Footbag Reference: IFPA Newsletter - February, 2008

Footbag Reference

IFPA Newsletter - February, 2008

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Welcome

Welcome to the IFPA Newsletter for February, 2008.

Contributors:

Julie Symons, Executive Director
 IFPA Update

John Leys, Rules Director
 Rules Committee Update

Steve Goldberg, Volunteer
 Editing
 
Chris Ott, Marketing Director
 Regional Committees
 
Jan Struz, Czech Footbag Association
 IFPA 2008 World Footbag Championships
 
Tuan Vu, Hall of Fame Member
 Interview with Tuan

Chris Balch, Volunteer
 Compilation, Editing

IFPA Update

A Note from Julie Symons, Executive Director.

Hello Footbag Players and Fans,


First, I want to thank those of you who voted for me in the last election. I have been elected by the members of IFPA to serve as IFPA's Executive Director for 3 more years, 2008-2010.


2007 was a good year for IFPA. We completed the transition to the new membership structure, so now we don't have to collect money yearly from every person who wants to be a member of IFPA. We had a new record for IFPA event sanctioning with 21 sanctioned events, not including Worlds and the European Championships. For net players, these are the events that get counted towards IFPA Net Rankings. If you are attending an event this year and want to make sure your results count in the ranking, encourage the tournament director to get his/her event sanctioned by IFPA. It is already pretty easy, and soon we'll be launching an online application form to make it even easier. And finally, IFPA was able to help raise over $3000 in additional donations to support the World Championships. This money comes from IFPA members and others that through IFPA can give tax deductible donations. This enables donors to give more to support Worlds and less in taxes to the government. One way to look at this is if IFPA wasn't a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the donors would have to earn roughly $4000 in gross income in order to have $3000 in take home pay to give to Worlds - or $3000 in gross income with only $2200 in take home pay to give to Worlds. Either way you look at it, it is good for footbag.


In this term, I hope that IFPA can build upon its effort to foster a community to support the growth and adoption of footbag as an international sport. Building a community is one of our main goals and our web site, footbag.org, has many great tools to enable that. The web site supports many different languages, there is the forum, club and member listings, event listings, the wiki-like reference section, and groups,where groups can form and share documents, set up votes, and much, much more. Also, read more about the Regional Committees being set up by Chris Ott, our Director of Marketing is working on setting up Regional Committees. Since the Board of IFPA is only a handful of volunteers that provide some executive functions, credibility, and structure, we're looking to all of you in the footbag community to take footbag where ever people want it to go, which is hopefully to a higher level. It is up to us, people in the community, not just the IFPA Board of Directors to make this happen. If you have ideas, IFPA is here to support you and work with you.


Also, in this term, I hope to fund some paid help to support and extend footbag.org. Steve Goldberg has been doing a wonderful job keeping it up and adding lots of new features. Steve volunteers his time and a lot of energy to work on footbag.org, spending a lot of his free time on weekends. Going forward, we'd like to raise funds to get some paid administrative help for maintaining and improving footbag.org so Steve doesn't have to do most of the work. The other goal I have for this term is to improve the support and guidelines that IFPA provides to the clubs that host the World Footbag Championships each year.


Special thanks to Chris Ott this year for all the effort he put into hosting Worlds, Scott Davidson for his work on the IFPA Certified Instructors program, Tina Lewis (now retired) for her contributions to the IFPA Board and the IFC, Steve Goldberg for donating, volunteering and consulting IFPA, and the rest of the Board and everyone else who supported IFPA.


As always, if you have any questions about IFPA, don't hesitate to contact me at julie @ footbag . org .


Julie Symons, Executive Director, IFPA

Regional Committees

From the desk of Christopher Ott, Marketing Director.

December 27, 2007

IFPA World Regional Footbag Committees

The sport of footbag has been growing across the world like never before. Seeing the need to expand the IFPA committee environment will allow the world to expand in a greater and more efficient way. International organizations need local ambassadors to manage membership and event coordination. Because of the path taken in the evolution of footbag, what started as USA associations turned into the international association, which left the USA and the rest of the world without local organization. This concept stops here. Now there will be committees to help drive footbag across all parts of the world.

IFPA is looking for members and event organizers who want to be founding members of the World Regional Committees. I am looking for dedicated footbag promoters in each region of the world to step up and join this group. We have a long process in front of us to complete this puzzle but let's start here.

IFPA World Regional Footbag Committees:

  • European Footbag Committee
  • Asia Footbag Committee
  • North American Footbag Committee
  • South American Footbag Committee
  • Pacific Footbag Committee
  • African Footbag Committee
  • Middle East Footbag Committee

I have been working with dedicated individuals across the world and have started to assemble this committee environment.

The European Footbag Committee (EFC) is well established with Ali Dastrandj, Austria, as its Chairman. Recently, Poland was added to the EFC, with charter representatives Wiktor Debski and Szymon Kalwak.

The South American Committee has been spearheaded by Carlos Marquez, Venezuela. Carlos has promoted and put on the first South American Footbag Championships. Carlos is ahead of the game. Thanks.

The Pacific Regional committee has been taken on by the Australian National Council and the likes of Dyalan Govender and Dan Ednie.

The North American Committee has started to assemble with the likes of Chris Siebert, Ethan Husted, Yves Archambault and Eric Wulff. The first NAFC event will be played this summer.

The Asian region has been contacted by Masa Shigeoka and I feel will soon emerge as one of our strongest regions.

My next regions to contact will be the African and Middle East regions and see what can be started there.

For IFPA to truly become the world leader, it needs to pay attention to the worlds needs. Different regions across the world have different needs and are in different stages of their footbag evolution. By creating IFPA World Regional Committees, IFPA can truly become a global leader. Now there will be a watchdog committee in every corner of the world to help develop and nurture footbag into our future.

It is time for IFPA to truly become the world leader in footbag. The development of the World Regional Footbag Committees will complete the structural needs of our organization and give IFPA legs to stand on. It is time to step up and assume the role of the International Footbag Players Association.

Responsibilities will include:

  1. Regional committees are responsible for the oversight and development of footbag specifically within their regions.
  2. Actively assist countries in their region to develop footbag federations.
  3. Identify needs for future growth and expansion of footbag sports within their local cultures.
  4. Responsible for annual IFPA Regional Footbag Championships in each region.
  5. Support of development of National Championships with in their region.
  6. Each Committee will have an elected Chairman and Board of Directors.
  7. Responsible for coordinating with the world through IFPA regulations.
  8. Annual report to IFPA Directors on membership and tournament activity.
  9. Responsible for Regional Membership administration.
  10. Development of IFPA Sanctioning with in their region.

Thank you for your support.

Chris Ott

1668 Scarlet Place
Santa Rosa, California, 95403
(707) 576-8145, chris@footbag.org
International Footbag Players Association, Marketing Director
Footbag Hall of Fame
chris@footbag.org

IFPA, Inc. is a US 501(c)(3) Charitable Non-Profit Corporation

2008 IFPA World Footbag Championships

August 10-17

A Note from Jan Struz, Czech Footbag Association.

Czech Footbag Association has the privilege to host the biggest footbag event of the year. We very much appretiate this possibility even though there was no other bid to stand against. In 2003 Prague was historicaly the first city outside of North America to host this footbag sport gathering, and with 214 participants was the biggest Worlds ever. Some said it was truly the first Worlds as players from 20 countries from all over the globe showed up to compete in both freestyle and net. Next summer we hope to enjoy it again with all of you!
Jan Struz, CFA


The 2008 IFPA World Footbag Championships is to be held on August 10th to the 17th, in Strahov, Prague, Czech Republic. The event venue is less than one kilometer from the official accommodation site. The Net site is on a fine grass field, with lighting for night matches, and room for over twenty courts. The Freestyle area will be inside tents on a Tartan surface, surrounded by spectator seating, and with a warm up area nearby. There will also be bathroom facilities, catering, and a chill-out area available on site. The last three days of the compeition will be adversitsed to the general public, and the European Freestyle Disc Championships will also take place at the venue. Some disc(frisbee) finals will be showcased together with footbag finals.

Rules Committee Update

Thanks to a lot of hard work done by the webmaster of footbag.org, The Rules of Footbag Sports is now completely updated online. This is your definitive source for the rules of all Footbag disciplines, though it is important to note that the judging system used in Footbag freestyle at the world championships varies from the systems provided online. This detail does not affect Footbag freestyle as a discipline, but is a component of the rules that the IFC is looking to get updated in the beginning of 2008. The rules have been published in a format which allows for easy printing into PDF format for tournament directors and rules buffs alike. Details regarding this feature should be arriving shortly to the main page of Footbag Rules. Additionally, the rules have been translated into three languages including German, Portuguese, and Hebrew.

We are excited to report that SIRC will be publishing The Official Rules of Footbag Sports on their website and in their literature. This is a great step forward for the legitimacy of the sport and we have Julie Symons, Executive Director, to thank in large part for this accomplishment.

Things to look forward to in 2008 include a few very contentious proposed rules changes in the discipline of Footbag net. These proposed rule changes revolve around dangerous play over the net and are being put forward by The CHAOS Footbag Club, representing players from northern California. We expect a formal proposal for a rule change regarding "breaking the plane" to be heard by the IFC early next year and a discussion and vote to happen at the 2008 World Footbag Championships in Prague. If you have thoughts on this issue please direct those comments to the forum or to head of the Footbag Net Rules Committee, John Leys, and your comments will be taken into consideration when the board convenes in August, 2008. Note that this board is composed of approximately 20 active and retired Footbag competitors from around the World. If you are interested in learning more about this committee please contact the IFPA Rules Director.

IFPA and Breakpoint Sign Licensing Agreement for Mobile Game

The International Footbag Players' Association (IFPA) recently granted Breakpoint, a rapidly growing developer and publisher of entertainment software for wireless devices, license to develop and publish a first-ever branded mobile game featuring footbag.

Based on the agreement, Breakpoint becomes the exclusive mobile partner of IFPA and receives its worldwide license for the period of 2 years. The license provides Breakpoint with rights to feature official footbag rules and moves, as well as the IFPA logo and name in the game. The game was released in late 2007.

"IFPA is very excited about the opportunity and exposure from Breakpoint's footbag mobile game," said Julie Symons, Exective Director of IFPA.

Pawel Feldman, Publishing and Licensing Manager at Breakpoint, said, "Both Breakpoint and IFPA count on the game also making footbag itself more popular".

Special thanks to Wiktor Dębski for his help.

Breakpoint (www.breakpointgames.com)

Breakpoint is a rapidly growing developer and publisher of entertainment software for wireless devices. Its talented team develops mobile games and applications for more than 350 handsets, which are distributed in more than 50 countries. Titles span most major game genres for the Java, Brew and Doja platforms and include such bestsellers as Speedway3D, Foofa Fortune, Solitaire and Dr. Tetsuo's Sudoku. The company also offers porting and QA services. Further development of multiplayer, 3D and community technologies are planned for 2007. Breakpoint is a part of MNI Group (WAR:MNI).

Interview: Tuan Vu

interviewed by Chris Balch

Q: When and how did you get involved with footbag? What are some of the early events you attended, and how are they different from events today?

A: I started hacking in high school and got into footbag a year after high school in August of '92. I used to use a Sipa Sipa which came with a coupon for a free copy of Footbag World. After receiving my first copy, I discovered that there was a tournament two hours away in Hershey, PA called the Funtastik Summer Classic. My friend Mike Lockwood and I decided to go after work Friday night and arrived Saturday morning. We parked at the site and slept there until the tournament directors, Joe and Brena Solonoski, arrived.

At the time, I could do an around the world stall with a Sipa Sipa using indoor soccer shoes and thought there wasn't much left to learn.

It was a full day of humility and inspiration. Being the best in Fairfax, VA was one thing, but meeting the likes of Peter Irish, Kenny Shults, Greg Nelson, and Eric Wulff opened my mind to the myriad possibilities of freestyle. I was also hooked when I saw how cooperative footbag was. Unlike any conventional sport, it was not cut-throat at all. I took 3rd in Intermediate freestyle at Funtastik, won a facile Twisted footbag, and had tons of ideas for the ride home.

While the landscape of footbag has changed in a lot of ways, in other ways it hasn't changed all that much. The positive energy remains, but the level is so much higher. Back then, international meant the US, Canada, with a sprinkling of footbaggers representing from Denmark and Norway. Now, it has exploded and the European scene is growing like wildfire with South America to follow.

Nowadays, there is more of a separation between freestyle and net. More and more tournaments are exclusively for one discipline or the other.

When I started, net was the bigger of the two disciplines and I was mainly a shredder. Now, freestyle is huge and I skool more net than freestyle. It's kind of sad to see less mingling between the two camps. The majority of players these days specialize. Worlds no longer has an Overall champion. Freestyle skills contests are now events at Worlds.

In mid-nineties, there was a handful of shredders and they all knew each other. Now, I go to a tournament and see some bad-ass shredders busting tripless combos and may not know their names.

Q:What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment to date in the sport of footbag? What titles do you hold that you're very proud of?

A: It's difficult to narrow it down to just one. Footbag has completely changed my life for the better. If it wasn't for footbag, I probably would not be interested in any other sports. I liked Martial Arts and took trained during high school, but that got too expensive.

As far as greatest accomplishments, I'd say getting inducted into the Footbag Hall of Fame last year at Worlds in Orlando, FL. That was a very special night for me.

It goes beyond that, though. because of footbag, I've got a beautiful wife and son, I live in San Francisco (moved there from Virginia), I'm working in the software industry thanks to footbag, and I have met and become friends with some of the coolest people out there.

After getting skooled at my first tournament in '92, I've since had the honor of teaming up with all of the top shredders and BAP members I met at my first Funtastik (Kenny Shults, Peter Irish, Eric Wulff, and Greg Nelson).

The titles that I'm most proud of are:

3 World Team Freestyle titles with 2 different partners (Greg Nelson & Eric Wulff).

At the 1995 Funtastik Summer Classic (my goodbye to the East Coast tournament), I won the singles freestyle, team freestyle, and shred contest making it a clean sweep in Freestyle and a fond farewell.

At the 2006 Funtastik Summer Classic (my first time back to this tournament since I move to California) and also my final competitive freestyle routine), I won the Superman contest setting a new World record in that event.

Q:What challenges did you face in pursuing the sport at a professional level? How are the physical demands of freestyle and net different?

A: Early on, the biggest challenge I had in pursuing footbag at the pro level was having enough money for travel and lodging expenses.

Now, the challenge is finding the proper balance between training, family, and work. It's a never ending struggle to juggle all three, but very rewarding. When all is said and done, I end up sleeping less, but manage to give each time and attention.

How are the physical demands of freestyle and net different?

Oh, here we go...with freestyle, I've had so many ankle injuries, I was the cover story in the San Francisco Weekly "The Pain of the Disco Ninja"!

I always ended up being the last guy standing in shred circles. I never wanted to stop and kept pushing myself. That's when the injuries come in. I'd go for something new when I was way too fatigued and end up spraining my ankles. Sometimes I'd play on the ankle before it had time to heal completely. That made things worse and once you sprain your ankle, it never heals back to 100% again. They say a some brakes actually heal faster than sprains.

The physical demands of net are different. It's far more important to warm up in net to avoid muscle pulls. There are a lot of folks who tore their meniscus due to the constant change of direction and weight shifting. Ultimate disc players have similar injuries. I try to take the time to warm my muscles up before going for a lot of spikes.

When I first transitioned from freestyle to net, I found my body hurt less hopping a few hundred times in freestyle and hurt more jumping less than a hundred times in net. If the set isn't perfect in net, you still have to go for it and your landing may not be the most graceful.

Net requires a lot of focus and concentration since you only get to kicks in singles before it has to go over the net.

Freestyle is more aerobic and net is anaerobic. In freestyle, you need to have plenty of gas in the tank for those long strings. In net, you need to be explosive for those quick digs that turn into sets which then needs to be crushed.

In addition to the cardio benefits, I still freestyle for the love of it, but my focus is on net these days.

Q:Where have you traveled for tournaments? Which place was the coolest to visit?

A:For tournaments, I've traveled to:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • South Carolina
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee (April 08) - Good BBQ
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Brussels, Belgium


I can't pick just one place as the coolest to visit, but have narrowed it down to my top 3:

  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Prague, Czech Republic


Chris:Is there any other question you would like to answer?

Tuan: It's funny (somewhat)...before my last response to you, I went to Phoenix for a net tournament and made it to the singles semi-finals, but sprained my ankle during the first game of that match. I took a medical timeout, put an ankle brace on, and finished that game and a second game before icing it. While it wasn't the best idea to keep playing, it reminds me how much I love doing it and even a sprain won't keep me from it...I've got some gnarly pics if you're interested :-)

If not, it's been a pleasure doing this with you. I've enjoyed answering your questions.It made me sit back and really look back at what I've done the past 15 years.

Thanks for stirring up some good memories.
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