Lightsaber duelling registered as official sport in France

November 16, 2019

first_imgShare on Messenger Star Wars lightsaber pulled from auction over authenticity issue Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Science fiction and fantasy films Star Wars Share on Facebook “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” says Serge Aubailly, the federation’s secretary general. “That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”In the past, Zorro, Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers helped lure new practitioners to fencing. Now, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader are joining them.“Cape-and-sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth,” Aubailly says. “Lightsaber films have the same impact. Young people want to give it a try.”In building the sport from the ground up, French organisers have produced competition rules intended to make lightsaber duelling both competitive and easy on the eye.“We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” said Michel Ortiz, organiser of a national lightsaber tournament.Combatants fight inside a circle marked in tape on the floor. Strikes to the head or body are worth five points; to the arms or legs, three points; on hands, one point. The winner is the first to reach 15 points or, if they don’t get there quickly, the fighter with the higher score after three minutes is the victor. If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters a “sudden death” stage, in which the first to land a head or body blow wins.Since it is still counting its practitioners only in the hundreds, lightsaber duelling has no hope of a place in the Paris Olympics in 2024. But hearing the buzz of blades may encourage others to give the sport a try.Or, as Yoda would say: “Try not. Do! Or do not. There is no try.” Europe France Since you’re here… Reuse this content news Share on Twitter Topics Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest It’s now easier than ever in France to act out Star Wars fantasies. The country’s fencing federation has officially recognised lightsaber duelling as a competitive sport, granting the weapon from George Lucas’s space saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics.Of course, the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate replicas can’t slice an opponent in half. But they look and sound remarkably like the blades that Yoda and other characters wield in the blockbuster movies.The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of the reason why the French Fencing Federation is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors. Like virtuous Jedi knights, the federation sees itself as combatting a Dark Side: the sedentary habits of 21st-century life. Support The Guardian Share via Emaillast_img read more

Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid comeback

November 14, 2019

first_imgReal Madrid Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid’s thrilling Betis comeback Jamie Smith 07:13 2/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Marco Asensio Getty Images Real Madrid Primera División Zinédine Zidane Real Betis v Real Madrid Real Betis The coach’s half-time tactical adjustments were the key reason for a thrilling Merengue comeback in Seville, according to their two-goal hero Marco Asensio believes Zinedine Zidane’s team talk at half-time of a La Liga thriller at Real Betis was key to Real Madrid’s comeback in a 5-3 victory.Asensio gave Madrid an early lead but, inspired by veteran winger Joaquin, Betis struck twice in four minutes to take a 2-1 advantage into the break.AdChoices广告But Madrid, on the back of a 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, roared back with three goals in a 15-minute salvo after the break to take control. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Sergio Ramos headed home the leveller before Asensio and Cristiano Ronaldo struck, with Karim Benzema wrapping up the win in stoppage time after Sergio Leon hit a third for Betis.It was a breathless encounter but Asensio believes the adjustments made by Zidane during the interval were key to Madrid’s victory.”We took advantage of the break to talk in the dressing room and correct some things,” said Asensio, whose second strike was Madrid’s 6,000th goal in LaLiga history. “The changes have been seen, we have countered the spaces and we have regained control of the match.”In the last few matches, I think there has been an improvement, sincerely. Let’s just say it was a very very interesting game #RMLiga #HalaMadrid #23 #TheTeam— Mateo Kovačić (@Mateo_Kova23) February 18, 2018″I think we have entered into a good dynamic that makes us optimistic about what is still to come.”That’s goal number for Real Madrid in #LaLigaSantander! #RealBetisRealMadrid #LaLigaHistory— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) February 18, 2018Zidane opted not to go into detail about what he told Madrid’s players at the break.”Things stay in the dressing-room,” Zidane said. “But it’s true I spoke with them, to explain some things, and we did much better in the second half.”But they also wanted to do more. They knew that at the end of first half we were not too good, and we had to change. And we did change.”last_img read more

Deschamps backing his young France stars

November 9, 2019

first_imgWorld Cup ‘They have the quality’ – Deschamps backing France’s rising stars to shine at World Cup Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 23:23 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Dembele Mbappe France England World Cup France Kylian Mbappé Ousmane Dembélé France v Australia Australia Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe may have no tournament experience, but Deschamps has faith in his France youngsters. Didier Deschamps is happy to throw France’s rising stars in at the deep end as they prepare to begin their World Cup campaign on Saturday.Having fallen at the final hurdle at Euro 2016 on home soil, losing to a late extra-time goal from Portugal, Les Bleus will hope to go one better in Russia with a squad that includes a number of fresh faces.Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe did not feature two years ago, though the attacking duo’s lack of tournament experience did not stop them from being included in the 23-man party. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Both could feature in the Group C opener against Australia – and Deschamps has no concerns about his younger players coping under pressure.”It’s not a risk because those young players are there in the 23, you know that,” he told the media. “Many haven’t played in a World Cup or European Championships, but if I’ve selected them then I think they’re good for the team.”It’s not taking risks – they are here because they have the quality to be here.”Final tune-ups are underway in Kazan! #FiersdetreBleus #FRAAUS — French Team (@FrenchTeam) June 15, 2018 Deschamps was a World Cup winner as a player, lifting the trophy as captain in Paris after a crushing 3-0 final win over Brazil in 1998.France are seen as leading contenders again this year, though their manager has downplayed expectations and is only focused on getting out of a group that also includes Denmark and Peru.”First, we have to win the first group game. We know in recent history we only went twice in to the last 16,” Deschamps said.”We know the difficulty despite what some say. We start with a lot of determination, a lot of enthusiasm, but also the necessary humility.”last_img read more


November 7, 2019

first_imgThey’re the ones we love to hate, the ones who cop our abuse, our dissent, our frustration and just occasionally, our gratitude. But, if the tables are turned, there’s the travel, the people, the fitness and the enjoyment, that make refereeing a great pastime and career. Rick Borg is Australia and the World’s number one touch football referee and he is a firm believer that refereeing is something for all touch lovers to consider becoming involved with. Rick admits he more or less fell into refereeing because the local competition he was playing in was suffering from a shortage of referees. Touch refereeing has been a dream for Rick, who has travelled the world as a referee and made many good friends throughout his career. “I have many great mates, which I have made purely through my involvement in touch. The places I have been I could only have dreamed of, but I can honestly say if it were not for my involvement in touch they would have remained just that- a dream. It’s been both an enjoyable and rewarding career for me,” he says. Rick’s hard work and dedication throughout his rise in touch refereeing was rewarded in 1995 when he rose to the position of World’s Number one Touch Referee, a position he has held firmly for the past 9 years. Throughout his career he has 70 test caps or his country, consisting of 46 World Cup appearances, 21 tests and 3 other internationals; not bad for someone who started refereeing a social competition in Mackay 20 years ago. “I guess the highlight of my career as a referee was just recently when I was inducted in to the Australian Touch Hall of Fame. I was astounded when it was announced and it still brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. It was just such a big honour for me,” says Rick. For junior touch players or students working their way through high school or university, refereeing can provide valuable part time work and the cash you so desperately need. “Certainly it can be a great part time job for teenagers. After all how often do you get paid for doing something you love? But having said that, you must also show a certain amount of commitment as well. I started at a local level and look where it has taken me – far beyond my wildest dreams,” says Rick. Like coaches, it is possible for referees to undertake training courses, working their way through accreditation levels, receiving the training to referee at higher levels and to travel for National and International events. While we encourage our children to take up playing sport for their fitness and health, to build their sense of teamwork, co-operation and sportsmanship and to boost their self-esteem, refereeing is another aspect of touch to consider. “Being a referee has certainly been a boost to my self esteem, I have a sense of confidence and achievement that I would not have experienced if were not for touch refereeing,” says Rick. “I also feel I have gained a lot of respect from fellow referees as well as players. But probably most importantly it has taught me how to be a team player. The skills I will walk away with at the end of my touch career far outweighs anything I would have thought possible,” he says. By Rachel Moylelast_img read more


November 7, 2019
first_imgQUEENSLAND DOMINATES FINALS RACE Queensland claimed three of the four major Titles up for grabs as the School Sport Australia Combined Touch Tournament reached its conclusion at the Gold Coast Touch Centre at Owen Park Southport. There were clinical performances by the victors in the respective 12 Years Boys and Girls division, an old fashioned battle to the death in the 15 Years Girls, and a thrilling ride into the drop-off zone for our 15 years Boys, as well as some entertaining battles in the semi-finals, plate, and ranking games. In early morning action, Qld and NSW swept into the Grand final of the 15 Years Boys division with comfortable semi-final victories. The Queenslanders towelled up Northern Territory 14-0, and New South Wales recorded an 11-0 shut out of the Australian Capital Territory. In the Bronze medal play off the ACT totally dominated the Northern Territory 6 – 1 and can be well pleased with their week’s work. The Northern Territory’s Gus Fitzgerald was judged the winner of the 15 Years Boys division `Encouragement Award’ for his efforts during the Tournament. In the 15 Years Boys Plate series final qualifier Victoria gave Tasmania plenty of chances to perfect their tap off moves with a resounding 8-0 win which set up a showdown with WA, who earlier eked out a narrow 5 – 4 victory over South Australia. Victoria backed up and played some bright Touch to swamp the Sandgropers 9-4 and take the Plate home. The Vic Boys were pretty chuffed with their performance and celebrated with a haka at half time in the 15 Years Boys Final – whatever works for you. For Pete Hampson and his `fit as racing snakes’ Tasmanian Boys there was no joy, as they fell in a drop-off to South Australia 5 – 4 in the battle for 7th and 8th. In the 15 Years Girls division the Mighty Maroons had a 12 – 1 victory over the ACT in their semi-final to advance to the final and attempt to retain the Title they collected last year. NSW battled hard to defeat a determined Western Australian outfit 4 -2 and advance to the Grand final. The battle for the Bronze was a tight affair with the ACT emerging victorious over WA, 6 – 4. ACT player Natalee Stepan-Daylight was rewarded for an excellent week of performances with the 15 Years Girls division Encouragement Award. In the battle of the Plate, South Australia ran out 8 – 4 winners over NT to confirm a place in the Plate final against Tasmania who accounted for Victoria 6 – 3. South Australia produced an 8 – 4 result against Tasmania to hold the Plate aloft (don’t drop that!) And Victoria relinquished the `spoon’ to the Northern Territory girls in a thrilling 4 – 3 drop off win – cue the haka. In the 12 Years Boys, NSW and Qld recorded big victories over the ACT (3rd) in Pool `A’ to set up the long awaited clash, QLD v NSW to decide who got the Good Bikies and who gets the crumbs. NSW capped a fantastic tournament by defeating Qld 4 -1 in a very entertaining clash. The first half was an absorbing battle full of desperate defensive plays, power rucking, and bright attacking play. The teams went to the break at 1-1 and the players from both teams welcomed the chance to catch their breath after a frenetic first stanza. NSW looked the better on resumption, and as the half wore on cracks appeared in the Qld defence and the well-oiled NSW machine cranked into overdrive in the oppressive heat. Two Touchdowns to the speed machine Chris Knight and a further `meat pie’ to Lachlan Sturgeon sealed the 4 -1 victory for the well-drilled NSW outfit. For Qld Captain Ryley Jacks, Nathan Norford, Oscar Sanft and Josh Scott tried their best to lift the home side, but NSW just had too much combination and options all over the park in attack and a resolute commitment to their defence. Lachlan Sturgeon, Chris Knight and Josh Drinkwater were the best for the Champion NSW Outfit. NSW coach John Clune was ecstatic with the victory, “It was a great game, all the boys on both sides were out on their feet at half time but kept digging, we had a 4 day training camp in preparation and I think the work done there really helped us cope well” NSW retain the National Title they collected last year and will be hoping to make it a hat trick next year in Adelaide, Qld have yet to win the title and that will provide motivation to the Maroons in 2005. In earlier Pool B games Northern Territory swamped Tasmania 9-1 in the (4 v 6) game. In the other pool `B’ clash, (5 v 6) South Australia beat Tasmania convincingly 5 -2. South Australia finished fourth and Northern Territory fifth after their Pool `B’ game went to South Australia 5 – 4. In the 12 Years Girls Qld and NSW both had comfortable wins over the third member of Pool `A’, Northern Territory (relegating them to 3rd) to set up a return Origin clash later in the day to decide the title. Qld 12 Years Girls team were the tournament’s super stars and swept all before them when they defeated NSW 7 – 0 in the last game in the 12 Years Girls division. The Evan Willis coached team created history by not conceding a touchdown the entire tournament and preserving Queensland’s imposing domination of the 12 Years Girls Competition, winning every title for the last decade. The `Roma Rocket’ Emilee Cherry had a hand in four of Qld’s seven Touchdowns to cap an outstanding tournament, and Sarah Monaghan, and Queenslands Player’s Player Sharni Kaatz excelled in a fantastic team performance. Kimberlee Gordon and Rebecca Mounsey were the best for NSW. Queensland Coach Evan Willis heaped praise on his champion team, “The girls have been great and have been so good to coach, they have been so committed to the job at hand and their parents have been great as well, it’s a big relief to get the win, and a pleasure to coach them.” In Pool `B’ action of the 12 Years Girls (4v6) South Australia narrowly defeated Tasmania 3 -2. In Pool `B’ (5v6) ACT defeated Tasmania 3 -0. South Australia then accounted for the ACT 3 – 2 to claim fourth spot. Written by Karley Banks 31 October 2004last_img


November 7, 2019

first_imgIn other WA news, Karratha claimed their sixth straight North West Championship title in the Touch Football outpost of Broome on the June long weekend. The Hedland Touch Association sent four teams to Broome, with their top side well prepared for the challenge of stealing the North West crown from Karratha, and it showed in results on Saturday that these two were shaping as the teams to beat during the tournament.Both teams won round games convincingly on the Saturday, while Tom Price 1 had a shock draw against Hedland 2, and Broome 1 scored twice in the dying stages against Karratha 2 to win 6-5. Meanwhile, Karratha 1 and Hedland 1 powered into Sunday with more strong wins.Karratha started the final with a flurry of touchdowns, and quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Men’s tournament MVP Naps Levi, and captain-coach Lincoln Tavo helped Hedland settle into the match, but the international experience of Brian Fitzroy, along with former NTL rep Tobie Burnnand and WA 18’s player Carolyn Levien. But it was to be Karratha’s day – 6-4 sealing their sixth straight North West Championship. In news out of WA, the Western Australia Board of Management met on the weekend and granted affiliate status to a new Touch Football Club, United Touch. The club is set to run in Perth on Friday nights, which is the only night not occupied by a club in the metro area. Excellent news! In the NRL tipping competition Kiwi Mongrel is proving hard to catch, maintaining his number one ranking, as is ‘jjj’ in the AFL ladder. With plenty of matches to go however, anything can happen! The South East Queensland Touch League kicked off last Friday night, with over 600 players set to take part in this year’s Mens and Womens Open competition. For the full wrap of the first night of competition, see the TFA website this afternoon. Socceroo fever is taking over and to follow the name trend, TFA are looking for suggestions for a team name for the sides heading to the World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Some suggestions have already been the Bilbies, Emus, Numbats, Wallaroos…if you think you have a better suggestion, send it to The online survey for the Fox TV package is closing on Friday 17 June. To take part in the survey you’ll need to subscribe to the front page of the website or email TFA will be releasing the survey for the final time tomorrow, so make sure you subscribe today if you want to take part. TFA is calling for Youth Coaches for the Australian Junior Teams, check out all the info in the following story: TFA CALLS FOR YOUTH COACHESAround 40 teams gathered in Townsville over the weekend for the North Queensland Touch Championships. Teams traveled from as far north as Weipa and Thursday Island, west to Mt Isa and south to Mackay. A full wrap will be available on the TFA website this afternoon. Welcome to the mid-week edition of Sixty Seconds in Touch, I’m sorry for the delay in this week’s news update, I’ve enjoyed a couple of days break but I’m back with a mountain of news in Touch from around Australia… The ACT and Victorian Touch sides are set to battle it out this Sunday at the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders game at Olympic Park. So make sure you’re there to see Touch take centre stage between 1:25pm and 1:55pm on Sunday June 18 at Olympic Park, it’s a great opportunity to promote our sport. Queensland Touch and Sandstorm Beach Club co-launched the Queensland Touch State of Origin Campaign and the Sandstorm Beach Touch competition last Friday. Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Cook (Beach Volleyball) is also the director of Sandstorm and worked hard to promote the two events together with the Queensland Touch staff. For the full wrap of the day’s action and also the one on one interviews with Natalie Cook and Womens Open Captain Sharyn Williams, check out the TFA website this afternoon. Another new affiliate that recently kicked off in Victoria, Parkville Touch, are enjoying some good publicity on their first competition, To read the story printed in their local newspaper, click here: PARKVILLE TOUCH KICKS OFF ESUS Touch Shoes have started to sell with the National Training Squad set to be fitted at their upcoming camp. If you are interested in buying a pair of shoes you can call the TFA office on 1800 654 951 and you can visit the story on the ESUS shoes here: ESUS SHOES Wallsend Touch in NSW are holding a 25th Anniversary Ball for all past and present players, volunteers, referees and administrators. For all the details check out To place an order for a copy of the NTL package shown on Fox Sports or the raw footage of the Mens, Womens or Mixed Open finals, just ring 1800 654 951 and speak to Rachel or email The Fox Package is just $20, while the raw footage is $30. For players, coaches and referees the raw footage is great training material as it includes the commentary from the referees during the games. TFA are updating the AusTouch website which will be ready soon for viewing. It will be full of new information and resources for anyone interested in the AusTouch program.last_img read more


November 7, 2019

first_imgTFA would like to welcome two new members to our board, Peter Rooney and Paul Eggers.To read the profiles of our new and existing board members please click here.last_img

NSWCHS On Track For Hat-Trick Of Titles

November 7, 2019

first_imgNew South Wales Combined High Schools are on track to make it a hat-trick of X-Blades National Youth Championship girls titles after the tournament favourites completely dominated their rivals on day one of the competition.The Brooke Playford-coached side won all three of their Pool A games, and have an impressive for and against record of 46.NSWCHS started their day with a 14-0 thumping of Touch New Zealand under 15s.They followed it up with an even bigger win against Victoria, 19-0, and defeated Brisbane City Cobras 13-2.But the two-time defending champions aren’t alone on top of the girls Pool A ladder.South West Queensland Swans have also collected maximum points from their opening three matches, albeit in much harder circumstances than NSWCHS.The Swans had an easy 11-2 victory first up against Victoria but followed with two very gutsy and determined wins in their next two matches.They were pushed all the way by their Queensland rivals, the Cobras 4-3 and Sunshine Coast Pineapples 3-2.NSW Combined Independent Schools sit in outright third on 10 points following nail-biting wins over Sunshine Coast and Western Tigers.Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline in their first match against NSWCHS, the New Zealand under 15s enjoyed two wins on the opening day – 7-6 over Western Tigers and 7-3 over Victoria.The New Zealand teams aren’t awarded points because they are an invitational team.Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges lead the way in Pool B after the two won all their games.QSST were too good for NSW Touch Association Development (10-2), Central Queensland Bulls (              11-2) and South Australia Heat (10-0).NSWCCC won against Tasmania (14-1), NSWTA Development (5-3) and ACT Pirates (4-0).The Bulls are third and a host of teams are in equal fourth spot on six points.Tomorrow matches at 9.50am.For more information on the NYC, check out these websites:NYC – Football Australia – follow us on Twitter or on our Facebook page.Related LinksNSWCHS on track for hat-tricklast_img read more