Midwestern Championship Wrap-up

kevin walsh

Originally uploaded by pete_d

So my body has finally recovered enough to start thinking about what happened last Saturday. Milwaukee Bike Polo Club hosted the tournament in what was the best thing we have seen in the midwest in polo action. In someways the tournament has shown the dedication that two cities, madison and milwaukee have put into their bike polo clubs, milwaukee the hosting city put seven teams in the bracket and madison was able to field five. The brackets played out nicely with four teams from milwaukee advancing to the playoffs, three from madison and one from chicago. Madison team #1 team that consisted of myself, kevin and ben steamrolled through the round robin undefeated as well as milwaukee team #9 which consisted of Jake, Eric and Joe. We took the first two seeds in the tournament. Madison even polished off a milwaukee team by scoring five goals in less then two minutes and forty seconds. Madison team #5 made up of Jill, Max and Jon Atwell played the milwaukee crew team #11 in the quarterfinals for what was my favorite match to watch of the day. Milwaukee #11 pulled through the victory but it was a tough battle that the made it through. We made it into the semi-finals where we played milwuakee #7 and we were cruising until we hit a brick wall in the goal name steven, we had to give it everything to put through a final goal that allowed us to win in two games, 3-0, 3-2. In the finals we met our longtime rivals in miwaukee #9, madison came out swinging with some long goals and our speed played to the advantage and we pulled a win out in the first game at 3-2, milwaukee struck back in the second to pull out a 3-2 victory in near dusk conditions. We played the final game in almost dark which resulted in madison coming back from 2-1 to win in dramatic fashion of 3-2. It was a hell of a game and shows the level of competition that has developed between the two cities. It is quite impressive to see the bond that these two cities have developed in their rivalry and we look forward to future matches.

I've got a coupla comments

I've got a coupla comments to make about the event. Lest I sound too critical, let me say at the outset that it was an awesome day of polo. I saw some real athleticism, sincere efforts, and good sportspersonship, all of which makes me happy and proud to be associated with our collective thing here.

That said: Where the f was Chicago? I think we sent more people to NYC the week before for a joke tournament. The mid wests are our people!
Who's idea was referees? Timekeepers, sure, but the rules aren't such that we need someone clogging up the court ruling on technicalities. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to have something to do to stay warm, but most of the time I felt useless.
And the courts? The surface was what it was, but for the future, I would advocate for either 3 courts, or someplace with lights. Making sure there would be open bathrooms might help too. Not that any of those things were available at any of the tournaments I hosted.

And last, a lament for "Sundays In The Park". It's obvious now, even to my thick self, that there will be no more grass polo tournaments. For whatever reason(s), I'm just less excited about playing big ball on cement than I am about either the grass game or little beruit style harcourt. And that has kept me from spurring myself or any of my fellow CBPers on in the ways that I used to around tournament time.
The way I read the writing on the wall is that next summer, the first true national tournament will be attempted in Chicago to coincide with the North American Cycle Courier Championships over Labor Day weekend. Leading up to and away from that I imagine a lot of things are going to be institutionalized rules and styles-wise. Some of it with due consideration, some of it in hasty consensus.

I'm an old man, so I may not make the transition to whatever comes next. So I will state here what I would say to each of you given the chance to speak wistfully face to face: Thanks. Thanks for all those Sundays in the park. You're great people to sit under a tree in the summertime with, to break bread with, and to compete with.



i would point out that a referee is probably a good idea when it comes to higher level games and it really helps with calling goals and making calls on plays that could be crucial to the outcome. When the level of play goes up so does the need for higher powers to officiate.

Also i see a grass tournament once a year and a concrete tournament once a year. That makes sense for us as madison is not giving up grass. I actually think grass is a harder game to play and has a lot of advantages. We will be part of both games as always. Concrete in the spring and grass in the fall is the way it should go in my book.

i will reply to lucky's

i will reply to lucky's points one by one here.

refs- it was meant to minimize the arguing over goals. having a final person say goal or not. as well as keep time. I think refs is a good idea especially for semi and finals games because we all know those can get heated.

location- I will admit we made the mistake of waiting too long/ assuming it would be easier to obtain a spot than it really was. the bathrooms were supposed to be open, blame the city workers on that one, especially with the kids soccer games going on i don't know why they weren't open.
we do have a great lit place in milwaukee to play, its called the garage and its well lit and covered. It is a parking garage though and not a polo court having a large scale tourney like this with about 80 people packed into a parking garage screaming at the top of their lungs was only inviting police intervention.
If there had not been youth soccer games we could have had 3 courts.

grass tournaments- apparently chicago has no grass that is not in the ghetto or worthy for polo action. milwaukee has a large beautiful lakefront. lets put 2 and 2 together here. 1st seedling of a rumor. grass tourney in mke early august maybe? invite grass teams from all across country. national grass bike polo invite?

Lucky it seems like your writing your last will and testament for polo here. grass can live on or you can try out for the national team i hear they have a tourney in S. Carolina this month.

time keepers?

yea i was disappointed by Chicago's not showing, yet you didnt play either luck so whats the deal.

I loved the polo in milwaukee. I also am excited about the tourny in chicago luck that sounds great. We are currently trying to develop our game to be more similar t o the coast yet maintaining our own integrity.

ok also we dont need time keepers, we dont need times. we need competitive games.

can you tell me that we really beat you in chicago this summer. I was beat, we scored a lucky goal and then ran with our tails between our legs. Thats what times get you bad games.

but ido have some other things to say about rules check it up above. I definatly think we should have grass and crete tournys. just flat grass. dont you have golf courses in chicago.

lighting would be awsome but alas so would working bikes

the timed games were meant

the timed games were meant to move the early rounds along so we would have time to play the real competitive games without time limit.

first off I blame chicago for showing up late as too why we had to play the finals in the dark.

i knew that it was going to be cutting it close with daylight.

madison's style of play in timed matches is merely skirting the rules and exactly what Ben said running with your tails between your legs.

lighting would be awesome but the only lit places with nice grass or concrete are in the ritsy suburbs and they dont want some drunk hoodlums showing up wrecking their bikes.

timed games

I hate timed games. They take away a comeback. I know that goals get lucky and sometimes a team is outplaying another team and they get beat because of the time limits. I agree there were a lot of games to be played and not a lot of time. I also blame chicago on this one. Anyway most of my plays with the objective of time killing was a protest move.

Anyway i think we need to move the Midwest tournament to a schedule of concrete in the spring and grass in the fall.

Refs are a good idea, it helps keep cooler heads on the field. It is nice to have someone just call it. I am willing to give a ref that.

Okay now lets talk about the rules.


i like the idea of finding

i like the idea of finding rules that we all agree on, but right now it seems like everything's in flux with
1) midwest cities semi-migrating towards lil beirut rules,
2) a two-on-two tournament in the assfreezing cold that will have its own set of rules

so it seems like now is not the time to write anything in stone. also this format (a long thread with lots of comments) is not really conducive to formalizing a list of rules. it IS conducive to discussion/feedback on a couple of tournament organizing ideas, as is happening above regarding refs and timed games.

a wiki page would be ideal, cause anyone could edit it, with old versions stored and a separate discussion page, à la wikipedia.

or simply a few drunk people in a room writing something on paper.

get drunk!!!! -milwaukee

get drunk!!!!
-milwaukee bike polo

Kev: I was thing of a NING

Kev: I was thing of a NING page for a national site. Much more conducive to this discussion and local/regional/nat'l groups.

Jake: I've come to agree to refs for final games. I wasn't really paying attention at the start of the tournament, so I don't know if rules were spelled out to players and roles were defined for refs. I apologize. We'll get the organizers of the 4th a megaphone.

The issue with getting enough field space in Chicago for a tournament is that we can't reserve it through the parks department. Bike Polo is a banned activity. So we have to watch the parks and guess if there's going to be anything going on there on tournament day. We guessed wrong last time and ended up playing in someone's back yard.

Everyone: When there's a crowd waiting to play in Chicago, we switch from the first to three/best of three match format to a single game/first to four untimed. It takes less time overall, and doesn't lead to clock watching.
Having run and helped out with a coupla tournaments now, I can say that timed games in the round robin makes things a little easier to orchestrate. But more fields does more to move things along than timed games, I think.

Also I'm sorry we were late.


an apologies sometimes is all it takes. next time dont bother with the two previous paragraphs. just say jake, i m sorry, i love you


grass polo

My friends, please do tell when the next big grass tourney is. We are from Durango, Colorado and love the grass. We have two strong teams and are ready to travel. Please contact with serious tourney info. Rip it!