to release in time? or fucks up and causes a mis joust/start?
i love the idea, but it's impractical. we need to stay in practical realm right now. in the future if refs and judges can show that they can in fact be trusted, then i think this is a splendid way to do things.

While I'm in favor of going back to the goal line, I do have to play devil's advocate on one small point:

Back to the wall prevents any kind of "rolling start". How do we tell between someone track standing behind the line, and someone rolling forward (pre-whistle) behind the line?

Or are both of those things ok?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

I wouldn't actually care what happens behind the goal line, as long as they don't cross.

If they can time a rolling start to cross just after the whistle, good luck to them.

A good question, and an adequate answer.

There's a self-inflicted penalty if a player overplays their forward roll while behind the goal line and the whistle isn't blown. They apply the brakes just as the whistle is blown.

We play goal line in DC, and it's fine. Either the board or the goal line serve as objective markers.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Here's how I'd like it:

§3.1 – Start of the game
§3.1.1 – Players are stationary, on their bicycles, with their rear and front wheels not crossing the goal line — which is drawn/taped off from side board to side board — until the referee signals the start of the game with the whistle.

I think goal line is the ideal.

1) It means a consistant distance between the bike and the ball (not all bikes are the same length).
2) It makes possible to track stand start (technically most track stand back wall starts will be false starts).

But... it does require a goal line. Many pickup courts won't have them, and some tournament courts in rainy conditions won't either.

So we probably need an exception for courts with no goal line, or accept on those sort of courts it won't be perfect.

Finally, if we do goal line, we probably should insist goal refs start the game on the side of the court, to judge it. Though when I'm goal reffing, I prefer to stand at the side, anyway, to see the line better.

I see no problem with having the wheel against the boards... makes for a fair joust with little chance of cheating

problem solved

  • valleydropball.jpg

Indeed.

I would love to see faceoffs.

Agreed, with regard to faceoffs. I think the joust is unnecessarily dangerous and dumb "play" in polo.

This, so much this.

has this been tried out? doesn't it lead to awkwardly hooking mallets while trying to push the ball towards a team mate? I love the joust (maybe because I always do it in my team) and I think it's a cool part of a polo game that makes for a fair start...

yes. we did this at last years valley tourney. it works and no its not really boring, also takes the lefty on the joust issue away. is it the best way for nah? probably not but worth the look at. i have never really been a big fan of the joust myself but it has always been apart of the game. personally i like the goal line as the starting point and not the back wall, but really does it matter? as long as both sides have to do it there is no advantage either way.

KEEP THE JOUST!

If you are going to do a face-off you might as well just do a coin toss. Lets make it more boring to watch.

I'm going to joust your face off at pick up tomorrow, John.

In all seriousness I think the joust makes things most exciting.

In all seriousness I think the joust makes things most exciting.

So everyone's good with coin flip? I'll skip the poll and review on this one and write it up.

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Fleet Velo -The Coin Flip

i always liked the goal line set up, but in the spirit of over complicating rules with technicalities, i'd say the wall is the best. back whels must touch, so there is no confusion if a wheel is slightly over a line, how much wheel can be over, is it the contact point of the wheel on the line, or behind it. the back wheel touching the wall eliminates all that stuff, and the back wheel of any bike has to travel the same distance to get a player to the ball.

"To start a game, all players must be behind the goal line. No part of a player's bicycle, equipment or body may break the vertical plane created by the goal line until the game is commenced by the referee."

Not really that complicated.

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Nick Kruse wrote:

"To start a game, all players must be behind the goal line. No part of a player's bicycle, equipment or body may break the vertical plane created by the goal line until the game is commenced by the referee."

Not really that complicated.

i guess not. nut how do you tell? are there lasers? can there be lasers? who will be in charge of providing the lasers?
actually, not jokeing, i don't think that using lasers would be that hard/expensive. theyre the same things they use for the doors.

Steal some off of a garage door opener.

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From a technical standpoint, this is really simple. Like $30 and a couple hours of work will get you a fairly robust system.

Personally I think scoreboards are a way better investment if we're going to start down the path of electronics for polo, but this is a pretty cheap/simple thing to do

nico.p wrote:

From a technical standpoint, this is really simple. Like $30 and a couple hours of work will get you a fairly robust system.

Personally I think scoreboards are a way better investment if we're going to start down the path of electronics for polo, but this is a pretty cheap/simple thing to do

this stops cheating, score boards are to be lazy and flashy. i'm making lasers.
also lasers... way cooler than "score boards". unless you made robots who flipped over the numbers. like in sandlot. but the kids were robots instead.

we can't even get water provided at some tournaments... and you think lasers are going to happen? lasers.

as long as we're building "robust" systems i think a better and more entertaining solution would be for each person to wear perimeter shock collars that refs can use.

relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuKva8GUwBk&t=1m20s

Someone needs to make a shock collar game happen

For $200 we can make this happen.

three of these.

That should be what it takes to get out of the loser's bracket from now on, final game and both teams strapped with those. Before the game have a raffle and choose three tickets for the three remotes and let the winners go wild during the game. Sell the tickets three for $5. Profit.

NAH is looking for ways to fund the org... boom... there... you guys can take my whole business plan for free.

People wonder how we are gonna enforce a crease? This is the future.

I smell an FCI rule...

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

llIIlllIIIllIlIIllIllIIlIllllIIlIlI wrote:

For $200 we can make this happen.

three of these.

That should be what it takes to get out of the loser's bracket from now on, final game and both teams strapped with those. Before the game have a raffle and choose three tickets for the three remotes and let the winners go wild during the game. Sell the tickets three for $5. Profit.

NAH is looking for ways to fund the org... boom... there... you guys can take my whole business plan for free.

hrrmmmmm....

I'd be down for a coin flip, Darkhorse is terrible at defending on the Joust.

But for serious I think against the wall is better than the goal line. And it's easier to instruct a goal judge to look for a space between the wall and the jousters tire.

Aside from blatant false starts does anybody look for players who track stand slightly off the wall? I know there are a few in Minneapolis who are guilty of that in pickup.

I was also seeing this just about every game I watched out at LA 4. I think part of the reason I favor the goal line to the wall is that the only reason to use the wall - easy, cut and dry "false start" calls - isn't really being used. Sure I didn't watch a ton of games, but I'd say 4 of the 6 (or so) games I watched had pretty obvious "daylight" between the wheel and wall before the whistle, but no calls.

If you're going to give people a few inches, why not make it the goal line?
If you're going to claim the wall is better because of the above, then enforce it.

Perhaps it could be hockey faceoff rules. If someone tries to jump the wall a little bit, it's not an automatic turnover but you re-start the joust and the jumper isn't allowed to go for it.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Let the ref chose where the joust starts ?!

Right v Right: Joust.
Left v Left: Joust.
Right v Left: Face-off or center court joust (side by side along the half court line).

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

I know that what we have now is a bit hard to conceptualize and I agree that the wording could be better and WILL be better in 2014. It is no doubt one of the more complex ideas in the current ruleset. But once you understand it, is there anything wrong with it?

If you could imagine the same concept as is portrayed in the rules right now, only written better, what is the issue with it? Just curious if there is one. If not, I'd like to keep it as it is. It covers situations that I've never actually even seen happen and it does so fairly, in my opinion, if they were ever to happen.

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I'm not very passionate about this particular topic, and I agree this is an area that is pretty well covered by the rules already.

The only situation I can think of that makes it relevant is in an elimination match that is tied and time expires. That re-joust is pretty critical, and so not handicapping a team whose fastest player is a lefty is a reasonable concern.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Yes, this is a reasonable point. We currently do it by majority, but given that roughly 10% of the population is left handed, a lefty majority is going to be rare.

And why should the team whose best jouster is a lefty be punished for that.

When teams have a lefty, we could ask the teams what sided joust they prefer, and do a coin toss if there is no agreement. But then what happens if the other team has no lefty at all?

I don't think there is a perfect answer when it comes to the joust, on some level it will always be unfair to lefties.

You don't invert a baseball diamond because a lefty wants to play third base.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Life is not fair to lots of people for lots of physical reasons, I guess. We can only rewrite the game to be so complex to accommodate. Fast lefties face a ton of advantages by having the mallet on that side of their body that more than make up for their inability to joust on the side they want to. They can still joust with an overhand. This is my opinion and I think the joust should default to the majority.

Not to mention the joust is really not that important as a strategical part of the game. I still almost believe it's better to just not go for it.

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As a left handed player and left hander in normal life, I will speak for every single left handed person in the world--EVERY SINGLE ONE--when I say none of us give a fuck about jousting... you right handed people can go ahead and have that all to yourselves.

I'm for Same-handed Joust only, however that gets worded. Daniel, I share your sentiments. To be fair tho, Lefty Joe Panizzo will joust a righty. Fearless, he is.

Lft v Rt joust, simple wording which directs bikes to one side of the ball. Like "bikes to be at left side of ball, unless a right side of ball joust is agreed upon"

I don't put much value in the winning of a joust but i do like it for the shotgun start it gives a match. Its all about roller derby, right?

Goal line is just as easy as boards to tell who jumped early - if that'll really get called. When all players say they are set and are behind the goal line, then both NAH approved goal judges should be able to tell if theyve jumped too early. Award possesion after two false starts.

I don't get the danger argument. It's a set play, one of the few in the game. Those that take it tend to be the most practiced at it. This makes it potentially less dangerous than most moments in a match.

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

The Joust has always been a part of polo.

However, it stands completely alone.

There is no point, in a match, in which 2 opposing players scream towards the ball (and each other), from a full court's distance, at full speed.

I think, this component of the start should be a major consideration in how to start a tournament game. Why are we beginning the game with a play that never happens throughout the remainder of the match??

Mr. Do wrote:

The Joust has always been a part of polo.

However, it stands completely alone.

There is no point, in a match, in which 2 opposing players scream towards the ball (and each other), from a full court's distance, at full speed.

I think, this component of the start should be a major consideration in how to start a tournament game. Why are we beginning the game with a play that never happens throughout the remainder of the match??

It's exciting?

It's a legit way to decide who ends up with initial ball possession and its fun.

Dropping the puck in hockey does not happen again in a match. Basketballs is based off an important aspect of the sport, jumping and ours is based off sprinting speed which is also important. Water polo starts with a sprint and horse polo begins with a drop and horse polo is not as good as hardcourt :D

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

Jeffery wrote:

Dropping the puck in hockey does not happen again in a match.

Shoot I don't know much about hockey then!

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

It's a ceremonial part of the game. It's supposed to be an even challenge to gain initial advantage.

The only point I care about it is in an elimination match when time has expired with a tie, and both teams re-joust for the final point. In this circumstance, no team should be disadvantaged by the rules of play because of the stakes of the match. If we don't address the left v righty thing, the sky won't fall, but something about it will seem unceremonious about it.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

And a faceoff would be just as ceremonial, fair, and wouldn't disadvantage lefties.

I'm intrigued by the idea of a faceoff, but I've never done one. What would the format be? Where are the other players allowed to be during the faceoff?

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

players our allowed in their own half at the start.

I like this. I want to try playing some matches like this. I can see more interesting strategies here.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

i'm going to get some video of it at the valley tourney in a couple of weeks. it is a pretty good way to start a game with the ref and 2 players at center court it adds a bit of flavor for the 3 involved and if there was ever a "whose ball is it" after an out of bounds it would work well too. ref could say i don't know drop ball. lefty v righty problem solved as well

What's this talk of "exciting jousts?" I've never left a tournament and thought about that really exciting joust afterwards. Thinking about it I can't even conjure up a single memory of a single joust I've ever seen.

I also have a memory like a jellyfish and don't really like to watch polo.

the only jousts i remember are the ones where people got hurt or a bike got really fucked up

sort of like past relationships.

thankfully no bicycles have been harmed in my history of breakups. guitars and kitchen knives on the other hand...

the only bike polo matches i remember also where people got hurt of a bike got fucked.

You want to solve the fast start issue? Have 3 volunteers stand behind each team (at either line) and hold them up in a trackstand and not let go until the ref blows the start whistle. That'll end the false start issue for sure.
And, as OP suggested, goal line across the court would be nice.

How 'bout we throw odds or evens? Rock-paper-scissors? Consrtuct a sort of randomized ball launching canon?
Put the goal judge at the goal-line for a joust and allow just the jousters at the goal line. Establish a code of conduct of how a joust is taken (i.e only on dominant side...), and a contingency for off-handers (i.e. Jousters establish their path prior to the whistle). Y'know, communicate & shit.
At this point in the game, we should glorify and immortalize all that makes our sport both unique and archaic (or maybe just crazy). Sure the joust is pointless, sure we get hurt! Isn't that why we scavenge and modify the most hardcore of sporting equipment? And don't deny that your pulse quickens when not but an orange mylec sits at centre court and you hear that sweet, sweet count-down.
Hell yeah?

Stay on target...!

We've been doing goal lines this weekend at the Euro Bench, mainly because there was an existing line there.

Worked well.

Face offs won't work for polo.

At the start of a hockey game, you have a box of four team mates to kick the puck out to if you win the face off, plus a full time goalie.

In polo, you would have one other player to get the ball to if you won. Your third team mate should be in goal, in case the other team won the face off and took a shot.

So you would either have to shuffle the ball past your face off opponent and race ahead for it, or pass to one place everyone else on the court can see and plan for. If the ball went in any other direction you would all end up sprinting for it to start the game. And, oh, hey. Sprinting for the ball. Lookit that.

Retired.

I personally love the faceoff and doing away with what is becoming increasingly dangerous part of the game as more and more players are faster and more competitive.

It was shunned by too many to allow for me to use it in our local friendly, however, as much as I have loved using the faceoff in Canada.

PROPOSAL: Joust line. Make it the same distance from center-court, in front of the goal, similar to a hockey blue-line. This would do away with the variable of joust speeds based on court sizes, and still keep what has been a part of polo while also increasing safety and consistency of play between courts.

You knows it

Why don't we shorten the distance of the joust? Why not set up two opposing players at half on the sides of the court and have them joust for the ball at the middle (same spot as if they jousting from the ends)?

The other four players can place themselves strategically on their respective defensive half.

Maybe this idea is too outrageous, but it would shorten the distance and therefore speed of the players. It keeps the joust in the sport. It allows both sides to prepare for winning or losing the ball.

Worth trying at pickup?

A few people have suggested this, and it accommodates a lefty v right jousts as well. I can't recall anyone reporting that they've done it at their club.

Additional thought: If the ref is at the half court line, they'll be able to tell if someone jumps the gun better.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

A (possibly undesirable) side effect of this would be that the joust winner pulling to ball to his left (as 90% of jousts are taken) would be retreating back to his own half, rather than pushing into the opponents half.

A big part of the advantage of winning a joust is that, if the opposing jouster really went for it, he's now back on your half and behind the play. Jousting from the sidelines takes away that risk reward; with both players peeling back toward their defensive half, you're never gonna have those quick 1v2 breaks after a joust.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Important point.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Why do you guys want to get rid of the joust, man? We've all been there to witness it: final game of a heated tournament, the sun low in the sky, the entire length of the boards occupied by a person slapping something against the wood. The low rumble, the tension, the two teams lined up. You could cut the air with a knife. AND THEN!!!

THE WHISTLE! Some hardcore players rushing for the ball! It's going to go north or it's going to go south. THE GAME IS ON!

Why are we talking about putting a tranquilizer to that? It's tradition. It's a defining aspect of our game. People who haven't seen it before love it. And I will add that the fact that our game is a bit dangerous and reckless is something that drew me to it. Describing the joust as "dangerous" above all the other things it is strikes me as super weak. I didn't get into this sport to watch the community slowly neuter all the dangerous aspects of the game.

I think it's okay that it's not entirely important and that lefties are a bit disadvantaged and all that stuff, because the joust is ours, man. Holding on to traditions like that is important. We need to be our own sport!

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Admittedly, my heart does go a flutter when a final match is tied up and it's time for a re-joust. Especially a score on the joust makes for a sort of one-strike samurai feel and very satisfying conclusion to a match as an observer.

I agree in the end that protecting the ceremonial elements of the game are a higher priority.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Yeah, I merely offered my subpar suggestion to see what people thought. Taking this excitement out of the game isn't what I wanna do. If people find it too dangerous, don't do it.

I'm not big on what-spectators-think arguments—especially when it comes to the future of the shot—but just the other day here a guy was watching as we lined up and asked me, "Do you guys ever joust, like go right at each other?"

I said, "Yup, we're about to."
His response was simply, "Fuck yeah."

cdees is right. with polo specific courts popping up, i'd love to see some polo specific markings showing up. i don't like the idea of standardization of the courts overall, the standardization of markings is a stpe towards making it our sport, not another sport. i think a standard joust line is a great idea. i also think a second marking should be the goal line, crossing the entire court. so there would be 5 lines total. the goal line, the joust line, the half court line, the opposing joust line and the opposing goal line.

Kruse also hit on the point that i think is most important. We need to be our own sport.