By Ted Schredd
The Beaver Open is the world’s longest running
footbag (Hackeysack) tournament that takes place every
September Long Weekend in Willamette State Park just
north of Salem, Oregon.
Now I was expecting a bunch of dreads and reggae
tunes but instead I found World Class athletes, outlandish
fun characters and lot of happy souls. The main event
is Footbag net competition. This game is like volleyball
except you use your feet instead of your hands and
a footbag instead of a volleyball. You can play as
a single player or teams of two. I am not a super
footbag kind of guy so I wasn’t really interested
in competing per se until I found out the rules.
What the fun infected management of the Beaver Open
does is combine the professional players with the
amateur players when they form teams. The goal was
not to win but to have fun and if you win well good
on ya. I couldn’t believe that I was right on
the court playing with some of the best in the world.
It was still competitive but not deathly competitive.
It made it fun for everybody not just the talented
players. I was so impressed that all of these people
had come to a tournament for the sole purpose of everybody
enjoying themselves not just a selected few.
I wondered how many competitions and events could
benefit from this pro/amateur combination technique.
When I was a small child unfortunately I was always
picked last. With this system nobody is picked last.
We were all picked together. So often we sign up for
a competition to be the best or to beat our personal
best – but is that goal the most fun way of
playing in life?
There were talent shows and crib tournaments and
glow in the dark games at midnight but my favorite
was the Beaver Open Grumpy Beads. They take a Mardi
gras style necklace (or whatever style of necklace
you choose) and award it to whoever gripes or whines
about anything. Once you have been designated keeper
of the Grumpy Beads you must wear the beads until
you find another whiner. It was a great way for people
to interact and gently tease the grumpy person. Try
it at your next house party.
Discover Fun tips our hat to all the participants
of the Beaver Open for their dedication to everyone
enjoying themselves at a tournament not just the most
talented competitors. For more info contact: LJ firstname.lastname@example.org