2018 North American Bike Polo

Happy belated new year to all!  We hope you’re enjoying your winter, and maybe (weather permitting) finding some time to play polo!

The NAH wants to give you a rundown of some of our initiatives for the end of winter into spring, as well as introduce some new team members!  We also know that everyone is eager to know what this season will look like, and we can report some early details to help you in your bike polo season planning and scheduling!

Initiatives

WTF-FRST – One of the things we were most proud of in 2017 was working with WTF-FRST to get six bike polo scholarships out to WTF athletes to assist in their development and competitive season!  In 2018, we intend to continue the program, and with the generous contributions from the bike polo community, we hope to exceed our previous year!

Going Official – The NAH is a registered corporation in the District of Columbia that is tax exempt due to its 501(c)3 status.  This was the primary feature that let us bid for the money we needed to put on the WHBPC stream last year!  This taught us a lot, but it also got use thinking about what kinds of more formal and official structures that could be established at the local level so that clubs could take advantage of public funds and non-profit status to build infrastructure.  What we’ve seen in the past is often a club will have a PayPal account that is in reality simply a member’s private account.  This is a good vehicle for collecting funds, but if that person was audited by the IRS, they might have a very bad time proving they didn’t owe back taxes.  For these reasons and more, the NAH has a new initiative to get clubs to formally incorporate so that they also have legal and financial protections.  This initiative in 2018 will consist of a series of documents on how to do this, but may additionally include some limited financial support for the associated processing fees that the state will collect.

Grants – Building off the last initiative, we’ve brought on a new team member to search publicly listed grants that clubs might be able to use for tournaments or infrastructure development.  Anyone who has been around for a while and worked on polo development knows that this is the biggest thing holding us back.

The NAH Team

Alias Tagami – President, Governor, Treasurer

Mark Aseltine – Tournament Director

Kayla Story – Outreach Director [NEW]

Joe Rstom – Rules Director, Head Ref

Megan Shoop – Grants & Public Programs Coordinator [NEW]

Adam Hite – Web Development

Alyssa Johnes – Graphic Design [NEW]

Jennifer Spencer – Social Media Director

Will Robbins – Reffing Consultant

2018 NAH Schedule

The details as of today are few, but we can tell you that we plan to have a later season than the previous year.  This is in part due to only hosting one major, the NAHBPC.  As with each year we try to constrain the NA championship to some later point in the year then work backwards in season planning.  We want all region qualifiers to be finished with eight weeks to spare before NAs.  This provides some time for teams to plan and save money.  We will continue to use the Squad format.

Who will host RQs?  The RQs have always been the responsibility of the regions to coordinate and plan.  The NAH’s position remains as it has in previous years, once regional allocations of teams are published, we leave it to the regions to decide how they will send their teams.  We know that each region has different challenges in coordinating and hosting, so we hope to see creative leadership from clubs and NAH Regional Reps.

Who will host NAs?  We’ve had some rumors fly around, but we will introduce a place to submit bid info next month.  This year the NAH will do something different.  We will provide starter funds for the host club.  These starter funds increase with the number of criteria the host bid fulfills (e.g., More money if the host is providing three courts versus two).  Expect to see a post on this topic to come soon in the next weeks.

2017 was an incredible year for North American bike polo.  But before we get too far into 2018, we’d like to thank a few people and groups in particular.  First a foremost, the hosts of the WHBPC, Lexington Bike Polo.  We could not have made it happen without the generous contribution from our sponsor Kentucky for Kentucky and the generous public grant from the Kentucky Department of Tourism!  Special thanks to Broomwagan Coffee & Bikes, West Sixth Brewing, County Club, and numerous other local businesses who helped make players from around the world have the greatest time in Lexington.  We had lots of other sponsors pour in prizes for the WHBPC as well like Pake and RYB Denim.  Rustbelt Welding provided trophies for the NAHBPC and WHBPC.  We want to also thank Lancaster United Bike Polo and DC Bike Polo for their work on the NAHBPC.  We’d like to thank all of the hosts of the regional qualifiers. We couldn’t have done without you!

If you have any thoughts or ideas on how to help us on the year or if you’d like to get more involved, email Alias (alias@nahardcourt.com).

2017 NAHBPC Squad List

The NAH is proud to announce the squads for the 2017 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship!

Cascadia
Bob Ross – (C) Sterling Quinn, Kouyo Maeda, Nick McLean, Chris Hammersly, Jessi Connors
Crunchy – (C) Aaron Hand, Pete Abram, Gavin Thurston, Diego Ayala, David Barthod

Southwest
The Control – (C) Andrew Weyland, Eric Stahl David, Forrest Timonere, Jacki Rust, Bruce Wahl
Wade Boggs’ Corndawgs – (C) Chandel Bodner, Stiven Jaramillo, Matthew Upmeyer, Jody Beavers, Alex Ciancimino

Heartland
Ghost Ship – (C) Tony White, Kayla Story, David Frankhouser, Kaleb Christian, Peter Brown
Edmund Fitzgerald – (C) Travis Davies, Adam Say, Sergio Andres Pineda, Ben Hunter, Rob Glatfelter, Tiffany Morrow

Eastside
Judgment – (C) Arnold Francisco, Shelley Smith, Bernadette Watts, Tyler Ferris, Addison Minott
Rat Queen – (C) Nate Mumford, Zack Blackburn, Erica Compton, Jennifer Kutzleb, Nico Millard

Great Lakes
Abracadabra – (C) Zack Reuter, Matt Bobel, The Betsy, Caleb Trujillo, Mark Frens
The Hardwoods – (C) Seth Carlson, Tyler Wildman, Dylan Carlson, Flynn Carlson, Matt Bolenbaugh
*Wildcard – (C) Thanh Nguyen, Sean Weber, Jan Dolo, Tommy Olsen, James Detlef

South Central
Bandits – (C) Andy Hill, Charles Fox, Kody Day, Zack Hollandsworth, David Torres

Great Plains
Mosquito – (C) Will Robbins, Daren McLean, Andrea Cessna, Nick Dellwo, Greg Rooke, Sean Marsh

Southeast
Ursa Minor – (C) Bob Delgado, Jimmy Gunderson, Kyle Buonocore, Danny Wood, Graham Notestine, Melanie Annis
*Pan Rabbit – (C) Emma Breen, Matt Krofcheck, Mike Blu, Jason Farthing, Sergei Max Hubscher Cook

Northside
Low Key Hugs – (C) Wes Bartlett, Jon McPherson, Justin Bella, Charles Reinagel, Meghan, Ryan

Mexico
Annunakis – (C) Raúl Mendoza, Flavia Leguizamon, Yair Romero, Pablo Enriquez, Omar Rosas, Kevin Gamboa
*Cámara No Me Awuito – (C) Kevin Eder, Angel Torres, Omayra Bolanos, Joe Rstom, James Frick-Tordella

(C) – Squad Captain
* – Squad entered by open registration

 

For more information on the NAHBPC go to the official event page:  http://nahbpc17.com/

 

Rules Updates for NAH Qualifiers

We’ve already begun to implement feedback we’ve received from players and have made a few immediate updates to the ruleset that was released earlier in April. Thank you for all of your input! It truly helps guide future development.

Qualifier organizers are advised to used this latest edition, and are still allowed to petition for exemptions to any rules that create unreasonable hardship for players. This is just an example of how all of this is a work in progress and flexibility will facilitate progress.

Read it here.

Here are the changes – aside from typos – with explanations:

  • 2.4 – Bicycles
  • 2.4.2 – The handlebars are plugged or capped, and can extend no more than 12 13 inches (12″ 13″ or 305mm 330mm) from the center of the stem.

We increased the maximum handlebar limit to accommodate commonly available sizes and to ease the community into this new rule.

  • 2.5 – Mallets
    • 2.5.2.4 – The inner diameter of any hole on the mallet head may not exceed 2.25” 2.3”(57mm 58.5mm). The maximum outside diameter of the mallet head may not exceed 2.559″ (65mm).

After years of mallet progress and misinterpretation of the rule, we’ve simply adjusted this number to reflect what is available in the market. We’ll be exploring the maximum ID and maximum OD over the course of this year and we are discussing this with all of the major manufacturers. If you have a strong opinion about this, please email me (respectfully).

  • 5.6 – Carrying
  • 5.6.2 – Carrying with the body is defined as using a hand, or other part of the body, to shoot, pass, or otherwise deliberately redirect or add momentum to the ball. If a player uses their hand to “catch” the ball out of the air they must immediately drop the ball on the ground below the point at which the ball was caught.
    • §5.6.2.1 – A defensive player within their own crease may deliberately redirect, but may not “catch”, an airborne ball that is below shoulder height to prevent it from entering the net.

It was observed that a goalie should rightfully be allowed to bat an airborne ball away from the crease, instead of being forced to catch it and drop it. Only defensive players are allowed to do this, within the crease and below shoulder height.

  • 6.7 – Game Misconduct
  • 6.7.2 – If necessary to avoid escalation, the Referee immediately stops game play to end the altercation. Otherwise, the penalty is called per §1.1.9.3. Possession goes to the fouled team and the game restarts according to §4.2.3 with the following modifications:
    • §6.7.2.1 – The offending player is removed from the court for the remainder of the game and their team continues play with 2 players on the court for 2 minutes – the rest duration of the a game major with penalty 2– eligible before players. a third player can enter play.
    • §6.7.2.2 – Following the issuance of a game misconduct penalty, the offending player is subject to tournament ejection based on review by the head Referee.

The old game misconduct for 3v3 logically forced 2v3 for the duration of a game. I didn’t realize how this would affect squad games, so I adjusted it to only impact the team the way a Major penalty would. The player who receives a game misconduct is not allowed to reenter the game, but a 3rd player from the bench can enter play after 2 minutes.

You can see this update here: https://www.gitbook.com/book/nahbpa/nah-ruleset-2017/changes/48

Posted in NAH

Ruleset Update for the 2017 Season

I am happy to present the 2017 NAH Ruleset for the 2017 Qualifying Season, NAHBPC and WHBPC. This ruleset is the most significant update since 2014 when NAH introduced version 4.3. Once again, this version ushers in a new delivery format and naming convention as well as a new process for collaborating and play-testing rules. I will first outline a short list of the most relevant changes, then I explain how it will be implemented and updated moving forward, and lastly I will explain how you can contribute to future efforts.

A PDF is available, but you can read the Ruleset on any device here: https://nahbpa.gitbooks.io/nah-ruleset-2017/content/

The 2017 Ruleset includes the following significant changes:

1. Delayed Penalties
Instead of an advantage being played out endlessly, the Referee will blow the whistle and assess the penalty at the point the team in possession of the ball carries it from the offensive half to the space in their defensive half behind their goal line. This is simply to prevent unnecessarily long delayed penalties and give the team who was penalized 50% of the court and a relief of pressure to make line changes and regain the advantage that was lost due to the penalty. We are going to test this in qualifiers, and make adjustments as needed before the NAHBPC.

2. High Sticking
– You still aren’t allowed to swing your mallet above your shoulders. You also aren’t allowed raise your hand above your shoulders. Additionally, if the Referee deems your back-hand, follow-through or scoop pass to be excessively dangerous they can give you a high-sticking penalty. However, if you are further than 10 feet away from an opponent you can raise your mallet straight into the air, or raise your hand straight into the air, to knock the ball down directly below the point you make contact with it. Passes are not allowed above the shoulders in this situation. We are going to test this in qualifiers, and make adjustments as needed before the NAHBPC.

3. Squad Rules / Tournament Rules
These used to be in the appendices, now they are integrated. Additionally, we have identified a transition area around the entrances of the court for substitutions and mechanics for penalizing illegal substitutions. Changes were made throughout the ruleset to accommodate this, from Timeouts to Penalty enforcement.

4. Interference and Obstruction moved into “Technical Penalties”
The penalties overlapped and were so similar, they are now in one rule and simply identified as “bike” vs “body” interference. There is also a mallet interference penalty to prevent off-ball mallet play which would include the goalie.

5. Crease Violation moved into “Technical Penalties”
Originally we had written that it was an automatic Minor Penalty. This has been updated to be assessed in relation to where the ball is on the court when the penalty occurs.

6. Rotor Guards, Handlebar Width
For safety, we’ve required rotor guards for NAH tournaments (do whatever you’d like in local pickup) and a maximum width of handlebars at 12″ (305mm) from the center of the stem, or 24″ (610mm) total. This is to prevent a player from using their bars to draw fouls or create unsafe close-quarters situations.

7. “Bike Contact”
Instead of 7 different rules we now have 1 for all bike contact, with definitions with each for reference, including a new “Pedal Contact” penalty.

8. Possession, Shooting, Scooping
We’ve added clarification surrounding ball possession, shooting and scooping to reflect more accurately how the game is being played and how players are interacting with the ball and one another on the court. We are going to test this in qualifiers, and make adjustments as needed before the NAHBPC.

9. Clarity and Efficiency
Throughout the ruleset we removed unnecessary language, added it where it was needed and did a complete overhaul of where rules were situated and how they were referenced. This is where the majority of the changes were made and you can look at the change log for actual progress

New Format & Version

We began developing the Ruleset on a new platform called Gitbooks that was created specifically for technical documents that require collaboration and version history. With this transition, we decided to end the numbering system (this would have been version 5), and instead move to a year-based numbering system and PDFs will have their date at the end (e.g. NAH_Ruleset_2017_v41317.pdf). This year you’ll have 2017, next year you’ll have 2018. It makes sense right? Additionally, there is a changelog of every single edit that is made, but the notable changes are always made by creating what is called a “branch” or “change request”. Anyone with editing access can create a new “branch” and after they have finalized their update, I can “merge” the change into the master document. There is also the ability to “fork” the ruleset to create your own. This will be useful for Europe, Australasia, and South America to move freely and  continue innovating or clarifying rules for how the game is played in their local championship series. Lastly, these “change requests” can be commented on by anyone for the author to gather feedback. Please email joe@nahardcourt.com if you’d like to learn more about contributing via comments, branches or forks. Major updates/change requests always have an update number marked in parentheses (i.e. #46, #45, etc.) and minor updates are simply logged by the section that was last edited. You can see the full list of incremental changes here: https://www.gitbook.com/book/nahbpa/nah-ruleset-2017/activity

Implementation Plan

The 2017 Ruleset is to be used in all Regional Qualifying Tournaments. Exceptions can be made, but must be communicated to the Tournament Director, Mark, for approval. Minor updates will be made prior to the NAHBPC, but entire rules will only be added or removed if something deemed completely necessary. Following the NAHBPC, we will coordinate with other organizing bodies throughout the world to update the Ruleset for the 2017 WHBPC in Lexington. Again, we hope there will be no major changes made to the ruleset unless absolutely necessary. After the WHBPC concludes we will go back into a rule development phase through November – February to develop new rules and continue refining this process. At this point we will invite contributors to propose significant rule changes and there will be public discussion and voting by regional reps or club reps as necessary.

Conclusion

I hope you are as excited about this update as we are and we hope you read it thoroughly. The new technology we are using should facilitate well-documented progression in the ruleset and we are hoping to combine it with a new communications system to facilitate discussion. Please email me at joe@nahardcourt.com with any actionable feedback or concern, or if you find any typos/errors. This is a work in progress, as always, but I feel this Ruleset is a significant step forward in helping the world bike polo community play a more exciting, competitive, safe and fun game.

Download the PDF
Contribute to the Ruleset

Cheers,

Joe Rstom

2017 WTF-FRST Scholarship Announcement

wtf_logo

NAH is proud to introduce WTF-FRST (Women/Trans/Femme Financial Resource for Skills and Training), a scholarship to assist outstanding WTF players in attending tournaments! This fund was conceived of by Krista Carlson of LA Bike Polo, and founded by Sarah Livingston of Portland Bike Polo and Shannon Frey of East Van Bike Polo.  We are proud to be working with them to see this initiative born in this exciting year of North American bike polo!

For 2017, two scholarships will be awarded to up-and-coming players who wish to attend Fixcamp, and two will be awarded to players competing in either the NAHBPC or WHBPC. Applicants will be evaluated on their need, commitment, goals, and contributions back to the WTF polo community.

Fixcamp Development Scholarship (2 winners)

  • Applications are now being accepted until March 31: English | Spanish

  • Scholarship winners will be announced April 15.

NAHBPC/WHBPC Travel Scholarship (2 winners)

  • Applications for the NAHBPC/WHBPC Scholarship will be open from May 1 until May 15.

  • Scholarship winners will be announced May 30.

Our kick-off donation campaign will run through March 31, during which time we hope to raise $2000 for our inaugural scholarships.

Get involved!

  1. Follow the WTF-FRST on Facebook and Instagram

  2. Donate to the fund: paypal.me/nahardcourt

  3. Throw an event supporting the fund!

  4. Tell your WTF teammates, clubmates, and friends about the fund, and encourage them to apply.

  5. Join the selection committee. The selection committee will be made up of 3-5 WTF players from various regions, all of whom are ineligible to apply for the scholarship in 2017 or 2018. Contact genderinpolo@gmail.com for more information.

Here’s to a more gender diverse bike polo in 2017 and beyond!

If you have any questions about NAH outreach initiatives, please email jennifer@nahardcourt.com

If you have any questions about the WTF-FRST scholarships, please email genderinpolo@gmail.com

Posted in NAH