3 sided Football!?

Imagine Football where you have to co-operate with another team to win? Read on! This epitomizes alternative education and life in so many ways, that I felt I must share this on my blog.


A game of three halves

Figure 1 A hexagonal pitch at the first Three-Sided World Cup in Denmark Photo © Flickr member Aurdur

All the attention may be on Brazil this summer of 2014, but in Denmark a version of football that requires cooperation between teams is being pioneered. Will Simpson reports from the first ever Three-Sided Football World Cup

We are at the World Cup, but this isn’t Brazil. In a field in the Danish town of Silkeborg, three football teams are playing on a hexagonal pitch with three goals. It sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but it’s no joke.

Three-sided football resides in the rarely explored no-man’s land between performance art, left-wing philosophy and sport. In part, the idea is to counter the confrontational nature of traditional football. Teams can collaborate together and the winner is the team that concedes the least goals.

The game was conceived by the 20th century Danish artist and situationist Asger Jorn, born 100 years ago. He based it on a variation of the Marxist theory of dialectic materialism: the idea that society is driven forward by the struggle between haves and have-nots. Since then it has been played occasionally at festivals and embraced by the quirkier end of the anti-globalisation movement.

The first Three-Sided World Cup may be being played in Denmark but it took a couple of Englishmen to get this weekend’s event off the ground: Fabian Tompsett and Mark Dyson.

Tompsett is an author and academic, specialising in situationist game strategy. He organised the first game on British soil in Glasgow in 1994. He discovered the concept of three-sided football when translating one of Jorn’s texts. “I read a throwaway comment saying ‘of course nobody would ever play it’ and thought ‘hmm, don’t know about that’,” he says.

Meanwhile Dyson is the motivating force behind Britain’s first three-sided football club Deptford 3FC, founded in 2012.

If you cannot have a play ground, here are some options to play in a smaller setting.

Figure 2 If you wish to play this game at home


This is a great way to have fun and at the same time learn to co-operate as in the real world.

The idea for the Three-Sided Football World Cup began in the pub. “We were having a drink after one game and Fabian suggested ‘wouldn’t it be good to have a tournament in Denmark in 2014 to celebrate the centenary of Jorn’s birth?'” says Dyson.

Dyson contacted the Jorn museum in Silkeborg, suggesting that the tournament be incorporated into its centenary celebrations. When they agreed, he was left with the task of finding the teams; not easy when the game is still in its early stages of development worldwide.

And so this weekend there are teams here from France, Germany, Denmark, Poland, England, and a group of Lithuanians who have decided that they want to represent Uruguay instead, hoping perhaps to emulate the winners of the first two-sided World Cup in 1930.

By the end of the Saturday the champions had been crowned: the hosts Silkeborg KFUM, coincidentally the team Jorn played for in his youth.

Dyson seems content about what the weekend has achieved. “This will help three-sided football grow internationally, though what it ends up being I don’t know. I have a sneaking suspicion it will split in two between being a proper sport and performance art. But there will be definitely be another Three-Sided Football World Cup, we’re already talking about Germany hosting it in three years’ time.”

And what would Asger Jorn have made it all? “Well, he did have a strange take on things,” chuckles Tompsett. “But he liked to see people having fun and so I think ultimately he would have approved.”


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09 JUL 2014




Worry over safety of girl students on campus – SCHOOLING IN SAFE CONFINES OF HOME

Vidya.Iyengar @timesgroup.com TWEETS @BangaloreMirror


India group For Homeschoolers and Alternative Education has received 160 enquiries -60 per cent from the city -since the rape of a six-year-old girl student came to light

Following the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl student at an upmarket school in the city, the last two weeks have seen a sudden increase in the number of parents wanting to homeschool their children. Dr. S. P. Mathew, the Mumbai-based group administrator for the India group For Homeschoolers and Alternative Education, says he was surprised at the “sudden increase in the number of enquiries”. Previously, he would get around five enquiries a day, of which only one would be from Bangalore. Ever since the rape incident came to light, though, Mathew has received a total of 160 calls -60 per cent of them from the city.

“To homeschool one’s child is a major decision”says Mathew, who homeschools his three children aged 15, 11 and eight. “But seeing what’s happening in Bangalore, parents are beginning to feel homeschooling might be a safer option”

Rekha (name changed on request), a software professional, is one such parent from Bangalore, who reached out to Mathew for help. Her six-year old son is a class I student at the same school where the six-year-old was allegedly raped in the school premises by a staff member. While the school is set to re-open next week, Rekha is still debating whether to send her son back to school. “The school is saying that they will install more CCTV cameras and enhance security,” Rekha said.

“But how does that assure the safety of my child?” Already having paid an annual fee of Rs 25,000 and the fee of Rs 18,000 each for two quarters, she says that changing schools “now would mean shelling out a lakh of rupees”.

But money is not the main criteria for Rekha to think about homeschooling.

“We have lost confidence in the school,” she says. “They are so unethical.” For instance, she points out that there is no clarity as to whether the sports and performing arts activities will be continued at the school. “They offer skating classes. The instructor wanted us to buy a new pair of skates. And when I asked my son what he had learnt in the last one month, he says that they were shown videos on skating. Is that what I send my son to school for?”

Rekha has reached out to home school support groups. “My son wants to go to school. But with the same staff and management, I’ll never be at peace. With what faith can I send my son to be taken care of by the same coordinators under whose nose this (rape) incident has taken place?” Rekha, who has been contemplating quitting her job for a while now, is now seriously considering that decision. “Although homeschooling has several advantages, one of the reasons I’m taking time to decide is because my son is an only child. I don’t want him to get lonely,” she says.

In the last three years — between nursery, LKG and UKG — Rekha has spent Rs 3 lakh on her son’s education.

“I don’t see where all that money went. I myself could have taught him all that he has learnt in school.” She feels that the school has “washed off its hands” and shirked its responsibility. “We got a circular from the school on Friday stating that they will cooperate with the police and management to ensure that the culprit is brought to book. Even so, my problem is that they are not shouldering any responsibility. Now, it’s time for decisions; to think about alternate schooling.” As per Mathew’s estimate, in India between 1,000 and 2,000 parents homeschool their children.


When Rohini George, a medical physicist with the University of Maryland returned from the US three years ago, she felt that schools in Bangalore were too “business-oriented”. So convinced was she about it that she refused to even send her children to playschool.

Today, she homeschools her son fouryear-old son Isaac and three-year-old daughter Ziva .

George, who is part of homseschool support groups — India Group for Homeschoolers, Swashikshan —says that other parents who homeschool their children post their suggestions on these groups and the corresponding social networking sites and “it’s for

parents to pick up the books/methods they recommend.” At George’s home, school begins between 7 and 7: 30 am “with some bible time”, where her husband reads the kids a story and asks them questions after that. “My husband is also involved in teaching the kids,” she says.

During the first half of the day, they work on activities — threading beads, colouring, painting, playing with blocks, writing — and twice a week, they attend dance, art and soccer classes.

While George feels that she can manage teaching some of the subjects, like maths and science until class 10, she says that she might need to get a tutor for English and the languages.

“The results have been great. My son is happy and like most other homeschooled children — independent.” George insists that her children are not growing up in isolation. “Not at all.” She reasons that the children meet with many friends at the art, dance and soccer classes. Besides, they interact with adults at home.

“I don’t understand why children always have to be with those their own age. When they start working, they will have to work with those younger and older than them,” says the 37-year old mother.

Stop rescuing street kids

Government asks orphanage to shut down:

Vision in Social Arena aka VISA is an orphanage for approximately 40 children aged 6-18 situated in Mira Road north of Mumbai. It was started in 2000 by John Abraham who was moved by compassion for abandoned street children. Now the government has served him a notice asking him to shut down the organization, leaving the children crying and refusing to eat food, and John running from pillar to post to save the kids future.

Figure 1 The plight of abandoned street children in India

The kids call him Daddy, and he treats them like his own children. They get the love of a father, food, clothing and shelter.

Now all of that is threatened.

Why does the Government make it so hard for someone who wants to do some good work like this?

It turns out that you need to have a license to take care of street kids, and despite his best efforts John Abraham has not been granted a license yet. There are over 15 requirements that have to be fulfilled, including a Two Lakh Rupees Bank Guarantee. In fact, John Abraham has himself stated that the biggest bottleneck that prevents him from serving more children are Government regulations.

But no license is needed to dump your kids anywhere at all, abandoned to the wild world outside!?

How many kids are there on the streets today? No one knows exactly, but John Abraham himself has admitted that what he is doing is but a drop in the bucket.

What can you do to help?

Here are his contact details:

Vision in Social Arena visa97@rediffmail.com


You can see a video of VISA at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REdu7lU7IT0

Hope this moves you to consider the plight of street children. God bless you.

John’s motivation has been this verse from the book of James in the Bible: A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

(James 1:27)

No poking, please!

Road safety is being taken seriously at last. Here is one more step to make driving safer especially for two wheelers who can suddenly hit these protruding rods which were being carried on trucks. Another important need is to ban trucks carrying sand and dirt which spill on the road and cause fatal skidding of two wheelers. In the UAE such trucks are fined the heaviest, with one fine going up to 50,000 INR or more.

No rods, poles: Trucks can’t carry cargo that pokes out


MUMBAI: In a bid to make road journeys safer, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Friday issued a public notice barring trucks and tempos, among other vehicles transporting goods, from carrying poles, iron rods and any such cargo that protrudes out and can be a danger to commuters.


Transporters will have to seek special permission to carry iron rods or poles and any such thing that can protrude out of their vehicles. If they don’t comply, they will have to pay a fine.

If any vehicle is found flouting this norm, it will invite a fine under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, stated the public notice.

“As per the earlier provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, vehicles transporting goods were allowed to carry material, which stick out up to one metre. But to make road journeys safer, the Union government has created this new provision in the l aw,” said Satish Sahasrabudhe, acting transport commissioner.

The regional transport offices (RTOs) have already been informed about the changed rule, he said, adding that RTO officials have been directed to ensure its implementation.

According to motor vehicle department officials, for transporting protruding material, transporters will have to seek special permission from various agencies, including their department.

“Transporters will have to apply for special permission, as taken by those transporting over-dimensional consignment,” said a senior motor vehicle department official.

RTO officials, however, feel that to deter transporters from flouting the norm, the Union government should increase the fine.

“Presently, a fine of Rs100 will be imposed on transporters flouting the norms,” said a senior RTO official, requesting anonymity. An increase in the fine amount will deter transporters from flouting the norm, he added.

  • 19 Jul 2014
  • Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
  • Kailash Korde Kailash.Korde@hindustantimes.com