Geoff Brice Newsletter discussion

Foosball chat / key issues and discussion
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Bundy Volume 1
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Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:00 am

Speaking from my limited experience of such things, I don't think that tournaments (in the ways which they are currently run) are suitable for much more people than were attending in the 1st half of the sporting year (towards 100 people).
I think it's great that people want loads of new tournie players, but if any grass-roots developments were to have huge and quick success then it would cause big problems for tournament running.
I do not want to criticise those who organise and run tournaments in the slightest! I have seen how hard they can be to run, and I am extremely grateful to those who put the effort in to do so. However I think all would agree that all tournaments run events late due to delays etc etc. Add in many more players (say nearing 200) then I can't see all the current events being run and completed within a weekend.
There are 2 obv (and easy) solutions to this, however both have their problems.

1) Decrease the number of events.
From conversations I've had in the past with those who have been around longer than me, I believe that tournaments have been successfully run in this country with numbers nearing 200. These tournaments were a few years ago now, and only had open and rookie events (again, only going on memory of past convo's - please correct me if I am wrong). I'm sure if we limited ranking tournaments today to the same events they could be run with the potentially increased numbers.
However this is the one thing that would stop me from attending tournaments, or at least hugely decrease the number I go to. Back in the days of just open and rookie there weren't really any number's of semi-pro's. Now they dominate the rankings, with me as one of them. Obv my ability level is far far less than all pro's/most top end semi-pro's, so if I only had open events, I'd play very few games - thus not worth spending money to turn up.

2)Get more tables in.
With many more tables than usual, more games could be played at once, thus more people could enter and things run smoothly - obv. However this has the obv draw-back of cost. With increased tables comes increased table fees. The UKO had pretty high tables fees (understandably) but high prices will always deter n00bs and the bottom section of each ranking bracket (who likely wont win many games etc)

Maybe the way tournaments are run can be changed to please all - but I don't want to speculate on that now.

All of what I have said is not the big issue though. Geoff's piece was about the state of the UK game - and that does not just mean tournament attendance - it is much bigger than that.

So taking into account this, and all the previous stuff I said, I think the best way to go would be having multiple, local, no-snake etc, non-ranking tournaments. These could use locally sourced tables (no-point holding them in areas where there aren't tables, 'cause no locals play there) to keep the costs right down. These could be headed up by those involved with Steve Lyall regional grass-roots program (potentially). Those that excel in these could then move on to the national ranking tournaments, slowly feeding into them (as I am sure that few of those who would even go to a local no-snake block-foot garlando tournament would want to travel and play in the current national tournaments).

Interesting to hear what others have to say on this.

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Post by Richard » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:43 am

The Mongoose wrote:I hope to be able to reply to Richard's posts soon.
I had not intended to get involved in discussion, and my objective had been to rebalance the picture of events, as i your original comments are exceptionally one sided and unfair. I had not sought to justify or elaborate, but to assist you in understanding why i feel this way see below.

My principle gripe is that i felt i did everything that could possibly have been asked of me to involve you in the national scene, and that The BFA as an organisation was absolutely above board / pro-active / positive in all its dealings with Geoff. If your gripes are with Boris, say so. You imply that there was an unanimous decision to move against you, but you ignore or misremember numerous events/facts. I pick out some below:

- i reckon i spent 20+ hours during my time as chair trying to get you to reengage in the national scene. The issue was you had retired from running tournaments, your players never wanted to play tournaments (even the events you put on for them in your own words were disappointing), you did not want BFA players walking away with the winnings, your players never helped you with organisation, your players had a grudge against you for some reason.

- remember when i left about 4 messages on your answerphone over numerous weeks? whne i finally caught you, you admitted you would not have returned the call. An hour later you said that you were really glad that we had spoken and that it had straightened lots of things out. Yet here we are 4 years later talking about the same old Bloop. I have literally had some of these debates 5 times with you, and on every occasion i have explained that decisions are often not straightforward but are well considered, yet here we are with the same black'n'white observations of discrimination.

- You seemed to think choice of table for Reading 2002 was due to me, but ignore that it was Boris' event, that he ran, and that he sourced tables for. How DARE you criticise someone (me or Boris) for putting the effort into running a tournament. How Dare you criticise people for doing what they believe is right, irrespective of the benefit of foresight or hindsight or whatever.

- For Reading 2003, there was universal player demand for world champion tables. I was desperately keen to have some events on older style tables, and had hoped for support from yourself. In the end i asked Mightymast adn Chris Dolan supplied 6 brand new FAS tables (very similar table and in many ways a better pub table as it requires less cleaning). Your response? extreme disappointment, bitterness and long time resentment that i did not ignore the wishes of all the top players / organisers and SOMEHOW source old style garlandos (from where you never said).

- I remember the first event where i felt i had a good chance of getting into the final (the adam/louis show event). I went 2 and out in the DE because we were on the really Bloop table in the back. Uncleaned for the last 6 months, slick glass surface, not level, not tournament quality. I do not bear grudges but that day taught me that for the game to develop the most important factor was access to high quality tables. I do not doubt that you maintain your tables in general much better than this, but when you say the solution is to turn the glass over and use the orange egg balls in some of your sites it really highlights the difference between serious players and toy-table-playing noobs. Dont expect me, Boris or anyone else apologise for promoting high quality tournament tables the last 5 years.

- Equally, it was clear to me when i first got involved that the BFA needed access to its own tables, because the level of support from the operators was so changeable and unpredictable. I made sure that the 4 "BFA" tables (one paid for by me) came with three sets of rods - through, pinny/telescopic and blocky/telescopic, so that organisers would be able to organise the type of event they wanted. I tried repeatedly to get you to take advantage of this fabulous position - no longer did you have to remove tables from schools! Yet no, because 6 years earlier you attended an AGM and they spent the whole while talking about rankings. Whatever.

- Knowing the difference in player table preferences, i raised at one of the AGMs my desire to put on a blocky foot tour, which i would arrange with Dave Morgan (from memory). Despite many weeks of trying to engage you in the idea, your players were not interested/did not want BFA players to win/same old bollocks and in the end the "blocky tour" was just one event in oxford and i think one in cambridge. Where was your support here? At every stage of the establishment of the WC tables the person putting effort into sustaining blocky events on the national scene was me NOT you. Even boris probably did more to try to support this side of things.

- How many times have you moaned to me that your own players are not prepared to help you with tables? How many times have you moaned to me that your own students are not interested in turning up to your events? How many times have you declined offers from The BFA to do the on-the-day stuff to remove the hassle for you? You are completely deluded if you think the BFA has not bent over backwards to try to help you.

- Ultimately, as i said in the first part of my post about 2 pages ago... the BFA has for the last 6 years tried to promote the national scene, improve the standard of play, facilitate events, improve rules/rankings/standards. Whilst there remains an enormous gulf between where the national scene is and where we would all like it to be, what has been achieved has been very significant and it has been achieved by immense hard work by people such as myself, Boris, Pete, Danny, bill(s), rob(s), dave(s), chaz, jon, rhys and many many others.  I think a huge part of the success is that we have a committee with some form of structure - it used to be 3 people none of whom could ever agree and with a turnaround of 6 weeeks. Now, when there is a formal complaint, there is a proper structure for enquiry. When there is a tournament request there is a proper structure for trying to deal with it. When there are items to do in any of the working groups there is a clear empowerment to do them. Tournaments actually get put on by the BFA not the organisers! the BFA actually has access to tables! the BFA is able to use sophisticated computers adn software to run complex events on time! People are quite happy to criticise highly "The BFA" but the BFA is ultimately just a collection of people taking up their own spare time to try to help. And the one on the outside has no right to take offence about the fact that the BFA does not cater for his non-BFA noob members.

- If you have any interest in actually doing not spewing, then reverse your position on participating in a youth championship. We have 10 tables that could be at any of a series of events in the region, with volunteers to run the events using pretty much whatever rules you wanted, probably even with volunteers to load/unload the tables. There are people who would help with sponsorship, with the web stuff, with the publicity. If you have bollocks to do something about it, rather than just talking bollocks about what has gone before, now is the time to decide.


FOR THE RECORD:
- I firmly believe in the diversity of foos, both in terms of shots but also tables, rules, formats. Whilst i was chair i tried to support absolutely anyone who was prepared to put some time/effort into it. I was balanced, diplomatic, enthusiastic, constructive, reconcillatory, organised, motivated, motivating, dedicated.
- That is not to say i am not guilty of doing what everyone does and be led by personal views onthe best way forward. I am firmly anti-snake, anti-DE, anti 1-5/5, anti 15 seconds on the attacker. I would have big groups playing 1-7 followed by SE at every event, try to maximise turnout over standard, and focus on the FUN that bill has mentioned above. I loved foos at uni and the loved early Geoff Brice events more than all others (sharing despondency with Geoff at the time that the boring tornado players - Rhys and co - took all the top places) as that is the time the bug bit.
- However, i dont play any more, and do not check this forum other than the newsletter and some of the working groups. If i had not felt gratuitously flamed i would not have responded to the post.

The end.

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Post by robmoss2k » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:47 am

Oh dear. I hate to say it but Mac makes some fair points from the view of a tournament outsider, and unfortunately for you lot, that view is more important. This is exactly the sort of person we want to get to a tournament - keen as mustard and once dragged in will probably get hooked on tournaments like the rest of us. What he says isn't necessarily wrong, you're just all so short-sighted and set in your ways that you're incapable of anything other than tunnel vision, so you fail to think outside the box and remain dead set on whatever opinions you had before any of this debate kicked off. So, what do we do when this guy has a few things to say? Do we listen and consider what he's said? Do we politely explain why he may be wrong and state a few facts to disprove a point?

No. We just decide that because none of us have met him he must be a retard and we have to rip his head off and crap down his neck.

Well done, I hope you're all proud of yourselves. Now, can we please get back on topic?

Out of the several pages of guff that have polluted this thread since I last checked it, I was interested to see Shovie's bit on attendances. Did you do anything on singles? I'm sure I remember us having to use a 256 chart for OS at Oxford one year, and I don't think we've even broken 100 since.
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Post by Philo » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:01 pm

13 pages of post with no agreed action.

It would seem to me like banning the snake is up to the person running the tables. Be that Geoff in a college or the Holywell guys hosting a national tournament. Only they can chose what the rules are on the tables they choose provide.
  • It is not up to the BFA (they support any table football)
    It is not up to ITSF (we only have to use their brand of table and their brand of rules if we want to give our players a higher ITSF ranking)
    It is not up to a bunch of players on the internet.
I would love so see someone say “Hang on, we don’t care how highly we are ranked in Europe, our next tournament would be more fun with out the snake”.

What stopping you hosting a no snake tournament?!
Philo

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Post by davez » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:17 pm

Philo wrote:13 pages of post with no agreed action.
Hi Philo, I wouldn't expect action points in a discussion thread.

Seems to me like we should find a way to progress the no-snake idea in the UK in a way that does not compromise the UK's ability to compete in UK team events or ITSF events on the world stage.

For me that would either mean running unranked no-snake events, or ranking them under distinct no-snake ranking lists. 2c.

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Post by El Capitan » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:41 pm

mod/

Ok - this thread is cleaned out. With quotes and my judgment, it's not perfect. Sorry in advance. I can pm anyone their removed posts, or restore them if there are any strong feelings.

Please keep it tidy.

/mod

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Bundy Volume 1
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Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:07 am

davez wrote:ranking them under distinct no-snake ranking lists.
If this were up to you to sort out Dave (or anyone else reading this) how would you go about organising it?

Would you take the current garlando rankings and use that as a base? (everyone has the same garlando points for a no-snake list as they had at time of formation (of no-snake ranking list) on BFA garlando ranking list)

Would the rankings be completely independent, or still have some linkages?
In the current rankings you have reset bonus point (or whatever they're called) so that say when you turn SP on tornado you have bonus points applied to take you to Am on Bonzini (assuming, like most, you've never played Bonzini - thus your points rise from 900 to 1000).
I think it can be easily argued that there are more similarities between block-foot garlando play and WC garlando play than between Tornado and Bonzini - so should resit bonus points carry across the rankings?

Sure there are other questions to be asked, but I can't think of any right now. Hope I've made myself clear (I know my terminology probably isn't the best). This is more about personal curiosity other than anything I guess.
Cheers, Joe

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Post by Philo » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:08 am

davez wrote: Hi Philo, I wouldn't expect action points in a discussion thread.
I would not normally expect action points in a forum thread either; but this thread has more to it than the average britfoos thread.

I was hoping for a useful “I will…” amidst all the “You should…” Let me start. My local pub has space for a table. I will approach my local pub and ask if they would like a table.  :)
Philo

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Post by davez » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:39 am

Joe,

I think the rankings would have to be separate. As I understand it the BFA rankings apply only to events that follow the approved rules, in this case the ITSF rules.

Personally I doubt that I would expend any effort on a no-snake ranking list. If I wanted to work on a variant rule ranking list I would probably pick FSO or 2-ball.

If I had the time to develop a new ranking list I would prefer to focus on something I believe would develop and benefit the game more, eg separate Junior, senior and women's ranking lists. A separate junior ranking list would encourage juniors to compete and organisers to schedule more junior events and perhaps power a junior league, and would encourage the UK game far more than a no-snake list.

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:28 pm

Philo wrote:
davez wrote: Hi Philo, I wouldn't expect action points in a discussion thread.
I would not normally expect action points in a forum thread either; but this thread has more to it than the average britfoos thread.

I was hoping for a useful “I will…” amidst all the “You should…” Let me start. My local pub has space for a table. I will approach my local pub and ask if they would like a table.  :)
Great post Phil.

I have helped arrange for two foosball tables to be set up at my university.
I will do my best to introduce as many people as possible to the sport, teach any who are willing as much as I can (not much, sadly) and look into possibly setting up a mini-league/tournament / a foosball society at the uni.

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Post by Steviola » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:12 pm

Is this Cardiff Uni? I think they have or at least had a society running a year or two ago.

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:16 pm

Steviola wrote:Is this Cardiff Uni? I think they have or at least had a society running a year or two ago.
No, Newport.

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Post by Steviola » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:42 pm

Sweet. Are the tables definitely going there? What type of tables are they?

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Post by Jonathan may » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:55 pm

The Mongoose wrote:PS
CannonBallGuy. Good news. I have arranged for two spanking new FTs to go into Newport Uni. As your post gave me the idea to approach them, I will let you choose which model you want in your complex. I will also give you a nice little bonus to start the term with. Shall I pay it to you in 20p’s?
PPS
Call me Geoff, please.
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Post by nfm24 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:50 pm

Philo wrote:I was hoping for a useful “I will…” amidst all the “You should…” Let me start. My local pub has space for a table. I will approach my local pub and ask if they would like a table.  :)
Exactly.  Anyone interested in meaningful action as opposed to fannying about with rankings etc, pm Steviola to join the grass roots thread.
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Post by The Mongoose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:26 pm

Dave Z wrote in the snake - poll thread...

"Why not construct a snake - free environment for beginners (those who apparently have the problem) and then allow them to progress to a snake - inclusive environment as they get hooked on the game and increase their skills?"

Thank you, Dave. That is the best summary of what I hope to achieve that I can possibly think of.

PS
Have nearly finished my reply do Richard Thomson - have been busy fighting for world peace.

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Post by Philo » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:43 pm

CannonBallGuy wrote:...I will do my best to introduce as many people as possible to the sport, teach any who are willing as much as I can (not much, sadly) and look into possibly setting up a mini-league/tournament / a foosball society at the uni.
So far this could be the single most useful action to come out of the discussion. Go for it!

I set up a foosball society at my uni (Swansea). It was great fun and made a few friends along the way. Would strongly suggest running a tournament rather than a league simply because it is much easier to get students to turn up once rather than every week. Knock out some posters, buy a trophy and bosh you have a tournament.

Anyone else going to do something other than post here?
Philo

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Post by leaks » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:48 pm

Philo wrote:Anyone else going to do something other than post here?
Are you? :)

(And before you come back, yeah I setup a uni foos society back in the day, and yeah Im tryin to organise a foos tournie at my work ;) )

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Post by Philo » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:33 am

Oli to answer your question I will be doing a little in the short term to get a table or 2 out locally as I stated in my post a little further up this page.


So much point scoring goes on here. I wonder what we forum posters look like to the casual observer.  :oops:
Philo

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Post by leaks » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:49 am

hehe, Im just poking fun cos you were being agressive with some of the other posters here about organising stuff. I personally feel that "point scoring" and arguing on here is pretty pointless and, as you said quite rightly, we need to be proactive and go do stuff to promote the game. We know what we need to do, now we've gotta actually do it! Amazingly, this might be one of the first britfoos discussions that actually bears some fruit rather than petering out and disappearing into the archives!

And let me know if/when you get the tables in - will come for a game!

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