November Newsletter

Foosball chat / key issues and discussion
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Messiah
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November Newsletter

Post by Messiah » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:13 pm

The November Newsletter is now online.

http://www.britfoos.com/files/Newslette ... er2009.pdf

George Eid is interviewed, Bozza has done an excellent Roberto-Sport WCS report, and there's a few other bits n bobs!

Sorry for the delay but have been hectic the last couple of months, and coupled with internet access issues has taken a while.
Still going....

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Christopher Lyall
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Christopher Lyall » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:32 pm

Clearly someone should find out how he got 64 doubles teams to a tournament, then replicate the idea for BFA ones.

Edit: Or if someone already knows then they should tell me sometime before May.
www.fivebar.co.uk - Foosball Tournaments, Leagues, Shop

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Richard
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Richard » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:56 pm

No idea how the BFA can commit to paying £7,000 for ten tornado tables. Table independent my Bloop arse.

Of course, good news for tornado players - paying £5 table fees is not a bad deal. Clearly garlando players have done relatively much worse, in that they are paying the same fees for tables which have in effect already been paid off by garlando players over the past 2 years - i would have preferred to see garlando events become cheaper than use the proceeds to subsidise tornado.

Richard

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davez
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by davez » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:21 am

Richard, the silo mentality "Tornado" player and "Garlando" player have largely, but not entirely, evaporated in recent years. Most tournament players now play on all kinds of table. In my own case I don't consider myself a "Tornado" player as such any more. In fact it's probably my 3rd or maybe 2nd choice in multi-table events nowadays.

I think the BFA Committee act more from expedience and opportunity than by any inherent bias.

However, please don't take these observations as support for the table scheme you mentioned.
Apostrophes never make plurals.Incorrect:Table's,Garlando's,DVD's,1900's.Correct:Tables,Garlandos,DVDs,1900s.

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Oatsey
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Oatsey » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:28 am

Given Richards comments on the BFA,s potential table bias i thought i would make a few of my own.

Accepting of course that i am slightly biased toward Tornado just as Richard is to Garlando and of course acknowledging he masterminded and significantly funded the garlando table scheme without which there would have been considerably less events over the last several years . This was in fact a major contribution to holding tournaments in this country for which he may not get the credit he deserves.

I would also like to say in my view the BFA should ideally support only one table type whether Garlando, Rs , Tornado or fireball etc etc (not bonzini please :D ) as supporting several table types does divert resources and continue a split in the player base rather than align everyone behind one thing.

However it looks like multi table affiliation is here to stay largely due to the ITSF.

So against that background I would like to point out that the BFA have done very little to support Tornado events over the last several years. They have in fact concentrated (quite rightly from their point of view) in encouraging the Garlando table scheme and hence achieving payback. If anything there has been considerable table bias toward garlando and not Tornado. As many people will acknowledge if it were not for Foos4fun Tornado events would not have happened at all since about 2006.

However as I have got older and now over 50 it has become increasingly difficult to provide the same service as we used to in delivering tables for events etc as the effort is simply too great. This difficulty
in actually getting the tables to events is the prime reason why there have been less Tornado events in the last year or so as promoters have to come and get them. In addition on that basis there is no point keeping 10 good and upgraded tables in storage they may as well go into venues and get used but a consequence of that would be no Tornado events at all.


If Tornado events are to continue in the future what was required was a table scheme similar to the Garlando one where the tables will be delivered and picked up for a fee making it easy for potential promoters to hold events. Effectively this gives promoters a choice as an event on either table becomes the same (although Tornado may be easier to put up and take down).

The primary question then is whether there is sufficient demand from the BFA,s members (acting in whose interests we should remember is their primary responsibility) to want to have and attend Tornado events in future. My view and obviously the BFA.s view is that a substantial portion of the BFA,s member base would like to see some Tornado events in 2010 and onwards.

Hence the current Tornado scheme arrangement which I can assure you is very generous spreading payments over 5 years and even gives the option after two years if things don,t work out of the BFA keeping 4 tables and just giving me back the rest. In addition each Tornado event held helps pay off for the tables hence unless there are no events it can never cost the BFA anything like £700 per table in reality plus they can always sell the 4 tables they own at that point and get £x back to add to the income from the scheme.

I think I can safely say the prime motivation of the BFA (and myself as i make far more money operating tables) is to allow Tornado events to be able to continue in 2010 onwards for the benefit of those members who like to attend Tornado events of which there is a significant number.

There is a slight spin off benefit which is expert challenge events and skill demos undoubtedly look more impressive on Tornado and the BFA will be able to also use the tables for this purpose if they want.

Of course it is now crucial that those members and promoters who would like to see Tornado events actually use the scheme .

So guys use it or lose it applies.




.

Rob Davey
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Rob Davey » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:59 am

Richard wrote: Clearly garlando players have done relatively much worse, in that they are paying the same fees for tables which have in effect already been paid off by garlando players over the past 2 years

Richard
Richard it goes to show how 'out-of-touch' you are with this modern foosball era

For the large part the same UK player base has been attending both Garlando and Tornado events.

They contributed to your table scheme, making it a success and now deserve some support.

Why not jump on board again and help fund this venture?

Rob

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Richard
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Richard » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:27 pm

I just know that for 5 years the suggestion of spending BFA money on tables was shot down by the general view that the BFA could not under the terms of its constitution buy tables. Indeed, we even changed the constitution so that it was clear we could recommend certain tables that we considered up to tournament quality - and debated at length the way to ensure we were fully inclusive of all types of player. I remember, at the time of the original 4-table scheme (paid for by me, boris, pete and dan - from memory) there was a widespread reluctance from the player base to pay the fees, and failure by members to respect the commercial realities of the scheme is ultimately what led to it being loss making. At the time of the 10-table scheme it was only supported by 5 of the 7 committee members – two members felt the BFA should not have had to pay for the table storage. Yet now the BFA is signing up to a 5 year contract to buy tornados and I heard a rumour that the two people who were unsupportive of the original scheme now support the tornado scheme. If I am misreporting I apologise – there is no communication coming out of the committee so I don’t know what to think.

I should point out i don’t doubt that the tables are being provided at a reasonable rate, and on reasonable terms, and to the extent it all goes wrong i suppose the legal owner will be the one to suffer. In fact, putting it this way, perhaps the scheme is not so different after all, so i remove my objection above and apologise for ill thought out comments and yes – as Rob says possibly a bit out of touch.

But can the BFA in its current guise really look after the tornados for 5 years? Management of the far cheaper Garlando scheme was barely managed – if this all blows up in 2 years time don’t say I did not warn you.

-------------

But my grumbling - and i appreciate most people are probably bored of this post by now - but my grumbling is probably more a symptom of a growing annoyance in what i see as BFA elitism, and lack of regard for what were the principles on which the organisation first established itself – ie to promote the game, not just be a glorified event organiser. I may be incorrect, but the resources of the BFA appear to have been almost exclusively directed at the top players for a number of years now. I don’t think financial accounts have been posted online so i am unable to check this hypothesis - but i did hear one single event cost the BFA over £1000 in cash reserves, and suspect the BFA's accounts are in a far worse position now than 4 years ago - despite tournament goers paying record event fees, annual membership fees (surely more hassle collecting than worth), there being on-site advertising etc.

I get this sense from reading the posts that the BFA gets the occasional enthusiastic website browser who determinedly navigates his way past the opening page, but otherwise it distinctly looks like the BFA membership has stagnated over the last few years. I would love to know what the profile of new attendees is, and how many new attendees go on to make it to say 5 events. I suspect the performance is pathetic but perhaps that is just me being cynical.

Whilst I am having a bit of a rant… I know the website is still work in progress, and I know there were things necessitating the upgrades, but I cannot help but think that until it really is finished it is one step forward two steps backwards. Lets face it – the website is the biggest advert to new players – and what impression does it give? Confusing to navigate, a general lack of visual content, an event schedule of one, and little more than a list of links to the forum.

On the subject of the forum, this really is a complete mess. The visual limitations of the forum are there for all to see so I won’t labour them. But there also seems to be an almost complete lack of structure, with historic stickies cluttering many of the opening pages, so that historic items appear current. Announcements are badly managed and with no real purpose or structure. In fact, loads of stuff is out of date and most of the useful articles and guides on the forum disappeared under ten tones of crap long ago. Surely the best use of £2000 of the BFA’s money (if it has any left) is in paying someone to give the site and its contents a complete overhaul, so that there is a genuine fusion of the static site with its articles, videos, photos, jokes etc with a genuine interactive customer experience.

Aside: With a proper useable website the organisers could get back to scheduling tournaments over the year, to ensure coverage in a variety of areas, with different emphasis, and with high levels of promotion to drive attendance again. Perhaps even a few events where entry fees genuinely attract newbies.

An organisation that used to facilitate all things table football now just runs garlando and tornado tournaments, whilst occasionally supporting bonzini events. An organisation that used to bring together various different player bases just has one (smaller) player base of the most committed players. An organisation that used to try hard to promote a wide and varied calendar now just runs X 2-day tournaments. Despite expanding the committee substantially it is virtually silent – indeed the only way we hear about policy is from Dan’s newsletter. The BFA is very different now to what I would have expected four years ago. I suppose when it comes to international tournaments I am struggling to find fault.

People used to reading my various rants will hopefully be aware that I am a firm believer that people should not criticise the committee if they are not prepared to volunteer their own time to help the BFA do better. I am therefore instantly guilty of hypocrisy – and this is certainly not something I am comfortable with. But I also say things in order to stimulate debate, and perhaps – just perhaps, and on occasions - action.

I should sign off “grumpy old man”.

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Richard
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Richard » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:35 pm

On reflection i want to emphasis one point made badly above.

Some of the functionality Tom (and others) has added to the site as webmaster is excellent. But it is lost within the overall scheme of things, and rather than simply relying on unpaid volunteers to role such things out - the BFA should make actively investing in the site its top priority - paying to supplement (or compensate) work done by volunteers as necessary. THis is a far better use of membership fees etc than subsidising a 40-person / 15 table tournament.

Thanks,
Grumpy old man.

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tom_k
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by tom_k » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:43 pm

Hi Richard,
I'm perfectly happy to respond -
Richard wrote:annual membership fees (surely more hassle collecting than worth), there being on-site advertising etc.
Re: Online advertising - as you well know, this was on the forum only, and initially as a trial. The proceeds from this have been a little disappointing, *but*, and this is the but - to me, it's insane *not* to have - what I feel are really unobtrusive ads - on the bottom of the forum. Even if this ads only net the BFA £50 per annum, that's a good chunk of website hosting costs right there. It comes down to whether you think ads 'cheapen' the BFA prescience. Personally, (and completely personally!) I don't think they do.
Richard wrote: I get this sense from reading the posts that the BFA gets the occasional enthusiastic website browser who determinedly navigates his way past the opening page, but otherwise it distinctly looks like the BFA membership has stagnated over the last few years. I would love to know what the profile of new attendees is, and how many new attendees go on to make it to say 5 events. I suspect the performance is pathetic but perhaps that is just me being cynical.
I can't comment on numbers re: membership, but I will say this - since the new website(s) have been in comission, the amount of enquiries and opportunities has shot up. As in by a factor of 5. Most of these inquiries have been grassroots based, and passed onto the ever suffering Jon May - but believe me, the difference in huge, and encouraging.
Richard wrote: Whilst I am having a bit of a rant… I know the website is still work in progress, and I know there were things necessitating the upgrades, but I cannot help but think that until it really is finished it is one step forward two steps backwards. Lets face it – the website is the biggest advert to new players – and what impression does it give? Confusing to navigate, a general lack of visual content, an event schedule of one, and little more than a list of links to the forum.
I appreciate the forum is still the defacto 'source of information' and that is an issue. But two steps back? really? REALLY?
Confusing to navigate I don't agree with. Yes, i need to integrate the forum into the visual ouvre, but aside from that, I think it's pretty clear.
Re: a general lack of visual content, an event schedule of one - I agree - and this is something I'll come to in a second.
Richard wrote: On the subject of the forum, this really is a complete mess. The visual limitations of the forum are there for all to see so I won’t labour them.
I'd be happy to hear the visual limitations - SO I CAN CHANGE THEM. please PM me.
Richard wrote: But there also seems to be an almost complete lack of structure, with historic stickies cluttering many of the opening pages, so that historic items appear current. Announcements are badly managed and with no real purpose or structure. In fact, loads of stuff is out of date and most of the useful articles and guides on the forum disappeared under ten tones of crap long ago.
Agreed. I inherited a fairly complex permissions, groups and forum structure which doesn't necessarily serve the current usage well - but it's all very well me blaming the past, I need to fix it. So for that , I need feed back. Ideas in a PM please. Also, as a comparative newcomer, I find it difficult to ascertain what is 'useful' and what isn't. If they are that good, why not make them articles on the main site, or articles on the discover site? ideas on a PM please :)
Richard wrote: Surely the best use of £2000 of the BFA’s money (if it has any left) is in paying someone to give the site and its contents a complete overhaul, so that there is a genuine fusion of the static site with its articles, videos, photos, jokes etc with a genuine interactive customer experience.
Ultimately, the new websites are written so that anyone with any skill (as in none) can update them. I've made many requests for content editors, events editors and the like and they're largely ignored. It's all very well saying 'why not pay someone' but quite frankly, the pay would be pathetic. If I charged the BFA my hourly rate they'd be instantly bankrupt - and that's not be being arrogant - that's simply the cost of any web developer. What the BFA needs is more volunteers prepared to take responsibility for something. *I* need people who will say 'yes, I'm prepared to keep the events section up to date' or 'yes, I'm interesting in dealing with x'.
Richard wrote: Some of the functionality Tom (and others) has added to the site as webmaster is excellent. But it is lost within the overall scheme of things, and rather than simply relying on unpaid volunteers to role such things out - the BFA should make actively investing in the site its top priority - paying to supplement (or compensate) work done by volunteers as necessary
I agree the website is essentially our biggest marketing tool. I've put the framework in place to allow a multitude of people to contribute - whether we need to pay for such contribution comes down to opinion, but do we need more effort from those on the sidelines? YES - ultimately, £50 here and there isn't going to make a difference. Either people care or not.

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Oatsey
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Oatsey » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:51 pm

In my view some sensible comments Richard in that it is also my opinion that there is no doubt the focus has been heavilly on the GB team and international events plus UKC and not much on expanding the player base or encouraging noobs.

However as you also say the BFA is effectively just volunteers who also change regularly and often there is not exactly a surplus of volunteers to choose from so its difficult to be too critical especially as making decisons is difficult by committee. However it is fair to say the BFA are not doing much if anything to expand the game but they are making tournaments possible both from a table hire point of view and a running of the event TD point of view.

Tom King has done a fab job so far and no doubt could do a lot more with some more cash.

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Richard
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Re: November Newsletter

Post by Richard » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:06 pm

Tom - as requested, have PM'd you.
Thanks,
R

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