Where do we want to go?
First of all: Thank you to everyone we met in Seattle for given the Norwegian team some great days in America. We really enjoyed the games, the city, the players and some of the results….
Coming back to Norway, I have spent some hours during the past nights (can’t sleep) thinking about what happened during the championship, at the board meeting and about the future of the sport we all love so much. As far as I understand, we are all concerned about how to get new people into our sport.
I loved Shuffleboard-Bob from the minute I met him in Seattle, but when he, at the board meeting, suggested that we instead of having country-teams should draw the teams, herby mixing the countries, he really gave me something to think about.
My impression is that both people at the board meeting and shufflers in general have multiple opinions about what the future should look like. Those having played for many years might want to keep it the way it works at the moment. We meet once a year, play some matches, eat dinners and are having a good time. Who is winning or not is of less importance.
The tournament in Seattle also underlines this fact. Each country ranked their players as they preferred, each team played different amount of matches, one country had a player from another country (yes, NorwayJ), one country picked a good player from the audience and let him play instead of those who originally was on the team and so on….
All of this is OK – if we want the championships to be like “a great week”. But why can’t we do both? My opinion is that by restructuring the way we play our tournaments, we will make it even more exciting to play and more interesting to watch.
If we want to be taken seriously in the sports-world, I do believe we need to take action. No more “luck of the draw”! Of course all players from all countries must be ranked in correct order, we have to divide the countries into groups in a way that let us end up with an exciting final (yes, we are working on that). In theory all players should meet as strong opponents as all the other players. The highest ranked player should not “only” meet other top ranked players. All groups must be weighted – like they should in the single-tournaments. The tournament director should make sure that all rankings are OK before putting together the plans for who is going to meet whom.
This will mean no more people from the grand stand to suddenly appear in the matches and no more people from different countries on the same team. We can all manage to put together country-teams if we really want to – and work for it. If not, there is a single-championship every second year to take part in.
I could have mentioned lots of other reasons – IF we want to move on in this direction, to get new players, to get you players. As a newcomer I fully respect others opinions. I do not have all the correct answers, but I believe in a good and open discussion. It is good to know that there is a group of people working on the format for the team-championship in Canada in 2014. But we also need to discuss how things should be done next year in Florida. 100 years of shuffleboard is to be celebrated. Let´s use that opportunity to show the world that shuffleboard is on the move forward – in many ways.
Hallvard Flatland, President Norwegian Shuffleboard. (2012 08 20)
Added: If you would like to make your thoughts known, please send along to email@example.com ((Posted 2012 08 20 08:05))
THE VIKINGS ARE COMING TO SEATTLE!
7 Norwegians Will Compete in the Seattle Team Event.
Many of our readers will NOT know that the Vikings (The Norwegians) landed in L’Anse Aux Meadows which is on the northern tip of Newfoundland >> and some may NOT know that Newfoundland is a province of Canada just east of New Brunswick! Remember the wonderful TV ads regarding Newfoundland; some were shot at L’Anse Aux Meadows.
In 793 AD long ships with dragon-headed bows and square sails crossed the North Sea and landed on England’s shore. In 1000 AD those same Vikings landed in L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland.
Excavations made in 1960 by an expedition from Norway to L’Anse aux Meadows revealed what is probably the “Vinland settlement” of Leif Eriksson from around AD 1000, or 500 years earlier than Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of North America.
In those earlier days of exploration, sometimes associated with terror and violence, the word Viking was synonymous with pirates, violence and terror, and Yes, Shufflers with Horns!!.
But today modern Norwegians are active in peace and conflict resolution on a global scale. Norwegian women have one of the highest political participation rates and are active in gender equality issues worldwide. Norway is proud of its successful ecology efforts at home and actively supports ecology solutions in developing countries.
So why is there such a discrepancy between the ancient stereotype of marauding pirates and modern, civilized Norway? The Viking age ended over a thousand years ago. So why does it still resonate today? Could it be a romantic revision of a grisly past or cynical pandering to a growing tourist trade? The pic on your right is of Hallvard Flatland, the Norwegian Shuffleboard President. I think I could get to like the modern Norwegian >> especially the female species!!* **
We are looking forward to having a full male team as well as a full female team of shufflers in Seattle!! And just in case anyone wondered, we are proud to have this connection with the Vikings!!
Stan of The Shuffler 2012 08 03.
* Hallvard competed in Dancing With The Stars in 2009.