It had been a while since we last ‘got serious’ about our Bike Polo in Brisbane and staged a proper tournament. So Shifty picked a date, Gypsy drew a flyer and the weather gods provided a sunny Brisbane winter’s day for some great Polo action!
15 players turned up at noon to dip their names in the hat, and the teams were drawn at random, with a nice mixture of abilities and experience spread throughout. The teams elected names and were pitted against each other in 20 minutes matches.
Swift and Shift – Shifty, Gypsy, Ben
Slightly Average – Antmandan, Jamie, Kenny
Sheeet – Erik, Brett, Johnson
Squatters – Simon, Mace, Karl
Racquateers – Dave, Marty, Andy
For the initial rounds it was first to 3, highest score at the buzzer, and if scores were drawn at the buzzer a penalty shootout from halfway. As it turned out the 20 minute time limit was plenty with most games going between 10-15 minutes. Although one game was finished in under 3 minutes!
After the initial rounds Squatters were 4w-0l, Swift and Shift 3w-1l, and the rest 1w-3l. Sheet had a slightly better number of goals scored/conceded so it went to a deathmatch (first to 5) between Slightly Average and Racqueteers to determine who would be cut. In a hard fought battle Slightly Average made it through 5 – 3.
The semi-final was first to 5 with extra time allocated (30 minutes) 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, winners through to the final, losers to the battle fro 3rd. First up was Shift and Swift vs. Sheet. Swift and Shift won with a convincing 5 – 1. The next game between Squatters and Slightly Average went the same way at 5 – 1.
The minor final (from left): Jamie, Kenny, Dan, Johnson, Brett, Erik
The stage was set for the battle for 3rd, with Sheet pitted against Slightly Average. Sheeet had put up a massive defence throughout the day with a combination of Erik’s power hits from halfway, Brett’s awesome acceleration and Johnson blocking goals. However, having not converted goals for most of the day it was Slightly Average Jamie’s time to shine. At 3-3 he made a stunning goal from half way, subsequently dismounting his bike and playing his mallet like a guitar. I dare say had a can of petrol been on hand he would have poured it over his bike and lit it on fire in true rockstar fashion! This put Slightly Average ahead at 4 – 3 and it wasn’t long before the fifth goal was made.
The grand final (from left): Karl, Simon, Mace, Gypsy, Shifty, Ben
There was no doubt that the final would be hard fought, and we all lost count of how many times bikes went down. Mace had already earned his place as MVP for his standard of play throughout the rest of the day, and it was incredible to watch how he could materialise in front of the Shift and Swift players almost any time they went for a goal. Ben, Karl and Shifty played forward as well and there were some great clashes between these players during the game. Simon and Gypsy positioned themselves back at times which proved to be a good tactic when a loose ball found its way to them. All six players looked equally at home on the court and every single one played right until the last goal. However, having proved themselves throughout the day it was the Squatters that reined supreme.The final score 5 – 3.
The final (from left): Karl, Shifty, Gypsy, Ben, Mace (photo courtesy of JB)
Thanks to all for coming down, particularly the spectators who were there throughout the day, also a special mention to Paul for the eskies full of food and drink!
2nd Swift and Shift
3rd Slightly Average
No Mallet throwing (penalty – concede goal).
Let players retrieve ball from fence line if stuck (ball can be played to self to restart if required).
Goals are only scored off end of mallet.
Goals deflected off opposition count, deflections off team mates (unless end of mallet) do not count.
After scoring, attacking team must return to own goals and can then immediately play on.
After conceding, defending team can immediately play on.
If a player foots down, wheel out and touch fence on any side (don’t interrupt play in doing so).
Attacking side may not dribble or pass ball through opposition goal from behind.
No mallets in wheels or other unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Photos online thanks to Johnson and JB
Cross-posting taken from Brisbane Bike Polo