Joined: 24 Nov 2003 Posts: 1 Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:26 pm Post subject: Relax. Net is not going to die.
I have just recently become aware of footbag sports in general, and become attached to footbag net in particular. Why do I like footbag net more than other footbag sports should be very important for you guys, if you are interested in what attracts new players.
Simply, I like Net much better than freestyle because Net has a "team" allure to it and freestyle is festering with individualism. Heh. That's just an eerie way to say that it is very freestyle is good, but is very correctly likened to figure skating and gymnastics. There's nothing wrong with these sports, but they lack any real appeal to me and other newcomers because there is no way to objectively judge the matches, every match is subjective, based on the judges' scoring.
Net overcomes this. The game is easy to understand, yet hard at first to learn. It is exciting to participate in Footbag Net because you carry with you a sense of pride for your club, your team, or yourself, and THAT'S what will make people flock to the sport, not more videos on the internet.
The majority of new Net players in the upcoming years will come from hearing about Net from other ways than the internet. The internet is grand, but these footbag websites only cater to the few who stumble upon it through links or search engines, and then to (this is important) the people who are referred to the site from other people.
Here's your answer in three parts, and I hope I'm accurate.
(1.) More places (badminton courts) where teams and clubs openly practice, more tournaments with different clubs participating, more brotherhood and organization through the internet and through snail mail and the telephone (I know, what a weird idea).
(2.) Maybe make the official Net bag a 62 panel. They may be harder, but their benefits way out number their drawbacks. If I were to come to a Footbag Net match, and know nothing about it yet, I would like to be able to see the bag, so I could get into it. Hopefully in the next years we will see new, slightly bigger models that improve the quality of play.
(3.) More pride in your sport! Every net player I've ever talked to (usually on the internet) feels that the sport is soooo underground and soooo underplayed. So what? Let's cherish these few years when WE are the first organizers of a flourishing sport! New players will always come, and they will come faster and in more numbers when they see our glowing enthusiasm for being the badass sport outsiders who can (and will) shred up entire towns.
Joined: 22 Dec 2003 Posts: 44 Location: Montréal, QC, Canada
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:14 pm Post subject: Net will never die it will only get better after next summer
Lots of talking that's fun, thanks Steve for the forum, how cool. BTW where are the girls on this? Yes Footbag net is tough to learn but like any other sport it has to be adressed at a young age, and some people have more talent than others.
One of the potential solutions is to stop contemplating the short term miserably and get on with a plan. Start teaching the basic kicksproperly in elementary school and move on from there. I do think that workshops are more valuable than demos. You make the kids participate and give them a good dose of self esteem when they reach easy steps like hitting one inside kick, and so on. I've been teaching Footbag net to a lot of people for almost 20 years now and I'm never gonna give up. We may have been slow on the Video-Internet scheme but I see more and more people filming at tournaments nowadays. Net moves have been on the net for a while on quebec.footbag.org and I've seen moves on the Frankfurt site for a couple years as well as on the Turkuu site.
It seems that it's now easier to upload videos on footbag.org too so I'm sure we're gonna have tools soon.
On our local scene here in Montreal I have a set of young players that seem to learn faster than ever, why is that, well it might be the result of all the hard work we did put on here, teaching in schools, in parks and getting to the mass medias regularly.
Of course getting the PE teachers involved is a great asset but look there's a new generation of young teachers that grew up playing and watching footbag out there. One finisher at the University of Quebec at Montreal just wrote a whole program to interest kids in Footbag net with drills over gym benches, with very easy objectives to attain.
In Quebec we play ice hockey and only if you don't think are you gonna consider that an easy sport. Why are we good at it, only for one reason we started young and were taught the basics properly.
One other thing that we have to look at is the state of net tournaments. There should be a minimum standard to aim for when someone organizes such a thing. 350 seated places, a commentator for the finals, a DJ for all the pauses and drinks for the spectators. If we can get 8 tournaments that comply to these standards, it will be much easier to attract mass media all over the World. Who's interested at watching videos of some lunatics kicking a bag in front of a few people sitting on the grass... come on it doesn't even look like an organized sport.
Watch it out, next summer I promise all the net players that it will be a 100% improvement over last year for the image of our sport. World's 2004 will be the revival of Footbag net, period.
Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 141 Location: Moscow, -, Russia
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:40 pm Post subject:
Your words about organized sport are just gold!
That's what I was trying to say in the beginning of the topic and in "net promotion", when Steve was actually "failing to understand" "the-guy-from-Russia-who-has-been-in-footbag-for-a-few-years-and-is-bothering-with-his-ideas".
For the growth of the sport (I think both net and freestyle) it's high time to set standards for the tournaments, make a united rating of the players, etc.
Joined: 17 Feb 2004 Posts: 10 Location: Dekalb, IL, USA
Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:10 am Post subject:
While I've been playing in circles since middle school (I'm in my 4th year of college now, with a few more to go) I am in no way good. Freestyle has such big appeal because its so close to just hackin around in the circle. Lets face it, everyone starts footbag in circles, nobody starts by playing net. I had heard of net a few years ago, but when I asked the people I hacked with, nobody knew what I was talking about. Finally, after hacking at school, I saw Steve Smith and Cory Current playin. I approached them and they let me warm up a little with them and then play one-on-two with them. Both were very patient with me and Steve still is, seeing as I usually hack with him when I do. I made my own net, and I need to make a couple minor changes on it, but its a solid net. Personally, I think net needs to be put out on the web more as a major thing instead of just a side act. The best pictures of footbag are people going horizontal over the net, and these pictures should be featured more with info. I gladly just found out there is a club here at my university, and I plan to help get the word out about net there, and at any other institutions I attend. Unfortunately, I currently don't have the money or time to promote it as much as I would like, but I will do what I can. Sorry for the lateness of this as I just found this forum this week. I hope the sport doesn't die, I'm not good enough, yet!!!
WOW the number of answers to this thread is definitely a heartening sight. I agree with so many of you that it would be silly to try to quote or name names. The one idea that leaped at me was the tournament format one. I do agee that the format today is a monster commitment and yes Allen there is generally no time to go for a drink let alone lunch. If you do you will hold up the event for everyone else and that can be a drag. Some matches can last 15 minutes while others can last 2 hours, so who has time is a variable list. Also i agree the format is totally geared to the best players. I discussed this very subject with Yves not long ago and he railed that nobody who wants to do well should ever be afraid to face anyone. That to be the best you must beat the best. Well thats fine for pros and folks who train for it but our sport is still too small and is still too dependant on players who play for fun. We need to reward everyone for their efforts. I think the pool format is the real culprit in the death throes of our sport, and more recently the consolation matches that are necessary for an accurate seeding system. I would like to design a new standard tournament format that addresses a few issues. !) the current tournaments are overly draining both in time and energy. 2) the seeding system is so blatantly biased towards the best players and for an unofficial ranking system it is given far too much weight in the current tournament format. The seeding should only be done once not again after the pools. If you are the top seed in a pool and you dont win your pool you should have to prove yourself againnot get such a free ride from the post pool reseeding. 3) I would like to see more important matches played before elimination. in other words more matches against players of your own level while there is still a chance to win the tournament, not expect all of the really competitive games to occur in the consolation aka beer brackets. Also there are too many players who never get past a certain point, never get to really compete against their peers because they get eliminated every time in the pools and are then relegated to pick up games, and thus never achieve any sense of accomplishment in a tournament. This lack of a sense of progress is quickly killing newcomers enthusiasm for the tournament scene.
I tried a few years back to address this problem by separating out the very best established players and making the initial pools more of a qualification round. But the players on the cusp, the ones that do qualify felt that it was unfair to them, that they had to play twice as many games as the players that were pre-qualified. This is a serious problem in a two day tournament and was the end of my experiment. But i still believe that the problems I was attempting to solve are impeding forward progress in the sport and I would like to have suggestions brought forward on creating a new format for net tournaments that would help save our sport.
Thanks for reading this essay and forgive me if it seems incomplete or confusing. (its late here and i didnt write a draft copy, this is all off the top of my head)
Joined: 23 Sep 2003 Posts: 288 Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:18 am Post subject: why net is destined to die
While I appreciate Andy's ideas, I think that the pool system+consolation matches is a vast improvement over the old double-elimination format. When I started, you played your first match against the best player, lost, then went into the loser bracket, where you played one game to 15 and maybe you beat someone worse than you, then you lost the next match to a good player who got knocked into the loser bracket. Two, three, maybe four GAMES (not matches) and you were done for the day. Often before noon. "Wow, I traveled here for this?" At least now we have a system that guarantees you get to play a lot.
Joined: 07 Oct 2003 Posts: 131 Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:44 pm Post subject:
Conan is right when it comes to getting to play a lot. But Andy said:
more matches against players of your own level while there is still a chance to win the tournament, not expect all of the really competitive games to occur in the consolation aka beer brackets.
In pool system weaker players are most likely to play 3-4 matches before consolation brackets, and very often only one of those matches is against players of one's own level. I don't see this as a big problem when it comes to big tournaments like Worlds. Footbag net is after all a competitive sport and everyone cannot be guaranteed good and even matches.
But I still think that Andy has a point in saying that you may never get past certain point with this tournament system. And because ranking points are biased towards the best players, it doesn't really matter whether you finish just narrowly behind the players getting ranking points or very last! This makes consolation games (where you get play against players of your own level) rather pointless, because you know this doesn't affect your seeding in the next tournament.
When it comes to post pool reseeding, I know the current system is used in many sports. But still I think that brackets should be fixed before pool play.
Joined: 23 Sep 2003 Posts: 288 Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:56 pm Post subject: why net is destined to die
Olli, we have designed the ranking point system to provide incentive for EVERY match played. It may appear right now to be "biased toward the best players" but that is simply because we are only counting 1st-4th finishes right now and 1st-8th at worlds (because this info is available and we have to start somewhere). Once the system is in place, which is already happening, we can expand to provide ranking points for every positive result in every tournament. This will be limited only by tournament directors failing to provide the results by round, which is a big problem, because people have trouble remembering everything that happened before semifinals.
I believe the ranking system will add fun and incentives for all tournament competitors, top to bottom. That's the real goal.
Joined: 07 Oct 2003 Posts: 131 Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:35 pm Post subject:
...we can expand to provide ranking points for every positive result in every tournament... I believe the ranking system will add fun and incentives for all tournament competitors, top to bottom. That's the real goal.
Excellent! That's the way it should be.
My intention was not to criticize the ranking system, anyway. My opinion is that ranking system really is a good thing. (Even IF it was somehow biased.) I totally agree with your bottom line, Conan. Good work!
Joined: 27 Mar 2004 Posts: 9 Location: West Linn, OR, USA
Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:54 am Post subject: Footbag Net
I am surprised and disappointed in you , Steve. Sometimes you resort to the lowest possible denominator to try to incite people. Calling net players pot smoking, drinking individuals does nothing but deceive and give an even lower life to a sport that we would like to promote. If you are trying to get a reaction, there are better ways to do that. Maybe you spend your time with people like that but the net players that I play with spend their Sunday nights exhasted, and looking forward to going to work on Monday morning. I have been playing for a long time.
Perhaps your frustration could be framed in a more positive way if you have any aspirations of Footbag getting any kind of legitimacy.
Let me remind you that your posts are permanent, and that you have spent decades trying to promote footbag.
Your friend and a supporter of footbag net and its players
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 Posts: 302 Location: Portland, OR, USA
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:05 am Post subject:
Net isn't destined to die, it is simply destined for a european invasion. Americans and Canadians have been carrying the torch for many years, many tire of the marathon. America is almost ripe for a major foot sport, europeans, south americans, asian countries are already far more advanced in foot sport acceptance than anyone in north america. I have always thought that our sport was one phat Nike (or Addidas) comercial from exploding and I still feel that is true. Nowhere moreso than europe at the moment.
I predict a shift of power in footbag from north america to europe then a scramble for the americans to catch back up and hence a great heave forward for the game in general.
Couple more Worlds over there would probably help,
Joined: 12 Aug 2004 Posts: 190 Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:07 pm Post subject: Net...
Well... Since i just spent the last hour reading this debate, I figured I should put my 2 cents in on a variety of issues presented
The tournament format played now isnt bad (I wasnt around for double elim), but I agree in part with andy that it is definetely geared towards the top players. The only tournament I attend with frequency is the Vancouver Open (Which gets smaller every year) and every year, there is 1 or 2 players I beat, 1 I have a good match with (mostly losing) and then Jake Leong (Expect this year, cause I had to bribe Jim). I dont mind losing to better players, or even worse players, but in a 2 day event, after 3 games, im done (unless I win 3 matches). Most of the time, there isnt a breakdown of play for 5-6-7-8 and so on. So I am resigned to pick up against the others that are knocked out.
Seeding or Ranking
The new ranking system that I have seen on here looks pretty good and Tennis is a good model, but keep in mind that tennis players play probably 15 or so tournaments a year. Now I know 15 a year for net isnt a real goal, but the gap (if I remember correctly) between the top 4 players and the rest is big. If I were to go to every ranked tournament, and place 3 or 4, I still wouldnt be able to catch them (Not that I would place 3 or 4, or go to every tourney).
I started goin to tourneys in 97, with the van open and have been 2 two worlds since. Since I cant talk about other tourneys, i will stick to Van. 97 was awesome, there was a bazillion players, everyone had a great time, it was fun. Since then, the decline has been steady. Last week, we had 9 singles players and 8 doubles teams. Fine by me (Gets me those important ranking points ) But I dont know why the big decline. Also, what happened to the seattle and portland tourneys (now that I have an income to travel to tourneys with). Granted alot of people dont want to drop $500 for a tourney with no prizes or anything, but maybe thats what it would take to get people to come out. If we had a tourney in Edmonton, with no prize money, we might get people from Calgary, maybe from Van, but thats probably it. If we had $1000 first place winner takes all, would more people come? I dunno. (Let me know if you would, cause we could put on a fun tourney )
Anyways, Ill quit ranting and regurgitating what others have said and see you all at the green cup, the hivernal and worlds 05 (Helsinki!!! Hope you finns are ready to drink).
Joined: 12 Jul 2004 Posts: 16 Location: Aurora, CO, USA
Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:50 am Post subject:
Well, about 2 years after this topic was posted, I'd like to give my thoughts. I say introduce the sport where kids get a chance to practice it every day... The high schools... the biggest challenge would be to get a school district to adopt the idea. I know Cherry Creek School District in Colorado has a high concentration of footbaggers, and the the distict the first to adopt new ideas and activities... just a thought.
Joined: 27 Mar 2004 Posts: 9 Location: West Linn, OR, USA
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:08 am Post subject: Footbag Net will never die
I just spent the weekend with 16 brand spanking new net players. There were very nearly as many novice entrants at the US Open as there were pros. Not a single one had ever been on a net before. Every one of them left asking when they could do it again. Twelve of the sixteen players were under the age of 18 years. With a little water...I think they, and the net game will grow
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