Pulling The Flag

Q&A: Warrington’s V-Day

After the weekends explosion of games, playoffs or tournaments, we decided to catch up Lewis of Warrington Revolution, Lewis is the chairman of the club, and done a lot of the ‘dirty’ work for the tournament!

PTF: In under 50 words, describe the Revolution.

Lewis: It’d be easier and more “Revolution” to do over 50 pints but here goes… Being new to the game and community we are keen to make an impact. We’re passionate about Football and want to help its growth on and off the pitch by also helping non-football fans engage with a local club– football is a small part of what we do!

PTF: For the people who might’ve missed it, what is V-Day?

Lewis: V-Day is the newest tournament on the flag calendar and although I’m biased, we think it offers something a little different. V-Day isn’t only for the teams involved but also the locals. The team worked really hard making it happen including dropping flyers and arranging activities and combine games all of which brought a crowd to support the home team. (The vertical jump was the most popular on the day, but not many could beat even Tom Brady’s score of 25 inches). The live coverage of other tournaments has always been hugely popular and so we wanted to spend more time and money in developing a solution that really “revolutionised” how people watch flag football. We had lots of volunteers helping to make this possible but a huge thanks has to go to Matt Meir (our A/V genius) and Coach Anthony Lloyd for expert commentary! What created the urge for a brand new team to host such a big tournament? I’m sure that many teams have the urge to do it but we are really lucky to have a fantastic group of people with many different skills that made it happen. We knew that if we were able to get the presence and interest in the event the day itself would be a success. The date was relevant too – we wanted to allow some of the teams that didn’t compete or didn’t make the BAFA play-offs a chance to taste tournament football along side the rest of the community, and so it was risky but no accident to try to run an alternative post season.

PTF: From the outside, the biggest challenge must’ve been the live streaming aspect of the day. How did you go about this?

Lewis: This questions is really tough to summarise but if ANY teams are interested to learn more please get in touch. We started with a list of what we, as fans, want to see from streams this included static cameras, score and ‘down’ graphics, commentary without wind interference, interviews and multiple cameras. We then took some time testing different equipment and software to work out the best way to go about this and eventually we were able to set up a full ‘studio’ area including commentary booths, multi cameras and wind resistant audio. Once again, I have to say none of this would have been possible without Matt Meir, he was the brains behind the whole streaming element. We had a last minute technical glitch too which meant we lost some really great features… keep an eye on next years event where it will be better still! What advice would you give to other teams that would like to do this? Try it! There were times we were sure that we wouldn’t be able to make it happen but we got there. Make sure you can get your hands on stable internet and make sure that whatever is used for recording can cope with the pace of the game – we had a frame-rate problem early on. Finally have fun with it and the commentary… Coach Lloyd’s first performance on the mic has him yearning for a gig with Sky Sports What challenges did you have in running the day? Far fewer than you might think and that is in purely down to every member of the team and helpers on the day. Some of the teams may have reported seeing the pitches being mowed as they were arriving. We would like to say this is because we only wanted the freshest turf for V-Day but in reality we were expecting it be cut externally the week before… around 5 hours later we had a playable surface… just in time for kick off. We also lost two generators for power and one of our static cameras just minutes before the event was due to start so there was a lot of panicking which I hope we managed to disguise! Once the football was underway, the day ran as smoothly as you could hope.

PTF: What’s the plan for the future of team and then of course, the tournament?

Lewis: The immediate future involves us concentrating on playing! We are looking at competing in the Outlaw Flag League and Nuola’s Indian Summer. Next year we will be competing in the BAFA National Programme and hoping to work within the youth game too! Recruitment is also on the agenda so if anybody from the North West is looking for a team get in touch and give it a go! V-Day will make the return in 2018, bigger and better than this year’s event with more teams and even better, live coverage.

PTF: Many thanks, Lewis. We look forward to more of the same! Don’t forget to watch the video below for some insane highlights.

 

Remember to check out last week’s Q&A with Sean Douglas on FFI, click here for that.

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