The very first S-o-S OSC Tournament

Other events

An Old Subbuteo experience...

After many years of thinking about it, and some more years of pitch-building, finally an invitation was circulated in the Old Subbuteo community to take part in an event in Southend-on-Sea, with its own unique flavour.

It was designed for those with a distinctly uncompetitive mind-set, as the pitches each had surrounding scenery that inhibits the players. Essentially, making it impossible to play properly…

It did however suit the more bonkers-natured individuals from the Old Subbuteo community – it offered an experience that encouraged participating players to regress to their childhood, and take a trip to Old Subbuteo Town.

The event was held in Southend-on-Sea, England, on Sunday 6th September 2015, with 17 participants - nine making the trip from Italy!

The Saturday evening saw an informal flats event and a game of Pitch Car, before an evening meal at the Flying Pasta Italian Restaurant on the seafront. Sunday morning started with bacon butties and pastries, and then it was kick-off time! ⚽

“Friends, Italians and Englishmen; lend me your ears;

We soon come to play OldSubbuteo.

And to praise OldSubbuteo;

The games we play will live after us.

The non-playing days will oft be interned with our bones.

So let it be with OldSubbuteo.”

Tournament Guide

Here is a summary of the tournament structure, and a guide to help enhance your experience of the land of Old Subbuteo that awaits you in Southend-on-Sea…

Kindly translated to Italian by Donald fabiobertola Crowhurst...

Playing figures

This is one of those tournaments where you can bring your own team to represent your hopes and dreams. Please do be inspired and bring your favourite team – regardless of whether you play well with them or not!
Either way, while genuine ‘old’ figures are preferred, repro figures are OK if you are worried about breaking your beloved originals…

Squadre ammesse

In questo torneo è possibile usare la tua squadra preferita, che rappresenti le tue speranze ed i tuoi sogni. Sarebbe bello che tu portassi la tua squadra del cuore, anche se non è quella con la quale giochi meglio!
Ad ogni modo, sarebbe preferibile l'uso delle squadre originali Subbuteo, ma se temi di rompere le tue amate originali, sono ammesse le repliche…

Number of players

We are aiming for 32 players, however contingencies are as follows:

  • If more than 32 players want to take part, some players will be combined to make a team of two. If this happens, then the two team members can adopt any one of the following arrangements (with players swapping roles at half-time).

(i) Player 1 plays outfield, and player 2 is the goalie
(ii) Player 1 plays outfield and player 2 is the goalie and also takes all throw-in’s corners and free-kicks.
(iii) Player 1 plays the 1st half, and player 2 plays the 2nd half. When not playing the respective team member is expected to generally give their team member a hard time.

  • If less than 32 players take part then the groups will be modified to give each player the optimum amount of games.
  • If only Jim (forfoxsake) and fabiobertola, turn up, they play on all the pitches until they drop…

Numero di giocatori

L'ideale sarebbe quello di avere 32 giocatori, diversamente saranno possibili le seguenti varianti:

Se saranno presenti più di 32 giocatori, alcuni di essi saranno accomunati nella stessa squadra. In questo caso i due membri della squadra possono giocare assieme in uno dei seguenti modi (scambiandosi all'intervallo):
(i) Giocatore 1 in campo e giocatore 2 in porta,
(ii) Giocatore 1 in campo e giocatore 2 in porta che batte anche le rimesse, i corner e le punizioni,
(iii) Giocatore 1 gioca il primo tempo e giocatore 2 il secondo, con la promessa che durante l'attesa chi guarda critichi duramente il compagno che gioca.

Se saranno presenti meno di 32 giocatori i gruppi verranno modificati per consentire ad ognuno un congruo numero numero di partite.

Se saranno presenti solo Jim (Forfoxsake) e Fabiobertola, essi giocheranno tutte le partite fino allo sfinimento….

Timings (including shoot-out sudden death)

To ensure the OSC Mestre travellers can catch their flight back to Venice, the finals are schedules to finish at 4pm. Therefore the schedule goes something like this.

  • Arrive anytime from 8am
  • First matches kick-off at 9am
  • Group stages completed by 12 noon
  • Early buffet lunch scheduled to 12.30pm
  • Knock-out matches start at 1pm
  • Presentations at 4pm

To keep the afternoon on schedule, any tied games will be decided by ‘sudden-death’ shoot-out (first to be ahead after an equal number of attempts wins).

Also, everyone gets at least 2 games in the afternoon session, as follows:

(i) The top two players in the groups go through to the main tournament (The ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’).

  • Whoever wins these matches stays in the ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’.
  • Whoever loses these matches goes into the ‘Old Subby Cup'.

(ii) The bottom two players in the groups go through to the ‘Tournament of Scoundrels’.

  • Whoever wins these matches stays in the ‘Tournament of Scoundrels’.
  • Whoever loses these matches goes into the ‘Tournament of the Unfortunate Finger’.

This means there will be four finals in the last session.

Presentations will follow and then hot grub will be available for those who can stay for a bit longer. Also, it’s an opportunity to play a game in the Stadium of Fingers if you haven’t done so during the day.

Tempi di gioco

Per assicurare ai membri del OSC Mestre di poter prendere il volo serale da Southend per Venezia, è previsto che le finali terminino entro le ore 16. Quindi il programma dovrebbe essere pressappoco il seguente:

  • Arrivo dopo le 8:00
  • Calcio d'inizio alle 9:00
  • Termine della fase a gruppi entro le 12:00
  • Pranzo a buffet alle 12:30
  • Inizio fase eliminatoria alle 13:00
  • Premiazioni alle 16:00

Per mantenere i tempi, le partite in parità si decideranno tramite sudden death shoot-out (chi prevale a parità di tentativi vince).

Ad ogni modo, nel pomeriggio ognuno giocherà almeno due match come segue:

(i) I primi due classificati di ogni girone saranno promossi al tabellone principale (‘The Stadium of Fingers Cup’.

  • Chi vincerà il primo turno rimane nella ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’.
  • Chi perderà al primo turno finirà nel torneo dei ‘Old Subby Cup'.

(ii) Il terzo e quarto classificato di ogni girone finiranno nel tabellone dei cialtroni.

  • Chi vincerà il primo turno rimane nella ‘Cialtrons Cup’.
  • Chi perderà al primo turno finirà nel ‘Torneo Dello Sfortunato Finger.

Quindi ci saranno 4 finali.

Seguiranno le premiazioni e, per chi vuole rimanere, la possibilità di giocare delle amichevoli, compresa l'opportunità, per chi non lo avesse già fatto durante il torneo, di giocare nello Stadium of Fingers

Use of timer

Those of us old enough to be playing Subbuteo before the invention of the digital watch have fond memories of the ‘Pinger’ or the kitchen timer.

Subbuteo marketed the Smiths Kitchen Timer as a way of timing games, and in memory of these great early days of Subbuteo every game will be timed using the ‘Pinger’ – Stopwatches are outlawed for this tournament!

The added value of the ‘Pinger’ is you don’t know exactly when it’s going to ‘Ping’. Just like a real-life referee – much more realistic! (Although it has to be said, real-life referees probably don’t tick as loudly…)

Uso del cronometro

Quelli più in là con gli anni che hanno giocato a Subbuteo prima dell'avvento dei cronometri digitali, ricordano il Pinger, il timer della cucina.

Subbuteo pubblicizzò i timer da cucina Smith come valido metodo per tenere il tempo di una partita, quindi in memoria dei bei vecchi tempi in questo torneo tutte le partite verranno cronometrate con il Pinger. È assolutamente proibito l'uso dei cronometri digitali

Il valore aggiunto del Pinger è che non è dato a sapere l'esatto momento in cui si udirà il Ping. Come un vero arbitro che non da preavviso su quando fischierà la fine! (Anche se nella realtà l'arbitro probabilmente non "ticchetta" così forte…

Playing pitches and tips

Every pitch has its own special theme, which makes for a unique playing experience. For example:

  • It’s difficult to reach over the terracing in the Stadium of Fingers.
  • The ‘No Man’s Land’ pitch has sharp ‘dead’ trees which jab into your wrist when taking throw-ins.
  • The Christmas Pitch has snow, which makes players jump over the ball unexpectedly, and the ball slows up in the deeper snow.
  • The ‘Don Bosco Allotments’ pitch is quite springy, and you can accidently flick your player over the cross-bar if you flick too hard when you shoot.
  • The ‘Park’ pitch doesn’t have goals. You have the choice of trees or ‘jumpers for goalposts’. Both players have to decide between them if a goal has been scored or not – just like those days in the school playground, or a kick-about in the local park.

Also, in the excitement of the game, damage to the scenery is inevitable, and no-one should feel too guilty if they accidentally break something (unless it’s Gerald again…)

However, to reduce the calamitous incidents the following tips and techniques are suggested and allowable:

  1. If you are playing in the Stadium of Fingers, or in the ‘Anglo-Italian’ pitch you’re allowed to place your non-flicking hand on the pitch, so you can reach to play an awkward flick.
  2. If your opponent is struggling to get back to use his goalie, and may decimate the scenery if he does this too quickly – give them time to get back in position…

Avvertenze sui campi di gioco

Ogni campo è a tema, e giocarci rimane un esperienza unica. Ad esempio:

È difficile allungarsi sopra le gradinate dello Stadium of Fingers.

  • Il "No Man's Land" ha le punte degli alberelli che si impigliano nei polsi quando si effettuano le rimesse laterali.
  • Il Christmas Pitch ha la neve che fa casualmente saltare i giocatori oltre la palla, che inoltre rallenta nella neve alta.
  • Gli "Orti di Don Bosco" ha un fondo piuttosto elastico, ed è facile far saltare il giocatore sopra la traversa se si flicca troppo forte.
  • Il "Parco" non ha le porte. Si possono usare gli alberi o i maglioni come pali. I giocatori devono accordarsi tra loro ogni volta che un tiro passa nelle vicinanze del palo, per decidere se è o non è goal, come ai tempi della scuola.

Inoltre, nell'euforia delle partite, è facile rompere qualche dettaglio degli scenari, ma nessuno deve sentirsi troppo in colpa se dovesse accadere (a meno che non capiti ancora a Gerald…)

Comunque, per ridurre il numero dei "disastri", si consigliano i seguenti suggerimenti:

  1. Giocando nello Stadium of Fingers, o nel campo "anglo-italiano", è permesso appoggiare una mano sul campo, in modi da raggiungere le posizioni più scomode.
  2. Se il tuo compagno di gioco è in ritardo nel tentativo di riprendere in mano l'asticciola del portiere, e rischia di decimare lo scenario, dagli tutto il tempo di poterlo fare con calma…

‘Finger/Fox’ rules option

In 2010 Jim Westwood (forfoxsake) played his first game with Steve Moreton (the finger). These games developed into their own legend, where both played with throw-in figures and corner-kickers.

The 6-yard rule was abolished, and if a figure nudges but doesn’t move an opposing figure during the positional flicks, that’s allowed (under the ‘jostling’ rule) in the pursuit of realistic football…Thus the ‘Finger-Fox rules were born!

The experience is the essence of childhood Subbuteo, and this tournament gives permission for players to agree to use any of the Finger-Fox rules into their game. The choice is yours

Regole opzionali Finger/Fox

Nel 2010, Jim Westwood (forfoxsake) giocò la sua prima partita con Steve Moreton (the finger). Le partite tra di loro sono diventate un classico, giocate con l'uso delle speciali miniature per le rimesse ed i calci d'angolo.

È inoltre abolito il divieto di stazionare nell'area piccola, ed è possibile toccare (non spostare!) le miniature avversarie negli spostamenti prima dei corner, imitando il vero calcio. Queste sono le Finger/Fox rules!

Sperimentare è l'essenza del Subbuteo della nostra infanzia, così in questo torneo è possibile giocare seguendo una o tutte le regole Finger/Fox, accordandosi con il compagno di gioco. A voi la scelta…

Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo Club Oath

“I hereby solemnly declare that I will flick to my best ability and enjoy every game I play against any opponent regardless. It will be an honour to win, an honour to draw and an honour to lose!”

"Giuro solennemente che fliccherò al meglio delle mie capacità e mi divertirò ad ogni partita giocata, indipendentemente da chi sarà il mio compagno. Sarà un onore vincere, un onore pareggiare ed un onore perdere!"

The Players

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

The Group Matches

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

The Cup Matches

Stadium of Fingers Cup
Old Subby Cup
Scoundrels Cup
S'fortunato Finger Cup

Pics and Clips

The game of Pitch Car (plus cakes!)_
Egregio taking a pic of himself and Gilanzal in the SoF
The Cat and Paulo in the Allotments of Don Bosco
Egregio and Gullseye in amongst the cabbages and tomatoes
The Castle Ruins with Gilanzal and The Photographer
Paola and Egregio in No Man's Land
Two Italians on the Anglo-Italian pitch
The Old Subby Cup final with Forfoxsake and The Photographer

Unfortunately there was a problem with the copying of the DVDs' of the matches played in the Stadium of Fingers - Alas! ?

However, some clips were recorded on phonecams, and here is The Photographer on the attack against Forfoxsake, whose keeper comes to the rescue in the Old Subby Cup Final...

OSC Mestre Olds on the carpet pitch
Italians playing Old Subbuteo Town
Back to the carpet pitch...
How it used to be, all those years ago...
A clip of of the S'fortunato Finger Cup Final between Borto72 and Niefra. They travelled all the way from Italy to England to play Subbuteo on the floor! ?
Gilanzal and Paolo19720 contesting a sudden death shoot-out on the Park Pitch. A chipped shot saved here ?
In this clip you will hear a referee who thinks "Non" means "Si", and then see a shot going over the lack of a crossbar!
The deciding moment, when Gilanzal blasts the ball into the roof of the lack of net. Maybe this was a goal? ?
Everybody gathered around the phonecam to see the action replay and the goal was given and Gilanzal was through to the final of the Stadium of Finger Cup! ?
The freezeframe of the ball as it cross the goal line...

The videoing of the matches played in the Stadium of Fingers met some snags, resulting in only the master copy of the various games being available to take home. This meant that the two players had to agree who would have the recording of their game for a keepsake. This also meant that there were no copies left to upload any clips to the website pages…until 5 years later, when it was discovered that Malts had left the DVD of his game with The Photographer behind!

So, here are a few clips that show the essence of the first  meeting between these two mythical ‘Cialtrone’, Malts (Gerald) and The Photographer (Oriano) in the Stadium of Fingers…

Somehow Malts manages to play almost the entire first half with no defence and keep a clean sheet!
This clip shows the first 2 or 3 minutes, and at the beginning Gerald has 5 defenders and a midfielder who has tracked back to join the defence. The video is paused whenever a defender is lost…
Oriano is clean through again, but his finger fails him as he leans over the terracing! Malts breaks away with a counter attack
Another gilt-edged chance, but Gerald’s keeper and the woodwork are playing a blinder! ?
He's through on goal again, but alas - it all appears to be getting too much for poor Oriano!... ?
Someone once said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – these two manage to do both! ?
In the second half Malts decided to play with a proper defence. This ironically proved to be his undoing!
Gerald’s keeper is undeterred and comes to the rescue again!
And again! Check out the slow-motion replay to see the heroics. ?
At the end Gerald says "I can’t wait to see the video”, and then left it behind…! ?

The Flats Event

On the Saturday evening several Olds came round before the meal, and there was time to play a few games using the flat figures. 14 teams were involved with anyone playing any team.

It was a little ambitious to get all these games played, and one remaining quarter final (Everton v Man City), the semi-finals and final were actually played in September 2016, when Neifra and Paulo19720 returned to play in the following year's event! ?

The 14 teams were split into 3 groups of 4 and the British Troops and German Troops played a couple of games on the No Man's Land pitch - both progressing to the knock-out stage, as they finished in the top two places in their group! ??

The amazing adventures of Francesco in the temple of Subbuteo

VecchiaGuardia1972 left Southend-on-Sea to travel back to Italy. He must have spent the whole flight writing his reflections of his experience at the home of the Stadium of Fingers

It is an epic piece, which capture the essence of the Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo Tournament.

When you have a spare 10 minutes, have a read, using Google Translate. Although the detail in his tale will require a few 'copy and pastes'!

In the next section is a ('Google-Translated') sample of his blog...

"It is the room itself that is a show dedicated to Subbuteo with the mural of Theophilus, with his soul watching over the sleepless nights of the Subbuteists.

The windows in the Subbuteo theme and then, last but not least, the many cameras with the control room that record you while you are playing. I almost faint after seeing all this.

I think now I can say that I have seen almost everything, I could even take the first plane to Italy and go home. I would still be happy for the rest of my life."

A Memento

A nice surprise received by Borto72 after the tournament from the Mestre OSC Olds!

A wonderful reminder of the first ever SoS OSC Tournament! Grazie mille Borto and Grazie infinite OSC Mestre!! ?

We run entirely on grants & donations. Support future events for bringing people together.
Donate now