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Bike on Bike: Is there ever a "right of way" in bike polo?

The situation: You're on offense and in possession of the ball. You are being chased by a defender. You turn in (toward them), causing your rear wheel to contact their front wheel. This would technically read as you initiating contact, and thus a penalty could be given. However, at some level isn't this exact scenario the type where the defense is "beat" and the lane belongs to the offender (since they are in front), and so a sort of (and pardon the phrase) "right of way" logically overrule the "initiates contact" wording?

What are your thoughts about this?

Would your thoughts change if it was reversed (A defender wins the lane and closes it on the offense)?

I always figured it was whoever has the wheel. You should be in control of your bike at all times.

That being said you also have to be careful. Let say for example you dab and after tapping in you notice someone has a breakaway. you-going 0 mph-probably shouldn't dart in front a player going 15+ for the sake of safety even if you are ahead.

- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

Suicide King wrote:

That being said you also have to be careful. Let say for example you dab and after tapping in you notice someone has a breakaway. you-going 0 mph-probably shouldn't dart in front a player going 15+ for the sake of safety even if you are ahead.

I agree with you that safety should always be a consideration. But imagine being in a 4-4 finals game and being the last defender back, and taking the line of a streaking opponent is the only way to prevent him from getting past you (and on to the open net).

Would doing so be a penalty?

If it is a penalty, what rule are you breaking?
If it is not a penalty, should it be?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

In soccer whoever is ahead matters but what also matters is who initiated the contact and whether it was a goal scoring opportunity. So yes the person darting in front should be penalized. If your only chance of stopping the player is to create a crash then you are beat. And I believe once you've been beat one on one or otherwise then fouling the player is bs.

Slightly related

30 second penalties need to be in the game more until people learn. It really sucks when you are on a clean break and someone drags you down from behind. Then when you are to hurt to move all you can do is hop in net while your team is awarded a turnover at half court. Happens all the time.

- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

Suicide King wrote:

If your only chance of stopping the player is to create a crash then you are beat. And I believe once you've been beat one on one or otherwise then fouling the player is bs.

But this is the fundamental question we're trying to answer. If the rule is that there is no "line" or "right of way", then the defender who just gets in front of the streaking offensive player hasn't been beat. He got there first. If you wanna beat me as a defender, you've gotta get to that point before I do. You've gotta "beat" me to it.

I'm not talking about sticking my mallet in your wheel from behind. I'm talking about getting there first. If I get to a point on the court before you do, why were you assuming that point on the court was gonna be vacant?

Now in practice people are conscious of their own safety, and usually moreso the safety of others, and will concede lines to people who are flying out of control. I do this every night in pickup, but when it happens I think "I'm too nice...".
I think "He's lucky I didn't just plant my front wheel into the wall. He would have had no outs."

At a certain point the offensive player needs to be responsible for their safety too. You don't fly toward a gap at full speed and just assume the gap will still be there when you arrive. That's just as reckless as the guy closing the gap knowing you can't stop. Takes two to play chicken.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

If I'm playing defense, and the player I'm defending is on my left side (right side if they're a lefty)/slightly ahead of me & turns into me, I try to stay parallel with them, yet close enough in proximity to disable their mallet if possible. I don't want to hurt anyone (or draw a penalty), but I don't want to dab, either. Both players *should* have some control of their bikes IMO.

If I was on offense & my rear wheel was likely to hit the defender's front wheel, I would expect them to at least try & take some corrective action as far as the positioning of their bike. If I'm slightly ahead of them & have possession of the ball, I'm likely trying to distance myself from them and/or take evasive action myself.

No.

I don't see how you could initiate contact, without having ridden through them in first place, as the rear wheel will just follow the front. In all likelyhood, if you cut across the front of someone they will initiate contact by riding into you.

I'm asking to examine the wording we use. Are you saying that they initiate contact by *not* turning; holding their line? I don't object to this logic, but it would imply a different and ambiguous definition of "initiate" as per the rules.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Yes.

My logic would be the player in front is not aiming to ride into another bike, whereas the player coming form behind has the option to turn away (in theory), to avoid the collision, but does not.

The rear wheel does follow the front wheel, but it doesn't ride along the same line on the ground.

It is not difficult to initiate contact with the side of your rear wheel on a stationary player by simply turning in front of them. In the case of a whale tale or skid, this is a penalty. In the case of simply turning...

This will never get called against the player doing the cutting-off, because it will always be seen as the other player colliding with them.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

This is the crux of it, right here. You can start with front wheels lined up even and turn into a stationary player while only traveling forward. Because you can do this, I think it proves that the one who initiates contact isn't always the one who gets cut off -- it isn't always the person being turned into.

My original thoughts were that when cutting someone off (on a breakaway like this, for example), the offensive player's bike is always going to be at some angle in relation to the defender's bike. It sort of follows, in my mind, that all contact that occurs between the defensive player's front wheel and the offensive player's bike's "side" is the fault of the defender.

As shown from the picture you've drawn, this isn't *always* the case. Honestly though, I feel a ref should rule on the side of the offensive player when in doubt. It is my belief that in such a scenario, the defensive player is essentially beat on the ball. Contact will be their fault a large majority of the time, simply because of the offensive player's ability to put their bike on an angle in relation to forward motion of the defensive player. The defensive player is usually traveling at the same speed or faster than the offensive player, they are usually extended forward in order to get a mallet on the mallet of the offensive player, and when there is a crash it is usually because they toppled the offensive player. IMO.

I know this is silly but if you draw vectors of the direction and magnitude of travel at the instance of contact, I'm nearly sure that it becomes more apparent that the defender is at fault. But I don't know for sure.

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fixcraft.net

Nick Kruse wrote:

My original thoughts were that when cutting someone off (on a breakaway like this, for example), the offensive player's bike is always going to be at some angle in relation to the defender's bike. It sort of follows, in my mind, that all contact that occurs between the defensive player's front wheel and the offensive player's bike's "side" is the fault of the defender.

We've struggled with this a bit in our club. My thought on it is that if the above isn't the rule, then how are you expected to play? Ruling it any other way seem to mean that you're basically not allowed to turn if you're near other people, which doesn't sound like a kind of game I'd want to play.

The way I see it, if I'm sprinting down the lane with someone and they're able to break away in front of me, they've "Won" and I better be prepared for them to turn to get position on the goal, setup a pass, whatever. If I don't anticipate them, you know... riding their bike, then it's my fault if we collide. Again, I just can't imagine how else the game could function.

I sorta think of it like racing on a road course - if someone has setup a good line on a turn, you don't dive early into the turn and then expect them to just back off while you take a shitty line or even worse, create a big pile up. You say "maybe next time", concentrate on the next corner to get a better line for the next turn.

Safety first is my thought, though lots of people play goal over everything else. In your specific example, I cant imagine you would get called for it since they were behind you, should have been paying enough attention to see you turn and be in control of their bike enough to stop. Its debatable sure, but isnt everything always?

Get rad

The current wording of the bike on bike penalty is only regarding who initiates contact, and says incidental contact is ok.

Quote:

§3.1 – Bike contact
§3.1.1 – Aplayerwho causes contact between their bike and the bike or body of an opponentwill be assessed a
penalty ranging from ball turnoverto major.
§3.1.1.1 – Examples of penalized bike contact can include:
§3.1.1.1.1 – Aplayerriding his or her bicycle in such away thatwheel-to-wheel or
wheel-to-frame contact is initiated on an opponent.This includes collisionwith an
opponentwhile riding forwards OR backwards.
§3.1.1.1.2 – Skidding to a stopwhile changing directionswhich results inwheel-to-wheel or
wheel-to- bike contact on an opponent.This is commonly referred to as
the “whale tail” or “dolphin slap”.
§3.1.1.1.3 – Causing contact to an opponent’s bikewith your chainstay, pedals, or any other part
of your bike.
§3.1.1.2 – Incidental bike-on-bike contact is contact that doesn’t affect play and is not dangerous.
No penaltywill be assessed for bike contact deemed incidental

Situation: I block a guy - text book his wheel in the front of my triangle block. Contact is initiated because I cut off his line and his momentum carried him into me, but neither of us fall or anything and he just gets locked up how I want him.

Instead of trying to hop out or back up, he then proceeds to pedal forward pushing my bike with his bike until I fall over.

The "initiation" and "cause" of the contact was mutual and incidental. What's the call? Does the ultimate consequence of the play ("play is affected") retroactively negate the "incidental contact" exclusion?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

I would call the second act of pedaling forward a separate instance of contact initiated by the player. The first one was incidental because you did not fall over. The second act of pedaling into you was, however, not incidental because you did fall over.

I believe this situation would be accounted for with the current rule set but I agree that this section may need a revisit in terms of wording. It is not very succinct and could be written more elegantly to better account for the range of contact we see.

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fixcraft.net

yup just dont be a dick #1 rule

two asshole's don't make it right"
BUTT three asshole's make a good team"

initiating contact is an interpretation, i have always viewed and played by the assumption of "play for the ball not the man" an example would be i have the ball and face a head on challenge, i play the ball forward to the defenders non mallet side then proceed to pedal around his mallet side. if the defender steers into my path the defender has initiated the contact, he is no longer playing for the ball, my t-bone is not my fault. penalty should be awarded to the offence if there is not a play on advantage.
another is if i have the ball and am ahead of the defender, turn and the defender does not turn with me but t-bones me, its an incidental contact that cannot be helped there is no foul and no penalty. both players are playing for the ball.

brian from ottawa wrote:

an example would be i have the ball and face a head on challenge, i play the ball forward to the defenders non mallet side then proceed to pedal around his mallet side. if the defender steers into my path the defender has initiated the contact, he is no longer playing for the ball, my t-bone is not my fault.

Man I don't agree with that at all. I think a significant portion of the game is played "off the ball" and positioning your bike to disrupt the offensive player's plan is just good defense.

In the situation you're talking about, if you play the ball to my non mallet side I will try to slow you down every time, in order to give my teammate a chance to pick up the loose ball. If you run into me, you run into me. I'm doing what I can to put you in a bad offensive position.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

position and last second reaction off the play are two different things at best you can steer the player wide but if you have caused a collision by veering into a players path and the ball has is no longer in play ?

Don't agree at all. You should have predicted he might do that, and have a plan B, or be able to stop in time.

There is no concept of on the ball and off the ball play in polo rules right now (except for trapping)

I do this move all the time, people hate it and I sometimes get called for it... I have no right/wrongs to offer but it feels "iffy" and could possibly be called as a topple (as you often gain an advantage for your team by suiciding yourself in front of an opponent)?

I've never considered falling down in front of somebody on purpose but I am definitely not adverse to turning my front wheel 90 degrees to try and block his front wheel if he's trying to pass me close head on.

Blocking with the bike is never illegal in polo (except prolonged trapping). If you wanna get past me, go around me. If you can't go around me, get comfortable.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014