The Imaginary Games

Usually before major sporting events the television broadcaster will have a dry run with the directors commentators and camera crew the day before just to make sure everyone knows how everything is going to work when the vent goes live.

Word has reached Not the Footy Show that at the Rio Olympics this was all a little bit different from normal at the Olympic Hockey Centre.

Apparently it had been requested that two teams play a match so that they could test replays, penalty corners, video referrals and the like. Usually at most tournaments the local organisers will rope in two local teams to play. Hockey however is not a big sport in Brazil and this was not so easy. So they roped in 22 of the volunteers working at the games. Many coming from different countries. We hear that as many as seven different countries were represented.

Everything is looking very positive. The mock broadcast is launched, the players run out not to the pitch to line up for the national anthems as the real players would in a few days time.

This is when the alarm bells go off in the production centre. None of the players have hockey sticks. It then transpires that nearly all of those who have been roped in to play this mock game have never played the sport in their lives. Their ages ranging from 17-70.

With time a real issue the only option was to have these willing volunteers run around on the pitch pretending that they have sticks in their hand, chasing an imaginary ball, playing a game they have hardly ever seen and have absolutely no understanding off.

It must have made it very hard for the production crew and whether it was a help only they can say. It would have been interesting to hear how the ‘dry run’ in other events went and whether they had similar problems. Certainly you can conjure up some interesting situations: swimming with no water, Javelin with no Javelin, etc. The virtual Games!

The Imaginary Games
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