Photographs by Rachel Callander
Last week we looked at bike rules and safety for the Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships. This week it is the turn of the humble mallet. This is section 4 from the official tournament ruleset.
Before we get down to the actual rules, here’s a few tips for newbies and veterans alike. Take more than one mallet. Two is good. Three is better if you have a history of breaking them. If your mallet is showing signs of damage – bent shaft, moving head – replace it before you come. When you are playing a game, make sure you leave you spare mallet(s) next to the court.
Now for the rules:
1.1 The shaft is made of metal or carbon fibre.
1.2 The gripped end of the shaft is plugged or sealed.
This is really important. Sure the 5 cent piece and gaffer tape will get you through the check, but for a long term solution which is nice to your palms, why not invest one dollar in a rubber chair leg thing (see below). If anyone knows the technical term for these, please let me know too.
1.3 The shaft does not protrude through the bottom of the mallet head.
Thanks to Matthew Kabik for the use of the picture above. Although this is an extreme example, if any part of your shaft is sticking through the head, you will not be allowed to play with the mallet.
2. Mallet head
2.1 The mallet head is made of plastic tubing.
2.2 The mallet head is securely fastened to the shaft.
Well I know we all think it is until that moment when it flies off. Check your connections.
2.3 The mallet head is a maximum of 180mm (7”) in length.
I have only seen one person play with a mallet this long (Nate at the 2009 Australasians). It was great in goal but not for much else. Can’t really see us needing to enforce this.
2.4 The inner diameter of any hole on the mallet head may not exceed 57mm (2.25”).
Also known as ‘no euro cheater mallets’ rule. You may not have a cut out in your mallet that is larger than 57mm at it’s widest point. Make sure you know what 57mm is. As you can see below, it’s not that big (that’s what she said).
3. Dangerous mallets
3.1 The referee disallows the use of mallets that he deems dangerous. Examples of dangerous mallets may include: Mallets that splinter, shatter or break easily, mallets with sharp protrusions, etc.
Apart from the things listed in the rules above, there are still some issues that could see your mallet banned from play if the referee deems it dangerous. For example, if you still use the screw threw the entire mallet attachment system, make sure the end of the screw has been cut down. Poking out screws are dangerous!
If for some reason your are still playing with PVC and your mallet head has partially shattered, get rid of it. It’s dangerous!
The following are a couple of crazy dangerous mallets that were built in Sydney and are thankfully not on the court.
I really wanted to add that Melbourne Cheater Mallets were also outlawed.. you know the angled head hockey thing but I already picked on Damon in the last post so I will leave it out.
Okay so you have all been warned. If you turn up with a non-complying mallet, you will need to find something else to play with in a hurry. Lucky for you Down Low Polo with be there and they stock Swallow’s Polo equipment.
Can’t wait to smash the crap out of everyone on the court (in a totally legal way of course)!
By Virginia Castellan
If you missed the bike rules and safety post, you can access it here
With the Australasian Championships fast approaching, the organisers in Timaru have asked us to prepare a guide for bike and mallet safety in the hope that you fuckers will have it sorted before you get there. Make no mistake – you will be checked on arrival and if your equipment does not pass a safety check, you will not be allowed to play with it until it does. This first part deals with bikes, the next part will deal with mallets.
So here are the bike rules you need to abide by with some pictures showings a few do’s and don’ts. If you still aren’t sure or you have any questions, email us (goalholepolo@gmail) or Timaru Bike Polo (timarubikepolo@gmail). These rules are from the official ruleset which all of you need to read before you play. There are a number of things you won’t have come across before in pick up.
1. The bicycle has at least one braking mechanism.
If you don’t know what this means, you probably shouldn’t be playing.
1.1 A fixed gear drive train with foot retention on both pedals is a braking mechanism.
So if you ride brakeless fixed, you cannot ride with flat pedals only. You need some kind of foot retention like cages or straps like these ones from BO Gear or a clipless pedal system like Shimano SPDs or Time Atac. If you ride brakeless free wheel, you will most likely kill yourself on the way to the court so let your team mates know they will probably need a back up plan.
2. The handlebars are plugged or capped.
If your handlebars aren’t capped you risk taking a core sample out of yourself and others. Don’t be cheap – spend some money and get a set of lock-ons or at least replace whatever you use as soon as you notice it wearing out. Having taken a few handlebars to the chest I know that having properly capped grips can be the difference between just getting some nasty bruises or having to go to the hospital with a hole in your body.
Also, even if they are capped, bullhorn handlebars are not to be used.
3. The chain is on the outermost chainring or there is a bashguard.
If you haven’t switched to single speed you need to make sure that your chain is always on the outermost ring or you have a bashguard (pictured below) or some other device to make sure the chain is always covered (like another chain wrapped around it.
Even if you only have one chain ring, although it is not compulsory, you should probably consider a bash guard which will stop you getting injuries like the one Leo got below when his chain came off in an accident.
4. There are no racks, fenders, bottle cages, or saddlebags.
Please make sure these are all removed before you play (especially the bottle cages, Damon!)
5. There are no additions to the bicycle specifically designed to block the ball except for wheel covers.
This includes frame bags like the ones pictured above, pieces of cardboard or anything else added to the frame which would be likely to stop a ball.
6. There are no sharp edges, points, loose screws, or otherwise unsafe parts (which is at the discretion of the referee).
Included in this rule are axles and skewers that extend beyond the wheel nut (see above and below). If yours fall into the category it’s time to either grab a hacksaw and chop it off, or find another method of covering it. The organisers will have a hack saw at the tournament and this rule will be enforced.
One solution I have used is to find another nut to cover the part that sticks out, as shown below.
Broken spokes are also considered unsafe and should be securely fastened to another spoke and taped down until they can be removed. You would need a lot of tape for the bike below (Thanks, Alan)
I have probably missed heaps of things so feel free to suggest any additions or tell me where I fucked up.
It is going to help the organisers out greatly if you guys could all check your own bikes and each others before the tournament starts.
See you in Timaru!
Photographs by Alan England, Leo Felder and Virginia Castellan
With only 182 days remaining until the next Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship it’s all systems go in Timaru! Today they have launched a new website dedicated to the event called TimaruPoloChamps which comes packed with Timaru goodness including the promotional video featured below.
For anyone that hasn’t been paying attention, AHBPC 2013 will be held on 15 to 17 March 2013.
Registration for the event will open on 1 October 2012 so start getting your teams organised.
You think they would be busy enough with having to organise the 2013 Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, but Timaru Bike Polo have still found time to take bike polo to local primary schools in New Zealand. This is what Richard Brown had to say.
This is the second school we have taught at. We leave them a set of mallets and let them go nuts. This group is doing bike polo as an elective sport on Fridays for a month. They are from Barton Rural School.
Our goal is have an inter school comp and the week before the Australasian’s have a week long school demo/comp day as we will have the courts set up a week early.
Ash Manson has confirmed that the 2013 Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships will be held in Timaru on 16 and 17 March 2013!!
Ash also said “On a calmer note we would love for you all to express your interest in attending. Please note this isnt official registration just a yay i really really hope i can make it ”
By Virginia Castellan
2013 Australasian Championships in Timaru, NZ | March/April 2013
With Christchurch unable to host due to earthquakes, and AHBPC due for a go in NZ, we concluded there could be nowhere better than sunny Timaru to host the 2013 Australasian Champs. A town founded to host a Polo tournament. It’s courts are surrounded by; accommodation, restaurants & bars, a beach, and the centre of town… everything you need is a walk or bike ride away. With a highly supportive council and business community for an event such as this, and a passionate group of Timaru Polo players, AHBPC 2013 in Timaru, NZ will be a great experience for all… READ ON TO SEE WHY.
The Venue – Caroline Bay:
Venue Facilities and Services available/provided
Tournament Format & Numbers:
We would open this up to Austrailasian discussions and would be flexible based on confirmed numbers, we are open to a 3 day tournament if needed, something about starting at Friday lunchtime sounds pretty great don’t you think?
Here is some things that we would look to guarantee:
Timaru’s top motels, backpackers, and holiday park are all within 5 minutes of courts. We will obviously work hard to ensure everyone finds suitable accommodation. We are too small a Polo scene to billet players, however there is a massive camping ground nearby as well as many affordable motels. We have strong links with the Timaru i-SITE who will help with accommodation booking also.
Christchurch International Airport to Timaru is a delightful 2 hour drive. Direct flights to Christchurch from Melb/Syd/Bris/Auck/Wel are pretty affordable. We will organize group transport options from chch (bus or mini-van with trailer) for those arriving at the most popular times.
Marky Penrice reckons: “CHC Polo (I.e me and anyone who ever wants to help) could organise getting everyone down there as long as visiting people were willing to split some petrol costs or pay towards a minibus or whatever.”
We will arrange sponsorship money to cover travel from Chch to Timaru.
Why Timaru:Check out our contribution to a local short film fest. The topic was Earth Hour and bike polo was the core theme for the video of making the most of Timaru’s free, non powered, sport offerings. http://youtu.be/AF7rtHR_ako
Optional Pre-Tourney Polo Tour
This is your chance to see the South Island in style – Hardcourt Bike Polo style. Come to NZ a week early and travel with fellow Polo enthusiasts and play shuffle games in each of these famous spots:
Christchurch – Tekapo (Mt Cook) – Wanaka – Queenstown – Timaru
This would depend on numbers, we would release a full itinerary, and costs, in heaps of time for people to decide if it is for them and then book accordingly.
Messages of Support
Timaru District Council
Thank you for your enquiry about the courts.
We would be happy to make courts available for this event. If you are successful I would like to discuss the event with you so that everything goes smoothly. Good luck with the application!
Parks and Recreation Manager
Timaru District Council
The Cyclery – Biggest bike shop in town
The Cyclery agrees in principle to sponsor this event in the form of a bike mechanic at the courts and help with transporting bikes if needed. We are really excited to see Bike Polo at its highest level played here in Timaru, all the best for your bid.
Bike Inc – Another most excellent bike shop
Being involved from the start of it all, of course we (BIKE INC.) will be more than happy to support you (TIMARU BIKE POLO) in any we can.
Let us know if we can be of any assistance at all…
Economic & Tourism Development Agency for Timaru District
Congratulations on choosing to bid for Timaru to host the 2013 Australasian Bike Polo Championships. Timaru is ideally suited to hosting sporting events like this and Aoraki Development Business & Tourism would be glad to support your bid and, if successful, your planning for the event.
Timaru has two sport venue hubs with suitable asphalt for your sport; Caroline Bay with its beach, tennis courts and brand new Aquatic Centre and roller skating rink, AND the SBS Events Centre with a full range of sports facilities and amenities. Each of these are in close proximity a full range of accommodation options.
We are more than happy to put you in touch with the right people for access to courts, accommodation and businesses for sponsorship opportunities.
Aoraki Development Business & Tourism
Polo in Timaru – the background:
Polo started in Timaru as recently as October 2011, since then we have enjoyed the following:
How many how often:
Involvement in tournaments:
Growth and promotion of Polo:
We really love our Bike Polo and are keen to grow the sport in NZ – hosting AHBPC will be significant for this.
Timaru’s Polo People
We are lucky to have in our polo playing circle people who are sufficiently well placed to help make running AHBPC 2013 sweet as! Players include:
[Officially Best] Bar owner (Rich)
[Best] Cafe owner (Ash M)
Energy company [biggest sports funder in region] Project Manager (Ash R)
Economic & Tourism Development Manager (Sam C)
Radio DJ (Sam W)
Man of God & Physio (Dave)
Heavy Industrial Engineer (Roy)
Environment Canterbury staffer (Rob)
Fireman & Farm contractor (Leighton)
Volkswagen Restorer (Marc)
Graphic Designer (Jamie)
Baker & cocktail genius (Ally)
Previous Event Organising Experience:
In case you’re wondering if this small group of Timaruvians can pull of a tourney of this scale, here are a few events Timaru Polo players have been significantly involved in:
Movember – TiMOru http://nz.movember.com/mospace/network/timoru
Timaru became the NZ capital of Movember in 2011 with over $15K raised. It involved multiple events throughout the month including The ‘NZ Man of Movember Gala Party’ in Timaru as the NZ Movember finale. Good on you Rich!
The Undie 700 http://theundie700.co.nz/
Awesome fundraising event. These crazy cats, led by Leighton, drive 50cc scooters from Timaru to Nelson (570km) – She’s a well run event we can assure you which runs annually.
Tornados 40th Anniversary Hot Rod run
Ash R played a major part in the organisation of the highly successful 40th Anniversary Hot Rod weekend attended by hundreds of enthusiasts. Run by implementing work related project management skills to the organising of the event.
South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards http://www.southcanterbury.org.nz/awards
Annual Gala Awards, a big event for Timaru celebrating business success, 400 odd punters for a full meal, entertainment etc. Its a big gig to organise but Sam C sees it as all in a days work… cos it’s his work.
We would love to host Australasia Hardcourt Bike Polo in all its glory here in Timaru. Give us the chance by having a word to your rep on the ‘Jedi Council’ asking them to vote Timaru, NZ!!!!!!!!
By Sam Callander
In last weeks edition of the City Report we talked with Brook Tait-Styles from Sydney, Australia. This week we talk to Sam Callander about bike polo in Timaru, New Zealand.
How long has polo been played in Timaru?
Six months. It was started by Mark who had moved from Christchurch to live on the sunny plains of South Canterbury. He had all the gear and the passion and was patient enough to teach us noobs.
How many regular players do you have?
About 10 to 15.
How often do you play?
Twice a week, Sunday arvo and Monday evening. So two days of awesomeness followed by 5 sslloooooowww days where we get the shakes waiting to play again. Both days are very social but Monday night is looking to become a bit of a league night soon as we try to build up to the Winter Whack tournament in Christchurch in June.
Tell us about your courts
40 x 20, unless basketballers are playing beside us and we narrow to 18m, however we are very scary with our bikes and beers and fans and stuff….. so that hardly ever happens. The surface is asphalt and smooth as!
How many different courts do you use?
Just the one at Caroline Bay, its a really lovely spot, most of us live close enough to bike there without breaking a sweat, very handy indeed. We are on the look out for a wet weather option, but have only been forced under cover to the local (open but empty) carpark building twice in 6 months.
Do you pay to hire them?
Free as a bird, the council even let us put up boards around the edge…. well, half the edge. Storage space near by would be mint.
Do you have lights?
Not so much, under lights would be pretty awesome…
Have you had any tournaments or demos lately? Do you have any tournaments or demos coming up?
We are yet to host a tournament, plans are in place for something pretty big and pretty special in Movember. TiMOru was NZ’s capital of Movember last year, with lots of events, money raised and “Welcome to TiMOru” signs. A MOvember Bike Polo tourny or demo would go down very well!
Do you have a league?
Not yet but we are oh so close. We really want to start a league to skill up ready for the likes of the Winter Whack in Christchurch this june. We are just finalising some teams and are likely to start a league this week.
What have you found works the best to get new players?
Talking about it really. Richard owns the best bar in town and Ash the best cafe, so they spread the word really well with their clients/mates. We did have an article in the local rag which had some interest, and the video we made has a few views too. We now have signs up at the courts saying when we play. At the end of the day its all word of mouth but i think the other stuff like newspaper, signs and videos help get people from “that sound dangerous” to “I’ll give that a go”…. which sees them come back the next week with a reconditioned bike and a home made mallet. -its a highly addictive sport.
Tell us an interesting face about your city
Hmmmm interesting fact about Timaru…. It has New Zealand’s best and newest speed roller skating rink, which is something we would dearly like to convert into NZ’s ‘best and newest’ bike polo court….. in time maybe.
Questions by Virginia Castellan
Answers and photographs by Sam Callander
Look out for next weeks City Report featuring another polo playing city of Australia or New Zealand.