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  • 1. Dr. Hermann BrandtCRITICAL SCIENTIFICREVIEWOF TEAM SPORTSThulin Award by FIEP, Year 1970 TCHOUKBALL TCHOUKBALL: The Sport of Tomorrow! Foreword and Drawing by Michel Favre ROULET Publications, Geneva
  • 2. FOREWORD In this beginning of the XXIst Century, the approached through bodily and sports activity,sports phenomenon remains a key activity. and on the other hand, the team aspect in the sense of relationship, collaboration, and The term “sport” is a borrowing (1828) from construction in common.the English word “sport” (XVth Century), whichwas itself borrowed from the Old French ((XIIth The rather disturbed climate of our currentCentury) “desport,” which meant “amusement” society has perhaps a favorable effect upon theor “entertainment.” The word “sport” applied to desire and the need to look for satisfaction in thebodily activities performed out of pleasure, often area of relationships. In this sense, the playingin a spirit of competition. Later on, it came to of Tchoukball supports well the relationaldesignate any physical activity practiced in the dimension and promotes interpersonalspirit of play, struggle, and effort, the practice of exchanges and mutual respect. This sportwhich presupposes training and the observance encourages the idea of an encounter with theof certain rules. idea of going to a refreshing source rather than looking for a confrontation in order to fell the In the XXth Century, sport became an adversary.essential domain of information and ofentertainment, on account of which it took on The tournaments and the matches must beconsiderable economic importance. festivals that not only leave the space necessary for each sports prowess but also encourage the Its important image in society enables encounter in the broad sense, with its entireeveryone to let his/her imagination run free enriching relational universe. The sports exploitregarding the possibility of acquiring an ideal of a player should be lived by the others as thephysical condition, or to dream of the sports sign of a personal achievement, of whichexploit that brings fame. Competition is no everyone can feel himself an actor.longer only related to sports, but it becomesfinancial as well. The effects of this This first English translation of Dr. Hermannphenomenon open the doors to all sorts of envies Brandt’s work, Critical Scientific Review ofand engender the worst excesses. Team Sports: Tchoukball, the Sport of Tomorrow!, is an important event. It is being In such a context, the fundamental question published thirty-three years after the first editionof safeguarding the identity of sport and of its in French and thus reflects indeed the expansioneducative value is raised in an even more of Tchoukball. The publication of the Englishrelevant fashion. text is taking place at a propitious moment, and Tchoukball was conceived with the intention will consolidate, we hope, the worldwideof defending, protecting, and developing the first diffusion of this sport.and fundamental values of sport. Thanks to its While writing this preface, many memories,comprehensive concept, it is a tool with a connected with the first French edition of 1971,definite effectiveness from the physiological, come back to me. I had the great luck to meetpsychological, pedagogical, and sociological and to collaborate with Hermann Brandt forpoints of view. several years, and to be at his side at the time of In 1970 Tchoukball was above all a theory, the awarding of the Thulin Prize in Lisbon. Atand there were but a few of us to seek the means his request, I participated in the execution of thenecessary for the practical realization of this drawings inside his work, as well as in the coversport in society. Its philosophy emphasizes design and the photo of the Thulin Prize medalabove all two points: on one hand, the individual at the back of the book.aspect in its totality (psychic and somatic)
  • 3. At the time of the Munich Olympic Games in for themselves, and the country of origin is1972, I myself presented the game and the concerned only through the means that it offersphilosophy of Tchoukball in the framework of to the players.”the workshops attached to the Olympic Games: By common agreement, Hermann Brandt did8th World YMCA Consultation on Health and not print it, for we thought at the time thatPhysical Education, Munich, August nationalism was in regression. The quotation of28−September 1, 1972. this paragraph in this preface appears relevant to In 1970, Hermann and I wrote a charter* in me because its subject is likely to offer us topicsorder to bring an indispensable complementary for thought regarding the evolution of sports andtext to the rules of the game. their connection with nationalism in our society. In the first draft of this charter, we had The expression of my dearest wish is thatwritten this sentence (which at the time only you, leaders and players, always encourage thecommitted me): development of this sport in the spirit sought by Hermann Brandy and myself, the spirit “We banish the modern Olympic spirit presented and developed in this work and in ourbecause of its hypocrisies and because of its charter.extreme nationalisms.” By way of conclusion, I quote the geneticist In the year 2000, at the time of the creation Albert Jacquard:of the Internet site of the InternationalFederation and of the careful rereading of the “The true practice of a sport consists of atext of the charter, I agreed to the elimination of dialogue of each person with his own body,this sentence. It seemed to me to be wiser to under the critical and possibly laudatory eyes ofmoderate this wording in order to avoid any others. This dialogue may be harsh, thepolemical attitude within the federation and to demands may be severe; what is important isprotect ourselves against a position that was too that the body be respected and not relegated tojudgmental with regard to the Olympic the rank of a mere tool.”movement. “To live and to smile together, that could be It appears interesting to me to point out that our motto.”in the rough draft of the first writing, we hadwritten this paragraph: Michel Favre “The game must be framed by a desire forhuman understanding that is not limited by anyconsideration of religion, any national pride (or *See the Charter in the appendixtwo groups!).... We go so far as to expect that noteam raises the national colors. Thepersonalities who constitute a team remain valid
  • 4. APPENDIXTHE TCHOUKBALL CHARTER Tchoukball excludes any striving for Thus, in Tchoukball:prestige, whether individually or as a team;rather it is a sport in which players pursue • there is a collective achievement within aexcellence through personal training and team. This binds the players together, itcollective effort. teaches appreciation and esteem for the values of others, and it creates a feeling of Tchoukball is open to players of all degrees oneness in the common effort of a smallof ability (natural or acquired) and skill. group.Inevitably one will encounter players of everypossible ability/skill level during play. Every • there is an acceptance of the attitudes of theplayer must adapt his own play and attitude opposing team with whom one must engage(technical or tactical) to the circumstances of the in opportunistic play while resisting anymoment because each player - teammate or hostile undercurrents.opposing player - is due proper respect andconsideration. • each player’s major concern is to strive for beauty of play. The universal experience of On a individual level: the attitude of a player sport can be summed up by the expression:is paramount for it implies respect for “elegant play begets elegant play.”himself/herself, for his/her own teammates andfor opposing team players regardless of whether This attitude is the basis for socialany are stronger or weaker players than one’s interaction of Tchoukball: it encourages one toself. aim for perfection while always avoiding any negative conduct toward the adversary. On a team level: no outcome, whatever itmight be, should never impact one’s sense of This basic premise is more than just the ruleimportance, individually or as a team, and it of a sport - it is a rule for conduct at all times, ashould never lead to sectarian rivalry. From psychological component of behavior, the basisvictory one can derive satisfaction and even joy, of an individual’s personality.but never exaggerated pride. The joy of winningshould provide encouragement. Arrogance in The aim of Tchoukball is therefore thevictory carries with it the struggle for prestige, avoidance of conflict, with one main goal inwhich is a source of common conflict among mind: fair play that does not compromise thehumans and condemned within the sport of level of play but rather links the two teamsTchoukball. together in common activity. The beauty of one team’s play makes possible - and reinforces - the Tchoukball requires total dedication: one beauty of play by the other team.must keep constant watch on the movement ofthe ball and the other players - both objectively Tchoukball provides social exercise throughand with empathy. As one participates physical activity. By pooling the resources of all,individually in the sport, one subjects oneself to everyone participates, with the more adeptthe group’s needs. The result is that in the players accepting responsibility for teaching thecourse of a game, different personalities come less adept; therefore, there is no real individualtogether as one when they react collectively champion, but rather a collective striving forwithin the game. perfection. When one says, “let the best man win,” it should mean that a person achieves his/her best through adequate preparation. This being so, it is appropriate that the results reward
  • 5. the efforts which players have undertaken, For these reasons, the notion of “victor”individually and as a team. should give way to the simpler more appropriate one of “winner.” Play as a means of perfecting Within these limits, a victory can and should one’s performance is a basic desire that everybring satisfaction and meet with an adversary’s activity should include and develop. It is towardrespect. Victory should inspire in an adversary a this goal that every Tchoukball team must work,desire to do as well, without any feeling of whether it is in the smallest, friendliest match orbelittlement. Winners should not convey any the most important meeting “at the summit.”feeling of arrogant domination. Rather, a senseof healthy satisfaction on the winner’s side islike a handshake to encourage the adversary tocontinue to train properly. Remember, no set of rules can replace a player’s respect for one another and the Spirit of the Game