Epic MWBPC8 Thank You

To everyone who came to the tournament last weekend, my biggest thanks! It was a great mix of awesome people from all over helping us pull off this massive undertaking. We’re working on preparing the results and our media for the web, as well as our budget, and will share all of that as soon as we can.

If ordered a shirt, paid for it and didn’t receive it, or would like to buy a shirt, send me an email and I’ll get it to you somehow. We have a few odd ones left, and are considering a reprint if there’s some interest. I’m printing the posters this weekend and those of you who ordered and paid for them will receive them in the mail. I’ll post the final design and purchase instructions on mplsbikepolo.com after they’re printed. Sorry about not having them ready for the tournament, I was unable to get studio time in the days leading up to the tourney.

At the awards ceremony, I didn’t really have the time to get into the details of how much everyone contributed to our event.

First, a lot of you don’t know Landon very well. He put untold hours into the tournament software we barely used, put up cash to finance the event while we were waiting for registration and sponsorship, and worked with Franklin to get goals and balls. He did almost all the heavy lifting in getting our non-profit set up. He also really helped bring everything together over the last couple of weeks. Of course, he was there all through the tournament running the numbers and partying hardcore.

Dustin, Landon’s brother AKA Mr. Do, coordinated our facilities. He did a shit-ton of work to make the boards, goals, bathrooms and surfaces work. He bought and returned $1200 of lumber at Home Depot, then talked down the guy at another store—getting the plywood for $400. Without his van, tools, cash, attitude and unemployment, the tournament would not have gone off as well. He reffed the shit out of about 1,000 games.

Jerry and Nick basically designed the boards (with committee input, naturally) and wrote the lumber order. John let us destroy his back yard while making and storing the boards. Nick rented a U-haul trailer and provided his personal vehicle to transport the boards. Jerry reffed a lot of games too.

Pretty sure the entire crew contributed to the construction of the boards at some point, but Dustin, Ebbin, Jerry, Jeff, John, Nick, James, Sven and Kat did most of the sawing and screwing. On Friday night, we got a ton of help from out-of-towners to get the boards built on-site expeditiously. On Sunday night we got tons of help striking and transporting the boards, but we want to especially thank the crews from Winnipeg and Ann Arbor who stuck around until the finish.

Ebbin, Jaimie (who couldn’t be at the tournament) and Kat coordinated most of the food preparation, storage and service. This is one of the things I wish I had called out more specifically at the awards ceremony. We got an account at a supplier, and these three, with the help of Sven and non-player Greta, put a great deal of effort into making sure all of our players were well-fed. Their work was supplemented by our food sponsors Pizza Lucé and Bruegger’s Bagels.

Kat handled most of the housing arrangements, matching players up with local hosts. Awesome, everyone had a place to sleep! She also reffed tons of games. Galen at the Oakeshott Institute housed 10 teams at their arms & armor shop inside a church. Thanks to Jonny Hunter for the connection.

Sven and Ebbin did most of the sponsor work, helping to hook us up with cash to run the tourney and prizes for players. The super-awesome Beau Layman created the Minnesota Medals and Most Heart prizes. The contributions of our sponsors cannot be overstated.

John G aka Johnny Freewheel, in addition to working on board design and construction, got us power and sound at the courts through his employer. We wish we could have had it both days, but rain will be rain and it was really nice to not have to run around and yell all day on Sunday too.

Laura, one of our occasional players, worked with her non-profit, the One Small Circle Foundation, to fund MWBPC8 as part of their mission to support micro-communities while teaching students about finance and community support.

In addition to our stellar crew of local poloists, we got some help from some outsiders that don’t quite qualify as sponsors but definitely did their part, whether due to my coercion or out of the goodness of their hearts.

Bob Waitz helped us track down a lot of 2x4s and 2x6s that went into constructing the boards, and helped us transport them from the far suburbs into the city. The lumber itself came from Marty, whose barn was destroyed by a tornado, and the lumber was taking up space on his property. Stu Raymond lightly abused his position to help us get our printed materials (spoke cards, game forms, player packets) ready in time for the tournament, even if the designer (ahem) was running super-late. Greta was at Dunwoody most of the time running errands (read: buying booze for Landon and I), but also cooked a shitload of rice and did almost any task assigned to her. Kristin helped us do some sales and opened up some time for us to work on data management. It was her first bike polo experience!

Dave and Maggie from Tillie’s Bean, in addition to being our coffee sponsor, provided us with additional water vessels, helped us sling raffle tickets, and were an all-around awesome addition the the tourney. Landon and Dustin’s mom Ronnie took a ton of photos, helped us get party beer, and was our raffle drawer. Gene and the whole staff at One On One Bicycle Studio made the insane Saturday party possible, and never seemed to be irritated that a bunch of out-of-towners were ruining their reputation with the neighbors. Jarret and the bar staff at the 501 Club were helpful and accommodating as usual. We also received substantial cash donations from my sister, Letta, and Lucky from St. Louis.

Midwest Championships Schedule

by Matt Sepeta

We are all done constructing the courts. All we do now is wait for the madness to start.

What you, the spectator, can do now is to enjoy what we have wrought.

Over 40 teams will compete at the 8th Midwest Bike Polo Championships. This year teams from over 25 different cities will be attending. Largely comprised of most every state in the Midwest and out to Florida, Texas, DC, Toronto, Colorado, California and more!

Here is the shortlist of events, culled from the last update.


Come down to the 501 Club on Friday night for the pre-registration party and to say hello to all our out of town guests. There will be live music with no cover.


Get to the courts at Dunwoody College located in downtown Minneapolis at 818 Dunwoody Blvd for the first match at 10am. Play will go all day on three separate courts until 7/8pm.

Chef Shack will be on hand both days from 10am to 6pm to feed your hunger.

After the first days game there will be the obligatory and awesome alley party.


Matches begin at 10am and shortly after that the top 24 teams from the original will compete in a double elimination bracket for the Jenny Cup. Food, water and bathrooms will be on site all day both days for you to make yourself comfortable.

Stay in the loop by following @mplsbikepolo and watching the news as it comes in at #MWBPC8 on search.twitter.com.

MWBPC8 Tournament Update

Our crew of dedicated players and sponsors are hard at work to make sure the MWBPC8 coming up this weekend is a blast for everyone! Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about the tourney.

The courts are located in one lot on the southwest corner of downtown Minneapolis at Dunwoody College. We are constructing courts from scratch for the site. The three courts will be 120’x60′, with 2′ walls, braced and weighted, with additional height for goal backstops. Goals are 72″ (w) x 32″ (h) x 30″ (d) with nets.

Friday night pre-registration will be at the 501 Club in downtown Minneapolis. We’ll have someone there after 7pm. We’ll accept cash, check and credit card payment for online and new registrations. You can get your player packet, t-shirts, and posters there as well. Beers, food, awesome music lineup and a great place to meet up with your hosts. A lot of our crew will be down at Dunwoody constructing courts—if you feel like helping, it would be appreciated. Bring a drill! There is also a faction attending the Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers in the new Target Field. The stadium is just a couple of miles from Dunwoody and the 501.

Saturday morning we’ll open registration and start up breakfast at 8am. Players can check in and register on-site, we’ll be able to accept cash, checks and hopefully credit cards (depending on our internet connection—we’re a ways from the building). We’ll have the MANDATORY (!!!) player meeting at 9:30, where we’ll discuss rules, last minute particulars, and tournament structure.

Games will begin at 10am on Saturday and continue until about 8pm. Games will be scheduled in batches at the end of each Swiss round. There will be at least one Swiss round on Sunday morning at 10am. We anticipate the 24-team double-elimination phase of the tournament to start at about 1pm and continue until about 7pm.

Saturday night, we will be partying in the legendary alley behind the One On One Bicycle Studio in downtown Minneapolis. There will be beverages. There will be derbies. There will be pickup polo.

The tournament itself will consist of 6-8 rounds of Swiss-style tournament to rank the 24-team double-elimination tournament. Game length will be determined at the close of registration on Saturday morning. The teams will be split into two groups for the Swiss rounds. One group will play first, from 10-3, and the other 3-8, with additional rounds on Sunday morning. We expect Swiss round games to be 10 minutes each, with 15 minutes allotted for a set of 3 concurrent games. Games will be played to time, ties are recorded as ties. At the end of each round, ranking will be updated and the next round of competitors scheduled. Initial Swiss round ranking will be determined by a combination of self-rankings provided during registration and the opinion of the tournament organizers. Ranking at the end of each round play teams with like records, avoiding rematches and intra-league games. Other game statistics may factor into rankings.

A referee will start the game, watch time, record statistics and assign penalties. We will do our best to accurately record and share game statistics, but we ask that players understand we’re talking about a lot of data! We will try to have goal judges for every game, but the referee will have the final say on goals. Please see the expanded rules here. We expect players to referee one game and goal judge two games during the swiss tournament, however we will not be assigning refs and judges.

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited from the grounds of Dunwoody College. Please do not bring or consume alcoholic beverages on the campus. You may wish to note, for your off-court party needs, that all liquor stores in Minnesota are closed on Sundays.

We ask that you bring a container for water, coffee and tea and permanent dinnerware for breakfast and lunch. We’re trying to keep our waste to a bare minimum and bringing your own makes a huge difference.

There will be breakfast and lunch for registered players, as well as coffee from Tillie’s Bean and water all day. See Sven’s post on The League for a detailed menu. Local food cart Chef Shack will be on site with more delicious snacks! The tournament is located quite centrally, and there is ready access to a wide variety of goods and services nearby, including bars, restaurants, grocery stores and coffee shops. Check out the map with all of the official locations on it. Thanks, Sven!

There will be a well-equipped mechanic from Freewheel Bikes on site during the tournament.

As of Monday afternoon, National Weather Service is forecasting Mostly Sunny with high of 78 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday. You should bring sunscreen and insect repellent. There isn’t much shade in the area, so if you can borrow a shade tent from someone, you will probably enjoy it!

If you have any questions, let us know and we’ll try to get an answer to you all quick-like! Thanks for coming everyone!


Dunwoody parking lot

If you were wondering how smooth the court surface for the 8th Midwest Bike Polo will be, look no further than this photo.

Shipping Your Bike To MPLS

If you’re coming to Minneapolis for MWBPC8 and want to ship your bike, we have worked out arrangements with our super awesome mechanical sponsor Freewheel Bikes. Freewheel operates a bike shop on the Midtown Greenway that is accessible to air travelers via Hiawatha Light Rail. Please follow the instructions provided by Freewheel below to ship you bike in advance of the tournament.

    Shipping Your Bike To Minneapolis

  • We have made arrangements with Freewheel’s Midtown shop to receive bikes shipped in by out-of-town players.
  • Freewheel has a public shop at their Midtown location; you can re-assemble your bike with real tools and a repair stand for cheap.
  • Please call Freewheel before you ship your bike to let them know it’s coming! (612-238-4447)
  • Please clearly write your first and last name on the outside of the box to make things easier for the shop.
  • UPS and FedEx are recommended. Other carriers may not know how to get from the loading dock down to the shop; it’s complicated…
  • Arrange for shipping to Freewheel Midtown’s address as follows:

    Freewheel Midtown Bike Center
    attn: bike polo tournament
    2834 10th Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55407

    Shipping your bike back home:

  • Shipping must be arranged by you, simply using Freewheel’s location as the pickup point.
  • If you don’t want to box it yourself, Freewheel charges $50 to disassemble and securely box a bike for shipping.
  • Free cardboard bike boxes are almost always available; you can box it up yourself if you’d prefer; bring packing materials!
  • Make sure your boxed bike is at Freewheel when it is scheduled to be picked up. UPS usually comes through early in the day.

MWBPC8 Courts

We are hard at work putting the finishing touches on our courts for the 8th Midwest Bike Polo Championships in May. We’ve reclaimed enough scrap wood to make brace supports for all three courts. Creating as little waste as possible is important to us and we’re tickled that a tornado damaged barn will supply enough material to create our court’s brace structure.

Jerry our resident engineer and handy man, mocked up these prototype board sections. The prototypes look solid and with thicker plywood will make for three top notch, identical and strong courts. Each court will be 120′ x 62′ with not square but squared off corners. The boards behind the goal will be at least 40″ tall. Check out the photos below.

Continue reading “MWBPC8 Courts”