At the regular after school football club that I take Rumi to, a parent remarked that football is a great activity allowing for physical exercise and building teamwork skills and there is nothing bad about it at all. It occurred to me that the only downside is excessive competitiveness. In a capitalist society we are constantly surrounded by a polarising logic of winners and losers and this can be very destructive. This binary logic pervades much of society and manifests in various situations - eg male/female, right/wrong black/white etc so that we are often blinded to what is really happening and to the possibilities that exist or can be brought into existence.
This spectacular situation often means that many people get left out or excluded from football and sports in general. Having been recently diagnosed with ME/CFS myself and becoming disabled over the last year, I know how this feels. It also means that I can start to miss out on activities with friends, family,including my children - as events seldom cater for inclusivity...
.... and so it also occurred to me that 3 sided football would be the perfect antidote to this situation !... and so I emailed round some fellow "reproductive workers"- friends of mine with kids, and friends of Rumi's parents and I was very happy when a few people responded favourably.. . and so we organised the first game in Cambridge for Sunday 20th Sept 2015!
We managed to borrow some cones for goal posts from my own housing association and headed down to Parkers Piece with Rumi and Zevi. It was only when we got there that I remembered we had forgotten a football! So we went back, got them and returned. It was all getting to be too much for me, with parking the car and having to get the boys and these cones to the field, but luckily Jolyon, Jackson and his crew had arrived and Jolyon managed to balance the 9 cones and carry them to the field while kicking the 2 footballs in front of him ...We met up en-route and found the rest of the players ! We divided ourselves into 3 teams - the 2 adults were the first 2 captains (an ageist bias?) the teams were: The Lion Heads (Jolyon and Eleanor), Golden Eagles (Jackson and Rumi) and Skull Duggers (James, Zevi and me) !
Incidently when Jolyon had asked about what colours to wear, he had suggested red, white and blue teams. I remembered the experimental "quantum chromodynamic" scoring system and so suggested red blue and yellow or green. When I got ready, Rumi was in blue, Zevi in red and I was in green - this was entirely "coincidental" The colours on the pitch at the start of the match were interestingly red, blue, yellow, green and black!
We had to discuss the new scoring system and this took a little time for us all to understand. We played 3 halves (or thirds) of 5-10 minutes each. After the first half (third!) Guy, Rosa, Evie and Caleb joined us. One of the most interesting things while playing was how as an adult/parent, I was much more aware of the team dynamics not just in my own team but other teams too. After the game we discussed alternative scoring methods - I drew on the quantum chromodynamic ideas from d3fc - and suggested we score each other on friendliness, competitiveness and inventiveness! Some of the other players thought it be more fun to score ourselves - I think in future games it would be fun to look at how to combine qualitative and quantitative methods of scoring.
time travel troubles!There is a theory of 3sided football that suggests that all games are in fact the same game being played in a state of "quantum superimposition". So I knew that the second match would be harder to organise than the first! But after alot of to-ing and fro-ing about what time the match would be.. (1pm or 11 am??) we finally fixed it at 11am.
In the event there was Rumi, Zevi and me along with Solomon, Amelia and Marco on for the day. We bought a set of 12 cones - grabbed the football and headed down to Parkers Piece.
We decided on 3 thirds of 10 minutes a side before changing goals. During the first third, we were joined by some passersby who had stopped to look at our game. And also some lads who were playing near by joined us. So by the end of the slightly longer first third, the final teams were:
Solomon, Rumi, Natalia and Adam
Amelia, Marco and Andy
Mark, Zevi and Asim
We didn't name our teams but the final score was : 3-5-6
This week again, the pitch was a pedagogical space - teaching about team work especially - as an adult trying hard against other adults and older kids, easing off with the younger ones - all of us allowing some space and encouraging the youngest of us to have at least some time with the ball.
A final word on our location. Parkers Piece I thought was perfect as it's the site of many UFO sightings and of course is home to REALITY CHECKPOINT. I had considered ringing some paint to draw on the hexagonal pich. The last 2 weeks we have just used some of the existing white lines inside a running track, presumably drawn out for Parkside school who use the field as a sports ground...
3:33rd game!Our third game was held at 3:33pm, with Jo, Noah and Anabella, Rosa and Evie and Zevi, Rumi and me.
Anabella was also with Jo but was on crutches, with a bad ankle, so was sitting the game out. We had the youngsters pick teams and so we had
Rumi and Joanna
Evie and Rosa,
Noah, Zevi and Asim
as the first teams. Again we didn't name our teams. However after the first third, Rumi wanted to change the teams around as he felt my team had an advantage and wanted to be with me. On discussing with the group however the younger players decided that they all wanted to be with Noah as he had been playing really well (and it was him, not me, that gave my team the advantage!) in the first third. Anabella also decided she would like to join in and asked if she could play in goal for one team. So the teams changed around, for the second and third third, to:
Evie, Noah, Rumi
Jo and Rosa
Asim, Zevi and Anabella
Interestingly we ended up with :
1 team exclusively of children,
1 team of women
and my team which was mixed in terms of age and gender and incidentally was the only team with a man in !
One focus that we have developed over the last few games in on passing and crossing. The younger players certainly play the game more as individuals rather than as a team and so Rosa was keen to show how passing and teamwork helps make a team more effective.
I lost count of the scores but Rumi was sure he had won and Rosa assures me that her team did not lose so I guess it was my team that lost! It was a great match though and also one where I have had to work harder than previous games. Zevi was constantly asking for hugs which made the game interesting too!
Lat week we got some emails from the psychic workers at DAMTP through the alytusbiennial mailing list. Here are some extracts.
From Strategic Optimist Football:
This is really great! SOF is in full support.
btw, perhaps you also know the psychogeographical significance of Parker's Piece in terms of the history of football?!
Surely no coincidence! I think by introducing 3sf here, at this strategic point for Association Football's genesis, you might actually be able to somehow exorcise the formalisation of the binarist system that was introduced into the game here by it ruling class codifiers. Perhaps a similar logic to our (so far unsuccessful) attempts to organise an exorcism of the National Football in Manchester - which incidentally we were meant to do yesterday, but it fell through.
Anyway, best of luck to you all with future games!
ps. we are experimenting with different, complementary scoring systems this year in Deptford too, to try to get away from the quantative/qualitative dilemma you describe. We'll see how it pans out
there is nothing bad when all 4 types of those starting on a... are gathering together to do something common, much worse is to leave them for specialized activities.
also i have some proposition for C3SF due to the choose of colors... there in Britain people have a lot of problems with colo(ur)nialism.... there is not so much difference when you change white into yellow... I would offer for C3SF special set of colors: cyan for C, sienna for S and fuchsia for F.
there are plenty names to choose from: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colornames.asp
I think there is time to start to develop situocolouring
"There is no fuchsia in England's dreaming"
So future experiments with colours are definitely on the cards... maybe we could have a t-shirt making session?
non-cantorian sets!The last few weeks have been a bit erratic in terms of games, due to family events and also since I have been quite ill and therefore unable to organise or attend games. However here are some thoughts from the last few weeks.
Since we started our games by allowing people to join the teams during a match, we have also allowed team members to defect, change teams and even for teams to be totally rearranged mid game. This has always happened during one of the 3 halves (sic!)
During the third time breaks, it is usually (but not always) the children who instigate a team change, usually because they feel their current team is not the strongest! But team changes have also taken place because new people are joining the match or the teams seem to be unfairly matched.
The way of organising and splitting into teams is therefore one of the most important factors in starting a game, especially since we have such a range of abilities and experience. That said, we do not take long over deciding. In the last blog I mentioned that we ended up with a team of children, a team with only women and a third team of mixed genders and ages.
The next game saw some defecting going on and we ended up with one team which was only male (on the right) - and one which was all white but mixed in terms of gender/sex (on the left). I was in the middle team so that was mixed in terms of both ethnicity and gender but not in terms of age - it was all adults!
The next game we played we had more players but we were unsure of how to split the teams and so we all lined up in age order to try and systemise the selection in some way. The picture at the top of this post is all in age order except for two people (and one of them is very obvious!)
In order to make a "level playing field" (a field in terms of time and class, rather than space) - we discussed changing the scoring method again - one idea was that if a goal was scored by an adult, it would be scored as normal - but a goal scored by a child would be worth 3 normal goals. We didn't adopt this method though.
But it does highlight that so far there has been a very clear distinction between adults and children. There was one week when this was more blurred and that was when two teenagers joined the game!
I am afraid I cannot remember the final scores or the teams for the last game but I do remember I laughed alot and had alot of fun - so thanks to all involved!