Once Again

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August 29th The 9th Annual Zombie Attack Will Feature Louisville Hardcourt Bike Polo!

This year come out for the Zombie Attack and make sure you stay until the end which will be at our Beloved Barret Bar. We will be having a Zombie Polo Match to celebrate the invasion! Add Media

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we’re not all bad.

seriously though, we aren’t. take for example our love for that magical tumblr Hipster Hockey you can find on the link list over to the right side of the page. that has got to be one of the most entertaining and nerdy things i’ve indulged in for a long time. i’ve got a shortcut on my phone to check it everyday. and the link to that shortcut is a picture of our GHBP logo. so it made me laugh and want to know even more who runs the damn thing when they posted this yesterday – http://hardcourtpolo.tumblr.com/post/46510067430/when-louisville-hardcourt-was-surprisingly-cool-about

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he’s right in that we really don’t care. however, it is nice to get the free publicity and doubly awesome that he gave us a shout out. if you want a shirt, please click the link on the side of the blog (or if you’re on a smartphone … click this -> http://www.fuckgas.com/). if you want a size that isn’t a small, please use the contact info on this blog or on FuckGas to let us know your size. we are down to smalls only right now because after our initial run, we sold a bunch and then couldn’t give the damn things away. we’d like to keep spreading our message across the world, but don’t want to be left holding the proverbial bag full of shirts. all the proceeds go towards LHBP, so come on, buy a shirt, fuel the sin and wear it proudly when you come to visit the BBar.

also, here’s a lovely shot of a Fred Ranklin monument we found on the way to the ultimately snowed out Wingman last week. it’s uncanny. (Note: Louise added for scale.)

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fred side shot
and here’s a few more for good measure…
loaded van1 
van driving shot como snowlo
van return
james whipped

 

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the times are a changin’.

so, since our last post … Jimmy has become a member of the NAH Board for the Midwest Region! congrats to him and our other awesome reps in Jerod (CHI) and Eric (MKE)!

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add to that the fact that he put together this splendid flyer for our upcoming Minor Bench Minor (http://leagueofbikepolo.com/minor-bench-minor) …

minor bench flyer 2

… things are going to get weird. so weird in fact, that the bar is really ramping things up for us, and I want to take a minute and highlight one of the biggest advocates for Bike Polo the Midwest has.

rick and the troopers

the BBar’s owner, Rick, has done more for our ragtag bunch of idiots in this city, and by extention the entire region, than any one person or organization by opening his doors to us and seeing what we see. obviously, he sells a shit ton of beer every night we play and i’m sure he’s swimming in money scrooge mcduck style after each of our tournaments, but never once has he asked anything of us in return. in fact, he has always been there to lend us a hand, fix the lights when they go out, stock smirnoff ice when we ask, order extra beer coolers when we start going through too many Coors, get us signs printed, install speakers outside so we have music, sweep and blow off our courts of cigarettes and garbage before we get there to play, take care of all the legal ramifications of us even playing out there and keep the city at bay, letting us cool off with free pool, as well as, being an awesome cook and keeping us fed until the wee hours of the morning. if you’ve never been to BBar and ask him ‘What’s with the Polo Court out back?’ he beams with pride and will talk a strangers ear off about those ‘crazy fools.’ he’s let us throw tournaments, closed down his parking lot, brought in additional entertainment, supported us with extra bar staff and turned a blind eye when 70+ beer cans have been thrown over the fenced walls of thunderdome to become obstacles for those battling below. he’s always kept a positive attitude and been supportive of us to the point where those of us that have been doing this for a number of years never dreamed of such support are just now coming to terms with it. we’ve never once been asked to leave, turn it down or told we had finally crossed a line. i don’t think there are lines there beyond the ones we’ve put down to paint the creases.

which brings me to the next amazing thing he’s done for us. those of you that have talked to some of us in person as of late or have kept up with the planning of the MBM know it was originally a fundraiser to help us build a new court. not just any court, but an expanded bar court. Rick had mentioned to me on a couple occasions he was almost to that point and wanted to get it done. again, our skepticism led us to believe this was still all pure speculation and that we  would need to show some initiative to get it off dead center. and again, we underestimated Rick and have been humbled by his kindness.

the man is going to expand the courts for us and refuses to let us pay him. he’s told us that the customers we’ve brought to him and that we continue to be are more than worth the investment.

just let that sink in. a bar owner, a private citizen here in Louisville, is forward-thinking enough to realize what he has, what it could be and what it means to us. the only thing he asked from us is that a portion of the money we collect for the tournament be donated to charity, which is exactly what is going to happen. about 30% of the money raised from MBM entry fees (and all future tourneys) will go to the BBar/LHBP new official charity – the Home of the Innocents (http://www.homeoftheinnocents.org/). the rest of what we collect will be going into the fund to get our 501c3 status in order to continue to raise money for both our charity and housekeeping items like boards and paint, not to mention the future goal of perma courts somewhere else in town.

and just to give you an idea of what the expansion will look like, here is a rough idea for those of you that have been there before…

Birds Eye 2

the yellow square is the current court … the larger red square is the new court. the current court, with it’s fading concrete surface, corner goals and wimpy boards weighs in at 22′W x 48.5′ L. the new court will have an athetic surface finish, 2x12x2 boards, 6′ fenced walls, regulation goals, angled corners (with convertible corner goals for nostalgia purposes), new lights and both of the existing decks are being extended to envelop it. oh, and it will be 48.5′W x 78.5′L … which is just shy of the NAH minimum of 100′x50′. we can dream.

according to Rick, he wants this done ASAP … so expect a lull in Thunderdome events after the MBM, as this construction is going to happen this summer if things continue to go as well as they have.

we look forward to seeing you all … 2013 is going to be a hell of a year for LHBP, Midwest Bike Polo and Bike Polo around the world it seems.

- magoo.

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onward and upward.

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today marks the last day of this cycle of NAH board elections that you can declare yourself an eligible candidate. for those of you that haven’t been paying attention … go here first – http://leagueofbikepolo.com/forum/organizing-polo/2013/02/17/nah-regional-rep-elections-february-28-march-5

from that link, you will see that the NAH body has really tried to make something of themselves this year, especially after taking a year off of elections last year. there’s been plenty of bitching, moaning, mockery, derisive arguments and name-calling across the internetz and the LOBP boards for a good while now, but i think my boy Zach up in bloomington hit the nail on the head with his analysis yesterday … http://www.topshelfpolo.com/2013/02/north-american-hardcourt-it-is-what-you.html.

as it stands, historically, louisville has been more of a spectator to the whole polo bureaucracy, however, the last couple of years has seen a few members of our club becoming more mobile throughout the regions and more vocal. partly as a chance to continue to move the sport forward and partly in order to make sure that there is a well-rounded list of viable candidates … myself and jimmy have thrown our hats into the ring for two of the Midwest NAH Rep positions – NAH Board Member and NAH Outreach Director for the Midwest.

in order for everyone to get to know their candidates, jimmy and i put together these lovely questionnaires…

Jimmy Flaherty for Midwest NAH Board!

Jimmy Flaherty for Midwest NAH Board!

Regional Representative, NAH board – Oversee and manage their region and bring their region’s work and ideas to the board. An ability to delegate, organize, and communicate respectfully and clearly is a must.

Where are you from, how long have you played, how well do you know the region and how many enemies do you have?
Born and raised here in Louisville, started playing in 2008. I’m comfortable saying I’m familiar enough with the Midwest to know the assholes from the elbows if you’re picking up what I’m laying down. As far as enemies go, to quote the great Paul Newman, “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”

What sort of management expertise or leadership qualities would you be bringing to the table? Have you ever lead a team, organization or business before?
I’ve owned my own bike shop, managed others and organized various advocacy groups. I don’t know if that really helps make me a better candidate for the NAH board, but as it is I just want to do what I can to propel this stupid game forward and continue to grow it in every direction.

How do you feel you fulfill the qualities of the mission statement for NAH Board rep listed above?
I’m all about communication. I know a lot of people don’t agree with some of the ideas I’ve got about the game and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned; hegemony is boring. At the end of the day I don’t really give a fuck who’s pissed about what just as long as everyone is doing what needs to be done to fuel progression. If somebody’s fucking off and wasting my time I’ll be happy to tell them so.

What would you do to try and keep NAH a fun, accessible sport for new players?
Well there’s your problem right there. NAH isn’t fun and accessible to new players. Registration for NAH events is a fucking nightmare and if you’re unfamiliar with the process you probably don’t have a chance in hell in even getting registered to play a NAH tournament. I love the classification system that Riverside is taking on this year. I think it could become especially useful in the registration process. A newbie team having their asses handed to them by world class players doesn’t help anybody.

What would you do to keep NAH a competitive, evolving sport for veterans and the elite level of players that have emerged in the last few years?
I think this comes back to classification. While I’m sure everyone wants to be an A-level player, that’s not the way it works.

What role do you feel NAH should play on the World stage?
It’s nothing more than the North American wing of the world organization. As the name implies, we’re North American Hardcourt. That said, given we can get our shit together financially and beyond, then maybe we could be something to base a standard on.

Is bike polo heading in the right direction in your mind right now to being accepted as a viable sport or do you feel changes are needed in order to keep it from becoming a side show?
Of course changes are in order, but that’s why we’re having this discussion, that’s why we continue to argue so much dumb shit on the boards. This game is in it’s infancy to say the least and I think we’re doing the best with what we’ve got. I like where the sport is at and only look forward to where it is going.

Your thoughts on nudity?
Everyone’s naked under their clothes. Seriously though, I don’t think it has a place at NAH sanctioned events and I mean that… after parties are fair game though.

VOTE FOR EL JIMADOR!

Michael McCollum for Midwest NAH Outreach

Michael McCollum for Midwest NAH Outreach!

Regional Representative, Outreach – This is the Johnny Appleseed position. Assist new clubs in getting started, help build clubs with questions and building membership, finding sponsorship, and nurture inter-club relationships.

Where are you from, how long have you played, how well do you know the region and how many enemies do you have?
I’m another Louisville born, raised, educated and tax paying member of society. I’ve been playing since 2008 when Jimmy, I and a few others first caught the bug from Lexington. I’ve done my fair share of travelling, been to more tournaments the last few years here and in neighboring regions and expanded my polo social network across the country. I’m sure that at some points along the way my antics have gotten on some peoples nerves, but I always come back to the classic adage ‘Chill the fuck out, you’re playing bike polo.’

What sort of management expertise or leadership qualities would you be bringing to the table? Have you ever lead a team, organization or business before?
I’ve always been one to volunteer for things, but typically want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and have had trouble in the past making a final decision on something until it’s almost too late. I, along with Jimmy and Zach, have been working on and off over the last couple of years on building a stronger relationship with the Parks Department here only to be turned away or handed a piss poor concession of a court. I’ve learned that everyone has ideas and that a lot of them are good, but it takes someone to gather those ideas and put them into action in order for polo in any city to grow. I’ve always been happy here to lend a hand and be a leader – I’m now ready to take that role more seriously and commit to improving the polo landscape in the Midwest. I’m also a Project Manager at work if that gives anybody a tingle down their spine.

How do you feel you fulfill the qualities of the mission statement for NAH Board rep listed above?
One thing that I love to do is talk to people. I enjoy hearing people’s ideas for improving this stupid sport just as much as I enjoy hearing a new player talk about how excited they are or how they can’t believe it took them so long to try it out. Inter-club relations are something that I’ve always focused on when travelling. I know the vast majority of the club reps within our region and several of the players as I’ve slept on more floors in cities across the Midwest than I have in Louisville. I know for the past couple of years Jimmy and I have at least tried to make contact with every new club that sprouts around Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, but I’m looking forward to expanding that to all of the states within the region. Also, after making it through several failed attempts at organization, working with the local government, throwing tournaments and building our numbers, I feel that myself (and the rest of the members of our club that have stuck through it) are at a point where we can help new clubs get off the ground and instruct them on the mistakes to avoid that we’ve already painfully committed.

What would you do to try and keep NAH a fun, accessible sport for new players?
I’ve always tried to include everyone, whether it be at tournaments or pick-up. As Jimmy mentioned above, the new Class system that seems to be taking root in the tournament atmosphere is a good thing in my mind. No one wants to go to their first tournament and have their asses handed to them by the Beaver Boys like a pig that wandered into the slaughterhouse. I think for this sport to keep growing the way it has been, there has to be not only a B-Class Tournament circuit, but a strong support group for B-Class players. Without a way for new players to get involved in their local clubs or to start competing in tournaments, polo around the country will die out. I know some clubs in the country have toyed with league nights, high octane nights, newbie nights, bench nights, all pick-up nights, etc. and these are great ideas that I think can help in new and existing clubs to allow for a more universal polo environment. If those nights are clearly identified and discussed within the club and communicated to all members or future members, there would exist a semblance of a schedule that could provide a fun atmosphere for new players and experienced players alike. I know here we have the bar court and the tunnel court we play at currently, it goes without saying that usually bar nights are more directed towards newbies/laid back pick-up while tunnel nights tend to get a bit more fierce.

What would you do to keep NAH a competitive, evolving sport for veterans and the elite level of players that have emerged in the last few years?
By strengthening the B-Class and incoming breed of polo players. Providing fresh meat for the grinder or a platform for the next generation of slayers is what it’s going to take in order to keep all levels of polo evolving and becoming more competitive, innovative and fun to watch. This video is now almost 3 years old and I’m amazed at how sharp the curve of polo evolution has become since … http://vimeo.com/16293820. Mr. Do will always be the Godfather of Beautiful and Inspiring Polo Videos, but I can’t wait to see what he captures on film in the years to come. Hover bikes? Back flips? Exploding goals?

What role do you feel NAH should play on the World stage?
More than just a spectator I’d say, but I would hope never a bully. I’d like our organization to be an example to other countries and polo communities around the world in order to further promote the grassroots/DIY ethic that has made polo as huge as it is. I’d love for there to be a governing body for every continent playing polo around the world to allow for a massive hive mind of bike polo awesomeness to occur and keep the sport growing.

Is bike polo heading in the right direction in your mind right now to being accepted as a viable sport or do you feel changes are needed in order to keep it from becoming a side show?
So long as the younger generation of players is kept hungry, the elite level entertained and the momentum that clubs around the country seem to be gathering is sustained, I don’t see this apparent ‘secret/underground’ sport staying that way for very long. I’d hope the widespread organization that keeps blossoming through the efforts of the NAH Board and local polo advocates around the country would be able to propel the sport into the mainstream.

Your thoughts on nudity?
I’ve been to, participated in and hosted more topless and clothing optional dance parties in the past few years because of polo than I can remember. I’ve also made nachos on Jimmy’s naked flesh. All those things aside, I’ll agree with him that in order for this sport to continue to grow, there will need to be some discretion exercised at NAH Official events … but there’s always that random college party to be crashed in whatever city we may find ourselves in.

A VOTE FOR MAGOO IS A VOTE FOR YOU!

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benches, b*tchs & brews

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this past weekend saw a first for the louisville and lexington crew. we piled into the van with a couple of foreigners (tyler IN and nico PGH) to roll down the highway and participate in the first day of the lexington winter bench minor league. we were followed the whole way down by some CHO visitors – sprinks, ali and annie – who arrived LATE friday night, causing us all to stay up until 6am on saturday and arrive LATER to bench league. it was also drew’s birthday.

i’ll spare a full recap of the usual ridiculous polo play, the raucous horse play and general lack of decency that happens anytime you get more than 10 polo players together. hell, cincy Chris and Joe even made it down before it was all over to contribute to the madness that culminated in the following dance party.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1rlMDLuEHOAY0tLXzBSUjM5dDg/edit?usp=sharing

the van has gained another ability in the form of ‘dance floor’ after this past weekend. it’s also got the waviest and most dented roof i’ve ever seen on a vehicle short of a hail storm at this point. headed back again this weekend for even more mash-up destruction.

Barcadium

Wall on the side of Barcadium in Lexington

in other news, SEND US YOUR DAMN POSTCARDS. http://leagueofbikepolo.com/minor-bench-minor

also, riverside team list got posted and it looks like the most serious non-serious tourney one could imagine in the Midwest. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjCpfyVnvyO_dDN5Y3FURC1DSnB1NUFKV1NfNXVFeVE&usp=sharing#gid=0 . interested in seeing how statutory apes performs against some of these powerhouse semi-perma teams. should be a pretty intense weekend.

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minor bench minor update

wall o' shame

after careful consideration, the format for registration for our unusual bench minor format tourney has followed suit and we refuse to allow an internet clicky race keep someone full of potential (and wit) from participating. so, instead, registration will be via postcard. we’ve all heard of the USPS’s rocky financial times as of late, so here’s hoping the exorbitant amount of postage the poloverse is about to invest in is enough to rescue saturday delivery.

per AJ and Matt (our co-organizer’s for this shit-show):

“Those forthcoming registration details are here now! Because the post office is having a rough time recently, we’re going to help them out. There are 24 open spots for this tournament. Those spots will be filled by the 24 postcards that Louisville polo deems awesome. So go buy some stamps and go crazy. Postcards can be mailed to 1 of 2 locations:

1. 835 Delor Ave
Louisville, KY 40217

2. 1026 Ellison Ave
Louisville, KY 40204

All postcards must be in by March 10th. The draft will tentatively take place March 17th and teams will be posted. There will be a $10 registration fee due after teams are drafted.”

so start scouring your city for the best examples of miniature postal artwork you can find and break out the color pencils. we hope to see you all in april.

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