Due to the current situation brought about by COVID-19, many table football opportunities in Australia have had to be postponed or cancelled. Indeed, our game, unfortunately, lends itself completely to the kind of close contact, touching of common surfaces and touching of common objects that medical experts advice we avoid if at all possible.
Because of the limited scope for us to play our game at the moment, ATFA has decided to hold its first ever SOYO League (Subbuteo On Your Own). All Australian table football players (members/residents/etc) are welcome to register and play. Entry is completely free.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Basically, the SOYO League works by each player registering the results of practise matches which they play on their own, in their own time. You will have two teams in the league. For each match, you will then be assigned two teams. Usually, one of those teams will be one of your own and one will belong to someone else. Sometimes both teams will be neutral teams. And, meanwhile, in other games around the country, someone else will be playing as one of your teams in their game. On completion of your game, post the results, and they will go towards each team’s league results.
Well, you follow the general table football rules. You need to flick the figures of both teams, obviously, so it’s not going to be quite like a regular game. But, remember, these are your own practise matches, so that’s OK. You might actually modify the rules a little to fit your needs. So, for example, you might use a shooting practice target in your goals instead of a goalkeeper. Or you might limit the number of defensive flicks taken. Or, if you want to practise more flicking on the run, make it so that the attacking team can keep flicking without any defensive flicks in between as long as the ball doesn’t stop. It doesn’t really matter – modify the rules so they work for you, and even so that you can focus on specific areas of your game where you know you’d like to improve. As long as you apply them to both teams in your match, it is fine.
BUT, IF I’M PLAYING AGAINST MYSELF, HOW DOES THE IDEA OF A LEAGUE WORK?
The winning team in your game will get 3 points, the losing team 0 points and drawing teams 1 point each. Remember, in most games, one of the teams you control will be someone else’s team, meanwhile, someone else will be playing as your team.
BUT, WHAT’S STOPPING ME FROM RIGGING EVERY GAME SO THAT I WIN THE LEAGUE?
Firstly, what’s the point? The purpose of the SOYO League is to prompt you to practise regularly during this time when the opportunity for normal games is limited. Winning the actual league doesn’t REALLY mean anything, because you never play against anyone other than yourself!! Secondly, mathematically it wouldn’t work anyway, because you only control one of your teams each week, with someone else controlling the other. So you can only rig half of your teams’ games, anyway. And, if everyone always rigged it to win with their own team, then all teams would finish the league on equal points. Lastly, sometimes, you will play a completely neutral game, between two teams from two other players around the country, while both your teams are being played by someone else. You can’t rig the league as, ultimately, it comes down to luck.
SO, WHAT’S THE POINT THEN?
Basically, it’s a way for us to keep our community in touch with each other, and to give you a motive to practise, by adding a fun, mock competitive element to it. Use it to improve specific areas of your own game so that, once we’re all able to play freely against each other again, you’re a better player than you are now.
OK. SO WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET INVOLVED?
Sign yourself up using the form below. Nominate two teams who you would like to be. They can be world famous foreign clubs, A-League teams, obscure international clubs, NPL teams, table football clubs, the local grassroots club you play for, anything. If two players nominate the same club, I’ll contact them both and we’ll sort something out.
The sign up will be open for one week, then the draw will be put together. The number of ‘Divisions’ we set up will depend on how many people sign up.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO HAVE?
You will need to have access to a pitch and two teams.
AND WHAT DO I DO ONCE I’VE GOT THE DRAW?
You’ll need to submit a result each week for your assigned game. If you want, you can stockpile games – play 3 or 4 one evening and submit one result each week for the next few weeks, especially if you know you’ll be away and unable to play at any stage. Or play one game per week – whatever suits you and your time requirements. The results will be submitted to me (Adrian Elmer) either via the SOYO League Facebook Group page, or e-mail. Submit your result only, or write out a full match report, photos etc – whatever helps you (and others) enjoy the league more!
HOW LONG WILL THE LEAGUE GO FOR?
At this stage, we’ll try and keep it short and sharp. Each division will have 5 teams, so will require 8 weeks to complete the home and away league.
BUT WAIT – IT STILL DOESN’T QUITE MAKE SENSE – I STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!!!
Send me (Adrian Elmer) a message on Facebook or an e-mail to ajebec at netspace dot net