There’s a last minute addition to Heinsville’s live streaming calendar. Thanks to Chris Belaj and Manuel Cesari, Paganello 2017 will be streamed live. The event is part of a Beach Ultimate tournament that takes place in Rimini, Italy on April 15 – 16, 2017. It will use an interesting new competition format called “Team Battle”. Manuel Cesari is the tournament director. I caught up with him over email to find out more:
Jake: First, let’s discuss the competition format. I understand that Paganello will use an experimental format this year. It’s based on team tennis. Players will form teams of 5 by random hat draw. Each team will send “sub teams” to each event. Events include a 3 minute co-op round, a battle format pairs bracket, and a battle format singles bracket.
Manuel: Yes, in Paganello we will try this format. Last December we tried a similar version in Lazzaroni, where we had two events; 3 minute Coop and 2 minute Pairs. We don’t have a final name for 1vs1 format. When I thought about “Battle” with Clay and other Twister Hills jammers, we tried to imagine which kind of round to put on for 1vs1. I remember especially one night last summer, we were in our park in San Lazzaro where we hosted FPAW in 2008, perhaps you remember? We had a good jam all together and after we discussed 1vs1. After one hour of discussion, I was coming back to the car with Mirco Zanchetta when we started to think about Penalties in Soccer. Everybody Loves and Hates this part in a Soccer Game. At that moment, we found the format.
I didn’t play many “Super Pro” events in the past cause I don’t like so much the 1vs1, but I know how much people love that, and I confess to you, sometimes I loved it too. So, maybe my favorite name of 1vs1 is “Super Penalty Pro”, but if somebody wanna suggest something better, they’re welcome.
Jake: I love the team concept because it lends itself well to the Olympic games where each country could send a team. I have so many questions. First off, did I outline the format correctly?
Manuel: Yes, it’s correct. One of reasons I created this format is: How we can engage an audience for 30/45 minute? Another reason is: How we could grow more? Andrea Poli aka Ali and I are very fortunate to have a crew. We founded Twister Hills Bologna one year after getting our first Nails: first nail was at FPAW in Rimini 2004 and THB born in 2005. Now we are really proud to have many good jammers in our city and we hope every single jammer of every city will share with everybody his art, because this is the only way to grow. The third reason was: How to get to the Olympic Games? This format is for the team spirit inside us.
Since this in only the second time this format has been used and no one has teams prepared, the teams of 5 will be formed by random hat draw. At Paga we will have the 3 events, but I can imagine a version with 5 events. It is important to have feedback from every jammer. When we all agree on a final version, obviously we’ll have Crew Battle, City Battle, Open Battle and Nation Battle.
Jake: Will you elaborate on how the judging works for each event?
Manuel: The most important part of this format is to have results immediately. The second thing is to have few judges. I thought about the judging system of Pairs and Coop many times and one night I’ve made a PDF with one sheet. One sheet for each judge, 3 judges with the same sheet. I’ve sent this sheet (linked here) to Edoardo Gargano and Gianluca Giglio (other Bologna’s Jammers and software developers) and they started to work on an Web Application where judges use tablets, judging Difficulty and Execution at the same time. There’s also a place to make notes for AI. At the end of Routine the judges can add an AI score. At first it seemed like too much, but we tried and it was not so hard. In Lazzaroni we had some problem with the App, but those who tried it told me it was not as difficult as they had thought. I think with your help and with some changing, we could find a good balance from this judging system. If this system will work well we could play one battle in every big event or festival around the world. Or we could play a battle in our gym and you with your team in Portland and have three judges around the World watching us on streaming. I’m really curious to look Ryan’s X-Box System cause maybe it could be integrate with ours. For 1vs1 and alternate pairs, judges will use only this standard: General Impression, of course with difficulty. When you have only one shot, you must do your best!
Jake: At the end, will one team be crowned the winner?
Manuel: Yes of course, only one team win, but everybody can reach it with good teammates and good strategy.
Jake: What inspired you to create this format?
Manuel: Maybe I’ve already answered your question, but I wanna be a bit provocative. It’s difficult for our sport to attract an audience. We don’t have sponsors to live our passion, and it is difficult for younger players (and sometimes for an older person like me too) to go around the world playing frisbee freestyle. I don’t wanna see hundreds tournament with 20 player, but maybe thousand battle with 10 player could be better. Try to imagine a USA or Europe championship, every week we could fix one battle, this week Bologna vs Milan, next week Portland vs Seattle, then Koln vs Berlin. Or imagine to organize only one Battle into another event. I’m speaking about music festival or other sport tournament, only 10 players, 45 minute, no qualification round, but only high level of sport, show and suspense. I’m sure we could find many events where we could do one battle, but I’m almost sure in 90% of these events it would be impossible put a “Classic Freestyle Tournament”.
Jake: Is there a place where readers can find more details about the format?
Manuel: Not yet, cause I prefer test it before and find a good standard. I thought: if I write rules it’s more difficult change it. So, we will try it, we will speak about it and will collectively find the right rules. I’m happy Tom Leitner come to Paganello cause I’m really curious about his thoughts. I’m happy Chris come to Paga and will manage streaming with your channel, cause I want the opinion from those who made this sport great. What can be better than to bring freestyle to the world?
Jake: Paganello combines Beach Ultimate and Freestyle Frisbee. Historically, Freestyle at Paganello has drawn large crowds as the Ultimate players become spectators for Freestyle. What do you expect the crowds to be like this time?
Manuel: Now Paganello are not like 5 or 10 years ago. There are not so many Ultimate teams. There is not the Circus tent or space where we play in front to hundreds people, but there are some young guys and girls with the same passion of frisbee of us. Now is the new point 0, but Paganello cannot die and I’m certain of a future come back the big Paganello of the past.
Jake: Being a Beach event, will you talk about the venue and playing field? Will players be on sand? If not, what is the surface like?
Manuel: Unfortunately there is no sponsor, no indoor space and no red carpet. We’ll play on the beach, on sand, but I’m sure crowds will come to the seashore and will be great share this surface with my jamily.
Jake: Paganello will forever have a place in Freestyle Frisbee history. It was the first event to regularly draw players from the USA to Europe, which inspired a new generation of European players. How many people are you expecting to attend this year? Are there any notable players coming? For example, anyone in the top ten?
Manuel: We’ll have more than 30 jammers. You spoke about story of Paganello and I answer with two names: Clay Collerà and Tom Leitner. But not only them, Marco “Cega” Prati, Matteo Gaddoni, Antonio Cusmà Piccione, Andrea Meola (all Worlds Champions) and some new jammers really on fire.
Jake: Anything else you’d like to add or anyone you want to thank?
Manuel: Maybe I’ve already said thanks to everybody. If I forgot someone, I’m sorry, but you know I love you and thanks for helping me in this dream.
This is a little editing by Mirco Zanchetta of our first Team Battle in Bologna, Enjoy it!