Saturday, April 2, 2011
Separation of Hardcourt and Grass...
Is this what Hardcourt Bike Polo has become? Do we all have "personal space" that cannot be breached? Are people really cussing at others in the hunt for an apology because they were bumped?
Sadly, Hardcourt Bike Polo is officially dying. Sure, 2011 will see the game grow faster than ever before. But the original spirit of the game: A fast, crazy, tough modernization of Grass Bike Polo is quickly eroding thanks to an influx of sissies determining how the game should be played and how the sport should move forward.
Pretty soon, Hardcourt Bike Polo will be nothing more than Grass Polo played on asphalt. The game will be watered-down into something that no longer possess the magic that existed when the highest level of the sport was tough and scary and reserved for a select few. It is already happening. Look at the video above. The slightest bump in the corner produces one of the biggest hissy fits I have seen at polo.
I do not remember Charlie whining and cussing when he got worked 20 times worse in Madison, WI last summer. He shook it off and finished the game like tough, great players do. If you do not know what I am talking about, watch the first eight seconds of this video:
So why is Charlie's recent bump in Little Rock, AR getting so much attention? Why does he get his own video proclaiming him "The Dick of The Week" and splattering "Dick Move" over the screen when he takes away a guy's line while remaining within the rules of the game? There is only one answer: Bike Polo is dying a slow death due to neutering. The game I have grown to love over the past year and half is having all of its sharp edges removed...like a house that has padding everywhere to protect a baby that has just started walking.
Stop protecting the babies. Weed them out.
In my opinion, this is the wrong way of developing the game of Hardcourt Bike Polo. Instead of dumbing-down the game and making it safe and accessible for everyone, there should always be a section of Bike Polo that maintains the original spirit of the game. The highest level of Bike Polo should always be rough, dangerous, and tough. That is what has really drawn me and others to the sport...And changes intended to diminish that spirit have pushed some great people out of the game. As long as Bike Polo exists, I want to have to deal with guys trying to take my line at full speed...I want to grind shoulder-to-shoulder down the rink in the attempt to earn a breakaway...I want to check and be checked when the opportunity presents itself. Hockey should not be controlled by figure skaters, and Hardcourt Bike Polo should not be influenced by people that want the game to be like Grass Bike Polo (whether they know it or not...The guy in the video above clearly falls in this category. If you do not want to get bumped and cut off, Grass Polo is always looking for new players).
I understand that there will always be new people discovering Bike Polo, and I do not want them to be scared-off by how amazingly tough and intense great games can be. To satisfy the new players, they should be cultivated in a warm, welcoming environment where they are allowed to learn the game and should not have be scared of being smashed through a wall (yet). I think this is possible without destroying what the best Bike Polo can and should be.
Let Hardcourt Bike Polo be Hardcourt Bike Polo!
The fact that the last sentence is not the opinion of the majority is really making me reconsider my involvement in the sport of Hardcourt Bike Polo. The thought of going to tournaments and wasting my weekend with referees and players that do not understand real Bike Polo is quite frustrating. I also do not have the patience to listen to some crybaby give me an earful because he objects to me playing the game within the rules.
The state of Hardcourt Bike Polo is uncertain. It may have already drifted down the wrong fork in the river. For the sake of the game, I hope that it has not.
Saint Louis Bike Polo