Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a TEAM Sport

Our World Wide Vision for the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge

Paul O. Davis, Ph.D.

Creator, Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge

©2011, On•Target Communications

For those of you who took the time to send us your comments about how we structured the playoffs, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with our perspective on where we want to go with the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.

From its inception twenty years ago, the competition has been built around the Team category. As you know, you can have up to five members on your team. For teams who earn either a bye or a slot in the final day, all of their members, regardless of an individual’s time, advance into the finals. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and a person who had not thought to be “in the zone” ends up adding to the total.

Several years into the competition, we recognized that there were individual athletes who had a shot at winning the King of the Jungle title, but were not on a team. The Individual category was then created to address this inequity. Since the majority of the fastest players were already on teams, the number of “open class” individuals was not very large. By allowing the 3 fastest individuals a slot, we were pretty sure that the fastest competitor would be allowed a shot at the title, even if they weren’t on a team. This last year, we had considerably more than 3 people competing as an individual. In fact, we had 64 competitors not on teams running on the final day.

As the interest in the Challenge began to expand globally, we began to look at the competition as a true, World event. To encourage foreign growth, we tendered offers to foreign national teams to attend our event. They were awarded byes to ensure that we would take on a truly international flavor. After all, if we’re going to call this the World Challenge, then we need to have teams from outside of North America in the event.

The interest expressed by foreign national teams now numbers to be more than a dozen. Ultimately, the World Challenge will be comprised of only one team from each participating country, much like the Olympics. You’ll have to win that spot and represent your country. Each nation’s team will be their country’s champion, regardless of their time. Some like the Jamaican bob sled team won’t be very good. But they will have earned the right to represent their country.

In all likelihood, the World Championship will move around the globe. What we presently call World Challenge will become the US Nationals. And just like MLB, the NFL, etc., if you’re a member of a team, even if you’re the water boy, you get a ring if your team wins.

There is no intention to denigrate the stellar performances of anyone in the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge who has a time less than 2 minutes, 100 seconds, or less. It’s just that the structure of the Team competition is foremost in our promotional efforts.

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