Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pet Peeve

I was finally perusing the (pretty great) photos over at and came across one that reminded me of one of my least favorite moves right now that hovers somewhere in the gray zone - in practice, if not the rules. Observe, the arm-check:

Photo ©Greg Van Barben, yanked from the above website.

Check out Mr. Stripes, shoulder-checking SeƱor Blackshirt. Ok, contact in general, whatever. Slam into my body, my shoulder, my mallet arm, my leg, what-the-ever. But stay the hell away from my steering arm, ESPECIALLY from the elbow down. This picture isn't really the best (aka worst) example of this, because it doesn't look like there's a whole lot of power here. But if you go full tilt into my steering arm, the outcomes just aren't much fun. Granted, I will try to hold course or possibly roll off to the opposite side, but IF I should buckle (and I don't exactly have mighty oaks for arms, fellas), your hit will cause me to turn my wheel INTO your bike, which ends up horribly for both of us.

So if we're just ambling along, no HUGE deal. I'm a little perturbed, maybe I dab, maybe you do too, but life and limb are more or less whole. But those hits, especially the hard ones, don't seem to happen too much at anything less than mach seven breakaways where the other player is desperate to stop a goal. This exact thing happened to me at the last big tournament I played in. Hard-fought game, probably the hardest one we played that tournament, against the eventual number one team. We were down, but definitely not getting destroyed. So I finally get a breakway and off course, intensity high, I'm putting my testes into it. Balls out. And yeah, I get checked from my left side on my steering arm and crash hard. Needless to say, no goal. And the other guy was more or less fine, so yeah, as far as he's concerned, great tactic, right?

Now, in all fairness, I'm sure the guy wasn't trying to crash me specifically, just push my off to the side or put me off enough not to score. But it still sucks, and seeing that photo made me remember it, so yeah, rant! Here's some blurry pictures of the play:

The hit...

...and the fall. Both images by Jeff Wagner.

I never did post a report from South in Your Mouth (our first tournament and the one that the pics are from) and yeah, it's been months now, but maybe I'll do that soon, ha.