New univeristy foosball society/club?

Foosball chat / key issues and discussion
Post Reply
gregory
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:17 pm
Real Name: Gregory Marler
Location: Durham

New univeristy foosball society/club?

Post by gregory » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:03 pm

Hi all,
I'm a second year student at Durham University, Before the summer me and friends were randomly playing foosball at one of the bars, I felt good and maybe discovering one sport-ish skill I could do semi-well at. Then some post-grad foreign students came up and challenged us. Wow they were good, they knew the table so well and where the ball could go. Anyway, it got me thinking maybe there should be something to run offical games now and then.

Durham University is a bit unique. We have colleges like Oxford/Cambridge, so inter-college tournaments would definetly be on the agenda. The study is done as a big university rather than split by college, so it's easier to start things as a whole university, and friendships really do cross-college a lot (meaing we go to all the college bars). There are ~14 college bars, I know a good few of them have tables. I think they're all garlando fixed-glass types.

So I thought I'd attempt to set up a society, I was doing some research and found the great BFA website (and Warwick/Cambridge/Oxford Uni websites). My first step will probably be to get each college to send a message in their weekly e-mail to students, then see if some people meet up for some drinks & play. With a few memebers I could get the club ratified by the students union (I have experience of doing that already) or instead attempt to get it listed as a Team Durham club (well they had Frisbie for years and that only became an offical sport a few months ago).

So, any words of advice or encouragement?
Durham University Student

User avatar
tom_k
Site Administrator
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:32 am
Real Name: Tom King
Location: Oxford

Post by tom_k » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:19 pm

A few years ago (i.e about 8 in my case) I definitely remember playing some guys from Durham when I was at Oxford in Christ Church Bar.

I could have sworn they had a team then?

Was a while ago... good luck with it!

gregory
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:17 pm
Real Name: Gregory Marler
Location: Durham

Post by gregory » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:05 pm

Well 8 years ago I think is enough to say small clubs can come and go if they don't manage to get the right people to continue them (it's hard work). And 8 years ago probably has no traces on the interwebs. I might ask some of the older students/hangers that I know.

I forgot to mention two additional things:
a) Local non-student players could join the club. Although we'd probably stick to the college bars mainly,we'd be allowed a certain percentage of non-student members and I'd make it my duty to avoid any door-entry trouble.

b) Eventually we'd have to go and beat the other uni teams to show we're not just  Oxbridge rejects. ;) (actually I didn't apply there, but friendly banter and all)
Durham University Student

User avatar
Jonathan May
BFA Committee Observer
Posts: 3817
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Real Name: Jonathan May
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Jonathan May » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:51 am

My brother (Julian May) will be back at Durham next year (he's on a year abroad at the moment). He's at Butler. He'll make very good opposition and will probably join any club you form.

Warwick and Oxford people will probably have a lot more to say - and so might Neil Morrison. We have a "guide" for forming a new society written somewhere.

Those involved with the grass roots, I think we should push live the discover site in the next day or two. It has enough content to start it going, and it is a valuable resource.
--
Manager, TeamGB.

User avatar
Teeb
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:30 pm
Real Name: Tom Burdett
Location: Leamington Spa

Post by Teeb » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:11 pm

I think Harry Cummings wrote a comprehensive guide to setting up a university table football club.

User avatar
Graeme
Posts: 630
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:23 pm
Real Name: Graeme Addison
Location: Vancouver

Post by Graeme » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:10 pm

This is a post from Neil Morrison on the subject of uni table football societies (Freshers Fair in particular). It was originally posted in the Grass Roots forum on this site but I imagine he would not mind it being posted here as well (if this is not the case I'll remove it):

"Your freshers' fair is your chance to get the vital contact details of anyone who might be even vaguely keen.  Only the very keenest people will come and find you to sign up. For the rest, you have to reach out and grab them. You have to compete with all the other societies there.

The best one I did was when the Cambridge TF club was put next to table tennis, and we got far more people signed up than them, because they were just sat there like lemons assuming their game was strong enough to attract people on its own.

Ideally you want to get a table in there, and at least one partner to help you run the stall, and play games against people. This makes your society more attractive, and also you get an idea of how good people are.  You may also want a laptop or monitor running DVD footage of top level games, or trickshot clips, etc.  some big posters and the words TABLE FOOTBALL in massive letters on a screen behind you, some trophies, t-shirts, whatever you can find that's related.

If possible, get more people to do shifts with you on the stall, as it can get pretty tiring being enthusiastic for hours at a time (if this isn't your normal personality...)

Have some little contact thingies to give out, like business cards or something, with your email, and if you have a website, etc, maybe a quick "term card" saying what events you will have (though I guess you don't know that until you get started).

Also get a clipboard and sign-up sheets and get someone to go around the hall saying  TABLE FOOTBALL TABLE FOOTBALL  TABLE FOOTBALL  TABLE FOOTBALL  TABLE FOOTBALL    we got lots of extra signups this way.

And lastly, make sure you get as many foreign players as you can, like Hungarians, Greeks, Italians, Austrians, Germans, French, Poles, etc, as (if they know the game) they tend to be more keen and often better players to begin with.  And they often band together so if you get one or two hooked you might get seven or eight.

You also have to decide if you want to charge membership fees.  You might have to to be an official club (I think it's like this at Leeds anyway).  If so it might be better only charging people when they enter comps. You may also need a bank account for the club, depending on the uni rules.

For running the society, I guess your aims should match your membership. Many of the names on your sign-up list you will never hear from again.  If you haven't really got any good players, you will have to aim to develop them from noobs.  The type of comps you run will depend on the number of people keen enough to show up every week or so.

Remember also that even those people who are good and enjoy the game will not necessarily want to play TF a lot because there are a lot of other uni based distractions, e.g. work, sex, drinking, other sports and clubs etc.  So you have to try and keep these people involved by having fairly regular things going on for them.

If you've only got one table in one place, then it's hard to do events with many people.  If you can try to get two or more tables in one place. This should be a big priority.

Obviously put posters around the table, and anywhere else meaningful, but also put results of the last competition up, so the posters are not always out of date.

The university probably has a funding system for clubs, so try and exploit that as best you can. Also try and get some sponsorship, Jon May might be able to help, he runs an agency of sorts to matchmake sponsors with sponsorables.

And if you can branch out into nearby pubs with tables, that may help too."
OUTFC Secretary

User avatar
Mase
Posts: 6587
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:49 am
Real Name: Ben Mason
Location: Bristol - UK

Post by Mase » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:07 pm

Fantastic Post.

The people that set up Warwick are probably some of the best to speak to as they set a society most recently.

Oxbridge folks would be good to speak to Naeem Kaka was heavily involved in the organisation of the Oxford scene. His name on here is Dancing Defence. If i were you id send him a PM.

Mase

User avatar
Shovo
Posts: 2774
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:59 pm
Real Name: John Shovelton
Location: Oxford
Contact:

Post by Shovo » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:09 pm

Dan Gallon (Messiah) set up the Oxford league. Not sure what Naeem did.

User avatar
Mase
Posts: 6587
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:49 am
Real Name: Ben Mason
Location: Bristol - UK

Post by Mase » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:08 pm

http://www.oxfoos.co.uk/archive.htm

According to this he was treasurer once and secretary once.  :oops:

My bad. Dave Morgan and Dan Gallon look like the people to talk to.

Mase

User avatar
Messiah
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 4:12 pm
Real Name: Dan Gallon
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Messiah » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:55 pm

Hi,

I'm planning on writing a better response soon - just majorly busy at the moment.

I'll get back to you. if not by Sunday evening, then give me a bump...
Still going....

Steviola
Posts: 2656
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:02 pm
Real Name: Stephen Lyall
Location: London

Post by Steviola » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:44 pm

BUMP

User avatar
Messiah
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 4:12 pm
Real Name: Dan Gallon
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Messiah » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:44 pm

Hi Greg:

Good luck with what you're attempting it should be good fun if it works.

First advertising of the game:

Put posters on the tables - this is where players see them, not only e-mails to the spods on the committees etc. Also ask friends and friends of friends at other colleges if they now who are the keenest players and get their contact details.

As you seem to think that inter-collegiate matches are possible then a couple of tips about the format:

1. Have big penalties for teams that don't turn up to matches (big points deductions for league matches etc) as this can really annoy other teams who have had to arrange their night around playing - and also possibly rope in mates to make up teams

2. Try not to give flexibility to teams to arrange matches themselves - invariably they will argue and eventually not be able to agree between themselves. Impose a time, and allow them to rearrange if they want. Also try to make matches home and away affairs if doing a league, as there is often big home advantage in terms of getting the strongest team out, and also knowing the vagaries of the home table.

3. Keep game rules simple to begin with. e.g. no spinning, toss a coin for choice of sides, first to 5 best of 3, have fun. More complicated (tournament) rules can be brought in as they are necessary, and people start trying to take advantage.

4. Arrange regular sessions for the best players e.g. weekly meet ups at one of the colleges, so that you can push each other along.

5. Hold DYPs. These are draw you partner comps where players are randomly drawn together. This can encourage weaker players to come (particularly if the draw is seeded into 2 pots of stronger andweaker players, with a pair being one player from each of the pots.)

6. Have engraved trophies for the big competitions - these are highly treasured, much longer lived/loved than prizes such as beer.

7. Badger the table owners/operators to clean the tables up - even offer to help do this - clean, well lubed tables are much more fun than dirty, rusty beer stained ones. (NB they also take more money so is good from the operators viewpoint.)

8. Sponsorship may be possible either from table operators or pubs that have tables.

There's loads more things, but I can't think of them at the moment! If you want to chat on the phone, give me a Private message, and I'll give you my number.
Still going....

User avatar
Philo
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:35 pm
Real Name: Phil Cutcliffe
Location: Southampton

Post by Philo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:05 am

Dan’s methods on setting up a league must be good as from what I hear he set up a good scene in oxford. However I suspect you don’t have nearly as many tables as are present in oxford common rooms and bars.

The bottom line is more tables = more players. Getting tables in common rooms is a priority. Can you afford to buy a table or 2 and then offer a 50/50 split with the site owner? What incentive can you offer locations to take a table?

More tables also means better tournaments, and a tournament is a lot less work than a league while still being rewarding.
Philo

User avatar
Elvis
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:55 pm
Real Name: Martin Landers
Location: Darlington
Contact:

Post by Elvis » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:26 am

Hi Gregory

Probably a bit far for you but if you are interested I ma forming a legaue in Darlington in the next six to eight weeks.

Let me know if your are interested

Martin

Post Reply