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Questions about Blairsville games

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Josh2797 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 4/01/19 at 5:30pm
So this will be my first event i participate in. Im completely new to any of this. I have a few questions some of you may be able to answer for me. First off do they have a lightweight class or do they combine all? Im close enough to 200 i could get under it by then. Just curious about that.
I have always wanted to give it a try. I may be dead last in every event. You guys amaze me with the caber. I'm working with a 12 foot pole and its a nightmare even balancing it at this point.
Anything particular a complete newbie should know or do?
Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all
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TomLawrence View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomLawrence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/02/19 at 7:08am
John Allen will be our AD again this year in Blairsville under invitation of Dave and Deb McGregor.  Anybody who throws in the southeast can tell you that he runs a great game.  There is no lightweight division* or (as far as I know) novice class, ladies division, or pro class at this year's games, so three amateur men's divisions will be run on the same day: Bs, As, and Masters. It's possible I'm wrong about this, but it's what I've heard.

Since it's your first ever games, you will be throwing B division; and don't worry about being a complete newbie.  Everybody starts somewhere, and you'll be adopted in as 'one of us' quickly if you follow a few simple rules.  More on that in a minute.  Blairsville is a good flat field in a natural amphitheater, friendly people, good crowd support, and in general a really fun game.  Of course, I'm biased because I live there.

* I don't think I've ever even seen a lightweight division in the southeast in the years I have been throwing.  At least in my experience, it's very rare in our area and a lot of us come from the late Kay Cumming's school of 'this is a big man's sport; go get bigger' point of view.  I throw at about 195 naturally and manage to be solidly mediocre.

Now, I do not presume to type out here how to throw well; however, I can type out here how to be a good thrower.  I had great mentors and these are the simple rules they taught me.

1.  Listen to your judges.  They know what they are doing and will advise you on safety and order.  This is especially important on caber because mistakes can have high consequences. 

2.  Pay attention to your throwing order and shag (retrieve implements) when you are supposed to if we don't have volunteers to do the shagging for us.  For distance events you shag for the guy who throws two in front of you, i.e. you bring back the implement of the guy throwing first if you throw third.  That way you are bringing the implement to the guy who goes right before you.  For WOB and sheaf, just bring the implement back to the bar or the guy after you right after you throw.  For caber you help shag your own attempt and one right after you (throw - shag - shag).  It always takes two people to carry and stand up a caber, even when it doesn't.

3. Self care.  Eat when you can, stay hydrated, and wear sunscreen and/or a hat.  Throwing a games is a lot of standing around in the sun waiting on your turn, but don't wander off and make the judge have to look for you.

4. Help out.  It's not butt kissing to help move implements from place to place or help clean up or fetch water for fellow athletes or judges if you getting some for yourself.  It's sportsmanship, and we all (should) do it.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for help or gear but be gracious.  Need tape or tacky or chalk?  Somebody has some and will almost certainly let you have some.  Just be grateful and don't waste it.  Don't have a sheaf fork?  It's a general rule that anyone with one will let you borrow it as long as you take care of it, i.e. don't tacky it up, break it, or stick it in the dirt.  Other athletes are usually also eager to help coach, but stick to simple cues.  You're not going to be able to process complicated throwing advice on the field when you only get a few attempts.

6. Have fun.  You are a beginner athlete in a fringe sport that nobody cares about except the people in it.  There's just not that much at stake, so do your best for yourself and have a blast.  The people and the memories you create with them on the field are the best part of this sport.

7. Wheaton's Law: don't be a dick.  Not to your fellow athletes, not to the judges, and certainly not to the spectators and any kids in the crowd.  One reason this sport is full of such fine people is because those who violate Wheaton's Law somehow don't get invited back.  Imagine that.

I'll be throwing Master's and have a huge 12x12 blue EZ-up if you need a place to get out of the sun.  I will have plenty of water and likely talkative family members as well.  Look for the None More Black sheaf fork attached to EZ-up support pole.

See you there,

Tom
Aim high. Stay hungry.
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Josh2797 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh2797 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/02/19 at 7:23am
Thank you Tom. I really appreciate it. Thank you for your time and words of wisdom.
It's always nice when someone is willing to guide beginners in the right direction.

Much appreciated my friend!
I will follow all your advice, i look forward to meeting you.
Josh
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Marc Bevins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marc Bevins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/02/19 at 8:46am
Tom,

Do you know the correct email? I found one on the website and asked if there was open spots still available, but am wondering if I have the right one. Haven't heard a reply back, but I did just send on Friday..

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TomLawrence View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomLawrence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/02/19 at 10:53am
Josh,

No worries.  Clan Heavy sticks together.


Marc,

Try Deb McGregor at filthisia@yahoo.com

I don't know what might be still open, but due to running all three classes on the same day, I believe that John wants to keep the groups limited.



Tom

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Marc Bevins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marc Bevins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/02/19 at 12:23pm
Tom,

Thanks.   She just emailed me back.. only class with openings is the A's. Waiting list for Masters & B's are already 6-8 deep.
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TomLawrence View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomLawrence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 6/06/19 at 12:05pm
Word from the AD for the Blairsville Games is that the entire festival has been cancelled for this year for safety reasons due to risk of severe weather and flooding.

Apologies to anyone who was traveling in.

Tom

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