Footbag Reference: Call for Bids: IFPA World Footbag Championships

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Call for Bids: IFPA World Footbag Championships

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Call for Bids: IFPA World Footbag Championships

Is your club interested in hosting the IFPA World Footbag Championships?

IFPA has transitioned to a new model for hosting Worlds, effective 2011. This shift has been 3 years in the making, with a lot of work by the IFPA Worlds Oversight Committee (WOC). In this new model, IFPA runs the core event each year, i.e. the competition itself from online registration through the pools, brackets, finals, and results -- while the host team takes care of the rest. This will be great for both the players and the clubs that want to bring the Worlds to their city, because it means the host team can focus on local arrangements, publicity, and adding their own flare to the event, while the IFPA staff worry about all the nitty-gritty details (and costs) of the core competition.

Over the last few years, IFPA has been putting together a "Footbag Athletes' Bill of Rights" that is the basis for the IFPA World Championships and hopefully for other IFPA-sanctioned footbag events. This "bill of rights" and the accompanying Host Application form includes many requirements that will better serve the players and organizers alike. It is IFPA's hope that this will help players compete under consistent and predictable conditions as they vie for the title of World Champion each year.

For any host teams out there who are interested in bidding to host Worlds, we have a new application that we can send you. This application includes the Athletes' Bill of Rights, and outlines the new requirements, asks some basic questions, and allows for modification and negotiation based on your team's specific desires and capabilities.

If you scroll down, below, you can see the basic Worlds agreement structure. But the text below is not the application -- please contact the IFPA Worlds Oversight Committee if you are interested, and we will send you a link to a document you can fill out online, with much more detail.

One key thing to understand is that the application process does not require you to have everything finalized before you begin -- we want the bidding process to be an interactive discussion between the Worlds Oversight Committee and the prospective host team(s). We will be open and transparent with you about any other bidders and try to get to a swift agreement once you start the process. But we can't get far if you don't start the process. If you are seriously interested so we can get you the application and begin the discussions. (At some point in the future, we may have to charge an application fee since this process can take a substantial amount of energy on the part of the committee; however, for now, applying to host Worlds is free.)

Below is a *sample* application form, to help potential bidders see how we have structured the new process.

Basic Information for Application Procedures

To receive a full application and begin the bidding process, please contact the IFPA Worlds Oversight Committee.

The IFPA World Footbag Championships is an annual event owned by the International Footbag Players' Association. The purpose of the event is to foster the growth of the sport of footbag by providing ideal circumstances for competition among the world's top footbag athletes. The IFPA World Footbag Championships are an "open" event, meaning anyone may compete in the event (there are no "qualifying" tournaments, though several large events help provide ranking information that is used for seeding in the main disciplines).

Since IFPA is a decentralized, player-run organization, this event is run by a "host team", usually led by a single "producer", who is responsible for the successful implementation of the event based on IFPA's stringent standards. Since the event is owned by IFPA, the host team and/or the event producer must apply for permission to host the event for any given year, and must agree to the terms and conditions set forth in this and the accompanying structure document.

The Worlds Host Team Application Form serves as a request to IFPA's Worlds Oversight Committee (WOC), for consideration as a host for the World Footbag Championships. If accepted, IFPA will provide staff or assistance in naming key directors, and will provide substantial financial assistance and oversight for the core competitive event. Any team using this form to apply to be the hosting team is inherently agreeing to support the Athletes Bill of Rights, which is attached as part of the Requirements for all IFPA Sanctioned events, at the bottom of this form.

Please review these requirements and the Athletes Bill of Rights thoroughly with your team to insure there is complete agreement on IFPA's commitment to its athletes, and to guide you in any decision-making and choices you make for your bid proposal. �It will also help you to be familiar with these goals as you fill out your bid proposal form.

An initial bid proposal does not need to have all details/form values completed to be accepted for consideration. �The winning host team will be determined by the Worlds Oversight Committee, based on many factors, primarily the team's willingness to work as an agent of IFPA in implementing the event to IFPA's standards. More bids are ultimately what is best for the sport, even if it means more work for the Worlds Oversight Committee; make us work for you. �It is the mission of the IFPA Worlds Oversight Committee to make sure the IFPA World Footbag Championships is the best event for the athletes.

DATES

The IFPA World Championships must take place over a full week (6 or 7 continuous days), between mid-July and early August, ideally no earlier than the third full week in July, and no later than the first full week in August. The actual scheduling of events is a collaborative process between the host club and IFPA's Worlds Oversight Committee. If you have not already chosen a venue and/or dates, you should make sure your request specifies these dates.

STAFF

There are two types of staff for the World Championships: (1) local/logistical staff (provided by host team), and (2) event directors (designated by IFPA). Only the positions designated as local/logistical are required for an initial bid proposal, however you are welcome to suggest your local experts for the event directors as well (but they will be acting as agents of IFPA in the capacity of event staff). IFPA reserves the right to designate experts as event directors, but may also be able to provide logistical staff or consultants, as required. The application form gives you places to fill in names and suggestions for various types of staff, roughly divided into the two categories above.

VENUES / LOCATIONS / SITES

One of the primary responsibilities of the host team is to secure appropriate sites for both the competition and for the players' lodging. In order to ensure the best adherence to the players' bill of rights, the host team is encouraged to secure a single, integrated venue for both competition and lodging. Failing that, the host team should ensure that the sites are "close enough" that players can move between the different event sites and lodging with the least amount of cost and time.

For the competition sites:

  • Net may be in separate locations for different rounds or events.
  • Freestyle should be in the same location for all rounds, but if not, the exact playing conditions of the final round(s) must be as close to, if not identical to, the playing conditions of the earlier rounds.

As an initial bid, it is understood that your proposed locations may change over the course of further developments; do not feel you must have a secured site in order to turn in a bid proposal. �Any information you have on sites in your area that you think are ideal will help us to understand what your region has to offer for IFPA athletes.

General Requirements

These are general guidelines, not specific requirements. The bidding process and the application form should spell out more specific requirements for the event in question. We provide this information below simply as a helpful set of guidelines for what we are hoping to achieve with formal footbag competition going forward.

GENERAL

  • Organizers of Worlds and other IFPA-sanctioned tournaments (such as Euros) enter into a contract with each registered player at the event that they will honor the priorities of "athlete orientation" (as defined by the Footbag Athletes' Bill of Rights) before all else. An IFPA tournament such as Worlds is first and foremost an athletic, sports event, and competitors expect the highest standard from tournament organizers to adhere to this contract if the event holds the IFPA designation. The IFPA logo and designation represent a promise to the players that they can rely on the competitive side of the event to be held to the highest standards and that players will be treated as athletes and respected as such throughout the event.
  • This means that, among other things, players will be provided with easy access to drinking water, restrooms, food, shade, etc., even if for a fee. It means that their seeding in each event will be based in part on their results from other IFPA events, that their results from this event will go into seeding for future events they may enter.
  • It also means that the playing surfaces, equipment, and surroundings will provide optimal playing conditions that enable world class athletic results (e.g., protection from the elements such as wind and rain, good surfaces for world class play, etc.).
  • In addition, it means that players will be given accurate, dependable time estimates for when they will be competing, allowing players to best manage their athletic performance in terms of knowing when to rest, when to warm up, when to cool down, and when to push as appropriate to achieve their absolute best athletic performance. Delays and impairments to players' athletic conditioning and/or performance resulting from bad planning on the part of the event staff are simply unacceptable.

The above form the general basis for the bill of rights:

FOOTBAG ATHLETES' BILL OF RIGHTS

Competitors at IFPA events have certain rights that must be afforded to them by sanctioned IFPA event organizers. The act of seeking and receiving sanctioning is entering into a contract with IFPA and with the competitors that you will afford the following rights to all the athletes who choose to compete in or attend IFPA sanctioned events:

  1. Competitive events will be held according to the highest standards as defined in the IFC rule book, and any deviations from IFC rules will be clearly and readily articulated to all competitors well in advance of the event, and explained again in any and all applicable players' meetings before the start of competition. Tournament-specific rules such as minimum and maximum routine times, number of games per match, number of points, scoring/judging system, etc., will be communicated very clearly both in advance and at the players' meetings as appropriate.
  2. Players will have unfettered and free access to water and restrooms within no more than 2 minutes' walk from their playing area.
  3. Players will be provided access (either for a fee or for free) to healthy, nutritional food throughout the competition. This may be limited to "power bars" and/or fruit, and may be limited to specific times/locations during the event, but in the latter case, options to purchase food outside the immediate tournament area should be available and explained to players in advance so that they can plan to ensure their nutrition while competing.
  4. Players will be provided shaded areas to escape the hot sun, if applicable, during rest times between events and/or matches.
  5. Players will be provided safe, secure storage for their affairs during competition. This can range from a consignment desk at the event venue to a backstage area for competitors to a designated player storage area at the tournament site that is policed and protected from the general public.
  6. Players will be seeded in part or in whole based on their previous results from IFPA-sanctioned tournaments in the same discipline, and can rely on this information being available to tournament organizers without the players themselves having to argue for their seeding.
  7. Players will be told well in advance which pools, brackets, or waves they are competing in, and the approximate start time of each pool, bracket, or wave, within a 20-minute margin of error. Players shouldn't have to warm up for competition, then find out the event is delayed, and cool down, only to warm up again later. Once a player warms up, he/she should be able to bank on transitioning into the competition from that point. Without constant, up-to-date information, and on-time execution of the event from the organizing staff, this is very difficult for athletes.
  8. Players will be assured of a maximum playing window of 9 hours, with a minimum of 8am and maximum of 9:30pm for all competitive events. The playing window is the time between when a player first warms up to compete in a formal event, and when the player finishes competition for the day. Any tournament organizer who schedules events for competitors that require them to maintain a playing window of more than 9 hours in a single day is risking injurious impact on athletes' performance and health during the competition, and thus should be disqualified from future event organization.
  9. Players in judged events will be provided with:
    • a panel of qualified, impartial judges, who will give fair and correct results based on the judging system being used, and who are considered to be tournament officials/staff; and
    • "immediate" results as soon after a player competes as is feasible (for example, a freestyle competitor in the first of four pools should get his results within 5 minutes of the end of his pool, and should not have to wait until all the other pools are complete before judging results are tabulated and communicated).
  10. Players will be provided with optimal playing conditions for each competitive discipline:
    • for freestyle, competition will always be in a well-lit, wind-protected, rain-protected, and dry playing area (both for warm-up and for competition), with a non-slippery, flat surface that is large enough (see IFC rule book) and with high enough ceilings to allow optimal freestyle play, with appropriate room for players to warm up and play on the sidelines or back-stage;
    • for net, competition will always be in an appropriate location perfect for net (e.g., outdoors on artificial turf or, if protected from rain, a well-manicured grass playing surface -- or on indoor badminton courts with high ceilings), with spring-loaded nets, appropriate safety zones around the courts, and appropriate amounts of warm-up areas/courts.

RESULTS

For judged events, results should be made available to players as soon as possible after each competitive event; e.g., after a pool of freestyle routines is over, the judges' results should be tabulated, announced, and posted right away. Players have a right to know how they did in any event as soon as humanly possible. For scored competitions, such as net, there's never a problem -- players always know how they did and whether they need to prepare for another match. For judged events, it's unfair to make athletes wonder if they are going to be competing again in the event. They should know as soon as the tournament staff knows whether they made a cut, and what their final ranking was in every event. �Failing to calculate results and communicate them to the players within a few minutes of the end of each pool/round is a breach of the "athlete orientation" contract the tournament organizers have with the players because it doesn't afford players transparency and visibility into their competition schedule so that they can decide if it's a good time to get food, take a break, or warm up and get ready for the next event/round.

CEREMONIES

Worlds must have an opening ceremony, a formal players' meeting run by the tournament director (recommended to be combined with the opening ceremony), a final award ceremony, and a closing ceremony (recommended to be combined with the awards ceremony).

  1. The closing ceremony and awards ceremony MUST conclude at a reasonable time, no later than 90 minutes after the final competitive event or 11pm, which ever comes first.
  2. It is recommended, though not required, that the awards and closing ceremonies be conducted together, immediately following the last competitive event. For example, if the last event is open singles freestyle finals on a big stage in front of a large crowd with TV cameras, the awards and closing ceremonies should be scheduled as the final event immediately following open singles freestyle, in the same venue with the same staff commitment and focus as with the competitive events, and while the venue is still set up properly for the event.
  3. It is recommended, though not required, that the top three or four players in each event are recognized in a "mini-awards-ceremony" immediately following each event. In this case, there may be no final awards ceremony, though a closing ceremony is still required.
  4. It is strongly encouraged that the closing ceremony include a minimum of three parts (not counting the awards ceremony if combined with it):
    • speech from this year's producer and/or tournament director: thanking everyone for coming, listing off core staff and giving thanks to people by name who did a fantastic job making the event possible, reading off the list of sponsors, thanking the press if they are there, summing up the event;
    • optional: announcements/speeches as requested in advanced by special members of the community (e.g., someone speaking on behalf of the Footbag Hall of Fame to announce the latest inductees, presentation of the Mike Marshall award if offered, etc.), managed by the MC for the main event or by the event producer/tournament director; and
    • speech from the Executive Director of IFPA, or his/her embassador, thanking the team this year for running the event, formally closing this year's event, and announcing next year's event location.

REGISTRATION

Deadline: Worlds organizers will close registration no fewer than 5 days before the start of the first competitive event or opening ceremony, whichever comes first.

Late Registration: There will be no concept of on-site/late registration; only check-in as defined above. If players do not pre-register (which includes prepaying!) by the deadline, they cannot compete in any competitive event; however, they may still be able to attend as guests, etc.

Payment: In theory, no money should have to exchange hands between players and tournament organizers in regards to their entry fees. Tournament organizers may have extras that they want to charge players for, but this is done at the product booth, not as a part of official check-in. Collecting late payments, etc., is not a problem for the tournament organizers themselves. Players do not pay entry fee to the tournament -- they pay entry fee to IFPA through the registration system. In some cases, we may choose to short-circuit the money exchange to save costs and to simplify the running of the event. But from an "accounting" perspective, these monies will be considered to be on IFPA's "books" even if they go directly to the host team.

Budget Accounting: 100% of registration money collected by IFPA goes into the official event budget and is available to the event organizers based on the budget plan for the event. However, all registration money must be accounted for through IFPA's budget; thus collecting late payments becomes IFPA's problem, not (directly) the tournament organizers' problem.

SEEDING

Because all players must be pre-registered at least 5 days before the event, seeding must be led and completed by each event director before the first on-site check-in opportunity for players, if not sooner.

The final seeding for the players within each event should be made available and visible to players at check-in, if not before.

Pools and/or brackets for the first round of all events should be drawn up and posted in advance as well, so that players can see which pools they are in and approximately when they will be competing in their first event, at check-in or before.

Event directors may reserve the right to re-flow the pools/brackets for the first round based on having "too many" no-show players after the close of check-in; for example, if there are 3 players from a pool of 4 who all "scratched" for some reason before the start of the first round, the director may choose to make new pools from the amended player list, to get better balance. This will be done no later than the player's meeting for the event in question, if offered, or 30 minutes before the posted start time for the event in question.

BUDGETS AND DIVISION OF LABOR

Core tournament package (joint responsibility with IFPA and local team)

IFPA (manifested by volunteers and/or paid staff) owns the core tournament functions:

  • freestyle director is IFPA certified individual (perhaps chosen by local team, but not necessarily local)
  • net director is IFPA certified individual (perhaps chosen by local team, but not necessarily local)
  • registration is done before the tournament by IFPA registration team
  • IFPA representatives and event directors do seeding, make pools, etc. before tournament and between rounds
  • schedule of events is (within reason) standardized by IFPA, changes are ratified by IFPA after discussion with local team
  • budget for running core event is owned and underwritten by IFPA (see below for examples of optional, additional projects not covered in IFPA budget)

Local "Host Team" owns the site logistics:

  • producer is also head of local organizing team, should be local
  • responsible for final on-site player and staff check-in, distribution of players' packs, etc.
  • responsible for hosting opening ceremony, awards ceremony, and closing ceremony
  • responsible for getting acceptable venues for competition that match official schedule requirements, or working with IFPA representatives to modify schedule/site requirements as appropriate
  • responsible for arranging lodging/accommodation options for all players and staff; this may be as simple as listing local hotels, but in the best case, includes a discounted accommodation for the entire week for all players, and the ability to have up to 4 players in a room at a hotel, etc.; lodging options should be vetted with IFPA representative to ensure their proximity to the site allows players good transportation options and ability to arrive at site on time and return to their accommodations at a reasonable hour
  • responsible for basic promotion: event program/players' booklet, pre- and post-event communication to players (primarily e-mails), event website hosted on footbag.org, etc. (other promotions such as local advertisements, demos, etc., are not included in this set and are considered as separate (see below))
  • responsible for equipment procurement/rentals, deliveries, recruiting local event staff, handling logistics on the ground, etc.
  • responsible for painting/setting up net courts, prepping and dressing spotlighted areas (e.g., receiving and putting up banners, getting tables/chairs for judges, etc., etc., as requested by event directors)
  • responsible for designing and making event T-shirt or other similar memento for players, this is optional but strongly recommended, and comes out of core event budget
  • responsible for working with IFPA on budget, vetting large expenses with IFPA finance team beforehand, balancing priorities with input from IFPA, etc.
Extras package (owned entirely by local organizing team)

Non-athletic aspects of event are not in the core "tournament package"; they can be layered on top (such as promotions, sponsorships, demos, etc.) but cannot perturb any of the plans above:

Extras that cost money must be independently funded from a separate budget. (E.g., a concession stand where soft drinks, food, and other products are bought and sold to generate revenue for the event must not tap core tournament resources and must be independently funded; exceptions are things mandated by IFPA such as T-shirt or equivalent player-pack items.)

Any budget surplus generated from extras must go to covering losses on the core tournament package first; once core tournament is break-even, additional revenue usually goes to organizing team, with some specific exceptions outlined below.

Examples of extras would include:

  • Promotion opportunities before the event, including TV advertisements, radio, etc., especially where sponsors are involved
  • Sponsorships (can offset costs of core tournament or even generate revenue for host club and/or IFPA if budget surplus, but cannot change format or design of core tournament unless mutually agreed-upon by IFPA)
  • Media opportunities (local TV, newspaper, etc. rights are granted to local organizing team; international and/or exclusive paid media opportunities must include IFPA; more on this in detailed specifications and always negotiable on a per-case basis)

These are again, just guidelines. More detail as we put together the 2011 event which will be a template we can work from going forward and make this event sustainable, self-funding, and a truly collaborative effort.

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