Greetings to the polo-verse, Ann Arbor Polo is still alive and well. I apologize for the year+ lack of posting. I had a sledge hammer of a school year and a busy summer in the shop to keep me from updating this blog. But now I’ve got some free time to update and write a post. Also our club mate ‘lil Jim should be starting to contribute to this blog in hopes of breathing fresh life into it.
I should take polo blogging to the next level, or at least my next level and take some notes from our friend Zachary in Bloomington, he runs a killer polo blog. Go over and check it out if you haven’t already, the URL is topshelfpolo.com. Really making me look bad there dude.
So a lot had happened in the last year in the polo-verse, in the club, the state, and the whole picture. In the larger polo-verse this year’s competitive season has come and gone, that is a good place to start. For those of you that do not know the qualifying system for teams (of three people) that want to play in the Continental and World stages (Continental would be like North America, South America, or Europe) your team must play in your club’s region’s qualifier, then if you and your team make the cut-off to get to NAHBPC (North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Champeenships). If you and your team play well at NAHPBC and make the cut-off to qualify for WHBPC (World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships). With the growing popularity of the sport this past year’s qualifiers were very full, but I suppose that is a good problem to have.
Here is Mitten Polo ready to play in Madison.
With the intro out of the way I can now walk us through my 2012 tournament season. I played with my friends Jon and Piet, our team name is/was Mitten Polo. CONGRATS PIET! We are all so happy for you and Molly with the birth of Niels, you guys are going to be great parents and we look forward to your return to the club if and when you can find the time. Sorry, had to get that somewhere on this post. Mitten Polo played in the Mid-West Champeenships, and the ESPI’s (East Side Polo Invite) for our two qualifiers. We played poorly in the Mid-West’s and missed qualifying by literally two goals, we got hooped. Mid-West’s were held in Madison, Wisconsin this year. It was fun to visit there with Jon, his girlfriend Rebecca, and Piet even if we didn’t do as well as we had hoped. We went to some cool coffee houses, and stayed with our friend Gavin, he rocks. So with our defeat in hand we went back to the mitten and the drawing board for our last chance to qualify in Fredrick, Maryland at the ESPI’s.
Fredrick is a cool town too, lots of old brick buildings downtown. There was a great BBQ place there, I’d go for some of that right now actually. The courts were big, and smooth. They were full sized hockey rinks with real boards. This is the first time I’ve played net against the east coast forwards, they are pretty damned good. We played much better there and just barley qualified for NAHPBC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In Milwaukee we played pretty well against a stacked field. Some of the games just felt like we were getting good looks at the net but the goals were just out of our grasp. But there is always next year, even if I will not be playing with the complete Mitten Polo or maybe even two new people. Only time will tell.
So with Worlds in Geneva this year we all couldn’t afford that trip so NAHBPC was our big show and we have fun there and the road that go us there. I’ll come back soon and give an update on culture of polo developing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Until then, keep the ribber side down everyone. Rubber side down.