agreed and i never had the energy to contest at high level bike polo in 13 years. i ve always been a very passive player and i never broke anything but seeing such a high amount of injuries this season prove the point. i ranked 2nd of fhbpc in 2012 with piks and tonnio and 7th the year after with utopist and that was probably the most intense level i had because of the stakes people really really want to win ( i never felt that urge )
back then rules where non existent as well so you really had to be aware of where you would put yourself.
i just want to see how far i can classify without hurting myself
although , i would say that these players know why they are ready to make this sacrifice and play 200% something they are passionate about. the reffing is essential to control these feelings and keep the players in check.
in an ideal world everyone is perfect.
i hope the conversation remains open and i believe that we are a big enough crowd to cater events and tournaments aimed at each levels of players ,
maybe some player have to admit that the most competitive plays are not for them
maybe some of the elite players have to retire before they kill themselves trying to beat each other year after year and just be satisfied with the amazing 10 years run they had.
i think the latest already happen in NA and have allowed a newer scene to take over, without their 10 years old top team dominating the scene it allowed for newly re organised and better gender balanced team to emerged.
when in europe those same “teams” ( but rather say pool of 10yo players) kept training with the world champ title in mind , brushing off any newish player from their rank by a wild natural selection .
i think if a team of flinta had stick together for 10 years and kept on playing today they would have been on top no doubt. and i encourage flinta player to start doing so right now , but the sacrifice to be at this level is huge and keep in mind that a lot of non-flinta players also feel that gap. a lot of flinta players stopped playing , and a lot of non flinta players too. unfortunately the ratio of genders never been equal in bike polo so we will hugely miss on any flinta players stopping.
at the end of the day you will always be exposed to dangerous play within bike polo even at pick up because of dick heads but you dont have to mix with them.
thats unfortunately a reality for many activities and even in all flinta sports ( Women NBA has quite a few extreme bully as far as i ve seen) and it might be the case in polo in the future, with the sport growing more, the competitiveness reaching new heights , and the feeling of “family” fading away, that some aggressive behaviours emerge within the all flinta crowd itself.
my final saying is that i would love next year to be mandatory mix gender worlds at least one year just to make it happen since all the flinta players are demanding it.
i think the all male teams can definetly commit to train all season with the player of their choice and make it work.although the pool of flinta player is very scarce and it would be hard for every team to find one, or a lot of work or pressure for the flinta player joining a top team
i also think it would allow for more balanced and respectful games.
ive never been so proud to see polo with so many mix gender team at worlds playing the best they could against the top.
the level displayed by these flinta players was on pair with any other and i didnt feel that they were “tokenized” or there only for the quota.
instead i saw great polo and i would be very proud to see this sport evolve in this way.
if established all male teams disagree they can throw a side tournaments without mandatory mix team and call it “the super smash bros”
but it would be healing for the community to think about next year in this fully inclusive way and realize it is a fantastic opportunity for us to do so.