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Topic: ITSF National Rankings
Posted: Mar 22 2011 12:09PM
[GER] - Germany
[AUT] - Austria
[NED] - Netherlands
[FRA] - France
[USA] - United States of America
[CZE] - Czech republic
[BEL] - Belgium
[DEN] - Denmark
[SUI] - Switzerland
[POL] - Poland
[GBR] - Great Britain
[HUN] - Hungary
[BUL] - Bulgaria
[SVK] - Slovakia
[RUS] - Russia
[LUX] - Luxembourg
[SLO] - Slovenia
[POR] - Portugal
[MAR] - Morocco
[TUR] - Turkey
[ITA] - Italy
[JPN] - Japan
[ESP] - Spain
[ROU] - Romania
[CAN] - Canada
[LTU] - Lithuania
[IND] - India
[IRI] - Iran
[CRO] - Croatia
[UAE] - United arab emirates
[CHN] - China
[ALG] - Algeria
[RSA] - South africa
[BRA] - Brazil
[FIN] - Finland
[IRL] - Ireland
[MEX] - Mexico
[BRN] - Bahrain
[CRC] - Costa rica
[CMR] - Cameroon
[EST] - Estonia
[HKG] - Hong kong
[LAT] - Latvia
[PAK] - Pakistan
[SEN] - Senegal
If anyone in the world thinks this is entirely accurate they would be crazy... because realistically the USA has at least 3 of the top 5 players in the world - even multitable. Look at the world cup, they have won a few years in a row now and will probably win again next year.
I think it would be cool to try and get Canada into the top 10 in that ranking, but it is going to take a few things to make that happen.
1. We need a World Cup team, getting into the medal rounds would help a lot and is completely realistic too. It looks like they put the world cup into two tiers, but I have a phone conversation scheduled with Farid for tomorrow to talk about this. I think it is unfair for Canada to be forced to compete in the Tier 2 section of the world cup when we have clearly demonstrated the ability to compete against anyone. We have had doubles teams in the finals, and a 5th place finish with 5 1/2 foosball players at the world cup.
2. We need to get women representation at the World Cup.
3. We need to get a national team to compete in one or two other tables World Championships.
4. We need to get some of the top players in the country to go to a lot of ITSF events.
5. We need Junior/Senior representation at majors and the world cup.
We could replace a country in the top 3 if we did all of the things I just mentioned, and maybe even be ranked number 1. We could push into the top 10 with a mild effort at the previously mentioned 5 items.
Will, you (and Eric before you) are doing an awesome job. Almost as good as Tim would be doing (in his dreams), and I do not mean this as a criticism. But, I do think that speaking the truth is important at this time for the future of the ITSF and for Canadian foosball. I am not saying that I am right, this is just my opinion. But then at least we can debate it and know where we are as a federation ourselves. Pretty funny saying this and living in China...
But in China we are facing the same issues and then some.
I think getting a team there just to get our ranking up would only matter if all the other countries did as well and they aren't going to as far as I can tell. And even if we did there are still WAY more opportunities to get ITSF points in Europe than there ever will be in Canada. So, our going isn't going to impact how irrelevant the rankings are. The rankings are skewed.
Plus, most of our best players are pretty professional and shark like. Sorry best players, but this is the truth. And if they don't get sponsorship or see a likelihood of payback, then most of them won't go. We should still send a team to support international play and let them pay their own way. But it should not be taken as anything more than an exhibition match in terms of ranking countries in the sport.
It is kind of like how International Hockey was when we used to send college players to the Olympics against professional Commies.
I still think that the Canadians who do go should still try to kick some butt against the countries who do show up. But more importantly, Canadian foosball should also focus growing their own grass roots programs the way Alberta is.
For instance, B.C. foosball needs a complete re-boot. Leagues, mentoring, fines for being a dickhead that people pay into ahead of time and get after if they aren't a dickhead, etc. Also new tables, more Pro/Ams, clinics, etc. I love the players there but it is depressing seeing the turnouts these days, especially given how many good players live there. I wrote a big posting on this a couple of years ago and Brian backed me up on it but most of the Vancouver people were pretty lethargic about it. OK, so those ones shouldn't be the leader but someone should. Look at what Will has done in his area!
I don't know about the rest of Canada but am sure that there is enough interest that something grass roots but realistic in those areas would also get at least some growth going on there.
Here in Shanghai I try to set it up so it is fun for me as the promoter(so I stay with it) and fun for the players. Simple as that. We grow as fast as we do but between regular events and enforcing my own no dickheads rules we do ok. I just referee them and if they are a dickhead I warn them then take the ball away. The few that won't adjust usually don't come back if i am consistent about it but most just make the adjustment just as most other 5 year olds standing in the corner too much would.
I love the ITSF in theory but in concept the rankings should be ignored or abandoned. The Executive should be more democratic, transparent and fully representative, and the tables and events should less favor Europe. I still support them because I know some degree of this is necessary when taking a leadership role. But it should not go on forever. I am not ready to say we should start supporting a P4P more grass roots type of program yet, but I will give it some serious consideration if the vote for Leonhart over Fireball is closed door, predetermined, etc. I don't care who they vote for, I care how the vote is done.
Anyway, I wrote about that in another thread. But going to ITSF Worlds is not in itelf going to fix any rankings. Just ignore that. Now if Canada did show up and in fact won the event that would be saying something.
Anyway, keep up the good work Will and interested to see if anyone agrees with either point of view...
Fred - You touched on a lot of things in that post, and really it is a valuable post.
When I approach this as a promoter in Edmonton I always try to work on the grass roots level and take special care to make sure people can enjoy tournament style foosball. I think a lot of times tournaments are so competitive that it is easy for emotions to take over and that can hurt the image and perception that we give off to new players.
If I look at it from the President of TSAC role, as opposed to the role of being a local promoter, I have to take some other things into account. For one, I think it is embarrassing for a country with the talent level and quality of players we have here to be ranked so low in the international standings. I know that it is not an accurate representation of where our country should rank. That is not the reason for my post though.
Before the next election year, I am going to put forward my 5 year plan for the organization of TSAC. This plan will include long term goals and strategies on how to achieve those goals, but I'll summarize some of the goals here now:
1. TSAC Membership - Increase the number of members in TSAC, and prepare a way to be in contact with the members easier. Try to make TSAC's membership group an accurate representation of the players that play Table Soccer in Canada, then start to grow that number across the country by getting more players involved in Table Soccer.
2. Obtain Funding for TSAC - A few different opportunities exist underneath this point. Membership fees, corporate sponsorship, and government funding are the three methods that stick out as real possible opportunities.
2.1 Membership fees - would only be realistic if TSAC provides a measurable and valuable service to its members. We would need to make it worth while for someone to WANT to be a member, and go out seeking to become one, and pay the membership fee because they choose to become a member. I'm not a fan of the way IFP and USTSF dues have been enforced in the past, as making it mandatory to pay to become a member if you want to participate in an event.
2.2 Corporate sponsorship - is only realistic if we can provide a worthwhile product for companies. With events being run in bars/hotel rooms I can't see any companies ever being interested in sponsoring the 200-300 people that might show up and play as a best case scenario. Events like the West Edmonton Mall tournament, or any event gaining a lot of public exposure are necessary all across the country, linked into one deal. If we could have 8 major tournaments a year, all ITSF Pro Tour events - and part of our own Canadian Tour, we could seriously approach sponsors. All events would need to be in public places and gaining media attention, but if we could accomplish that we would have something we could sell. The rights to naming the tour, the opportunity to advertise to over a million people through our Foosball tour, and media exposure. If the TSAC Membership takes off, we can talk about how we have X# of members and run a national tour. Until that happens this is unrealistic, but we can plan for it and strategize to accomplish this.
2.3 Government Funding - Essentially this is a very feasible goal, and probably the most sustainable form of income. In the past, people (including myself) have made some attempt at obtaining government funding. I have now extensively researched this goal and am certain that if we proceed strategically and persistently we can accomplish this in the 4-6 year time frame. There are two specific routes to obtaining official sport status in Canada - we need to choose one or pursue both goals (both are worthwhile causes regardless). We have to either persue obtaining NSO (National Sport Organization) status by either acheiveing National Scope, or International Scope level status.
2.3 a: National Scope - In Section B of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework it states that to achieve "National" Scope we must have a minimum of 3,000 registered members, have 8 provincial organizations affiliated, and have an annual national championships. In one of the "Annex" numbers associated with this, it states that we as the NSO must have independently audited financial statements for each of the last 4 fiscal years. Another is that we must demonstrate annual revenues of no less than $50,000 in each of the last 4 fiscal years and, if there is an accumulated deficit, that it be no greater than 20% of the annual operating budget. Because of all these guidance rules - I don't that achieving National Scope is possible in the next few years.
2.3 b: International Scope - To achieve International Scope sports status we rely heavily on the ITSF - but they have already done most of what we need them to do so that we can obtain funding in this level. The ITSF must have a minimum of 35 member countries of which a minimum of 20 countries must have competed in each of the past 4 World Championships, including qualifying competitions. Accomplished. They have a lot of rules surrounding Anti-Doping, access to handicapped/disabled events etc. Accopmlished. We would need to have ITSF training centers in three spots in the country, but that isn't too far fetched. The only other thing holding us back in this aspect is this:
The NSO(TSAC in this case) has had at least one top 16 and top half finish in one event in 50% of all Senior World Championships since January 2000. We would need 3 consecutive top 16 finishes in the World Cup (easily achievable with our players skills - but it is tough to get a team to attend) to be able to apply for the International Scope of funding. We also need to prove that we are competitive and trying to improve, with coaches and training. Having a lot of ITSF points would go a long way towards making our case. I think this is our best chance at having paid trips to major tournaments for our top players, getting funding to develop and maintain ITSF training centers, and to really get our sport to take off in the right direction across Canada.
Hopefully that sheds some insight into why it is important for us to have a national team competing at the World Cup and why it is so important to me that Canada represents itself well at international ITSF competitions. In the long term it would be nice to achieve all of those goals, but it will take a dedicated group of promoters from all areas in Canada to make this a reality.
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