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Re: World Tafl Federation

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:44 pm
by crust
Recently I suggested that the players on this website should form an International Hnefatafl Society (working title), and this idea was supported by several other players. Very loosely, this group would aim to promote the game of hnefatafl and bring it to a wider public, while also encouraging the international community of hnefatafl players which already exists thanks to Aage Nielsen’s website. Such a society could also act as a resource for people in related fields such as historical research or re-enactment, who want to know more about hnefatafl. We could present demonstrations or organise tournaments, or put people in touch with those who can. There are several historical festivals such as Spectaculum in Germany (http://www.spectaculum.de/) which would welcome someone with some expertise to introduce the game and maybe run a tournament. I did this in Yorkshire, UK, and the hnefatafl was a very popular part of the Viking festival there, and I know Adam has had similar experience in Norway. We could also have an online newsletter, with reports of hnefatafl-related news, game analysis, and of course a “hnefatafl problem” like the chess problems published in newspapers.

There are two organisations dedicated to hnefatafl that I know of, the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel (which runs the World Quickplay Hnefatafl Championship) and the Tafl Gild (yahoo discussion group). The FHP did a lot of work testing out various rule-sets before settling on the one we know as “the Fetlar rules”, and started the World Quickplay Championships in 2008. (more info here: http://www.fetlar.org/hnefatafl-world-championship ) As you may know, the championship was cancelled this year because of the serious illness of the organiser, Peter Kelly. I wish him a speedy recovery! At this stage, it is not clear how active the other members of the FHP are, but it seems likely that the championship will be back in 2012. The Tafl Gild (http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/taflgild/) has recently moved onto Facebook, where I have slightly lost track of it, but I have no doubt it is still out there, with its scholarly debates on the historical aspects of tafl games. It would not be the intention of any society based here to replace any function of either of these two organisations. Indeed, friendly links with both should be sought.

This is not any kind of manifesto, however if we do proceed, I think we should have some statement of our aims, and some ideas of how to go about achieving them. At the moment, all I’m asking for is reactions, ideas, suggestions and responses. If there is not enough interest at the moment, or it turns out to be a bad idea for some reason, that’s o.k.! Nobody is going to be upset. Personally, I think the excitement generated by the recent internet tournament, and the incredibly high standard of play on show, are things we can build on. It would be good to keep up the momentum, and see eventually a real renaissance of hnefatafl, a game which does not deserve its present obscurity. I hope that this proposed hnefatafl society will in time come to be recognised as having some sort of official status, for instance, if someone runs a hnefatafl tournament in their home town, they could say it was done under the auspices of the International Hnefatafl Society, with links to similar tournaments in other towns… who knows, we may even get to the stage of having national teams, and a tournament that players would be prepared to travel great distances to participate in. Until that great day, we are lucky to have our internet community at aagenielsen.dk – greetings to you all!

Tim Millar a.k.a. "crust"

Re: World Tafl Federation

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:38 pm
by Adam
I rather like the idea of aping the FA, being that our situation is rather like that of football in the 1800s. What about The NA, The Nefatavl Association (to use the danish spelling for hnefatafl), or IHA, the international hnefatafl association? Association has a more official quality than society. And I agree that we should draft our common goals, and extend friendly links to the Fetlar panel and the Taflgild.

Re: World Tafl Federation

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:38 pm
by Kratzer
IHA looks and sounds good.

I'm agreeing with Tim that the best chance to promote Tafl is in the right atmosphere - medieval markets and similar events. Maybe a Tafl Association also would be a signal for the oversaturated game market to produce some more Tafl games. This is necessary because in Germany for example it's really difficult to get a Tafl board. Without knowing it I bought mine from a clandestine nazi-shop which misuses nordic objects and symbols as usual. I regret that a lot, but it just shows that there is a deficiency. I'm not willing to throw my board away anyway (if "board" is the right word for this thin piece of paperboard), because it's the best one I could get here.

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:34 am
by crust
Thank you for your contributions - keep going! Any bright ideas welcome. In the mean time, here is a bit of blurb about societies/associations/organisations:

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, an association is "an organization of persons having a common interest," whereas a society is "an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs or profession."

Societies

According to Collier's Encyclopedia, societies are predominantly social in nature. Membership in many secret organizations, for example, depends upon factors such as "military or civic virtues, wealth and status, clan affiliation, outstanding accomplishments, or a particular religious experience." Membership may also be determined by birth or certain rituals. The length of the membership may either be for life, renewed by recurrent contributions or limited to a fixed period of time. Some examples include the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of Moose, American Legion, Phi Beta Kappa and Freemasonry (Masons).

Associations

Associations are not predominantly social in nature, but like societies, they too determine membership based upon certain criteria such as shared education, training, political affiliation, interests and/or goals. However, membership in associations is never considered a birthright. Some examples of associations include the American Library Association, American Association of Retired Persons, National Endowment for the Arts, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, American Psychological Association, Educational Association of America and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Organizations

According to Webster's, an organization is "a body of persons organized for some specific purpose, as a club, union or society." Organizations include both societies and associations, but they can also exist independently. Collier's says that although organizations determine membership based upon shared commonalities, they are usually professional, religious or ethical in nature. Some examples include the United Auto Workers, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Council of the Churches of Christ, League of Women Voters and Girl Scouts of America.

Read more: The Difference Between Associations & Societies
| eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_6917027_diffe ... z1VkRTkmPZ

I think either "association" or "society" would serve us well, but I tend to agree with adam that "association" has a more serious ring to it, and might be the better option.
Greetings all,
crust

p.s. what the hell is the "Loyal Order of Moose"?

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:24 am
by crust
Re: loyal order of moose - has this got anything to do with Rocky and Bullwinkle?
Re: loyal order of hnefatafl - Let's adopt "International Hnefatafl Association" for now. Although if we were called "World Tafl Forum" our initials would be WTF? I will try and get some proposals together which we can vote on.
Fare well
crust

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:56 pm
by Adam
WTF. Genius. Laughed Out Loud. While were at it, can we decide how to spell hnefatafl/hnefetafl? For what its worth, the most convincing argument I've heard for the nordic origin of the name is neve (fist) tavle (board) - interestingly table is 'bord' in modern norwegian while board is 'tavle' - go figure). Fistboard. What a great literal translation for a game that is all about punching holes through walls. Quite where the silent 'h' comes from I don't know.

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:33 pm
by crust
Actually, I'm seriously quite liking "World Tafl Forum" - it's less of a mouthful than "international hnefatafl association" - and I'm imagining a heraldic crest, with a shield bearing 13 white dots arranged in a diamond shape, with axes round it, emblazoned with the letters W.T.F. Could be nice!

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:18 pm
by Kratzer
Adam wrote:While were at it, can we decide how to spell hnefatafl/hnefetafl? For what its worth, the most convincing argument I've heard for the nordic origin of the name is neve (fist) tavle (board) - interestingly table is 'bord' in modern norwegian while board is 'tavle' - go figure). Fistboard. What a great literal translation for a game that is all about punching holes through walls. Quite where the silent 'h' comes from I don't know.
To come back to that point: So you would prefer nevetavle? In Germany the most "popular" variant is hnefatafl for sure.

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:52 pm
by Hagbard
Roderich wrote:In Germany the most "popular" variant is hnefatafl for sure.
In Denmark I know that by 1993 the game was called hnefatafl. But in recent years the museum shops changed the name on their boxes to "Nefatavl". I suspect they invented this new, more ordinary spelling more to favour their sales in the shops than for any professional reason.

Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:06 pm
by Kratzer
Would be very helpful to have a ethymological analysis of the word by an expert in nordic languages (which I am not). I sometimes wonder why the 'h' at the beginning ... are there nordic languages who do actually pronounce that consonant in any way? As long as we don't know it better, I would propose to keep "Hnefatafl", if our nordic friends agree, who should have the best feeling for old germanic words.