Archive for the 'General' Category

Why haven’t I been playing polo recently?

A few people have been asking me why I haven’t been at polo recently.  There are a few reasons, which I will summarise briefly:
Let’s face facts: the sport has been going down-hill since we stopped using Brick Lane. The young & ill-informed might point to the steep camber on the court, to the large gaps in the fence, the inconveniently placed goals or even to the very frequent discoveries of human faeces as good reasons to stop using the court.
To these persons, I say, huh! The large gaps in the fence facilitated that game moment now largely lost to London Polo,  namely, the Beer Break.  The ball would go under the fence, shoot off down Shacklewell Street towards Cambridge Heath, and we’d all stop for a refreshing & reviving draught of beer. By the time Yorgo had returned with the ball (yes, Yorgo was our ball boy), we would be ready to play like gods once more.
The goals were only inconvenient if you left your contact lenses at home, or forgot to look where you were going like Emily Emilia Emilie Object did (ouchy!)  Those goals were also nice and big so we used to score a lot more sweet goals back then. And scoring sweet goals is what polo is all about isn’t it? Not all this blocking & endoing and other show-boating such as you see the likes of Emmett & Ryan doing these days.
As for the camber, well, it’s not my fault that I always made sure I was playing down it, is it?
Yorgo, father of polo ball retrieval, illustration copyright Adrienne Hawkes, all rights reserved

And that leaves the matter of the poo. All I have to say about this is that if anyone had bothered to ask me, I would have immediately moved to exclude the south London element from polo. You can take a monkey across a bridge, but you can’t take the bridge out of the monkey.

Who died and left that speccy-eyed twat in charge of the whistle? How can you respect a man who wears slippers outdoors? Wait a minute, I’m getting confused here… what was your name again?
You can now buy ready-made mallets. This is being presented as ‘progress’, but this a lie and a trick. So-called ‘innovations’ like this will lead to the infantilisation of London polo players. Soon you’ll be wanting to be accompanied to the toilet and you will only be able to remove your mouths from the teat of ‘big polo’ with surgical assistance.
I still make all my own mallets out of broom handles, nailed to great big lumps of wood, and my mallets never failed to make an impression on the opposition, I can tell you.
Two things wrong here:
First, water is bad for you, and beer helps you score sweet goals; these are scientifically proven FACTS.
Second, how am I going to steal your beer if you’re all drinking water or ribena or whatever muck it is you have in those bottles?
What’s that? Turnover? No, I don’t fancy any baked goods, thank you very much, I’m trying to score some sweet goals in between putting these clowns into the fence.  And what the hell happened to “321 Polo”? How am I supposed to jump the charge and score a sweet goal if I don’t know when the whistle is coming?
The French
The French also bear a big responsibility. After all, they introduced dolphin slaps, blocks & other nefarious moves to London polo, and what has happened to Marc’s hair? Like everything else in polo, it used to be a lot better 4 years ago.

We have stickers…

Yo… So a few of the poloitians (?) have clubbed together to get some stickers done. Here they are stacked up in the house of Dr Chukker.

Not a massive fan of stickers myself but the London Bike Polo ones are pretty good.

Well done Dr.

What a weekend! EHBPC…

The European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2009 London events started a week ago with teams from all over Europe converging throughout Friday. 40 teams (120 players) and only one team didn’t show.

Friday – Meet & Greet and London’s First Polocat.
Thursday night for Bill, James, John and Me was a refs meeting which start at 8pm and finished at around midnight… with Mike rolling by from Downham court. Mike had been making the netted goals in the dark ready for the weekend (more on this to follow).
My Friday involved ‘borrowing’ a few more of these posts and finishing off the goals. On my trip to pick-up these posts i bumped into the Coneheads from Glassgow, Olli from Germany and my house guests from Rouen… these guys were my saviour! So we grabbed a post each and headed for throwins at Downham where I finished off making the netted goals.

While this was going on the courts were being made down in Southwark:

Meet & Greet – It was a massive turnout for registration and the polocat at Tour De Ville… With food and beers on offer.

photos by Agata

Polocat – From what i gather the polocat winner cleaned up. The polocat involved going to 4 different courts around London and performing tasks. The more crazy/outlandish/giving beer to the people manning the post the more points you were awarded. Also there was a hunt for a golden mallet.

Wee Scott won the polocat. By the end of the polocat he managed to find the mallet, spray his bike gold, set his bike on fire and ride the bike on fire while being completely naked. words from MAX “basically he’s won”
The prize was some Rapha gear and a set of disk covers drawn my Max’s brother.

photo of rik en route to his post.
photo by slamm

Saturday 7am – Monmouth for coffee to meet Bill then off to the court. Surprisingly we werent the first ones there Garlic Boy (Louis of Les Debutantes), Complaining as usual. 🙂

As the minutes went by more players were turning up. Then the players briefing and a run through the rules.
bill explaining exposed bar ends
photos by Kev

Oh and the nets on the goals were scrapped by the players show of hands.

Game on!

What can i say, the day was a blurr of some amazing and some not so great games. The games on the first day were ten minutes long and were being played on 2 courts with 8 teams being knocked out by the end of the day. The teams that were knocked out played a mini tourney on Sunday. Also during the day we had a newcommers session held by playsport london. Some tourney snaps:
Marc from FFF paris
photo by Kev
Playsport session:

And… Yes all London Teams made it through to the next round, including the throwin team the Downham All Stars.

Thanks to shop14 for organising the after party.

Sunday – Final Day
Another early start and another day of games and reffing.
Since i was so engulfed in the game play rather than the quality my game reports would involve tapping, fouls and back chat rather than great passes and amazing shots. BUT… the game play had quicken and the goals were coming thicker and faster with 15 min games. More finished before time than the day before. I think it was clear to a lot of people which team would be taking the trophy home. The battle for 2nd position was still very unclear.

The teams that it could have gone either way for were: (in no particular order)
Dans te Gueule, Puceau,
Berlin 1,

…each game has a story, and the lead up to the final started with

Malice vs Dans de Gueule, Puceau – Malice 5-2
which was in the losers bracket… they were waiting for the losers of the next game…unfortunately i could only hear the banging of the barriers over the shouts and screams from the court i was reffing so my write up is non existent. sorry.
kev and matt
photo by slamm

L’Equipe vs Torros – L’Equipe 1-0
1 minute into the game there was a collision which lead to a time out and an injury to L’Equipes Lucas who played on till time ran out. This was a closely fought battle and as you can tell by the score kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.
So this win guaranteed at the worst a second spot on the podium. Bearing in mind L’Equipe had won all their games.

The semi finals third place and a place in the final was up for grabs:
Malice vs Torros – Malice 3-2
Both teams were on top form not one player not giving 100% with lots of controversy and a called goal and plenty of crowd participation led this to be one of the games of the tourney. James Brown already a crowd favourite throughout the whole day, displaying some amazing speed and eye of the needle shooting and some wall like defending from Vidal and midfield feeding from both Iain and Matt lead JB to shoot some of the most amazing goals of the tourney concreting their place in the final.
photo by slamm

L’Equipe vs Malice – L’Equipe 5-3
what can i say you’ll have to watch the footage:
photos by kev

Placing and prizing:
photo by Agata

1. L’Equipe (Geneva)
2. Malice International (London)
3. Toros (Munich)
4. Discordia/DTGP (paris/london)
5. FFF (Paris)
6. Cosmic (London)

MVP: James Brown (Malice)
Photo by slamm
Brooks style award: Candy coloured clowns (Karlsruhe)

Crowd fave: Dublin
photo by Kev
score board:

I think i’ve waffled on too much as it is… but the weekend was great the tourney was brilliant roll on the euros 2010!

Euros are round the corner!

Just over a week to go!!!!


Tourney catch-up…

Been a bit behind on results of tourneys.
Heres a mega catch-up!
European Cycling Messenger Championships – BERLIN 28.05.09 – 01.06.09
From what i gather from Buffalo Bill, the weather was absolutely rubbish.

Bills first day write up (probably a bit tippsy)
‘1st day’s play cut short by rain! Sitting Ducks played 3, won 3; Tres Amigos played 3, won 2 (beating a CPH team which may or may not have come 3rd at 2008 ECMC), drawn 1 (!); Malicious Zombie played 3, won 2, lost 1 (to the Munich team that won Shoreditch Invitational); Moving Target played 3, won 1, drawn 1, lost 1. Gabes leading farting contest by a considerable distance from Rik, with Bill some way behind, and Tom yet to post a score.

Mikey Q stacked on Friday night, broken collar-bone. Everyone else ok so far, apart from raging hang-overs.

Ridiculous number of teams registered (around 40), some no shows, planned 5 group, 8 team, round-robin, only managed 3 rounds… tournament organisation fail. Play restarts today, completing only 4 rounds, best 2 teams to advance to knock-out.

Forecast is for rain.’

Overall results:
1st to Geneva.
2nd to Munich.
3rd to Berlin.

Gabes account…
‘Had a brilliant weekend, organisation sucked, and the ref couldn’t count scores, so we got knocked out when we shouldn’t have been. But despite this, it was great to play with lots of different people. DTGP, Karlsruhe, Munich, Berlin etc.

London’s game has to change to compete with the europeans, they play such an amazing passing game, no glory runs towards goal, they drop the ball for each other as soon as they know they don’t have a clean run at goal. Great to watch, if a little too polite.’

ecmc trouphy]
by davesan
Pologamy – Munich 27.06.09
1st – l`equipe
2nd – munich torros
3th – mustard tigers

‘Firstly…thank you Munich!

You guys (esp. Eingang) put on one well organized tourney. The hospitality from all was great (esp. thanks to Catherine and Christophe for putting ( . ) ( . ) up) and desipite first impressions, the court ended up being super fun to play on – Friday throw in’s were awesome!

It was also awesome to meet up with some familiar Euro faces, as well as play against and alongside new faces from some of the best teams in European polo and the U.S what with Mustard Tigers being present.

And of course…I had a blast going out with Em, Brik, Gabes, Daaaavvveee, Manc Andy, Lebowskie, Playboy (Yorgo), Sarah, B and Cosmic Tommo.

We all gave each other the best support, on and off the court, as well as provided some of the best side line banter known to polo. Manc Andy was esp. on fire, calling out lookie like players such as ‘ ronnie corbit’, ‘my name is earl’ and ‘featureless andy’. You prob had to be there to find it funny, but trust me, it was a crack!

And despite all only playing 3 competitive games on the day, we def instigated the most throw in’s and played with the biggest smiles and best attitudes. So if anything, we showed Europe we all just simply love polo and that’s all that really matters!

Cheers guys!

Bring on more international polo – i want a polo wagon!’
words by Golden Wheel

little bit of footage from final:

winners in yellow
Cambridge Tourney – 11.07.09
1st – Cosmic3
2nd – Rotten Apples
3rd – Netto Fabulous (mcr)

‘Awesome times.

Thanks Cambridge for a your hospitality, delicious cakes, and one hell of a trophy!!!
It was another great day out.

Playing our best buddies in the final couldn’t have been a better way to end the day.

Big love to London Polo and of course my Cosmic³ team mates.
You were magical.’
words by todd

pic by me

pic by me

The games of the day has to go to BAD vs Los Conos, was a pretty exciting games… score tally…
1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4

…to Los Conos!!

Next tourney of course is the European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships…. Bring it on!!!


i wish i could touch your face

Teams registering for EHBPC 2009…

The Europeans Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2009 London is quickly hotting up with 25 teams already registered.
Teams from France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Sweden and Spain are registered and preparing for what is to be Europe’s best Hardcourt bike polo tournament.

to see the teams competing go to: