Monday, June 30, 2014

Only Game in Town, Part IV

Despite the fact that the event has not yet gone to "Green" it's being held up only by the Certificate of Insurance (COI) details.

There are at least three hotels within walking distance of the venue in Ontario. Sorry that this it taking a bit longer than we thought, but considering the hoops that we had to jump through, we're moving at the speed of light.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Update On World Challenge XXIII

Just to ensure that there’s no confusion, the dates are November 3-9. We will be doing an advance visit to Phoenix during the second week in July.

We typically do not turn on the event (making it “Green”) until after the U.S. Nationals. But, we want to ensure everyone that this event is “On.”

We’re going to attempt something that we’ve never done before; four days of Wild Card Eliminations, then a day off, followed by a move to the NASCAR Track for the last two days on Saturday and Sunday.

There are a LOT of logistics and Ron and I will be addressing these with our site inspection.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Minutes of the Challenge Advisory Board- Executive Committee’s meeting

A Skype Teleconference was held on the 29th of May
In attendance:
Mike Mederios 
Adam Brock
Jeff Leonard
Mike Weikamm
Cheri Ardion
John Pennington
Items Discussed in order of recollection:

1. Budget & Scott: We cannot camouflage the fact that our sponsorship dollars have been substantially cut. In all cases, we have attempted to lessen the impact by offering options to keep our key personnel on board. Everyone has the freedom to decide their own future with the Challenge, based upon the value that they place on their time. We do this to survive since we cannot have any expenses uncovered. This is not some dire warning of peril, but the practical reality of living within our means. We executed a three-year agreement and will continue to bring the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge to cities across the US and Canada. Said another way, operating the Challenge has become expensive. Big trucks represent big bucks. Airfares are skyrocketing and very few teams now have the financial backing from their departments that they once did. Virtually all of our military teams have had travel funds cut. We are ramping up our efforts to recruit new sponsors- as everyone knows, a daunting task. I think that most firefighters understand that the economy continues to limp along and when stations are being shut down and firefighters laid off, discretionary spending on activities such as the Challenge do not rise to the same level of importance of operations. 

2. Reorganized Rules: Daniel spent a considerable amount of time reorganizing the rules by Sentence and Paragraph format. The one change that has evoked a response is the subject of Hammers: We will consider modifying the hammer rule: i.e., no touching the hammer. Jeff Leonard suggested that up to five hammers be put in the rotation and Cheri proposed that we color code the hammers to preserve the rotation. I will run this past Ron. I still believe that we need to disallow Competitors to pick up any hammer other than the one to be used. I proposed that we find some type of a cup or receiver in which to place the hammer head to standardize the position of the hammer for both distance from the sled and angle (which is the same thing). 

3. LA World Firefighter Games: We are determined to make this work. To this end, we’re working on securing some sponsorship to fill-in the gap left by the insolvency of the Games. The PR benefit is extraordinary as we can be “The Only Game in Town.” We are, as of this writing going to Ontario, CA. With over 2000 registrants, and not knowing how many of these people are still coming, we will be advertising heavily to see how many days we will need to accommodate what might be the largest Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge ever. 

4. Hybrid Teams: Several options were discussed; we all realized that this is complicated and will require more study. We’ll come back with some approaches that might work. 

5. Phoenix Logistics: LiftMaster is the Host for WCXIII. We are attempting something that has never been done before; four days of Wild Cards followed by a move to the track. We can pack up the show in about 3 hours. This come at the end of a log day. However, we do have a staff that is double that of our typical regional. And, we will call for assistance for a limited, but skilled group who have experience in Road Crew logistics. An advance trip will take place within the next couple of weeks whereupon we will be able to speak much more intelligently about the whole scenario. We do have a seminar planned for Friday, sponsored by Keiser. 

6. Pro-Am, Firefighter Fantasy Camp, Cross-Fit - FCC event: We believe that the only thing that this needs is marketing. Cheri had successfully used this gambit for the event that she held at Lake Charles. We need to write up a marketing plan for rolling this out on a trial basis at selected locales. 

7. 2014 Scheduling Matters. Anyone in the event business can attest that “it’s a jungle out there.” If you think that this is easy, you need to think again. We’re at the max of what we can reasonably expect to raise by way of appearance fees. Even at $25K, that’s a lot of bread. LiftMaster will be ending all of their contracts this year and will make a determination if their NASCAR program has been cost effective. I believe that state fairs are a more cost effective model. But, we’ll need to see what transpires at the conclusion of their analysis. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The complexities of putting on a Challenge vary, from locale to locale. Considering the short ramp up for moving from the LA Convention Center to Ontario, a mere 36 miles from Downtown LA, it’s not all that bad.

However, there’s that pesky paperwork to get done. Like the contract with the Visitor’s Bureau (who is graciously picking up the tab for the local expenses) and another contract for the actual venue.

Certificates of Insurance (COI) have to be issued to guarantee coverage in the amounts stipulated by the real estate company. And so forth.

But, we believe that we’re ready and the green light is lit. Which brings me to Seattle and the yeoman’s work of B/C James Hilliard. We’re inking a 3-year deal with the Downtown Business Association for the weekend before Ontario.

So, Colorado Springs gets punted to next year and we’re in for the Pacific Northwest for the next 3 years!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Only Game in Town, PART 2

It’s official. We have a venue in Ontario, CA, thanks to Michael Krouse, President and CEO of  the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Next, on our growing list of tasks is the exact location, hotels and the number of days that will be required to accommodate the already-coming athletes - an unknown number. As we view this, scores, or perhaps hundreds who were going to play in the Games and have non-refundable tickets would like to have something to show for their money and effort. We will make every effort to firm up days and lodging by next Friday.

Also, we recognize that many athletes may not have planned to bring their bunker gear. We’re working on a solution for this eventuality.

We have requested of the organizer of the World Games a copy of the database so that we an notify everyone that the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge will be stepping it up to accommodate everyone who is interested in experiencing “The Toughest Two Minutes in Sports.”

This BlogSpot will be the authorative source for all information about the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, and will be updated with the latest information as we know it.