The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships (NAHBPC) received 2972 unique viewers over the three-day event in August this year. The figure is undoubtedly higher as many screens had more than one spectator – some with whiteboards and notepads. European tournament broadcasting has not been as consistent.
bikepolo.tv and Mr.Do’s Vimeo coverage provide players with resources to review and plan successful responses to the teams being watched. At this time those teams are North American, with the exception of some international teams playing in North American tournaments. Is this creating an unfair advantage for European players?
The efforts of Uolmo and others to record the European game have not gone unnoticed but they can’t be compared to the scale and consitency of North American broadcasting.
Is bikepolo.tv responsible for the rapid progression of European teams and their success against more exposed North American counterparts?
This year we saw the NAHBPC winners, Beavers beginning to successfully execute the block, or moving pick. A move popularised by the success of French and German teams in European tournaments over the past three years, and most notably to success in the World Championships of 2012 in Geneva. Would North American teams have adopted this move sooner and successfully countered it if European polo was more visible? Has the dearth of European full-game footage and tournament streaming lead to a blinkered North American game and, conversely, a tactically prepared European game?
The 2013 World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will prove interesting: many European teams have been keeping close eyes on the progress of their North American opponents which may lead to tactical advantages. The travelling European teams should be more prepared than ever with the recent NAHBPC coverage, and more Mr.Do videos to come, but will they succeed in Florida? We don’t have the answers but we can’t wait to find out!
PS. bikepolo.tv are looking for feedback on their coverage of the NAHBPC, let them know what you thought here.