We’re happy to announce that Jennifer Spencer is the new NAH President. Regional Reps cast their votes on December 17th, 2018 and Jenny won the required majority of votes. All reps who voted, voted “Yes” to her assuming the role of President. Regional Reps were asked to connect with their region’s Club Reps to garner feedback from their region’s players to inform their vote.
NAH has a lot of work ahead and Jenny is excited to collaborate with the Regions, the Regional Reps and the NAH team to create a stronger organization (through planning, strategizing and hard work) that can deliver the polo experience many players are asking for and desire. In addition, NAH will work to create better transparency and communication with the players it represents.
In addition to taking on the NAH President position, Jenny will join Mark Aseltine, the NAH Tournament Director, as the International Representatives for North America in the World Hardcourt Bike Polo Organizing Committee (WHBPOC). They will be working with other international reps, two from each region of the world, to facilitate the organization of the World Championship slated for 2019 in Argentina.
In addition to working with the WHBPOC, Jenny is excited to work and collaborate with the international bike polo community in the future to learn from each other, develop and share ideas and resources, grow the sport and create professional, fun and competitive bike polo tournaments and other events.
Jenny would like to encourage folks in the bike polo community to get involved with NAH. She will be posting a list of projects NAH is spearheading and needs help completing in the following weeks. Please stay tuned and get ready to get involved in growing and developing bike polo!
The NAH put out a call in November for applications for vacant leadership positions. NAH received only one application for the NAH President position and zero applications for the Rules Director and Rules Coordinator positions.
The application for NAH President will go to the Regional Reps for a vote on December 17th, 2018. Regional Reps will contact their regional Club Reps for input and feedback to inform their votes. Club Reps should communicate and discuss the NAH President candidate with their club members and communicate their input and feedback to their Regional Reps by December 16th, 2018. We will post the Regional Reps’ decision on December 19th, 2018.
Below you will find Jennifer’s application for the NAH President position. Each candidate was asked to explain what they would like to accomplish as the NAH President.
Candidate: Jennifer Spencer
I started playing bike polo in Davis, California a little over five years ago. A number of my friends started the club and while I hung-out and watched, took photos and helped organize some of the club tournaments, I was scared to play. Finally I agreed to try it, just once, I said. And of course, as happens to most of us, that one try turns into years. Over the last couple of years and because of bike polo, I’ve traveled all over Europe, the US, and Mexico to play polo and make new friends. I’ve had the opportunity to learn many skills through organizing club tournaments, the 2016 NAHBPC in Folsom, running skills clinics for players, building the Bike Polo Calendar, coming up with drills to improve my own game and then sharing them, along with other players’ drills on the Bike Polo Drills page, and serving as the NAH Outreach Coordinator.
Combining my passion for the sport, with the the skills that I’ve gained as a community organizer, I want to help create growth in bike polo and build a more resilient organization by becoming the new NAH President.
The NAH President is going to have a lot to deal with this year. Worlds is slated for 2019 and the format is 3v3 instead of 5v5 which means NAH will need to determine how to format and throw its qualifiers and NAH championship to help teams ramp-up for Worlds. In addition, many folks who’ve worked with NAH over the years are stepping down or stepping into smaller roles so NAH will need to reach out to the polo community for volunteers willing to take on responsibilities at NAH.
While Worlds and the 2019 NAH series is looming on the horizon (requiring a lot of work, time and attention), we still need to be thinking long term and not just focusing on our yearly responsibilities. The President and NAH needs to work towards creating a more resilient and robust organization. An organization that will help develop NAH bike polo and create the kind of play experience players are looking for. Players want better organized and reffed NAH tournaments, better gender representation, more visibility of the sport, and many other things.
In addition, the President needs to create an organization where NAH volunteers can develop valuable skills (such as leadership and organizing) that will contribute to their own lives as well as the bike polo community. As of right now there are few incentives for folks to volunteer with NAH. Many who do end up feeling burnt-out, overwhelmed, overworked and unappreciated. The President needs to find ways to build moral, make volunteering and doing all the tedious and not-so-fun work that needs to get done a valuable and rewarding experience for volunteers and also useful for the NAH bike polo community.
As the President of NAH my main goal, especially this coming year, would be to create an organization that has the infrastructure and ability to start making strides towards all the awesome things we want out of NAH bike polo. This means getting organized: creating a better organizational structure/system that has more clearly articulated roles and responsibilities, creating a system of regular communication between NAH players to improve transparency, getting Regional Reps more involved, articulating the Regional Reps and NAH leadership roles and responsibilities more clearly, etc.
As an organization, where are we going? What’s NAH’s mission? What do we want to accomplish in the next two, five, and 10 years? How will decisions be made and by whom? And most importantly, given all the things we WANT out of NAH and want to see in NAH bike polo, HOW do we get there? What do we need to do to make it happen?
We need a game plan.
All of these things need to be thought-out, planned, researched, and scaled according to our means. We need to consider how we will sustain the growth we want to see, how will we maintain our organization, etc. We won’t be able to achieve all our big wants right away, we need to be realistic about what we can do with the “people-power” willing to work at and with NAH.
We also need patience and a willingness to reflect and revise our plans and strategies as we go; try things out, experiment, reflect, revise, keep going. As the President, I’ll be looking to Regional Reps to take on more responsibilities and to work closely with their regions and me to move forward.
Having a well thought-out and articulated plan and projects will make it easier for folks to know how they can contribute and get involved with NAH, something we desperately need.
You’ll note that I’ve been referring to “NAH bike polo” not “bike polo.” I’m doing this because NAH is not bike polo, NAH is part of the community of bike polo. NAH has had a huge influence on how the game is played at competitive tournaments and in how clubs play pickup. Many bike polo players have high hopes and expectations that NAH will continue to push the sport forward in meaningful ways, and it will, but some players may just want to be part of a fun community of folks playing pickup and may never attend an NAH sanctioned tournament, or any tournament for that matter, and that’s cool too.
I think assuming NAH can and should be the sole organization working on behave of the bike polo community is unrealistic, at least at this time. NAH cannot serve every need/want nor should it. NAH can do a lot, and as it matures and grows, even more. But my hope is that as bike polo grows, more organizations, associations, consortiums, networks, businesses and groups come together to support each other, to do cool stuff for and with the bike polo community and allow for a diverse expression of interests and needs.
We’re a talented, imaginative, and creative bunch and I think we’re just getting started in developing, experimenting and trying new things to grow the sport and the community. I’d love to be part of this growth as your NAH President.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
To apply, send a photo of yourself and answers to the following questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit your answers to a total of 1000 words.
What role are you applying for?
What skills and experience do you have that qualify you for this role?
In this role, what do you hope to accomplish at NAH?
After we collect applications, regional reps will have a chance to discuss and vote for the applicant they feel best qualified. We will share each application with the larger bike polo community, if you have an opinion/feedback on an applicant, get in touch with your regional rep and let them know your thoughts in order to inform their vote!
Deadline to apply: December 1, 2018
As President of the NAH, your job is to set the organization’s annual objectives, assign duties and tasks to the NAH team. Much of your time will go to managing challenges as they arise and providing your team members guidance and support with their objectives. The President also manages many aspects of public relations for the NAH. You will be the primary point of contact when media outlets, private organizations, or government agencies need information. You will be the primary person to engage directly with other continental bike polo leadership when coordinating on global tasks. You will be responsible to create some portion of the social media and website content as needed. If an agenda item for the organization requires additional help, you will be the primary person responsible for recruiting additional people or providing assistance as you can.
The job is very open in how you manage these duties. The NAH is an organization that has benefited from not micromanaging each member’s individual tasks and individual role agendas. E.g., The President does not overrule the Rules Director on how rules are written or overrule the Tournament Director on how the NAH series is conducted. The President ensures that the rules are managed properly then documented and that the NAH series is being planned diligently. This tradition has proven invaluable to building trust in and outside of the organization. The President maintains and establishes traditions in the sport and events.
Ultimately, the role of the NAH President is to set the agenda of the organization.
The Rules Director is responsible for maintaining the digital version of the NAH ruleset, which is hosted on Gitbooks. They will proofread and copy/edit the ruleset each time a change is made. They will need to coordinate translation of the ruleset to different languages as needed, including when changes are made. They will initiate and participate in discussions of rules with players and other regions. They will mediate and address concerns of the ruleset. They will collaborate with the Tournament Director for tournament format and format rules as needed. They will collaborate with the Referee Coordinator for application of and educational materials as needed.
The Referee Coordinator is responsible for recruitment, retention, training, and coordination of North America’s volunteer referee pool. The Referee Coordinator recruits and organizes the refs for the North American Championship. They are also responsible for building and maintaining ref training materials. The Referee Coordinator will also work in concert with the Rules Director on a number of fronts, such as the implementation of rule additions or changes (i.e. how is this new rule going to get called, how should we train our referees on what to look for), as well rules feedback from players and referees. The Referee Coordinator should expect to participate in rules committee discussions and act as a liaison on such discussions from the perspective of the volunteer referee group.
Milwaukee was rainy and chilly, but we witnessed some of the best bike polo the world has ever seen! San Francisco’s very own, Control, beat Bob Ross in a dramatic final game. This is a Control three-peat at the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship!
2018 NAHBPC Standings:
1st – Control
2nd – Bob Ross
3rd – Superpolo
4th – Mosquito
T5th – Peanuts
T5th – Quietly, Once
T5th – Les Beehive Baes
T5th – 🔥🙃
Most Valuable Player – Andrew “Shitty” Wayland (Control)
Most Fair Player – Patti Youn (Les Beehive Baes)
Thanks to all of our referees, goal judges and time/scorekeepers!
Huge shoutout to David Barthod from SLC for throwing together the live stream last minute! Also, thanks to everyone that chipped in money to help and all of the people who helped run the equipment!
You can watch the raw live stream on our YouTube channel for now. Soon we will be posting full games from Court A in the following weeks as we edit them. If you subscribe to our channel, you can get notifications when new videos are posted!
PRO TIP: Using the link above, you will see a “SUBSCRIBE” button which will enable email notifications when the stream is live. If you are using the YouTube app, you should be able to set up push notification for your phone.