Sunday, 23 March 2014

ThunderShafts: London Bike Polo League VI mission accomplished

ThunderShafts, entered the 6th London bike Polo Winter League with one focus: to manage to complete the league; no matter how many games were lost. This was our first league, and our aim was realistic.

My on-going thought during the London bike polo winter league has been fluctuating from "this is great, it's the only way to stay engaged with polo during winter" to "please, make it stop!" It has been painful at times, especially playing outdoors in zero degrees, in hard rain, following a full day's work - i guess that would have been bearable  if a few games were won; or maybe if a few games were lost with a bit of a closer score. But when you are losing every game with tens of goals difference, the thought that dominates is "please, make this game stop". To add to the downside, after our first game, there was a shift from internal team enthusiasm to a crisis of falling out with a team mate, so shifts in the team had to be made. The second game was played with a sub, Maddie, and the remaining games with Julia, who has been more than amazing: great player but also gentle  playing with us noobs. We couldn't have hoped for a better person joining us. So ThunderShafts became to be Ana, Julia and me, Io. (the only all-girl team).

At the beginning of the league we were predicted to come last and were shifted to division 2. Until our second to last game, the prediction stood true. We were at 8th (last) position with 6 games played, 6 games lost (0 won) and -159 goal difference.

The last game, which was the one game we were really looking forward, was our only chance to prove the prediction of finishing last, wrong and claim (7th) second to last position. The team predicted to come second to last, Winter Has Come, had much better stats, with -128 goal difference, but we wouldn't let this influence us; although a newbie and not very talented polo player, my previous experience in sports, made me think that this game was about which team was going to lose its cool and focus first. And 45 minutes (the agreed length for the league games) was a long time for both teams to get stressed, unfocused, tired. My personal tactics were to help the much better players in the team by blocking and freeing them up to do their stuff, and Julia and Ana did exactly that. The game, which was very tense, was played clean; Julia cancelled one of her own goals calling it off as a shuffle. The end result came to a win for us, with just one goal difference and with a final shot on the last second by Winter Has Come that got stuck between the cone and our goal keeper's back wheel (right in front of the goal line)! We were lucky as this concluded our last game being our first league game win. And shifting to 7th place. Whether we were the better team, i do not know as it is somewhat hard to judge, but i think we wanted this win the most, and we managed to keep focused, just a little bit longer than Winter Has Come.

for league VI info:
ThunderShafts on defence

Our final game: Winter Has Come Vs ThunderShafts
Photos by Aleksandra

Friday, 28 February 2014

Clerks Vs ThunderShafts

Bike polo feeling more like water polo. Too much rain! No breaks!
Clerks Vs ThunderShafts

Video by Paul Kubalek

Check out Clerks Bike Polo here:

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wild West Beginners' Bike Polo Tournament

12th October 2013: Wild West Beginners' Bike Polo Tournament at Westways, London: A tournament for people who have been playing polo for a year or less.

Ana, Fuschia and I formed our all-girl team "Snot Rockets" and entered having zero days of playing together. Nevertheless, with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss we entered the semi-finals, only to be knocked out by the amazing Spider Pigs (Apollo, Mathias, Hugo).

Spider Pigs went on to battle the finals against The Refugees, a team featuring the wonderful Favio of the Underdogs (yes, he did not meet the "beginners only" rule; he thought that London beginners would have a polo skill matching to his- he was totally wrong! Oops! but what a compliment!)

After a breathtaking game, Spider Pigs claimed victory scoring the golden goal. Spider Pigs deserved the win; they played tough, they played fast and they played as a team throughout the tourney, and they wanted it bad! (you could see it in Hugo's eyes!)

Snot Rockets did quite well with 3rd place, and we are proud of our results:

Snot Rockets: 5
Team Doing Alright: 2

Snot Rockets: 3
Los Nuevos: 2

Snot Rockets: 6
Polo Loco: 0

Snot Rockets: 0
Spider Pigs: 7

Snot Rockets: 5
True Beginners: 1

Snot Rockets: 1
The Refugees: 1

Semi Finals:
Snot Rockets: 4
Spider Pigs: 7

 Final Results:
1. Spider Pigs
2. The Refugees
3. Snot Rockets

Photos by Paul Kubalek

Snot Rockets scoring against Los Nuevos
Snot Rockets Vs Team Doing Alright
Team Doing Alright Vs True Beginners
Spider Pigs

 More photos at:

Monday, 7 October 2013

BFF bike polo tournament: 6th October 2013, London

Sunshine, warm weather, BBQ, ale from Hackney brewery and 52 people playing bike polo.
This sums up this years Bicycle Film Festival bike polo tournament.

The teams were totally randomly shuffled and winning seemed to be based on luck, but nevertheless, this was a great and fun day.

Photos by Jack Buster Chamberlain. Click on Jack for more photos

Monday, 2 September 2013

Wild West Beginners' Bike Polo Tournament, London

12th October 2013 at Westway Sports Centre, 1 Crowthorne Rd London W10 6RP
Hosted by the London Hardcourt Bike Polo
For anyone who has been playing polo for less than a year (or so)

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Interpolas: Latin-American Ladies' Bike Polo Tournament 20-22 September 2013

INTERPOLAS: the first Latin-American ladies' bike polo tournament, with teams from Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil among others.

The tournament will take place on 20th-22nd September 2013, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"Liga Feminina de Bike Polo",  the first ladies' bike polo league  in Brazil which was created in 2012,  is hosting the tournament, with the aim to create a supportive space for all the Latin-American women polo players. 

Best of luck to all the teams especially to "No Horse" from Brazil.

To contact the organisers email:
For more info check out Torneio Interpolas

Friday, 30 August 2013

London Open Bike Polo Tourney 2013

23rd-25th August brought us the London Open Bike Polo Tournament at Highbury Fields (north London). 

Ana, Lois and I entered our all-girl-team under the name "No Horse" representing the Brazilian ladies' team under Liga Feminina de Bike Polo.  We  have been playing for less than a year (and never had the chance to all play/practise together) so it was not a great surprise that our results were poor. (although we should had really won those Killer Tomatoes (a team from Grantham; lovely guys by the way) and we should had reached a better performance against the Flowery tw*ts (a team from Sheffield). Despite that, i had the time of my life and loved every second of it, and i should really thank Paul K, Ben, Phil, Kev and Jess for convincing me to enter. In Kev's words "you are going to get trashed but you'll have a great time" and that was exactly our experience of our first London Open. Of course, i should thank my awesome "No Horse" team mates, Ana and Lois for being amazing, for the high-fives, the laughs, the hugs, the beer and for not getting annoyed for managing to disqualify us at the dance-off! :-). (The end party was epic too! what a great weekend)

Awesome photo of Ana by Will Melling

I spent Friday with a bunch of polo players building up 3 courts; although tiring it was so great to exprerience this great sense of community, efficiency and fun too. Here we are measuring the courts and drawing the centre line

"No Horse" playing in the rain: Ana (L) Io and Lois (R)

No Horse getting ready to play in the Brooks court