Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

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Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Lorenzo on Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:00 pm

Here is the text of an email I broadcasted to a number of FISTF affiliates, to make them aware of my opinion on Drazinakis' rules reform. It is the reason why I resigned from FISTF.

From: Lorenzo Papini

To: The sport directors and the interested parties of all table soccer associations affiliated to FISTF

Dear Sirs,

my name is Lorenzo Papini and I was FISTF General Secretary and one of three members of the rules commission until a few weeks ago. I resigned my positions because I didn’t agree with the rules reform proposed by the present head of the sport dept., George Drazinakis. ( http://fistf.com/fistf-sports-rules-5-0-proposal ).

Since I have had a large part in it, and as a last service to the community, I feel obliged to share with the national associations my doubts about this ill-begotten reform, before it is discussed at the congress.

First off, Drazinakis argues that the reform is the result of months of work from the rules committee. What he does not say is that he was forced to disband the committee in order to pass the reform, since all of its members opposed his ideas.

The reform is a veritable festival of improvisation and amateurism. It is everything table soccer shouldn’t be. First, in the original conception a committee of expert advisors had to be appointed and the reform should be developed in collaboration with the sport directors of the national associations. Neither assignment was achieved, simply because Drazinakis didn’t find the time to do it.

Second and most brazenly, the project is posted 25 days before the congress, while most people are on holiday. The result is that most delegates will only have one or two weeks to familiarize themselves with the proposed changes. No experimentation or in-depth discussion can be undertaken in such a short time. Most delegates will have a hazy idea about what they are voting for.

The reform is divided in two parts: 1) the clarifications 2) the rules changes.

1) Drazinakis’ idea is to gradually tranfer all the cases from the book of cases ( http://fistf.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/FISTF_BookofCases_rel1.pdf ) into the rulesbook. This idea

a) is wrong in itself, since it is going to swell the rulesbook’s size and complexity to epic proportions.

b) It is unfair, because the community was never asked about it: Drazinakis is aware that most players prefer a simpler rulesbook, and is trying to pass his project on the sly.

c) Finally, the project is poorly implemented. The additions to the rulesbook are not coordinated with the book of cases, nor the latter was revised to match the former. All kinds of doublets, repetitions and incongruities shall come to pass. On one side, only a part of the cases have been duplicated in the form of rules, so that the book of cases remains necessary. On the other side, there is no way to know whether any single case was replicated in the rulesbook (perhaps with different conclusions) or not. Consulting the book of cases will be necessary, yet uncertain and ultimately pointless.

2) Drazinakis’ original changes were paltry and laughable things. By appropriating the ideas of the other members of the committee before dismissing them, he has come up with some half-consistent proposals. However, they are uncoordinated – there is no overarching strategic purpose supporting the reform. Its just a collection of rules he personally happens to like.

Above all, the changes have never been tested, not even those he wants to implement at once! A low-level player devoid of any international experience makes up 14 new rules of his own, in contrast with his own committee, with no advice from expert advisors, no consultation with the national associations, no testing – then posts them in the middle of August and wants them approved and enforced by early September! It is an orgy of cheapness and unprofessionalism.

Let’s imagine that the FIFA president suddenly comes up with 57 unanticipated and untested changes to the soccer rules. He demands FIFA to approve them in three weeks and to implement 50 of them the day after. Can you envision it? He would end up in a mental hospital!

One last illusion to dispel is that the reform can be discussed at or improved by the congress. Given the highly technical contents, the outrageously short advice and the congress’ time restraints, no sensible, constructive discussion can be made on such a complex project. Any agreement shall result from improvised, half-blind understandings among delegates who have no clear idea about the matters they are dealing with.

For these reasons, and in the best interest of the movement as a whole, I would like to invite you to reject this botched, deeply unprofessional reform in toto. It is the only way to show that table soccer is more than a trifling hobby, where the first guy landed at the sport dept. is allowed to reinvent the rules at his fancy.

Yours faithfully

Lorenzo Papini

FISTF ex-General Secretary

ex-member of the Rules Committee.
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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:14 pm

I agree with you. Some points are a total joke (even if, to be honest, some of the ideas are not bad) but there are 2 important things to be noted:

a) for any change of rule in a community, the change must bring something very positive for the game. Here the changes will just bring other cases but no improvement. For instance, how can you forbid a player to flick back the ball into his own zone if he has no solution?

(in the same spirit, some changes in the handbook are a total joke. I understand the point about changing the age of the veterans but why should we change the U19 and U15 and U12 categories from January 1 to September 1? It will just bring more confusion, absolutely nothing else).

b) the proposals were sent much too late. For different reasons, it was imposible to have a real discussion about it at the Belgian AGM last week.

In no way the changes should be voted now and in no cases there can be any decision taken for changes before the season 2014-2015.

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  von K. on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:41 pm

I agree with you guys. There are much more efficient ways (for example equipment changes) to make the game better, more dynamic etc, but even those can't be done without general consensus about them and the need for them. In the beginning there should be an idea, shared by the nations, of what TF should really look like when played, an ideal. Only after that come the changes, according to that.

I wrote this to Drastis almost a year ago, but I was afraid from the discussion that he did not understand, or did not want to understand this. To underline this, you just have to look at the changes.

I admit, too, that some changes are ok, but too many are not.

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Admin on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:18 am

This is what happens when some people are only in a Board to impose their views.

Sad FISTF.

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Lorenzo on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:10 pm

Admin wrote: In no way the changes should be voted now and in no cases there can be any decision taken for changes before the season 2014-2015.

That’s the key point.

The reason behind this botched effort is that Drazinakis worked one year on the incorporation of the cases in the rulesbook and he specifically entered FISTF in order to implement it. It is his foremost ambition and he’ll stop at nothing to achieve it. He realizes that the board’s chances to see another congress are slim and he’s struggling to push the reform now, even at cost of dissolving the rules committee, casting me out of the board and posting an unfinished project with such an outrageous delay.

von K. wrote:In the beginning there should be an idea, shared by the nations, of what TF should really look like when played, an ideal. Only after that come the changes, according to that.
I totally agree! There must be a focus, a strategic purpose that the community can understand and decide upon.

My own rules reform had one clear aim: to make the game faster, more spectacular, and to cut the number of pauses and intentional faults. It was simple – it only involved two changes. It was to be discussed with a commission of international experts, presented to the national associations, and thereafter submitted to a full year of testing through the experimental tournaments I implemented in the new handbook.

This way, I hoped to involve the community in a broad discussion about what we want table soccer to be. It was meant to stimulate the community’s awareness and encourage it to take a conscious standing.

When I explained these ideas to Drazinakis, he used to tell me that I take table soccer too seriously. Maybe he was right.
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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  von K. on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:30 am

Lorenzo wrote:
von K. wrote:In the beginning there should be an idea, shared by the nations, of what TF should really look like when played, an ideal. Only after that come the changes, according to that.
I totally agree! There must be a focus, a strategic purpose that the community can understand and decide upon.
Yes. The ideas and possibilites are many after there is a clear starting point that has wider support. Apart from game rules, the same goes for ranking etc.

It's quite a basic thing in the end. Set a common goal, think of ways to achieve it, decide what is the best way through argumentation, then go for it. The same goes on other fields of life, but too often people don't work that way.

Lorenzo wrote:This way, I hoped to involve the community in a broad discussion about what we want table soccer to be. It was meant to stimulate the community’s awareness and encourage it to take a conscious standing.
This is a fine idea. To stimulate and involve the community. That's the basic that is lacking, and what FISTF would desperately need. Without this there will never be any serious federation or game.

Lorenzo wrote:When I explained these ideas to Drazinakis, he used to tell me that I take table soccer too seriously. Maybe he was right.
I don't know what FISTF BoD member does in FISTF BoD if he doesn't want to do his job seriously. Sadly, the last few years, I have not seen many BoD members who were serious and should be taken seriously.

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Lorenzo on Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:30 am

von K. wrote:It's quite a basic thing in the end. Set a common goal, think of ways to achieve it, decide what is the best way through argumentation, then go for it. The same goes on other fields of life, but too often people don't work that way.
Well, my project was built the other way around. Since we can hardly expect the community to develop its own standards in advance, my idea was to confront it with a simply-conceived, clear-cut reform of the rulesbook, aimed to realize one unambiguous goal (a faster, more spectacular gameplay unhindered by continual pauses and tactical faults).

My hope was that one full year of experimentation together with the resulting debates would shape the community’s awareness and allow it to accept or reject the project in full conscience.

That’s exactly the opposite of Drazinakis’ approach. Almost 60 (!) scattered and uncoordinated changes, many of them highly intricate and comprehensible to rules wizards only, posted mid August and set to be approved early September.

The main reason is that instead of being fond of the community’s awareness he’s afraid of it. He realizes that very few players want a rulesbook for skyrocket scientists, and he’s attempting to pass his project before the delegates realize what they are voting for.

The other reason is that he simply does not have the time to devote to a serious, well-planned reform. He asked me to manage the new experimental tournaments because he had no time for it. No blame there, but if you do not have time to do something seriously you don’t sack the man who is willing and has time to do it… unless you place your piques over your responsibilities.

Yet again, perhaps I take table soccer too seriously.
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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  zaccy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:54 pm

first, don't take this too seriously.

if you want to play and have fan, you have to play under waspa banner
if you want to play and fight or something else that is not part of the game, you have to play under ****** banner

Sorry, I could be silent for many years, but.... buttons are out of hell Evil or Very Mad 

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  von K. on Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:51 pm

Lorenzo wrote:
von K. wrote:It's quite a basic thing in the end. Set a common goal, think of ways to achieve it, decide what is the best way through argumentation, then go for it. The same goes on other fields of life, but too often people don't work that way.
Well, my project was built the other way around. Since we can hardly expect the community to develop its own standards in advance, my idea was to confront it with a simply-conceived, clear-cut reform of the rulesbook, aimed to realize one unambiguous goal (a faster, more spectacular gameplay unhindered by continual pauses and tactical faults).

My hope was that one full year of experimentation together with the resulting debates would shape the community’s awareness and allow it to accept or reject the project in full conscience.
Well, it's not that different in the end. There is the goal (faster and more interesting game), there are ways to do it, and there is the argumentation (after testing).

Ok, in the beginning you don't have a commonly decided goal, but I think majority of players are in favour of a more interesting game.

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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Janus_Gersie on Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:59 pm

Well, at least the complete "rules reform" was postponed. It was clear to George and all nations that his attempt to get a decision about the rules was foredoomed ....

Now we have time to "examine" the rules changes very properly ....
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Re: Open letter on Drazinakis' rules reform

Post  Lorenzo on Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:42 pm

Janus_Gersie wrote:Now we have time to "examine" the rules changes very properly ....
Janus, I wish you are right.

However, the few months I spent in FISTF deeply changed my outlook. After realizing the utter amateurism that reigns there (with Horta’s partial exception), the lack of brains of so many players and the superficiality of their approach, their lack of concern for the hobby’s improvement as well as their reluctance for change, I greatly doubt that anybody shall take the pain of conducting any in-depth or even cursory study on anything.

An examination of this botched reform should include:
- a lenghty experimentation of the mod proposals in different combinations and with players of different skill (with a heavy focus on top players), conducted in tandem with the sport dept. (and Drazinakis told me he has no time to manage experimental tournaments).
- A thorough reflection on the nature and scope of the book of cases as compared to the rulesbook.
- A detailed, one-by-one comparison of Drazinakis’ 43 rulesbook entries with the cases they aim to replace – and which they often modify, sometimes straightly, more often by inference or by a chain of implications.

In the end, a few guys shall test a couple changes in a friendly game or two, a few inconclusive lines may appear on facebook, and that (along with political considerations) will be the basis of the nations’ vote next time Drazinakis attempts to pass his trash. With De Francesco announcing the herd on the Italian forum that he’s going to make tablesoccer “professional”.
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