Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Entrants 1967: Belgium (B) • Switzerland (CH) • West Germany (D) •
France (F) • Great Britain (GB) • Italy (I) 

Presenters of International Heats / Commentators:
Paule Herreman and Jean-Claude Mennessier (RTB - B)
Georges Kleinmann (SSR - CH)
Jan Hiermeyer (SRG - CH)
Mascia Cantoni (TSI - CH)
Josef Avrach, Tim Elstner, Camillo Felgen and Otto Ernst Rock (ARD-WDR - D)
Simone Garnier and Guy Lux (ORTF - F)
MacDonald Hobley and David Vine (BBC - GB)
Giulio Marchetti, Renata Mauro and Enzo Tortora (RAI - I)

International Referees:
Gennaro Olivieri
Guido Pancaldi

Collaborator / Assistant Referee:
André Lange

Results Collator:
Cesare Vampa

National Referees:
Marcel LeFavre (B)
Hans Jenne (CH)
Hans Ebersberger, Hubert Gunsin, Kurt Hauser, Helmut Konrad,
Karl Niermeyer, Jan Riddes and Peter Treischel (D)
Philippe Meiringe and Bernard Stollere (F)
Eddie Waring (GB)
Livio Orvani (I)

Programme Assistants (BBC):
Cecil Korer, Desmond Sissons and Ken Wrench

National Producers:
Pierre Chevreuille, André Lange and Diane Lange (RTB - B)
Vittorio Barino (SSR-SRG-TSI - CH)
Marita Theile (ARD-WDR - D)
Guy Lux, Jean-Louis Marest and Claude Savarit (ORTF - D)
Barney Colehan (BBC - GB)
Luciano Vecchi (RAI - I)

National Directors:
Michel Rochat (RTB - B)
Marco Blaser (SSR-SRG-TSI - CH)
Günther Hassert (ARD-WDR - D)
Roger Pradines (ORTF - F)
Philip S. Gilbert (BBC - GB)
Pierre Turchetti (RAI - I)

Produced by RTB (B), SSR-SRG-TSI (CH), ARD-WDR (D),
ORTF (F), BBC North West (GB), RAI (I)
 

Key:
International Heats
 
l = Qualified for International Final / l = Heat Winner (Silver Trophy)
International Final
l = Gold Trophy   l = Silver Trophy   l = Bronze Trophy

DST = Daylight Saving Time
(ONLY Great Britain and Italy observed DST)

F

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 1

Event Staged: Wednesday 14th June 1967
Venue: Château de Vincennes, Paris, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 14th June 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 14th June 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 14th June 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 14th June 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 14th June 1967, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Roland Nungesser, Mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne

Theme: The French 'Joie de Vivre'

Teams: Dinant (B) v. Martigny (CH) v. Eutin (D) v.
Nogent-sur-Marne (F) v. Bridlington (GB) v. Caserta (I)

Team Members included:
Martigny (CH) - Isabelle Genau;
Eutin (D) - Peter Hostheifer (Team Captain), Margret Doza, Elke Göring, Rolf Heimerstorf, Glentan Kemeite, Peter Kermann, Heinz Micheyer, Winfried Rüstopf, Rudiger Schiermacher;
Nogent-sur-Marne (F) - Eveline Berntine.

Games: Roller-Skating Removals, Bulls and the Boxes, The Springboard Waiters (Jeu Divisée), Swinging the Cable-Cars, Acrobatic Motor-Cyclists, Corking the Bottles, The Moving Carpet, The Excavator Pullers, Bulls and Balloons and The Carnival Floats (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 JD 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 1 5 5 10 1 4 6 4 3 4

CH

3

6

6

5

12

4

6

3

4

2

D

2

1

5

1

4

6

6

10

6

3

F

5

5

5

6

2

12

6

6

6

1

GB

4

3

1

5

6

1

6

2

1

5

I 6 1 5 2 10 4 6 1 3 6
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 6 11 21 22 26 32 36 39 43

CH

3

9

15

20

32

36

42

45

49

51

D

2

3

8

9

13

19

25

35

41

44

F

5

10

15

21

23

35

41

47

53

54

GB

4

7

8

13

19

20

26

28

29

34

I 6 7 12 14 24 28 34 35 38 44

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
3rd
5th
6th

 F • Nogent-sur-Marne l l
 CH • Martigny
l
 I • Caserta
 D • Eutin
 B • Dinant
 GB • Bridlington

54
51
44
44
43
34

The Host Town

Vincennes, Paris, France

Vincennes is a suburb of Paris as is located in the east of the city in the Val-de-Marne département, some 6.7km (4.2mi) from the centre. Despite its location in the city, it is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe.

 

An aerial view of Vincennes and its grandiose château

 

The suburb is famous for its château and its park, the Bois de Vincennes, which houses the only zoological gardens in Paris. A porcelain manufactory was established in the old royal château 1740, specialising in imitations of Meissen porcelain and naturalistic flowers. The factory continued for just 16 years, when in 1756 the production was transferred to new premises at Sévres in the south-west of Paris, which instigated the start of the world-famous Sévres porcelain. The suburb also features a large military fort which is today houses various army services. The fort and the adjoining plain known as the Polygon has historically been an important proving ground for French armaments.

The Venue

Château de Vincennes

The games at this heat were staged at the beautiful 14th and 17th century Château de Vincennes. With its origins as a hunting lodge, it was constructed around 1150 for Louis VII (1120-1180) in the local forest. In the 13th century a more substantial manor was built by Philip II (1165-1223), with the work continued by Louis IX (1214-1270). Despite its picturesque arboreal location, it was considered by many as a grim fortress, but it was still the scene of two Royal marriages and the birth of three future French Kings - Louis X (1316), Phillippe V (1322) and Charles IV (1328). To strengthen the site, the château was greatly enlarged in the 14th century replacing the earlier site.
 

The magnificent donjon (castle keep) of the Château of Vincennes

 

Work on a 52m (170ft 7ins) high donjon tower (castle keep), the tallest medieval structure of Europe, was started by Philip VI (1293-1350) around 1337, with the grand rectangular circuit of walls being completed by the House of Valois (1328-1589) about two generations later at the start of the 15th century. The donjon was used as a royal residence, with the library and personal study of Charles V (1338-1380) known to have been held in its buildings. More extension work was started in the 17th century, when architect Louis Le Vau (1612-1670) built a pair of isolated ranges mirroring one another across a parterre (a formal garden on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and gravel paths arranged to form a symmetrical pattern) to one side of the keep for Louis XIV (1638-1713). The most famous prisoner of the château was Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (1740-1812), who was imprisoned in the dungeons from 1777 until February 1784, when the fortress closed and he was transferred to the Bastille.

The Games in Detail

Jeu Divisée, Part 1 - The Springboard Waiters

The games began with a trial idea, one which was to be introduced in the 1968 series, the Jeu Divisée. The concept was to play this game in-between others, with the result being announced during the programme following the final round. This was somewhat seen as the forerunner of the Jeu Intermédiaire (which in turn became the Fil Rouge).

The idea of the Jeu Divisée - 'The Springboard Waiters' - in this heat, was for a boy dressed as a waiter carrying a tray with a jug, a bottle and two glasses, to run up to a springboard and leap over a high jump pole. The pole was set at a height of 1.6m which was raised as the game progressed, and if a competitor failed to make it on his first attempt, he was given a second try. Whilst all the other competitors cleared the pole on the first round, the British competitor failed on both attempts, and the team were instantly guaranteed a score of 1pt. Fortunately, with the scoring of this game announced later in the programme, British viewers were saved their blushes from being deemed as having scored 1pt on the first game of their very first appearance in Jeux Sans Frontières!


Game 1 - Roller-Skating Removals

The first of the main games - 'Roller-Skating Removals' - involved male and female competitors on roller-skates. On the whistle, the male participants had to carry two large 1m high rectangular boxes, marked with the idents of the countries, around an ovate-shaped course, followed closely behind by their female team-mates. If any of the boxes fell to the ground the females picked them up and placed them back on top. The game was very simple and only required the teams to make one circumnavigation of the course. The French looked like they were going to win the first game on home soil, but came a cropper at the second turn, which allowed the Italians through to win the game in just 40 seconds. The historical first 6pts in Jeux Sans Frontières were awarded to Italy, with France following a quick recovery after their fall being awarded 5pts. Great Britain crossed the finishing line in third place picking up 4pts (the country’s first-ever points). These were followed home by the Swiss, who were also scoring their first-ever points in the programme (3pts), the West Germans (2pts) and the Belgians (1pt).


Jeu Divisée, Part 2 - The Springboard Waiters

Following on this game, the second run of the Jeu Divisée was played, with the height of the pole being raised to 1.8m. All the remaining five teams again achieved the clearance.


Game 2 - Bulls and the Boxes

The second of the main games - ‘Bulls and the Boxes’ - involved six competitors enclosed in a bull-ring arena carrying two large boxes similar to those used in the previous game. When the bull was released, the competitors had to run from one end of the course to the other, avoiding the bull. This had to be repeated as many times as possible in limit time. When the scores were declared, the Swiss were deemed to have crossed the ring 11 times and were awarded the 6pts, whilst the Belgians tied with the French with 10 crossings and picked up 5pts each. With Great Britain receiving 3pts for 8 crossings, it would have appeared that the West Germans and the Italians would both be awarded 2pts each for making 6 crossings. However, senior referee Gennaro Olivieri only awarded them 1pt each with no explanation. This was somewhat of a strange result, because two teams or more should only be awarded 1pt each if they had not been able to achieve any score at all during the game (the first example of this rule can be seen in the fifth game of the following heat). After the points were awarded, Gennaro had to repeat the scores again as the scoreboard operators had trouble with their addition.

Although there was some confusion on the scoreboard, the overall scores after the game saw France in 1st place with 10pts, Switzerland in 2nd place with 9pts, Great Britain and Italy tied in 3rd place with 7pts, Belgium in 5th place with 6pts and West Germany trailing in 6th place with just 3pts.


Jeu Divisée, Part 3 - The Springboard Waiters

After this game, the third and final run of the Jeu Divisée was played, with the bar being raised to 1.9m. With all the competitors achieving this height and the next of 2m, the bar was raised to 2.1m. All five competitors failed to clear the bar on their first attempt, but whilst four of the competitors failed on their second attempt, the Swiss competitor was the only one who successfully cleared the pole. The points were then awarded and with Switzerland winning the game outright - it was their second win of the night and meant they picked up another 6pts. The remaining teams, with the exception of Great Britain, all tied for 2nd place and were awarded 5pts each, whilst the British had to be content with a lowly 1pt. These results had enabled the Swiss to close the gap on the French and the two teams were now tied in 1st place with 15pts each. Italy were lying in 3rd place with 12pts closely followed by Belgium on 11pts. West Germany and Great Britain found themselves in joint 5th place with just 8pts each. However, the scoreboard operators seemed to have trouble with the concept of positioning when there was a tied placing, and had Italy in 2nd place, Belgium in 3rd place with West Germany and Great Britain in joint 4th place!


Game 3 - Swinging the Cable Cars

The third game of the night - 'Swinging the Cable-Cars' - witnessed the Belgian team presenting the first-ever Joker to be played in the programme, which would double the points scored on the game by the team and after 138 competitive games (not including the ‘academic’ Game of Questions), was the first in Jeux Sans Frontières ever to be played solely by female competitors! The game itself centred round some fairground elevator cages which were attached at their base to the end of an axis which was pivoted in the centre to rotating arm. Inside each cage was a female competitor who had to make the cage revolve around the axis using kinetic energy and pure strength. On the whistle, the competitors were given a helping hand by a team-mate to get in motion, and then it was just a matter of positioning oneself in the right manner for the upward and downward revolutions. The French, the British and the Italians played in the first heat and it was dominated by the home team player who completed 30 revolutions in 1min 30secs, with the British girl achieving a score of 26, whilst the Italian girl could only notch up 15 revolutions. The second heat saw the three remaining countries competing and whilst the West Germany girl had a torrid time in moving her elevator cage, only completing 6 revolutions, the Belgian and Swiss girls both achieved 26 revolutions each. With France winning the game and being awarded 6pts, three teams - Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain - finished the game in 2nd place scoring 5pts each (with Belgium’s score being doubled on the Joker). The Italians finished in 5th place scoring 2pts whilst the West Germans finished in 6th place (their second of the night) and were awarded just 1pt.

The overall scores now saw Belgium and France tied for 1st place with 21pts each, closely followed by the Swiss on 20pts. The three other competitors appeared to be losing ground on their rivals with Italy in 4th place with 14pts, Great Britain in 5th place with 13pts and the West German team trailing in 6th place on just 9pts.


Game 4 - Acrobatic Motor-Cyclists

Before the start of the fourth game - 'Acrobatic Motor-Cyclists' - there was a display by the CRS (The Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) motorbike acrobatic squad. The CRS are the control force and general reserve of the French National Police. After inception in December 1944, they were reorganised in 1948 when they were given the task of crowd control (rather than riot control) and the re-establishment of order. The game in some way mirrored the display itself and involved team members on motorcycles having two attempts to make Evel Knievel-style jumps up an incline to achieve the greatest length. Three countries produced their Jokers on this game, and although it finished very close with all teams achieving distances of between 17-19m, Switzerland (playing their Joker) scored a maximum 12pts with a length of 18.95m, and with it became the first team ever to win their Joker and score 12pts in Jeux Sans Frontières history. Italy, also playing their Joker, picked up 10pts for finishing in 2nd place, whilst the West Germans just pipped Great Britain (the third team playing their Joker) for 3rd place and France and Belgium finished in 5th and 6th places, respectively.

With all the points awarded, the scoreboard showed that a considerable gap had opened up with Switzerland leading with 32pts, followed by Italy on 24pts, France on 23pts and Belgium on 22pts. The final two places were being held by Great Britain on 19pts and West Germany on 13pts.


Game 5 - Corking the Bottles

The fifth game - ‘Corking the Bottles’ - utilised a Poclain excavator which was produced by the family-company of the same name founded by Georges Bataille in France in the 1930s. For several decades, the company was the leader in the French and world-markets, thanks in the main to a revolutionary hydraulic motor. However, the family were forced to sell the company in the mid-Seventies, but retained the hydraulics division. The game itself involved six competitors having to try and cork as many bottles as they could in 30 seconds, by using the excavator’s bucket. They obviously had to avoid being too heavy-handed or playing the game too fast, so as not to smash the bottles when pushing the corks in. The French were confident enough to play their Joker on this game and their decision was vindicated when the team corked three bottles and finished in joint 1st place with the West Germans and scored 12pts. Three other teams, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, corked two bottles and scored 4pts each, whilst Great Britain, who had participated first, could only manage to cork one bottle and were awarded just 1pt.

The points were updated on the scoreboard and France had closed the gap opened up by Switzerland in the previous game to just 1pt. Switzerland were now leading on 36pts with France in 2nd place on 35pts. Italy had dropped to 3rd place with 28pts whilst the Belgians retained 4th place with 26pts. Joint victory for West Germany on this game, saw them close the 6pt gap on Great Britain to just 1pt, with the British on 20pts and the West Germans on 19pts. The excavators used in this game were reutilised later in this competition in the seventh game.


Game 6 - The Moving Carpet

The idea of the sixth game - ‘The Moving Carpet’ - was for a competitor from each team to walk along a moving carpet carrying a large gateau. Whilst walking along the carpet, which was moving in alternating directions throughout the course, the competitors had to step over elasticated wires. After completing the course in one direction, they had to return to the start in the same method. Each competitor was only given 20 seconds to complete each run of the course. However, if the time was exceeded in either direction, the gateau fell out of his hand or the competitor stepped down from the conveyor belt anywhere along its length, the game was halted. Although none of the competitors completed the course, and as the ‘new-look’ programme was only in its first heat, each team were fortunate when Gennaro Olivieri - referred to as ‘Mr Olivieri’ by West German presenter Tim Elstner - awarded all of them 6pts each. Under future Jeux Sans Frontières rules, all teams that were unable to score anything or complete part of the required course would be automatically awarded 1pt each. This was the only time that all competing teams scored maximum points on the same game. With the result of this game making no change to the positions of the teams, the programme moved onto the seventh game.


Game 7 - The Excavator Pullers

The seventh game - 'The Excavator Pullers' - saw the appearance of the final Joker from West Germany as well as the excavators used earlier in the sixth game. However, on this occasion instead of being mechanically moved, they had to be pulled by six competitors over a 30m planked obstacle course in a tug-o-war fashion. The finishing time of each team was taken after the front wheels of the excavator had passed over the last of the three wooden planks. The game was played in three heats of two teams. The first two teams which competed were Belgium who finished the course in 38 seconds and Switzerland who finished in 39 seconds. France and Great Britain competed in the second heat and finished the course in 32 seconds and 40 seconds, respectively. The final heat saw West Germany competing against the Italians, and although they both set off at a steady speed, the West Germans, playing their Joker, finished the course in 33 seconds, just 1 second behind the French time, whilst the Italians struggled negotiating the final plank and were unable to complete the game.

With France winning their fourth game, their score had moved them into 1st place with 47pts, whilst Switzerland dropped to 2nd place with 45pts. The Belgians had now moved up to 3rd place with 36pts and West Germany and Italy stood in joint 4th place with 35pts each. The poor performance of the British team continued and they were now 7pts adrift from their closest rival on just 28pts.


Game 8 - Bulls and Balloons

The eighth game - 'Bulls and Balloons' - like the second, involved the use of a bull and was played inside the bull-ring shaped arena. The idea was for male competitors to run to one end of a course and each collect a very large flour-filled balloon hanging from above, and carry it back to the start in order to burst it on a large spike which was overhanging the arena. This was then repeated until the time limit of three minutes and had to be completed whilst avoiding the bull, which was loose in the arena. All teams competed together and the running scores for the teams on the game were continually updated on boards above their relevant spikes. At the end of the game, the West Germans and the French had both burst 8 balloons and jointly won it and scored 6pts each. Switzerland finished in 3rd place with 6 balloons burst and scored 4pts with both Belgium and Italy finishing in 4th place scoring 3pts each for bursting 5 balloons. Great Britain had once again finished in 6th place (their third of the night) and this did nothing to help them close the gap between them and their nearest rivals.

The scoreboard was updated and the French had retained the lead with 53pts and had now opened a 4pt gap over their nearest rivals, the Swiss, who had 49pts. West Germany had regained their 3rd place with 41pts, whilst Belgium had dropped back to 4th place on 39pts, and Italy closely followed in 5th place on 38pts. With Great Britain finishing last on this game, and already 7pts adrift before its start, they were now 9pts behind on 29pts and destined not only to finish the competition in last place, but to give Great Britain their first last place on their first outing.


Jeu Handicap - The Carnival Floats

The final game - 'The Carnival Floats' - was the Jeu Handicap. The game was very poorly thought out and, which for no explained reason, was introduced over the programme’s opening theme music. Teams started the game in the reverse order as to their standings on the scoreboard, and the idea was to give the lower placed teams a slight advantage over the leaders, but with some chance of the late starters to overtake them. However, this game was designed in such a way that all the teams (apart from Italy who craftily sneaked ahead of the British) were destined to finish in the exact positions at the end of the game as at the start. The reason for this was that the course was very small and the vehicles that were used, although small themselves, were adorned with large carnival float designs, which made it virtually impossible for them to pass each other. This resulted in Italy (whose float represented a Middle Ages castle) scoring 6pts, Great Britain (a grand piano with table lamp) 5pts, Belgium (a four-poster bed) 4pts, West Germany (a gramophone) 3pts, Switzerland (a wood-working plane) 2pts and the French (a landscaped garden with statue) ending the competition with just 1pt. However, this had no real effect on the overall scores and the French became the first winners of the ‘new-look’ Jeux Sans Frontières with 54pts.

Additional Information

After the opening credits of this heat, viewers were treated to the normal introduction to the heat’s venue, the beautiful Château de Vincennes in the heart of Paris. They were then subjected to a four minute introduction of the commentators and teams of the competing countries, whilst listening to the show’s theme music over and over again. Referee Gennaro Olivieri then proceeded to introduce the countries again whilst each of the teams individually called a rehearsed shout or cry pertaining to their individual country.

This opening heat of the 1967 series of Jeux Sans Frontières was somewhat of a sham. After five years of Intervilles, three years of Interneige and the two previous years of Jeux Sans Frontières being contested by just two teams, it took some adjustment for the referees, games designers and scoreboard operators to work with the logistics associated with having six competing teams. On several occasions, points were not awarded and Gennaro Olivieri had to re-stress the points awarded to have the scoreboard updated. This was also the case with updating of the current placings, with one example having been seen above following the result of the Jeu Divisée.

There were some early attempts to super-impose the scoreboard onto the live crowd in this heat which didn’t quite go to plan. French TV ORTF had simply faded two camera shots together to give the impression of this, but the pictures were hard to separate from each other. However, it was ORTF which achieved the first real super-imposed pictures some six years later at the International Final in Paris in 1973.

A point to note regarding the eighth game - 'Bulls and Balloons' - was that an error by the main referee went unnoticed by everyone after this game. The British team clearly came last on the game bursting just four balloons and were destined to be awarded 1pt. However, after announcing the finishing scores of the game, there was some confusion which resulted in referee Gennaro Olivieri having to run through the whole rigmarole once again. In his haste on the second announcement, he inadvertently made a rare error by announcing that the British team had scored 2pts, despite the fact that he had already awarded 2 x 3pts to the Belgians and Italians who had both finished in joint 4th place. The scoreboard operators added the incorrect 2pts and this error went unnoticed by all, and although the scoreboard showed the score as 30pts, the correct score for the British team at the time was 29pts (4pts, 3pts, 1pt, 5pts, 6pts, 1pt, 6pts, 2pts and 1pt). This error was still not picked up on, even after their final game’s score of 5pts was added, and Great Britain were shown as having scored 35pts, when clearly they had scored a total of just 34pts! The scoreboard image above has been amended to take this into account.

There was a rare insight into the West German Domestic series before the final game. At the time of the original broadcast in 1967, very little was known about the series outside of West Germany and other teutophonic-speaking countries. However, commentator Camillo Felgen explained to his viewers before the start of the game, that unlike the one in the national programme, the final game in the International series did not carry double points.

The British team of Bridlington was comprised of twenty-three men and just three women.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

B

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 2

Event Staged: Wednesday 28th June 1967
Venue: Rue de Science et Place de Belgique (Science Road and Belgium Square),
Parc des Expositions / Park van Expositie (Exhibition Park),
Heysel/Heizel, Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgium

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
RTB (B):
Wednesday 28th June 1967, 8.55-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 28th June 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 28th June 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 28th June 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 28th June 1967, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Jean-Claude Mennessier

Theme: Not War, But Peace

Teams: Ciney (B) v. Lugano (CH) v. Bardenberg (D) v.
Les Sables d’Olonne (F) v. Lytham St. Annes (GB) v. Orvieto (I)

Team Members included:
Bardenberg (D) - Stefan Bulsch, Peter Claßen, Manfred Eschweiler, Willi Simons and Kristel Woch.

Games: The Big Bang (Abandoned), The Escape Tunnel, The Torpedoes, The Waiting Game, The Pirates, The Gondoliers, The Screwing Bridge, Harvesting the Potatoes, Astronaut Hoop-la and The Bottle Carriers (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B Game void 2 3 6 4 12 6 5 5 6

CH

1

8

2

1

5

4

4

3

5

D

3

12

6

5

5

5

6

6

4

F

12

2

4

1

2

1

1

1

1

GB

8

5

2

3

3

4

3

4

3

I 6 1 4 12 2 2 1 3 2
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 0 2 5 11 15 27 33 38 43 49

CH

0

1

9

11

12

17

21

25

28

33

D

0

3

15

21

26

31

36

42

48

52

F

0

12

14

18

19

21

22

23

24

25

GB

0

8

13

15

18

21

25

28

32

35

I 0 6 7 11 23 25 27 28 31 33

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
4th
6th

 D • Bardenberg l l
 B • Ciney
 GB • Lytham St. Annes
 CH • Lugano
 I • Orvieto
 F • Les Sables d’Olonne

52
49
35
33
33
25

The Host Town

Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgium

Heysel / Heizel, despite being located some 6km (3.72mi) from the city centre, is still part of the central Bruxelles Ville / Stad Brussel (City of Brussels) municipality.

 

Aerial view of the Heysel Exhibition Park

 

Due to its ‘c’ shape, the municipality encompasses neighbouring municipalities of Evere, Schaerbeek / Schaarbeek and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode / Sint Joost-ten-Node in its central curve.

The Venue

Heysel / Heizel Exhibition Park

The games at this heat were staged at the Heysel Exhibition Park, located in the very north of Brussels between the Laeken and Stuyvenburg estates, and which was originally the site for two of the World’s Fairs held in the city in 1935 and 1958. The fairs were locally known as the Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles / Brusselse Wereldtentoonstelling (Brussels Universal and International Exhibition) and as Expo ’35 and Expo ’58 worldwide, with the latter being the fifth and final one that was held in the country. Located in the park are two structures that were specifically commissioned for each of the fairs. The first of these is the Palais du Centenaire (Centenary Palace) which was designed by architect Joseph van Neck (1880-1959), and is the only remaining building from the 1935 fair. Today, it is still used for the purpose of trade fairs, and with a floor area of 14,000 square metres it can also be utilised for much larger exhibitions and events, such as the annual Eurovision Song Contest which was staged there in 1987.
 

The Centenary Palace, Heysel Exhibition Park

 

However, the most impressive monument in the park is the Atomium, which was designed by André Waterkeyn (1917-2005), a Belgian engineer born in Wimbledon, London and Les Architects Polak, an architectural company based in Etterbeek. Built for the 1958 exhibition, it stands at 102m high (335ft), and is comprised of nine interconnected 18m (59ft) diameter steel spheres, which as a whole is representative of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Visitors to the Atomium are whisked to the top sphere, which provides them with a panoramic view of the whole of the city, by a glass-roofed elevator travelling at a speed of 5m (16ft 5ins) per sec (which in 1958 was very fast and advanced for its time). Some of the interconnecting tubes along the 12 edges of the cube-shaped crystal and those to all eight vertices to its centre contain escalators and stairwells to enable visitors to view exhibits on the lower levels. However, three of the uppermost spheres have never been open to the public for safety reasons as they lack vertical support. In 2004, some 46 years after being constructed, the Atomium was closed to the public for a major overhaul, which saw the original aluminium sheets on the spheres replaced with shining stainless steel. The monument was reopened on Saturday 18th February 2006 after the 18-month makeover.

The majority of the games were played in the artificial lake and on the Rue de la Science, both of which are sited directly in front of the Centenary Palace. Those that were not, were played out on the Belgiëplein, a small roadway that lies adjacent to the other two. The theme for this heat centred round war and conflict, although set in more peaceful times, and was a battle-royale between the Belgians and the West Germans.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Big Bang (Abandoned)

The heat, like its predecessor, got off to a bad start and was plagued with errors and controversy throughout. The first game - ‘The Big Bang’ - was abandoned, as none of the competitors were able to complete the game because of its format. The idea of the game was that a male competitor from each team would climb to the top of a step-ladder with a large beach ball and then slide down the other side. After securing the ball in a holder, he then had to use a car tyre pump to inflate a rubber tyre which was being compressed by a large weight. However, after every 20 seconds, Gennaro Olivieri sounded an alarm which signalled that the competitors had to stop pumping and repeat the course over the ladder with the ball. This was supposed to have continued until the heavy weights were lifted up by the tyre’s pressure to make contact with an electrical circuit to set off a fire-cracker. This would then create an explosion which was meant to represent a blast from a POW camp which would allow the prisoners to escape. However, after three minutes of play, most of the competitors had hardly made any progress in inflating their tyres, as it was taking almost as long as the 20 seconds to repeat the game and were therefore not getting much chance to use the tyre pump. Gennaro eventually blew the whistle and explained that no points would be awarded and they would move on to the next game. The scoreboard even showed all the teams with zero points!


Game 2 - The Escape Tunnel

Following on from this, the second game - 'The Escape Tunnel' - was to witness some very unusual, and in some ways, unfair incidents. The game represented an escape tunnel for prisoners and, being Jeux Sans Frontières, was simply a line of nine white tyres hanging from a frame at different heights above the ground. Played in three heats of two, it involved two competitors from each team manacled together at their wrists having to make their way through the tyres to the opposite end of the course. On reaching their goal, they then had to release themselves from their manacles with a key which was waiting for them, and then both return to the start via the same route, albeit this time unfettered. After completing the task each of the two competitors had to burst a balloon to stop the clock. The first heat saw Belgium competing against Switzerland and their finishing times were 1 minute 4 seconds and 1 minute 10 seconds respectively, which at first look appeared to be reasonably fast times. Before the second heat between Great Britain and Italy, the British team manager presented their Joker (which in later years would not be permitted once a game had started) and in a way deemed a little unfair, in as much as they had already borne witness to two teams playing and had had the advantage of judging their upcoming performance against those already played. The Italians set off at a fast pace and eventually won this heat in exactly 1 minute, whilst the British finished in 1 minute 2 seconds. Then, in an extraordinary twist, the French presented their Joker for play before the third heat, which gave them more of an advantage than even the British had acquired. Competing against the West Germans, the French made full use of the knowledge they had acquired from the first two heats and finished the game, like the Italians, in exactly 1 minute. The West Germans who appeared to have had a better technique on the return journey, could only muster a time of 1 minute 3 seconds. The game ended in a draw with the Italians picking up 6pts and the French taking the lead with 12pts having played their Joker. Great Britain sneaked into 2nd place on the master scoreboard, ahead of the Italians, after picking up 8pts with the Joker. The West Germans, in 4th place with 3pts, were ahead of home team Belgium in 5th place (with 2pts) and the Swiss in 6th place (1pt).


Game 3 - The Torpedoes

The third game - 'The Torpedoes' - saw the Swiss and West Germans play their Jokers and although the game was played in water, it had an unexpected end to it. On the whistle, six male competitors had to swim the 50m of the artificial lake in front of the Palais du Centenaire and on reaching the end, they had to board a pedalo which was shaped like an actual torpedo. They then had to lie on their stomachs and, using only their feet, had to turn paddles at the rear of the torpedo and race back to the start. On reaching the end, the torpedo tip set off a firecracker when it touched the pool wall, signifying the game’s completion. The West Germans and the British teams were neck and neck in the closing stages of the race, with the Bardenberg competitor touching home a split second ahead of Lytham St. Annes. West Germany, having played their Joker, were awarded 12pts, with Great Britain scoring 5pts. These two were followed home by Switzerland who were also playing the Joker (8pts), Belgium (3pts), France (2pts) and Italy finishing in the bottom with just 1pt.

With the master scoreboard updated it could be seen that the four teams who had played their Jokers were occupying the top four positions with West Germany in 1st place on 15pts, France in 2nd place (14pts), Great Britain in 3rd place (13pts) and Switzerland in 4th place (9pts). The Italians, with their Joker still to play, were not far behind in 5th place (7pts) and the Belgian team, somewhat disappointingly for the home crowd, were lying in 6th place with just 5pts.


Game 4 - The Waiting Game

The fourth game - 'The Waiting Game' - was played in two heats of three, and involved waiters on roller-skates carrying trays of glasses whilst negotiating a small obstacle course which included passing underneath hurdles. The first heat saw Belgium, West Germany and Italy competing against each other, and after the 1 minute 30 seconds of play, both the Belgian and West German waiters had successfully transported 17 glasses each, whilst the Italian had only managed 15 glasses. Like many games in this and the last two series of the programme, the on-site presenter gave the countdown to start rather than the referees. However, the second heat of this game (living up to its title) had to be restarted on two occasions following false starts, after Jean-Claude Menessier had given the game the go-ahead. On the first occasion, he began the countdown from 5 down to 1, but none of the teams were even at the start of the game by the time he had reached zero. On the second occasion, although the competitors were in their starting places, two of them did not hear him, and the game was stopped by Guido Pancaldi. By this time, the watching crowd was becoming agitated and boos and jeers of disapproval began ringing out around the arena, and whilst this seemed to appear somewhat frustrating for the Belgian presenter, the referees and touch-judges, it could be heard in the voice of West German commentator Camillo Felgen, that he saw the funny side to it. Fortunately for everyone concerned, on the third occasion all teams were in place and heard the whistle and the remaining three teams of Switzerland, France and Great Britain competed against each other. After the final whistle, France had collected 15 glasses, whilst Switzerland and Great Britain could only manage 14 glasses each.

With the points awarded, West Germany (6pts) were still leading with 21pts, France (4pts) were in 2nd place on 18pts and Great Britain (2pts) maintained 3rd place with 15pts. The three remaining teams from Belgium (6pts), Switzerland (2pts) and Italy (4pts) were all in 4th place with 11pts each.


Game 5 - The Pirates

The fifth game - 'The Pirates' - saw the question about the timing of teams playing their Jokers raised once again. When the game was almost ready to start, Gennaro began the normal countdown - 3, 2, and 1 - and just before he reached the point when he would blow the whistle, the Italian team produced their Joker. The countdown was stopped and its acceptance was acknowledged. Gennaro began the countdown again, and this time the game began without hindrance. The game involved six small rowing boats, which were attached at their sterns by an elasticated rope to the edge of the lake, and twelve pirates (two from each team). The idea was for the pirates to row as far as possible across the lake using skillets (frying pans) for oars until the rope attached to the boat hampered them from going further. They then had to attempt to collect balls that were floating in the water ahead of them whilst a team-mate at the other end of the lake could throw a normal length of rope to assist them with their progress. After collecting two balls they had to pull themselves back to the start with the elasticated rope, deposit the balls in a basket and then continue to repeat the game within the time limit of three minutes. However, after the first two balls had been collected it began to get more difficult for the pirates to reach the remaining balls and many found it tough to reach more than those collected on the first two runs. At the end of the game, Belgium, West Germany and Italy had all collected 4 balls each, Great Britain had collected 3 balls whilst Switzerland and France had failed to collect any balls. Italy had collected their 4 balls in a faster time than West Germany, who in turn had been quicker than Belgium. Italy (playing their Joker) were awarded 12pts, West Germany 5pts, Belgium 4pts and Great Britain picked up 3pts. The other two teams, Switzerland and France, having failed to score were jointly placed 6th and were awarded 1pt each.

The master scoreboard now showed that although the West Germans had maintained their lead with 26pts, the Italians had been promoted to 2nd place with 23pts having just won their Joker game. This had resulted in the French being demoted to 3rd place with 19pts and, likewise for Great Britain, dropping a place with 18pts. The Belgian team, like the two above them, found themselves demoted, dropping to 5th place with 15pts whilst the Swiss dropped two positions to 6th place with 12pts.


Game 6 - The Gondoliers

The sixth game - 'The Gondoliers' - was played over two minutes duration in two heats of three teams, and was to prove the most strenuous game of the night. The game involved small trolleys with podiums built onto the front and a row of three steep inclines. On the whistle, a box was placed on the front podium by a team-mate and the first competitor, who was standing on the trolley, pushed himself and the trolley up the incline by means of a gondolier’s pole until he reached the top. A second competitor then removed the box and placed it on his trolley and then made his way up his incline by the same method and this was repeated by a third competitor. On reaching the apex of the third incline, another team-mate removed the box and stacked it in a pile on a porter’s trolley at the end of the course. The game was played continuously throughout, rather than waiting for each box to reach the end of the course before repeating. If any boxes fell off the moving trolleys or a competitor placed a foot off the trolley and onto the incline, the competitor had to return to his starting position at the bottom of the incline and wait for his next box. West Germany, Great Britain and Italy competed against each other in the first heat and it ended with the West Germans transporting 10 boxes, whilst Great Britain had 9 boxes and Italy just 5 boxes. Before the start of the second heat, and having the advantage of watching the first heat, the Belgian team manager presented their Joker for play. Competing against the Swiss and the French, the Belgians stormed the game and surprised no-one after transporting 11 boxes. The Swiss equalled the West German score from the first heat and transported 10 boxes whilst the French, like the Italians, could only manage a total of 5 boxes. Two points to note from this game was that firstly, the porters’ trolleys used to stack the boxes on were not utilised in the second heat and the competitors simply stacked the boxes on the tarmac. The reason for this was that they were only used on the first heat so that the boxes could be speedily transported back to the start for the second heat! The second point was that the French were heavily penalised in this heat, and it may have been confusing as to the reason why the touch-judge at the end of the course was seen removing boxes from their stack throughout the game. Eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed that the final gondolier could be seen back-stepping on to the incline from the trolley before his return journey downhill and this was the reason the boxes were disallowed. The Belgians ultimately won the game and boosted their score by 12pts (after playing the Joker) with the Swiss and West Germans tying for 2nd place and being awarded 5pts each. With Great Britain picking up 3pts, the French and Italians were awarded 2pts each for their efforts.

With the points transferred onto the master scoreboard, the West Germans had maintained their lead with 31pts. Belgium, benefiting from their Joker game win, had been promoted to 2nd place with 27pts and the Italians had been demoted to 3rd place with 25pts. The French and the British were currently occupying 4th place with 21pts each, whilst the Swiss, despite their 5pts from the game, continued to maintain their 6th place with 17pts.


Game 7 - The Screwing Bridge

The seventh game - 'The Screwing Bridge' - was an unusual game played over three minutes duration and involved competitors moving across the water on screwing bridges. On the whistle, six competitors, each standing on a large roller (the bridge) and holding a rope above their heads, had to rotate the rollers with their feet in order to ‘screw’ the bridge across the lake to collect a bottle. He then had to use the same method to return to the start and deposit the bottle on the side of the lake. A straightforward game, the team collecting the greatest number of bottles within limit time would be declared the winner. Belgian presenter Jean-Claude Menessier’s commentary was somewhat biased on this game, as he appeared to become quite hysterical with the Belgian’s ‘extraordinary’ performance as they made the game look easy compared to the other teams. When the scores were announced Belgium were awarded 6pts for collecting 7 bottles, West Germany 5pts (6 bottles), Switzerland and Great Britain 4pts each (5 bottles), Italy 2pts (4 bottles) and for France 1pt (3 bottles).

With the points updated, the West Germans continued to maintain their lead with 36pts whilst the Belgians had continued to close the gap to them in 2nd place with 33pts. The Italians had maintained their 3rd place with 27pts and, with Great Britain doing the same in 4th place with 25pts, they had opened a 3pt gap between themselves and their nearest rivals, France who were in 5th place with 22pts. The Swiss, although closing the gap, were still standing in 6th place with 21pts.


Game 8 - Harvesting the Potatoes

The eighth game - 'Harvesting the Potatoes' - was played in two heats of three and involved competitors attached to elasticated ropes collecting potatoes on trays from each other in the middle of a greased ramp. On the whistle, two competitors had to time their runs accurately, so that they met each other in the middle of the ramp at the same time, in order for their trays to be handed over from one to the other. Any potatoes collected were then emptied into a large bucket which gradually lowered with the weight of the potatoes onto a switch and set off a small explosion once the required weight of 15kgs had been reached. Although the time limit was three minutes, it would appear from the first heat, that the first team to set off the explosion would ultimately stop the game and the other two teams would be deemed as not completing the game. West Germany, France and Italy participated in the first heat and the West Germans completed the game in an incredible time of just 50 seconds and the game was stopped. In the second heat, Belgium (represented by brothers Robert and Victor Alexandre, who had participated for the successful Ciney team in 1965), Switzerland and Great Britain competed against each other and although the Belgians completed the game in 58 seconds followed immediately by the Swiss in 59 seconds, the British were permitted to carry on and eventually finished the game in 1 minute 55 seconds. West Germany were awarded 6pts, Belgium 5pts, Switzerland 4pts and Great Britain 3pts for completing the game and setting off their explosions, whilst the French and the Italians were both awarded just 1pt each for not completing the game.

The master scoreboard displayed that the West Germans and Belgians had once again maintained their 1st and 2nd places with 42pts and 38pts, respectively. With a 10pt gap, Great Britain and Italy were now jointly occupying 3rd place with 28pts each whilst the Swiss had finally moved off the bottom spot in 5th place with 25pts, demoting the French into 6th place with 23pts.


Game 9 - Astronaut Hoop-la

The ninth (and penultimate game) - 'Astronaut Hoop-la' - involved two astronauts lying down on opposite sides of a pivoted axle, which was situated behind a large semi-circular ladder. One of the astronauts was lying on his back whilst the other was on his stomach, and on the whistle the latter utilised the ladder in front of him with his hands in order to climb upwards and set the axle in motion. As he reached the top of the ladder, he leant backwards bringing the other astronaut around in order to collect a large metal ring from a team-mate. As the ‘climbing’ astronaut made his way to the bottom with gravity, the other astronaut now at the top of the axle had to toss the ring onto one of three high hoop-la poles in front of him. These poles had different values: 20pts for the nearest, 10pts for the one the middle and 30pts for the one the furthest away. It was then a case of the climbing astronaut having to keep the momentum going whilst the other scored as many points as possible. With all the teams playing together, a long camera angle of the game gave it the appearance of having being choreographed and was very enjoyable to watch. After three minutes play, the game came to an end and the points scored were added up. West Germany had scored 660pts (6pts), Belgium 390pts (5pts), Great Britain 360pts (4pts), Switzerland and Italy had scored 300pts (3pts each) and France just 70pts (1pt).

With the points added to the master scoreboard, the West Germans were now unbeatable, leading the competition with 48pts whilst Belgium were in 2nd place with 43pts. Great Britain maintained their 3rd place with 33pts and Italy were a point behind in 4th place with 32pts. The trailing two teams were Switzerland and France lying in 5th and 6th places with 28pts and 24pts, respectively.


Jeu Handicap - The Bottle Carriers

With the competition already decided, the final game - 'The Bottle Carriers' (Jeu Handicap) - involved six teams of four competitors travelling down a straight course on stepped trolleys whilst carrying a large bottle on a tray above their heads. On reaching the end of the course, a second bottle was placed on the tray and the team then had to travel back up the course in reverse. This had to be repeated until four bottles had been carried securely back to the start of the course. With this being the Jeu Handicap, each team started 3 seconds in front of the team above them on the scoreboard, with the West Germans starting 15 seconds behind the French. However, this did not deter them and whilst the other five teams had difficulty with keeping a continuous rhythm and kept veering out of their lanes resulting in them having to stop and reposition themselves, the West Germans overtook three of the teams that had started before them and finished the game in 3rd place behind the Belgians and the Swiss. Despite their victory and scoring 6pts, the Belgians could do nothing to stop the West Germans from winning. The Swiss picked up 5pts, West Germany 4pts, Great Britain 3pts, Italy 2pts and France 1pt.

Did You Know

At the time, it was unclear what the consequences of the abandoned first game would be on the competing teams, as no explanation was given by the on-site referees, presenters or commentators. This was the first time that this had happened and there was some concern by the commentators how this would affect the qualification criteria for the International Final, as no reserve game was scheduled. No other mention of this was made throughout the programme. However, later in the series in International Heat 4, the same thing occurred and by that time everyone was clued up with the Jeux Sans Frontières rule laid down for this type of incident. The rule stated that in order to preserve parity for all teams, average points (total points scored divided by number of games played) would be used to establish qualification criteria for the International Final. Fortunately, only three of the teams in this heat would be affected by this rule - Ciney (Belgium), Bardenberg (West Germany) and Lytham St. Annes (Great Britain) - as the other three had already faired worse than their counterparts in the first heat. Ciney would later be out of the equation when national rivals Ath won the next International Heat. Details of how the average points rule and a refereeing error affected qualifying criteria can be seen in the Additional Information section of International Heat 5.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

CH

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 3

Event Staged: Wednesday 12th July 1967
Venue: Piazza Grande, Locarno, Switzerland

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 12th July 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 12th July 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 12th July 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 12th July 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Saturday 15th July 1967

Weather Conditions: Very Warm and Humid

Winners' Trophy presented by: Carlo Speziali, Mayor of Locarno

Theme: The New House

Teams: Ath (B) v. Sankt Gallen (CH) v. Villingen (D) v.
Anglet (F) v. Llandudno (GB) v. Cefalù (Sicilia) (I)

Team Members included:
Ath (B) -
Francine DeCategere;
Villingen (D) -
Anton Kibbert (Team Captain), Gunther Hopfler, Hartmut Kling, Renata Mozer, Horst Rascher, Hartmut Riehle, Siegfried Schnickenboden, Michael Schneider, Gerhard Schüpnal and Peter Westfal;
Llandudno (GB) -
Vernon Moore (Team Captain)

Games: The Tins of Paint, The Buckets of Varnish, The Spiked Maces, The Wall, The Picture Hooks, The Breakable Items, Trampoline Targets, The Sachets of Plaster, The Garden Fountain and The Large Packing Cases (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 4 4 6 6 5 1 12 2 5 1

CH

2

6

5

2

12

3

3

6

3

3

D

6

8

3

3

3

2

5

4

3

6

F

1

6

1

4

10

4

1

5

6

5

GB

6

1

2

6

2

6

4

1

8

2

I 4 5 8 1 1 5 1 3 3 4
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 4 8 14 20 25 26 38 40 45 46

CH

2

8

13

15

27

30

33

39

42

45

D

6

14

17

20

23

25

30

34

37

43

F

1

7

8

12

22

26

27

32

38

43

GB

6

7

9

15

17

23

27

28

36

38

I 4 6 14 15 16 21 22 25 28 32

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
3rd
5th
6th

 B • Ath l l
 CH • Sankt Gallen
 D • Villingen
 F • Anglet
 GB • Llandudno
 I • Cefalù (Sicilia)

46
45
43
43
38
32

The Host Town

Locarno, Switzerland

Locarno, with a population of about 15,000 inhabitants, is located on the northern tip of Lago Maggiore (Lake Maggiore) in the Ticino canton, close to Ascona at the foot of the Swiss Alps. The pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso is located in Orselina, a small suburb in the north-east of the city, and is said to have been established as a result of an appearance of the Virgin Mary. It is the most notable sight in Locarno, and boasts extraordinary views of the city, the lake and the mountains.

 

A breathtaking view of Lake Maggiore with
the church of Madonna del Sasso in the foreground

 

One of the town’s more recent tourist features is the Astrovia Locarno, a walk made by the Società Astronomica Ticinese (Astronomical Society of Ticino) in 2001. It reproduces the positions of the planets of the solar system on a scale of 1:1,000,000,000, with every millimetre corresponding to 1000km (621mi) on the earth. It runs for 6km (4mi) from Locarno to Tegna along the banks of the River Maggia. The length of the path can be completed on foot in about two hours (or by bicycle in 45 minutes). The starting point is at the Sun, which can be found at the end of Via Gioacchino Respini at the mouth of the Maggia, where the cycle path starts. At the point of each of the planet’s respective positions, there is a panel of information such as the aspect ratio, the sizes and distances from the earth of the heavenly bodies. The models of the planets are made of Plexiglas, marble and steel. Pluto, the dwarf planet and furthest in the Solar System from the Sun, can be found 6km away from the starting point in the village of Tegna.

The Venue

Piazza Grande

The games at this heat were staged in the centre of the town at the beautiful Piazza Grande, a busy square surrounded by charming old houses located just off the palm-lined lakefront.

 

Piazza Grande, Locarno's main square

 

The square is frequented by locals, who enjoy going there for a stroll, as well as by tourists, attracted by the shopping arcades, cafés and restaurants. On summer evenings and weekends, the square is vibrant with the sunny terraces overflowing with people. Each year at the beginning of August, film buffs meet in Locarno to attend the annual Festival del Film (International Film Festival), when Piazza Grande becomes a huge open cinema, with 2012 witnessing the celebration of its 65th anniversary.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Tins of Paint

The first game - 'The Tins of Paint' - was straightforward and involved players attempting to construct the highest single tower of large cylindrical aluminium cans as possible. However, although seemingly easy to imagine, in order to place the cans on top of each other the players had to utilise a rope which was attached to a weighted football and which dangled adjacent to the tower, to assist their climb. The game was played by all six teams together although the majority of the action was focused on the Belgian, Swiss and British teams. Each player was given an eight-can tower start and all additional cans added had to be executed by climbing the rope. Cans could only be carried one at a time in a small holder strapped to the players’ waists and as they climbed they had to minimise the movement of their swing in order to prevent the weighted ball from hitting the tower. If their tower toppled over, the player was permitted to build the tower from the ground up to the original eight-can start, and then had to begin the climbing section once again. The game was scheduled to last for three minutes and all teams, except for the French, were fortunate that their towers continued to grow without mishap. After 2 minutes 40 seconds, the Frenchman’s tower began to lean and despite his efforts the top two cans fell. He quickly dropped to the base of the stack to straighten the remaining tins, but whilst doing so the majority of them toppled on top of him. He quickly began to rebuild but unbeknownst to him, the time limit was quickly approaching, and after stacking just two of the tins to give a total of five cans, the referee blew the whistle. When the results were announced the British and West German team had both added an additional 10 cans to their starting towers and were declared joint winners and 6pts each. The Belgians and Italians had both added 8 cans to their towers and were awarded 4pts each for finishing in joint 3rd place. The Swiss team were awarded 2pts and the unfortunate Frenchman was awarded just 1pt for his efforts.


Game 2 - The Buckets of Varnish

The second game - 'The Buckets of Varnish' - was, like the first, again straightforward and played by all six teams at once. It involved one female and one male competitor from each team transporting containers of ‘varnish’, one at a time, along a course of obstacles. However, the players were not permitted to hold or touch the containers with their hands, but instead had to balance them between their faces. Each team then had to ascend a small incline of narrow beams of wood which gradually became wider apart from each other. Once across this obstacle they had to walk up another pair of beams pivoted like a seesaw and then walk down the other side. If successful, they could place the container onto a plinth at the end of the course and return to the start. The team collecting the greatest number of containers were declared the winners. The West German team of Villingen presented their Joker at the start of play but were somewhat taken aback by the French and Swiss teams’ performances. After four minutes play, the two teams had each transported five containers and were awarded 6pts each. The Belgians and the West Germans, had transported four containers each and received 4pts each (the West Germany score being doubled by their playing of the Joker to 8pts). The Italian team finished in 5th place for transporting three containers and the British were placed 6th with just two.

With the points added to the scoreboard, it showed that West Germany were in 1st place with 14pts, with Belgium and Switzerland in joint 2nd place with 8pts each, France and Great Britain in joint 4th place with 7pts each and Italy were trailing in 6th place with 6pts.

Points to Note: At the end of this game, whilst the referees were collecting the results from the touch-judges, a camera shot of presenter Mascia Cantoni speaking to the viewers clearly shows a traffic island, located in the square where the games were being held, together with signs indicating direction of travel around it, as well as the public tramlines used at the time. A similar shot from the other side of the square could be seen as the closing credits were rolling. Today, the square is no longer open to traffic and is fully pedestrianised, except for vehicles being utilised for setting up stages for events mentioned earlier. The island and signs are no longer in existence and the tramlines have since been covered over with concrete slabs!


Game 3 - The Spiked Maces

The third game of the night - 'The Spiked Maces' - was played inside large netted cages filled with balloons. On the whistle, a player from each team holding a pair of spiked maces, dropped down into his net and simply had to burst all of the 150 balloons with the maces in the quickest time. The Italians were confident that this game was their best chance to bag 12pts on the night and played their Joker. However, things did not go the way they planned and although it appeared that the Swiss player had finished the game first, the Belgian player was awarded the 6pts for bursting all his balloons in just 56 seconds. The Swiss got 5pts for finishing in 2nd place followed by Italy (8pts on their Joker), West Germany (3pts) and Great Britain (2pts). France finished the game in 6th place having burst all their balloons in 1 minute 21seconds and were awarded just 1pt.

With the scores added, the master scoreboard was showing that the West Germans continued to lead the competition with 17pts followed by Belgium and Italy in joint 2nd place on 14pts each. With Switzerland in 4th place with 13pts and Great Britain trailing them by 4pts in 5th place on 9pts, it meant that the French were foundering in 6th place with just 8pts.


Game 4 - The Wall

The fourth game - 'The Wall' - utilised a twelve-foot high wall (which would be seen again later in the heat) and was the first of the night to be played over two rounds. It also appeared to show some controversy with the time-keeping of the individual national touch-judges. The game itself involved getting eleven team members over the wall by any means at their disposal. This meant a lot of climbing and supporting by various members of the team. After the eleventh man was on top of the wall, a twelfth had to be assisted up the wall by members of his team clinging to the top and reaching down to pull him up. Once on top of the wall, the other remaining team members jumped down and he had to stand aloft to finish the game. The first heat saw Belgium, West Germany and France participating, and it appeared on-screen that the West Germans had clearly finished first in 23 seconds followed by Belgium in 25 seconds and France in 27 seconds. However, when the individual touch-judges timing these three teams displayed the scores on the mini-scoreboard, it showed a completely different picture. Belgium had apparently finished in 26 seconds followed by the French in 27 seconds and the West Germans with 28 seconds! At this point, West German commentator Otto Ernst Rock, who was somewhat surprised, asked “How is it possible that the Belgian time is better than Germany?” Before the second round, fellow West German commentator Camillo Felgen stated that all of the remaining eleven players had to be on the ground on the other side of the wall before the time was taken. However, reviewing re-runs, it clearly shows that the Belgians still had their eleventh man on the top of the wall long after the West Germans had cleared theirs completely, and yet still received a time that was 2 seconds faster! The second round saw the remaining three teams compete and the British finished the game in 26 seconds followed by the Swiss in 29 seconds and the Italians in 34 seconds. When the times were displayed, one of the times by the judges was again incorrect, this time by 4 seconds. Whilst both Great Britain and Switzerland had been given correct times, Italy had apparently finished the game in a time which was 4 seconds faster than in reality, being given a time of 30 seconds!


Objection!

Following these discrepancies, West German commentator Camillo Felgen stated that a protest had been instigated by the West German team but had been overruled by the referees. The game therefore ended in a draw between Belgium and Great Britain, with both teams receiving 6pts. France finished in 3rd place (4pts), West Germany in 4th place (3pts), Switzerland in 5th place (2pts) and Italy brought up the rear in 6th place (1pt). The competition was beginning to hot up as evidenced by the master scoreboard, which showed Belgium and West Germany sharing the lead with 20pts each, followed by Switzerland, Great Britain and Italy in 3rd place with 15pts each. The French team were still trailing the field by 3pts with a score of 12pts.


Game 5 - The Picture Hooks

The fifth game - 'The Picture Hooks' - was played in two rounds of three teams and involved hand to eye coordination and balance. Three competitors, each equipped with two large inflatable rubber tyres, were standing aloft a large podium. Above each of their heads was a wire from which hung 10 large hooks. On the whistle, the players had to place the two tyres on the first and second hooks, and then pass their bodies through the first tyre and then through the second. The competitor then had to reach back and unhook the first tyre, bring it forward and then attach it onto third hook whilst balancing on the second. This had to be repeated until they reached a podium on the other side of the course. Once on the podium, they had to remove both tyres from the hooks and stand aloft holding them, before their time was taken. Switzerland and France both saw this game as an opportunity to play their Jokers and, along with the Belgians and West Germans, Switzerland competed in the first of the two rounds. Not surprisingly, the Swiss finished the course first in a fast time of exactly 1 minute, with the Belgians finishing closely behind in 1 minute 4 seconds. The West German, who dropped a tyre before reaching the final podium and lost time retrieving it from the ground, was given a time of 1 minute 17 seconds. The second round featured the French, British and Italian teams, and with France playing their Joker, their competitor naturally set off at a cracking pace, quite literally leaving the other two in his tracks. However, the French competitor could not emulate the Swiss time, and finished the course in 1 minute 4 seconds, equalling the Belgian time from the previous round. The British competitor finished second in this round in 1 minute 23 seconds and the Italian, who struggled throughout, completed the course in a time of 1 minute 50 seconds. The win for Switzerland had earned them 12pts, but the French finished in equal second place with the Belgians, both being awarded 5pts each (the French score being doubled to 10pts). West Germany finished in 4th place and scored 3pts, Great Britain in 5th place (2pts) and the Italian competitor scored just 1pt for his team despite all his efforts.

The master scoreboard now showed that Switzerland, having won their Joker game, had overtaken both the previous leaders, and were now at the top with a score of 27pts. Belgium had dropped down to 2nd place with 25pts and West Germany had dropped even further into 3rd place with 23pts. France, having scored 10pts on their Joker, had moved off the bottom of the scoreboard and were now lying in 4th place, just 1pt behind the West Germans on 22pts. Great Britain and Italy were now the tail-runners lying in 5th and 6th places with 17pts and 16pts, respectively.


Game 6 - The Breakable Items

The sixth game - ‘The Breakable Items’ - was an interesting and unique game. Loosely based on the delicate items that usually end up broken when moving house, it involved all six teams in a cordoned-off circle. Each of the male competitors was standing on individual platforms which were set precariously atop three clay vases, and it really was a free-for-all type game with the last man standing winning the game. On the whistle, each of the competitors threw small wooden balls at any of their opponents’ vases to smash them. Once all three vases were broken, the platform collapsed and the player would be left hanging from a safety rope. Fortunately for the British team, everyone seemed to ‘attack’ either the Belgians or the Swiss vases (purely as they were the two leading teams on the scoreboard at the time), and left their vases alone. Whilst the Belgians and the Swiss left the game early, the British competitor came up trumps by still having two vases unbroken at the end of the game. The two tail-runners on the master scoreboard secured the top two places in this game with the British team awarded the 6pts and the Italians being awarded 5pts with France finishing in 3rd place with 4pts. Switzerland, despite having been severely attacked by their fellow competitors on the game, finished in 4th place and scored 3pts, West Germany scored 2pts and the Belgians finished in 6th place and were awarded just 1pt.

The master scoreboard now showed that the Swiss, despite some dirty tactics from their competitors, had held onto their lead with 30pts. Belgium had now been joined by France in joint 2nd place with 26pts each, whilst the West Germans had dropped further back, lying in 4th place with 25pts. Great Britain, despite their third victory of the night, had closed the gap slightly but were still lying in 5th place on 23pts, whilst Italy had retained 6th place with 21pts.


Game 7 - Trampoline Targets

The seventh game - 'Trampoline Targets' - featured all six teams together, and was played utilising trampolines and a large two-valued pinned target. High above each trampoline was a row of balls suspended by various lengths of thread. On the whistle, the competitor had to reach for the balls, one at a time, using the trampoline and - if successful - he had to throw the ball at the target to score points. The Belgian team were very confident on this game and produced their Joker at the start. It was clear from the outset that there was to be only one winner of this game, as the Belgians stormed the target with six ‘bull’s-eyes’ from their first six attempts. At the other end of the scale, both the French and Italian players made heavy weather of the game and both failed to score a single hit. After a long four minutes of play, the final whistle was blown and Belgium were declared the winners and were awarded 12pts. West Germany finished in 2nd place and were awarded 5pts followed by the British team in 3rd place with 4pts. The home team of Switzerland were beginning to lose their grip on the competition and finished in 4th place with 3pts, with both the French and Italians both scoring a solitary 1pt each.

The master scoreboard had now changed in favour of Belgium, who had regained their lead with 38pts. The previous leaders, Switzerland were now in 2nd place on 33pts, followed by the West Germans in 3rd place on 30pts. Great Britain, who had yet to play their Joker, had improved their position as they were now lying in joint 4th place with the French on 27pts. The Italians were now trailing behind by 5pts, and were still firmly at the bottom in 6th place with 22pts.


Game 8 - The Sachets of Plaster

The eighth game - ‘The Sachets of Plaster’ - was the second involving the twelve-foot high wall, and despite it having a very basic idea, the two female British competitors made hard work of it. On the whistle, one girl standing on one side of the wall had to throw small sachets of plaster over the wall which had to be caught intact by her team-mate. Because of its height, it was not possible for any of the girls on the catching side to see or know when the sachets were being thrown. Whilst all the other teams played the game at a cracking pace, the British girl didn’t seem to realise that she was not throwing high or hard enough, and this resulted in many of the sachets hitting her side of the wall or landing on the top of the wall and remaining there. Her team-mate seemed somewhat surprised by the fact that everyone was seeing or catching a sachet almost every three to four seconds whilst she had to wait for up to ten to fifteen seconds for one to appear. This meant that whilst the majority of the other teams scored well and caught in excess of forty sachets, the British total was just twenty-four! The Swiss, having lost their lead after the previous game, pulled out all the stops to try and regain it and won the game with their third victory of the night and awarded 6pts (catching 57 sacks). France finished in 2nd place with 5pts (52 sacks) followed by West Germany with 4pts (46 sacks). Italy gathered some pace as they finished in 4th place with 3pts (44 sacks), current leaders Belgium finished in 5th place with 2pts (34 sacks) and the British team scored just 1pt (24 sacks).

The scoreboard now revealed that the Belgians were still leading with 40pts, but the Swiss had recouped some of their deficit and were now just 1pt behind in 2nd place on 39pts. West Germany were now in 3rd place, but were losing sight of the other two on 34pts, France were in 4th place on 32pts, Great Britain had dropped a position as they were now lying in 5th place on 28pts and Italy were propping up all the others, as they still lay in 6th place with 25pts. Interestingly, all the teams at this point were holding positions which matched their alphabetical positioning on the scoreboard (i.e. Belgium 1st place, positioned alphabetically first on the scoreboard, Switzerland 2nd place, positioned alphabetically 2nd on the scoreboard etc.).


Game 9 - The Garden Fountain

Despite the fact that the British team had won three games, none of them had been played with the Joker. The team decided to play the game on the penultimate game - ‘The Garden Fountain’ - (jokingly nicknamed ‘La Fontana de Verbano’ (The Trevi Fountain) by the West German commentators) which at first sight looked slightly biased to certain teams. The game involved a fireman’s hose surrounded by inflatable tyres set upright in the town square. The nozzle of the hose-pipe had six ropes attached to it and each of these ropes was held by the six male competitors from each team. On the whistle, the water was turned on and the idea was that the players pulled the nozzle to their side of the game to allow their female team-mate to collect water, which would have been gushing out over their heads. At the start of the game, the water was just trickling out and after about ten seconds, Guido Pancaldi and Gennaro Olivieri stepped in to stop the game and to see what the problem was. It was at this point that it appeared that the hose operator had forgotten to turn it on correctly. After realising his mistake, the water started gushing out (almost over the surprised referees) but it seemed like the direction of flow was only in one half of the playing area. This was despite clear efforts by the teams on the opposite side to pull the nozzle in their direction. The reason why this was happening soon became apparent - the French competitor had got himself down in a locked position and no matter how hard any of the other five competitors tried to pull the nozzle, it was not going to move from his direction. This resulted in the French girl and her Belgian ‘neighbour’ to have free-rein, collecting the water throughout the game and not surprisingly both teams finished in the top two spots on the game. Fortunately for the British team, despite their competitor being on the opposite side to the French team, she was able to stretch enough into the Belgian section to collect a small amount of water and finished in 3rd place on the game. The other three teams all collected just enough to prevent them scoring 1pt each. At the end of the game, it could clearly be seen how successful the French competitor had been. Whilst his half of the playing area was drenched with water, the opposite side was completely bone-dry!

With the points added to the master scoreboard, Switzerland were now lying in 2nd place with 42pts (3pts awarded) and were now the only team that could stop the Belgians from victory, after retaining their lead on 45pts (5pts). France moved up into 3rd place with 38pts (6pts), West Germany had dropped to 4th place with 37pts (3pts), and despite playing their Joker, Great Britain retained 5th place with 36pts (8pts). Italy (3pts) remained at the bottom of the scoreboard in 6th place with just 28pts, a position that they now had no way of escaping from.


Jeu Handicap - The Large Packing Cases

The final game - 'The Large Packing Cases' (Jeu Handicap) - was similar to that of the fifth game, except that it utilised boxes rather than hooks and inflatable tyres. It involved four team members from each team standing aloft two large cardboard boxes which had been filled with straw. On the whistle, all four members had to move forward and stand on just one box. They then had to lift the now vacant second box over their heads and place it in front of the box that they were standing on. They then moved onto this box and repeated the game down a measured course. Despite the French starting first (due to the staggered start on the Jeu Handicap), they were soon overtaken by the West Germans who stormed down the course finishing the game in 1st place. With West Germany winning the game and securing the final 6pts, Switzerland now had to finish in one of the next two positions and have the Belgians come in last place to secure victory. However this was not to be the case, as a long camera angle bore witness that both of the teams were struggling down the course in 5th and 6th places, respectively. This enabled France to stay ahead of both of them and to overtake the Italians and British on the other side of the course to finish in 2nd place and score 5pts. The Italians finished the game in 3rd place, to equal their best placing on the night, and were awarded 4pts, and Switzerland had in meantime gained ground on the British team and finished in 4th place to score 3pts. With Great Britain finishing in 5th place (2pts), it meant that the Belgians finished in 6th place and secured just 1pt. Although this might have appeared to be a disastrous result for them, it was still enough to secure an outright victory as the Swiss had finished one position lower than the 3rd place finished they required.

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

An interesting point to note from this International Heat is that Italian regular commentators Giulio Marchetti and Renata Mauro were both absent from this event. Former presenter Enzo Tortora, one of the mainstay commentators and presenters of Italian broadcaster RAI during the first two seasons of Jeux Sans Frontières, presented the programme along with Mascia Cantoni, who herself had been a former member of the neutral jury during the same period. Although the programme was staged in Switzerland, this was in fact a production by Italian RAI television using a Swiss-Italian producer and director, and both of the presenters being used by RAI (for the Italian broadcast) and for Swiss TSI (for viewers in the Italian-speaking Ticino and Grigioni areas of Switzerland). Confirmation of this can clearly be seen in the introduction section of the programme, when the presenters for each country are shown in their commentary boxes before a short film from their respective country is shown. Enzo Tortora is portrayed as the Italian presenter before the short film of Cefalù!

Additional Information

With the event being staged in July, and the city enjoying over 2,300 hours of sunshine per year, the evening was very warm and humid. This was unfortunate for many of the commentators, who were attired in shirts and ties (television presenters were required to look prim and proper back in 1967), as there was no air-conditioning in their commentary boxes at the time, and the windows had no means of opening. During the opening introductions of the programme, West German commentator Otto Ernst Rock could be seen frantically waving his notes to produce some cool air, whilst fellow commentator Camillo Felgen looked at him and then to the camera and stated light-heartedly, that it was like a sauna in their box. Following on from this, when the teams were introduced, Otto described British team, Llandudno as coming from Wales, which "with its mountains, was akin to a small Switzerland!"

A small point to note in this heat was that although the theme was 'The New House', the structure of the games was very loosely based on things associated with the decoration of, and the moving into, a new house!

The winner’s trophy in this heat was presented by Carlo Speziali, who at the time was the Mayor of Locarno. His daughter Carla, born in 1961, studied law and qualified as a lawyer in 1995. Taking a post in local government in 2000 as the Cantonal Commissioner for Gender Equality, she became Mayor of Locarno, like her father before her, in 2004.

After the teething problems of the earlier heats, the referees, the scoreboard operators and all concerned in the programme had now familiarised themselves with its new formula. No noticeable errors with the scoring or awarding of points were visible or audible.

Since the advent of more than two participating countries, this was the first and only time that an International Heat finished with the teams in the exact country alphabetical order - i.e. B, CH, D, F, GB, I.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

I

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 4

Event Staged: Wednesday 26th July 1967
Venue: Arena Garibaldi e Piazza dei Miracoli
(Garibaldi Stadium and Square of Miracles), Pisa, Italy

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
RTB (B):
Wednesday 26th July 1967, 8.55-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 26th July 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 26th July 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 26th July 1967, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)
BBC1 (GB): Thursday 27th July 1967, 9.05-9.50pm / 10.25-10.55pm

Weather Conditions: Very Warm and Humid

Winners' Trophy presented by: Giulio Mattizini, Mayor of Pisa

Theme: Tests of Combat

Teams: Verviers (B) v. Plan-les-Ouates (CH) v. Lindenberg im Allgäu (D) v.
Quimper (F) v. Hawick (GB) v. Montecatini Terme (I)

Team Members included:
Lindenberg im Allgäu (D) -
Josef Zenter (Team Captain), Walter Brocks, Manfred Untin;
Montecatini Terme (I) -
Giovanni Bellini, Bella Semara.

Games: A Sting in the Tail, The Race Track, The Acrobatic Clowns, A Ladder for a Ladder, The Bibendums, A Water Polo Match, Pogo Across the Pool (Jeu Divisée), Bicycle Obstacle Race, The Revolving Sickle and Leaning Tower of Pisa (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 2 4 3 5

Game void

6 10 4 1 3

CH

6

1

4

3

6

6

5

1

1

D

5

2

6

12

1

2

2

1

6

F

1

10

5

3

5

4

3

1

4

GB

3

3

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

I 5 6 2 5 4 6 6 6 5
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 2 6 19 14 14 20 30 34 35 38

CH

6

7

11

14

14

20

26

31

32

33

D

5

7

13

25

25

26

28

30

31

37

F

1

11

16

19

19

24

28

31

32

36

GB

3

6

7

8

8

10

12

13

14

15

I 5 11 13 18 18 22 28 34 40 45

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th

 I • Montecatini Terme l l
 B • Verviers
 D • Lindenberg im Allgäu
 F • Quimper
 CH • Plan-les-Ouates
 GB • Hawick

45
38
37
36
33
15

The Host Town

Pisa, Italy

Pisa, a city of around 90,000 inhabitants, is located on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno in the Tuscany region of central Italy.

 

The monuments at the heart of Pisa's tourist attraction

 

It is best known for its leaning bell-tower which has been on the move since its construction began. The height of the tower is 55.86m (183ft 3ins) from the ground on the low side and 56.70m (186ft) on the high side. It has 296 steps (or 294 steps, as the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase). Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This equates to the top of the tower being displaced horizontally 3.9m (12ft 10ins) from where it would be if the structure were to be perfectly vertical!

The Venue

Arena Garibaldi and Piazza dei Miracoli

The games in this heat were staged in two venues located in the city about 0.5km (5/16mi) apart. The majority of the games were played in the Arena Garibaldi, a multi-use stadium built in 1919 and home ground of Italian football team Pisa Calcio SpA (known as Pisa Sporting Club at time of transmission and later as Pisa Atletico Club). It was renamed to Arena Garibaldi - Stadio Romeo Anconetani in 2001 in honour of the club’s chairman, Romeo Anconetani (1922-1999), who brought the team successes in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The remainder of the games were played in the large square known as the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).
 

An aerial view of the Arena Garibaldi (bottom left) and
Pisa's world famous Piazza dei Miracoli (top right)

 

The square houses the city’s four most prominent attractions - Il Duomo (the Cathedral), Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John), Camposanto Monumentale (Cemetery Monument) and the Campanile (bell-tower), more commonly known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - A Sting in the Tail

The first game - 'A Sting in the Tail' - featured all six teams together and involved each team of three players holding three strings which were attached to large balloons some 10 metres in the air. The balloons had been designed in shape to represent wasps and were all joined together inside a net. The leading balloon (the head of the wasp) had a pin attached to the front of it to represent the wasp’s sting. On the whistle, the teams had to run around inside a cordoned-off area directly in front of the Leaning Tower, which was looking resplendent in flashing lights for the occasion, in order to try and ‘sting’ any of the wasps and ultimately burst the balloons. Whilst doing this they also had to avoid the advances being made by other teams trying to sting their wasp. Once all three balloons had been burst, the team was eliminated from the game. The scoring was slightly complicated, but the game was decided on the number of balloons that were still intact and the number of balloons which the teams had burst. The results were announced and Switzerland had all three balloons intact and took an early lead after being awarded the 6pts. West Germany and Italy both with two balloons intact had also burst the same number of opponents’ balloons and tied for 2nd place and each received 5pts. Great Britain were awarded 3pts for finishing in 4th place, having 1 balloon still intact. Although neither Belgium nor France had any balloons remaining, neither had burst any balloons either. Belgium were awarded 5th place (2pts) as they had lasted longest on the game before their third balloon was burst and France were in bottom place with just 1pt.


Game 2 - The Race Track

The programme moved into the Arena Garibaldi for the second game - ‘The Race Track’ - which was a straightforward race of tag around a large circular course, with each of the six competitors having a large target board strapped to his back and carrying a bucket of glue and a brush. On the whistle, the competitors had to run around a large cordoned circle and it was simply a case of tagging the person in front of them. After 45 seconds of play, the Swiss competitor’s bucket became entangled with the cordon tape, which resulted in him falling to the ground. With the French player immediately behind him, the referees deemed him as being tagged. Within another 20 seconds, the Frenchman had closed the gap on the West German, who tried to play clever and side-stepped outside the course, so that the Frenchman was unable to tag him. The judges had also deemed this as a tag and the West German was next to be eliminated. However, he did not seem to understand this and continued to run around the course and eventually was caught by the British competitor. Not realising the West German had already been eliminated and therefore ignoring him, he reached out to tag him and inadvertently tripped over the West German’s foot and fell to the ground. The Belgian, who was by now on the heels of the British player, made the first actual successful tag of the night and the Hawick player had been eliminated. This now meant that only Belgium, France and Italy remained. However, the Italians were on one side of the circle whilst the French were narrowing the gap on the Belgians on the other side. Eventually the Belgian's strength ran out and the French competitor tagged him, leaving just himself and the Italian to fight it out. But by this time, the Italian had closed the gap on the Frenchman considerably, and after 2 minutes 10 seconds of play, the Italian finally caught his quarry and ended the game. The scoring was very easy on this game with Italy winning the game, much to the delight of the assembled home crowd, and being awarded 6pts. France, playing their Joker, finished in 2nd place and were awarded 10pts, whilst Belgium finished in 3rd place with 4pts. Despite his efforts, the British player had finished in 4th place, which was to be the team’s highest placing throughout the night, and Hawick were awarded their second successive 3pts. West Germany finished in 5th place (despite a little bit of skulduggery) and scored 2pts, whilst the unfortunate Swiss player scored just 1pt.

The scoreboard now showed three sets of tied scores. France and Italy were in joint 1st place with 11pts each, Switzerland and West Germany were in joint 3rd place with 7pts each and Belgium and Great Britain were in joint 5th place with 6pts each.


Game 3 - The Acrobatic Clowns

Staying inside the arena, the third game - 'The Acrobatic Clowns' - featured two heats of three teams, and the idea of the game was for each of them to balance on top of a large wheel, being rotated from inside by a team-mate, as it was rolled down a short course. On reaching the end of the course, each player had to collect an item of clown’s clothing and start to dress. Only after they had put the trousers on, could they return to the start of the course, again atop the wheel, to collect the next item. Further items of clothing could be attired whilst moving up and down the course. In total, eight items of clothing had to be collected and adorned in a specific order - trousers, shirt, collar, bow-tie, jacket, a pair of boots (one at each end of the course), a large flower and finally a trilby hat. Belgium, Switzerland and Italy participated in the first heat with the best time coming from Switzerland in 1 minute 56 seconds. Belgium finished in a time of 2 minutes 6 seconds and the Italians in 2 minutes 19 seconds. The remaining three teams competed in the second heat with the West German making mincemeat of the game, completing the course in just 1 minute 26 seconds. The French also beat all the times from the first heat, finishing the game in 1 minute 39 seconds, with the British finishing the game in 3 minutes 5 seconds.

With the points added to the master scoreboard, France were outright leaders with 16pts (having been awarded 5pts), whilst West Germany (6pts) and Italy (2pts) were in joint 2nd place with 13pts each. Switzerland (4pts) had dropped to 4th place with 11pts, whilst the two stragglers were Belgium (3pts) in 5th place with 9pts and Great Britain (1pt) in 6th place with just 7pts.


Game 4 - A Ladder for a Ladder

For the fourth game - 'A Ladder for a Ladder' - the cameras moved outside to the Piazza dei Miracoli, to witness a confident West German presenting their Joker for play on a game themed around large ladders. The idea of the game was for two players from each team to each climb a large ladder which had been pivoted in the middle, and drop to the other side to collect a rung each. After collection, the players would again ascend the ladder and drop to the other side. Once this was completed, the players could then place the rungs collected onto a much larger ladder ascending vertically from the ground. Any rungs dropped during the execution could not be picked up and used. Each of the vertical ladders started with seven rungs already fixed, and each team needed to collect a further 18 to reach the top. However, none of the teams were able to complete the course in time limit, but the West Germans had done enough to win the game by placing 14 rungs onto their ladder and were awarded 12pts (on their Joker) for their efforts. Both Belgium and Italy had raised their ladder by 12 rungs and both were awarded 5pts each. With Switzerland and France having placed 11 rungs into each of their ladders and receiving 3pts each, it meant that Great Britain had finished in 6th place for the second successive game, having collected just 9 rungs, and they received just 1pt. Before the running totals were shown, a protest was made by the Italian team, but after confirmation from the touch-judges, Guido Pancaldi confirmed that the result would be upheld.

The master scoreboard was now headed by West Germany with 25pts, followed by France in 2nd place with 19pts. Italy had dropped down to 3rd place with 18pts and Belgium and Switzerland were in joint 4th place with 14pts each. With their second 6th place on a game, it meant that Great Britain were losing ground on all the other teams and were lying in 6th place with just 8pts. With a deficit of 6pts on their closest rivals, it was shaping up to be a bad night for Great Britain.


Game 5 - The Bibendums

The games moved back into the Garibaldi Arena for the fifth game - 'The Bibendums' - and involved a competitor from each country inside a tube of inflatable tyres with a large balloon head attached on top (giving a similar impression to that of the Michelin Man, the famous advertising symbol of the French tyre manufacturer, Michelin). At the exact time as the game was being introduced with the Swiss team captain playing their Joker, all audio was lost and as with earlier in the programme, a continuity announcer apologised to the home audience. Despite this fault, the programme continued with just the on-site commentary being heard. The idea of the game was that on the whistle, all six competitors would come together in the middle of the playing area and quite simply have to jostle with each other in order to bring their competitors to the floor. After about two minutes and thirty seconds of play, the British competitor was the first to fall down. It then just became a matter of time to see who would fall next. After about another forty seconds, it was obvious that the game was going to end in stalemate and Gennaro Olivieri blew the whistle to stop the game. He announced that it was clear that the game was not working as planned, and although the British competitor had fallen during the game, none of the other five players were going to make any further progress. He therefore abandoned the game, and stated that Switzerland, who had earlier presented their Joker for play on the game, would be permitted to play it on any of the remaining games.

The scoreboard showing the scores after the previous game was again shown on-screen and the Swiss Joker was removed from it. The camera then panned back to Enzo Tortora, who introduced Hawick council worker Robert Shaw, dressed in full tartan attire, and invited him to play a few chords of Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes.


Game 6 - A Water Polo Match

The sixth game - 'A Water Polo Match' - was also held in the arena, and witnessed the second presentation of the Swiss Joker, and was played by all six teams together in a pool. The idea of the game was that whilst two team players from each team were in the pool, a third would act as goalkeeper on the pool’s edge. A beach ball was then introduced into the game, and it was then just a case of directing the ball into any of your opponents’ nets in the ilk of volleyball rules. No ball could be held in the hands by any of the players and the goalkeepers could also try and direct the balls into their opponents’ nets. Once a goal was scored a new ball was brought into play. During rehearsals of this game, the Italian team performed poorly, but they craftily replaced their line-up on the night of recording with six well-built athletes who just happened to be from Italy's International water-polo team! This was an uneventful game of three minutes duration which eventually saw Belgium declared the winners and being awarded 6pts, followed by the French in 2nd place with 5pts and Italy in 3rd place (despite having professional players) with 4pts. The Swiss, having played their Joker on this game, finished in 4th place and, with the points doubled, scored 6pts. Great Britain narrowly missed a hat-trick of last places, finishing in 5th place with 2pts and West Germany, the current leaders, surprisingly came in 6th place and were awarded just 1pt.

The master scoreboard showed that with the West Germans' poor result in the game, it had allowed the other teams to make up some ground. West Germany still led the field on 26pts, but France had closed the gap and retained 2nd place with 24pts. Italy were now just 4pts behind the West Germans in 3rd place with 22pts, and both the Belgians and the Swiss were in 4th place with 20pts each. Great Britain had lost more ground on the other teams and were now sinking fast, being 10pts behind their nearest rivals on just 10pts!

At this point, another announcement was made by a continuity announcer with further apologies for the loss of sound throughout the last two games.


Jeu Divisée, Part 1 - Pogo Across the Pool

With the audio finally returning to the programme, the cameras returned to the Piazza for the first round of the Jeu Divisée - 'Pogo Across the Pool' - which was played over a pool bridged by a narrow beam. The method of crossing was by using a pogo-stick but with a twist to it. Players had to cross the pool in pairs, attached to each other by a rope, and if one of the players had a mishap, they ended up in the pool with their team-mate. The first four to cross were Switzerland, France, Great Britain and Belgium and all failed to cross the pool successfully. The Italians went next and made the game look easy and crossed without any problems. The West Germans played last and although it appeared that the team had made a successful crossing, the referees deemed that their male competitor had lost his footing on the pogo-stick just centimetres before he reached the safety of the other side.


Game 7 - Bicycle Obstacle Race

The cameras then returned to the arena for the seventh game - 'Bicycle Obstacle Race' - and to a rash of Jokers being played. The remaining three countries of Belgium, Great Britain and Italy all saw this game as their best chance of maximum points on the night, but were shortly to discover they were all wrong with this logic. The game centred around an obstacle race on small bicycles and was played on the running track of the arena. On the whistle, the players - three in each of the two rounds - had to cycle forward and complete a set of tasks. The first of these was to pick up a dumb-bell from a podium, using only one hand, and then cycle with it to the next obstacle and balance it between the tops of a higher pair of podia. Once this was completed, they moved forward and had to empty a bottle of water, which was suspended rather like a circus trapeze, using only their head in order to turn it upside-down. Once executed, the next obstacle was to pass through a contraption which released a box of polystyrene balls over the player, and then whilst keeping the bicycle steady, had to take a drink of coffee/tea from a cup on a podium. The next obstacle was to reach for a pole with a spiked end and burst a balloon filled with flour and the final obstacle was to cycle forward and head-butt a football, whereupon the time was taken. If any of the players touched the ground at any time with their feet or used their hands to steady themselves, then the touch-judges would delay them for 10 seconds, after which they could once again try to complete that task and then move on to the next. The first of the two heats was played by West Germany, Great Britain and Italy, and the Italian, playing his Joker, was determined to do well. Despite a few delays, he crossed the line in 1 minute 05 seconds, followed by West Germany in 1 minute 27 seconds, with Great Britain finishing outside the limit time of 1 minute 30 seconds in 1 minute 43 seconds. The second heat saw the Belgians, Swiss and French compete and, obviously observing the events of the first round, completed the course in very fast times. Switzerland completed all the tasks in just 52 seconds, with the Belgians just behind in 56 seconds and the French just two seconds behind them in 58 seconds. Switzerland were declared the winners and were awarded 6pts, with Belgium in 2nd place scoring 10pts on the Joker. The French finished in 3rd place with 4pts and the Italians, despite playing their Joker, could only muster 6pts. West Germany, after their early success in the programme were beginning to falter and finished in 5th place with 2pts. Great Britain finished the game in 6th place and also having played their Joker scored a measly 2pts, and they were now in real trouble.

The master scoreboard now showed that Belgium had taken the lead with 30pts, followed by West Germany, France and Italy all sharing 2nd place with 28pts. Switzerland were in 5th place with 26pts and Great Britain were now trailing by 14pts with just 12pts on the scoreboard.


Jeu Divisée, Part 2 - Pogo Across the Pool

The programme now returned to the Jeu Divisée for the second round, which bore witness to all of the six teams failing in their attempts to cross the bridge.


Game 8 - The Revolving Sickle

After this, the programme went to the eighth game - 'The Revolving Sickle' - which involved six male competitors in a semi-circle, each standing on a round podium. On the whistle, a large sickle began to rotate and the competitors had to avoid being knocked off the podiums by jumping over it as it passed over their podiums. However, after each 360° turn of the sickle it was raised higher. On the eighth circumnavigation, the British competitor standing on podium number 4 failed to clear the sickle and was eliminated. With the sickle hitting the British player, it ultimately showed the rhythm of its rotation, and to ensure parity, the next two players on podiums 5 and 6 had to wait for the next full rotation to complete their eighth jump. The competitors on podiums 1, 2 and 3 were then allowed to duck down to avoid being knocked off whilst the sickle rotated round for this to happen. As the sickle came round the West German competitor also got knocked off and the Italian cleared it. Next to fall were the Frenchman, followed by the Belgians and then the Swiss. The Italian with his own unique style of clearing the sickle won the game and secured 6pts for his team.

The master scoreboard now showed the Belgians and Italians sharing the lead with 34pts each, followed by Switzerland and France in joint 3rd place with 31pts each. The West Germans who had been in contention earlier in the programme were now lying in 5th place with 30pts, and Great Britain, with yet another 1pt, were rock bottom with 13pts, some 17pts behind their nearest rivals.

A point to note from this game was although it would not have had any bearing on the final outcome, British team Hawick were robbed of 1pt. With both the British and West German players both being eliminated on the eighth revolution of the sickle both teams should have scored 2pts each. However, when the points were awarded the British team were only given 1pt purely for the fact that they were standing on a podium nearer the start of the game!


Jeu Divisée, Part 3 - Pogo Across the Pool

The final round of the Jeu Divisée again saw all six teams fail on their third attempts to cross the bridge. With Italy being the only team to have successfully crossed the bridge on any of the three rounds, Guido Pancaldi announced that they would be awarded 6pts, whilst all the other teams were classed as finishing in joint 6th place and awarded 1pt each.

The master scoreboard now displayed that the Italians were in an unbeatable lead with 40pts, with the Belgians 5pts behind in 2nd place with 35pts. Switzerland and France were in joint 3rd place with 32pts, with West Germany in 5th place with 31pts and the British team in 6th place with just 14pts.


Jeu Handicap - Leaning Tower of Pisa

With the Belgians hoping that they could win the final game - 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' (Jeu Handicap) - and that the Italians would finish it in last place so that the competition would end in a tie between the two countries, the cameras moved across the Piazza for the game to unfold. The game was staged immediately in front of its namesake in the Piazza dei Miracoli, and it ultimately involved the teams having to transport a scale model of the town’s famous tourist attraction. On the whistle, four team members carrying a litter above their shoulders had to race down a course, turn around and then return to the start. They then had to collect two more team members, who were also holding a litter above their shoulders, and transport them atop the original litter down the course and return once more. Finally, two more team members, located high above on scaffolding, placed the model of the leaning tower (weighing 30kgs) on top of the second litter and the teams had to carry everything down the course and return, whilst keeping the tower upright. Although the British team set off first, they were soon overtaken by all the other teams, and along with the Swiss were the only ones to drop their towers. The West Germans were determined to finish the competition on a high note, and finished the game in 1st place in 1 minute 25 seconds and scored 6pts. However, although the Italians had now won the competition outright, it was not until their team had finished the game in 2nd place in 1 minute 41 seconds, that they started celebrating their win. The French finished closely behind in 3rd place with 4pts, Belgium finished in 4th place (3pts), and both the Swiss and British having dropped their towers, totally destroying them, and having no means of recovery, finished in equal 6th place, picking up 1pt each.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Italian competitor Giovanni Bellini made the third of his nine appearances in Jeux Sans Frontières at this heat. He had previously participated twice for Montecatini Terme in 1966 when the team reached the Semi-Finals that year and went on to participate in the International Final later this year. He participated again in 1968 as a member of the victorious Terracina team which also included the International Final. He made further appearances for Frascati in 1969, Ancona in 1970 and Bracciano in 1975.

Additional Information

As with International Heat 1, this heat was plagued with problems from the very start of the programme. Telecommunications problems for the West German broadcast resulted in very poor sound quality for the live transmission, and during the introduction of the teams, the commentary became inaudible and garbled. Following this introduction, things became even worse eight minutes into the programme, when the live picture link from the venue was completely lost across Europe. A placard was placed on-screen in four languages stating that there was a breakdown on the international circuit and at one point during this breakdown, West German commentator Camillo Felgen, who by now had been informed that there was a problem could be heard to ask “Hallo Baden-Baden, Hallo Baden-Baden” (referring to the studio in West Germany that linked the live broadcasts to the country). The continuity announcer also apologised to the viewers for this. The live programme continued in Pisa irrespective of this loss of picture, and after four minutes pictures were finally restored. Fortunately, the game equipment on-site for the first game was causing a few problems whilst this was occurring, so that when pictures were finally restored none of the action had been missed.

Although a similar occurrence had happened in International Heat 2, it was still unclear what would be the consequences of the abandoned games and no other mention of the subject was made until after the final game. It was at this point that West German commentator Camillo Felgen explained that under Jeux Sans Frontières rules, Montecatini Terme, having won the contest with 45 pts from nine games, would be the current qualifier with an average games score of 5 pts per game (45 pts ÷ 9 games = 5 pts per game). This was the second time this year that this had happened, but since the inception of more than two competing teams, there was a Jeux Sans Frontières rule in place covering such an eventuality like this. The rule stated that in order to preserve parity for all teams, average points (total points scored divided by number of games played) would be used to establish qualification criteria for the International Final.

In this instance, it was fortunate that the abandonment of the game would only affect the winning Italian team of Montecatini Terme (and only then if another Italian team would have won one of the other remaining two heats) as all the other teams in this heat had faired worse than any of their current national qualifiers at that point. However, as neither of the two remaining Italian teams won their International Heats, Montecatini Terme qualified for the Final on their own merits anyway.

Despite this occurrence, no contingency plans were put in place for the following year, and ironically in International Heat 4 of that year, a similar scenario happened. However, on that occasion, the abandoned game had wider implications because some of the teams involved in that heat had actually scored less points than the country’s highest scorers, but went on to qualify for the Final purely on having a better points scoring average per game. After this, it was decided that from 1969 a reserve game would be scheduled for every heat should any similar incident occur in the future.

This was a disastrous heat for the British team for a number of reasons, and has resulted in the team holding on to a few unwanted British records. Hawick achieved the lowest score ever by a British team in the history of the programme - just 15pts. Over the years, several British teams have finished in last place, but Hawick’s points difference of 18pts to their nearest rivals is still intact today. They also hold the British record for having scored the lowest average points per game - a measly 1.66pts per game (being beaten for the overall record only by Swiss team, Vallée de Joux in 1982, which finished with just 13pts from eight games and hold the record of just 1.625pts per game!). Hawick also hold the record for the first run of the programme (1965-1982) for finishing in last place on six of the games they played, a record which they held solely for fifteen years until the same Swiss team of Vallée de Joux equalled it in 1982. Incidentally, it must be noted that the French team of Nevers finished in last place on eight of the games they played in 1998 (during the 1988-1999 run of the programme), but each team competed in fifteen games that year.

As a gesture of goodwill, the British team captain presented a three litre bottle of Scotch whisky to the team captain of the winning Italian team after the trophy presentation.

Ironically, as this heat was held at two venues, the BBC decided to opt out of the live broadcast, instead recording the live feed from the Eurovision network and airing it on BBC1 the following night in two parts. This broadcast was divided into two parts in Great Britain only.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

D

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 5

Event Staged: Wednesday 9th August 1967
Venue: Turn und Sportverein Stadion (Athletics and Sports Club Stadium),
Straubing, Bayern, West Germany

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 9th August 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 9th August 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 9th August 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 9th August 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 9th August 1967, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)

Weather Conditions: Very Warm and Humid

Winners' Trophy presented by: Camillo Felgen

Theme: Sport for All

Teams: Arlon (B) v. Solothurn (CH) v. Straubing (D) v.
Annemasse (F) v. Worthing (GB) v. Arona (I)

Team Members included:
Straubing (D) - Voss Küchenmeister;
Worthing (GB) -
Richard Blaydon, Martin Diplock, Peter English, Keith Hammond, N. Prufer (also Team Interpreter) and Bob Rogers.

Games: Hose-Pipe Water-Ball, Upside-Down Dolls, The Ball Painters, The Rowing Boats, Metronomic Pears, Push-Me Pull-Me, The Mammoths, The Rolling Carpet, Water Slopes and Human Wheelbarrows (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 JD 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 4 4 3 2 2 1 5 3 1 3

CH

5

10

1

3

2

3

4

6

2

1

D

6

1

6

4

4

5

6

1

12

6

F

2

6

4

1

3

2

1

10

4

2

GB

3

2

5

5

6

8

3

2

3

5

I 1 3 2 6 5 6 2 4 10 4
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 4 8 11 13 15 16 21 24 25 28

CH

5

15

16

19

21

36

42

45

49

51

D

6

7

13

17

21

26

32

33

45

51

F

2

8

12

13

16

18

19

29

33

35

GB

3

5

10

15

21

29

32

34

37

42

I 1 4 6 12 17 23 25 29 39 43

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th

 D • Straubing l
 I • Arona
 GB • Worthing
 CH • Solothurn
 F • Annemasse
 B • Arlon

51
43
42
37
35
28

The Host Town

Straubing, West Germany

Straubing is an independent city akin to London, Oslo, Tokyo and Bucharest, whereas it does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a county). It has a population of around 41,000 inhabitants and is located on the River Danube in the Lower Bavarian region of the federal state of Bavaria in Germany.
 

The impressive Stadtturm (City Tower) in Straubing's city centre

 

Annually in August, the Gäubodenvolksfest (originally an agricultural carnival when it was first held in 1812), the second largest fair in Bavaria (after the München Oktoberfest), is held in the city. Although today the Gäubodenvolksfest is a modern and family-friendly festival with about 120 carousels, roller coasters and six large beer tents with 25,000 seats set in an area of about 90,000m² (968,752ft²), it has been able to uphold its traditional character. Many of the 1.2 million visitors wear the Tracht, a traditional Bavarian costume, throughout the festival’s duration.

The Venue

Athletics and Sports Club Stadium

The games at this heat were staged at the home ground of TSV 1861 Straubing, the local football and sports club.

 

The city centre stadium, home to TSV 1861 Straubing football club,
as seen in the 1967 German Domestic Series

 

It was originally formed as a gymnastics club in 1861, under the name of TV Jahn Straubing. Football in Straubing was first represented at top-level in the 1931-32 season, when F.C. Straubing, formed in 1921, spent a year in the Bezirkliga Bayern (the highest league in Bavaria before 1933). Another attempt was made by the military team of Luftwaffen SV Straubing, which played in the Gauliga Südbayern (the highest league after 1933) from 1942 to 1944. The modern day club, TSV Straubing, formed in 1945 out of a merger of TV Jahn and F.C., first appeared in the upper reaches of Bavarian football in 1946. Following various relegations and promotions, the club achieved notability by playing in the 2nd Oberliga Süd (second division), the second highest level in West German football, from 1950 to 1961. Following on from this, TSV Straubing came second in the Landesliga Bayern-Mitte in 1970–71, but unfortunately only the champions were promoted in this era and the club's fortunes in the league became a mixed bag after that. In 2009, Straubing was relegated from the Bezirksliga and the club dropped through the ranks from there, to the Kreisklasse in 2011 and after the club became insolvent in April 2013 the club was automatically relegated to the A-Klasse. The financial crisis and the relegation caused the club to go out of business with the 2012-13 season being their last.

Unfortunately, the stadium where this heat was staged no longer exists today. Its location in the city centre surrounded by houses and shops was not only seen as anti-social during the 1980s but also became unsustainable with the lack of club success. The ground was sold to developers for modern housing and retail units and the club relocated to the banks of the Danube in the north-east outskirts of the city.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Hose-Pipe Water Ball

The first game in this heat - 'Hose-Pipe Water-Ball' - utilised a 15m wide hexagonal platform which had been divided into six equal sections, each having a small maze of walls built within. On the whistle, all six competitors had to guide a football from the outer rim of their section through their own maze into a netted hole located in the centre of the podium, using the water-power of an industrial fire-hose. Whilst at the start it was a simple case of the teams guiding their own balls into the hole, once executed they were then permitted to point their hoses at any of the remaining balls still on the podium. With West Germany and Switzerland completing the game in less than 30 seconds, they then aimed their hoses at the teams they believed were the greatest threat to them. Fortunately for the Belgians, they escaped their wrath and slipped through and down the hole in 38 seconds, and then it was a three-against-three match. All three appeared to be on the attack against the Italians and French and, although with a little opposition, Great Britain achieved their goal just short of 54 seconds, followed by the French in 1 minute 4 seconds. It was now a case of five teams against Italy, but the spectators were denied the opportunity of witnessing the Italian’s struggle, as the referees already knowing the outcome terminated the game at 1 minute 15 seconds. Despite the fact that the result was clear as to the finishing order, two stagehands mounted the podium to retrieve the net in which the balls had been directed into, and brought to the referees for confirmation. The West Germans had taken the first 6pts of the competition, much to the pleasure of the home crowd, whilst the Swiss scored 5pts and Belgium scored 4pts. With the British sneaking in and scoring 3pts and the French picking up 2pts, it just remained for the Italian to be awarded 1pt for his efforts.


Game 2 - Upside-Down Dolls

The second game - 'Upside-Down Dolls' - was a straight race along a 70m course and featured six male competitors inside large upside-down dolls which weighed 30kgs. With their feet strapped together inside the head of the doll, the only method of propulsion was by hopping. On each of their hands were Wellington boots and the idea of the game was for the competitors to move down the course collecting large metal rings with their booted hands. Any competitor that fell over had to wait for members of his team to help him to his feet before being able to continue. Whilst the West German, the Frenchman and the Swiss led the game at the start, it was the West German who tripped up first (much to the dismay of the assembled crowd). Although the Swiss player then maintained a steady rhythm throughout his run, he could not prevent the Frenchman from winning the game in 40 seconds, and finished the game himself in 2nd place in 42 seconds and picked up 10pts with the Joker. The Belgian finished the course ahead of the Italian and picked up 4pts, whilst the British were fortunate to pick up 2pts following two more falls from the home team player. The West German finally finished the game in 1 minute 12 seconds and was awarded 1pt.

The master scoreboard showed that the Swiss were now in the top spot with 15pts followed in 2nd place by both Belgium and France on 8pts each. The home team of Straubing had dropped from the top spot to 4th place with 7pts, whilst Great Britain were lying in 5th place with 5pts and Italy were in 6th place with 4pts.


Game 3 - The Ball Painters

The third game - 'The Ball Painters' - was played over an obstacle race and required the players to dip footballs into paint. Players were only permitted to balance themselves with their feet and none of the apparatus could be touched with their hands. On the whistle, the players had to climb a small incline then step down and negotiate two small hurdles (one under and one over) whilst balancing themselves astride two wooden beams. Once completed, the players had to collect three balls hanging from a beam which had to be dipped into paint located underneath the course and then kept in their possession throughout play. They then had to cross a course of small hillocks and whilst doing so had to reach up above their heads in order to retrieve 10 balls from hooks which had to be dipped individually and then replaced. At the end of this section they had to retrieve another three balls hanging from a beam and dip them in the paint, and then with all six balls intact they had to negotiate two more hurdles (one over and one under) and then in order to cross the finishing line, they had to hit an ident board in order to rotate it by 90°. Although this was a straightforward game, it did however require skill and dexterity to balance astride the narrow beams throughout the game. The West Germans, having finished last in the previous game, were determined not to suffer the same fate again and set off at a cracking pace followed by the British player. With an almost faultless performance, the West German finished the game in 1 minute 11 seconds, just five seconds ahead of the British player. Although it appeared that the Italian would finish in 3rd place, he found difficulty in negotiating the final hurdle and had to be sent back on two occasions to the start of the obstacle. This permitted the Frenchman to snatch 3rd place in 1 minute 31 seconds and the Belgian to take 4th place in 1 minute 51 seconds. Although the Swiss player finished the game just one second behind the Belgian, he was penalised by the referees for losing one of his balls in the paint. This ensured that the Italian who actually finished the course in 1 minute 55 seconds, being promoted to 5th place. With the second win (6pts) for West Germany in three games, they now regained some of their deficit and were lying in 2nd place with 13pts, just 3pts behind the Swiss on 16pts (1pt). The French (4pts) were now in 3rd place with 12pts and Belgium (3pts) had dropped to 4th place on 11pts. Just one point behind in 5th place were Great Britain (5pts) with 10pts, whilst the Italians (2pts) retained 6th place with just 6pts.


Game 4 - The Rowing Boats

The fourth game - ‘The Rowing Boats’ - would result in a blunder by the West German official, Helmut Konrad, which almost cost the home team a place in the coveted International Final. The idea of the game was for six members from each team to punt and balance individually named rowing boats on two wheels, down a narrow 70m raised course. On reaching the end of the course, the players had to disembark and turn the boat around and then punt it back to the start. The boat had to remain on the narrow podium throughout the game and any mishap resulted in the team having to reposition the boat on the course before continuing any further. The game was played in two heats of three teams, and France (in Marita), Great Britain (in Günther) and Italy (in Klaus) participated in the first heat. The Italians appeared to be very adept with balancing and stormed the first leg of the game in just 33 seconds, whilst the French and British did not reach the end of their first run until 57 seconds had elapsed. By this time the Italians were racing back to the start, and a flawless performance saw them finish the game in 1 minute 14 seconds. There was then a long gap, and it appeared that the French were going to finish in 2nd place. However, following a couple of mishaps, the British team overtook them and completed the course in 1 minute 56 seconds, with the French finally finishing in a time of 2 minutes 17 seconds. Despite there being an on-screen stopwatch displayed as the games were played which clearly showed 1 minute 56 seconds, when times were given by the touch-judges, the British team were given a time of 1 minute 28 seconds for completing the game. There was clearly some confusion, and the West German judge timing the British team could be seen in the transmission explaining to Gennaro Olivieri something pertaining to his stopwatch. Gennaro looked bewildered and then ran off-screen to corroborate what to do and eventually both he and Guido Pancaldi returned and announced the British time as being that given to them by the judge. The second heat saw the remaining three teams of Belgium (in Charly), Switzerland (in Blasius) and West Germany (in Susanne) participate. With both the Swiss and West Germans making errors on their first legs, the Belgians reached the turn-around point first in 48 seconds, which was 15 seconds slower than the Italians on the first heat. The West Germans, being helped with chants by the home crowd, made up some ground and stormed to the end of their first leg in 51 seconds followed by the Swiss in 57 seconds. The Belgians however, were very slow in turning their boat around and this permitted the West Germans to make up the deficit and set off first on the return leg. Lapsed time had now moved on to 1 minute exactly, and any hope of beating the Italians had now gone, but this did not dampen the fervour of the West German team, and they made a flawless return journey and finished the course in 1 minute 30 seconds. The Swiss finished in 2nd place in 1 minute 41 seconds, overtaking the Belgians who finished the course in 2 minutes 8 seconds.

The points were awarded with Italy scoring 6pts, Great Britain scoring 5pts (instead of 3pts) and the West Germans scoring 4pts (instead of 5pts). The bottom three positions on the game went to Switzerland 3pts (instead of 4pts), Belgium 2pts and France 1pt. With these scores added to the master scoreboard, the Swiss had retained their lead with 19pts. West Germany were still holding 2nd place with 17pts, whilst Great Britain’s ‘fortune’ had promoted them to 3rd place with 15pts. Belgium and France were in joint 4th place with 13pts each, and despite their victory, the Italians were still in 6th place with 12pts.


Game 5 - Metronomic Pears

The fifth game - 'Metronomic Pears' - like the first, was played in two heats of three teams and involved team players standing inside large pear-shaped modules which were heavily weighted at the bottom. The weighted bottom was used as a counter-balance to the players’ weights and had the effect of the ‘pear’ acting as a metronome moving from side to side. On the whistle, the players had to set their metronomes in motion by simply moving their bodies from left to right. Once a good rhythm had been achieved, the metronome effect had to be used to pick up 30 traffic cones, one at a time, from three piles on one side of the game and to place them on the ground in three piles on the other side. Any cones that were not placed correctly and fell to the ground would not be counted. The team collecting all 30 of their traffic cones in the fastest time would win the game. The Belgian team decided to play their Joker on this game and presented it at the last second, just as Gennaro was about to blow the whistle for the first three competing teams from Belgium, West Germany and France to compete. This decision would be one that they would deeply regret. The game began with the Belgian getting the better start, but as the game progressed the West German built up a perfect rhythm. Despite this, it appeared that the Belgians would still win the first heat but then disaster struck the team when one of the cones on the pick-up side fell underneath the metronome and their player struggled to free it. After three swings back and forth, he was able to retrieve it, but by that time the West Germans and French had caught him up and completed the game. West Germany collected all 30 cones in 2 minutes 48 seconds and the French in 2 minutes 58 seconds, whilst Belgium had only collected 28 of their cones. The second heat saw Switzerland, Great Britain and Italy in action and was a very closely fought round. Whilst the Swiss and the Italians got the better start, the British player soon began making ground on the two of them and within 45 seconds had closed the deficit. After taking the lead the British player, like the West German before him, picked up a perfect rhythm, but after 2 minutes 15 seconds he tried to play clever and stacked one of the piles higher than the others. As he did so, the pile wobbled precariously and the top cone teetered to one side. Although it never toppled over, the British team captain can be heard shouting to his player not to touch it and just leave it as it was. Fortunately for him he only had five more cones to deliver and did so without incident. When the times were announced Great Britain had finished in 2 minutes 41 seconds just ahead of the Italians in 2 minutes 43 seconds, whilst the Swiss were out of the running in this game finishing in 3 minutes 5 seconds.

The points were awarded and the master scoreboard was displaying a three-way tie for 1st place with Switzerland (having scored 2pts), West Germany (4pts) and Great Britain (6pts), all on 21pts each. In 4th place were Italy (4pts) on 17pts, France (3pts) in 5th place with 16pts and Belgium (2pts) were in 6th place having completely blown their Joker with 15pts.


Game 6 - Push-Me Pull-Me

The sixth game - ‘Push-Me Pull-Me’ - was a risky, strength-draining game and involved two men located in between three heavy large cubes which had to be transported down a 25-metre course in an unusual way. The competitor in front had to lie between the first and second cubes supported by his hands in handles at the rear of the first cube, and his feet supported by handles on the front of the second cube. The second team member had to do likewise between the second and third cubes. On the whistle the participants had to push the cubes in front of them with their hands whilst pulling the cubes behind them with their feet. They had to work together and move along the course in a snake-like manner. Great Britain having just been promoted to 1st place on the previous game, presented their Joker for play at the start of the game. With all six teams competing at once it was a straight, but tiring race to the finish. On the whistle, all players had to get into their positions between the boxes and then set off down the course. The Italians got off to the best start followed by the West Germans and the British, and this was how it would remain throughout the game. Despite the structure of the game, the Italians completed the course in just 32 seconds followed by the West Germans in 34 seconds. Great Britain finished the game in 46 seconds with the Swiss close on their heels in 48 seconds. The final two to finish were France in 52 seconds and Belgium in 53 seconds.

With the points scored added to the master scoreboard Great Britain (8pts on their Joker) were now flying solo in 1st place with 29pts followed by West Germany (5pts) with 26pts. With Switzerland (3pts) on 24pts and Italy (6pts) on 23pts, it meant that the bottom two teams were now France (2pts) in 5th place with 18pts and Belgium (1pt) in 6th place with 16pts.


Game 7 - The Mammoths

The seventh game - 'The Mammoths' - featured four team members with their ankles tied together inside the costume of a woolly mammoth with giant tusks. On the whistle, all six teams had to progress down a course to retrieve a wooden log using only the tusks of the mammoth and then returning with it to the start of the course with its head held high. This then had to be repeated until five logs had been retrieved and the time was taken. The West Germans were more than a match for all of the other teams in this game as they stormed all five laps of the course finishing in 1 minute 47 seconds. The home crowd went wild, sensing an overall victory was now possible for the West Germans (whose Joker had yet to be played), and their fervour increased as the lowly Belgians secured 2nd place on the game with a time of 2 minutes 1 second. Whilst the West German team celebrated and removed their costume, the Swiss, the British and the Italians all finished the game out of camera view. The French, who had dropped one of their logs early in the game and had to go and retrieve it, eventually finished the course in 2 minutes 46 seconds.

The points were now added to the master scoreboard and West Germany (scoring 6pts) were now tied in 1st place with Great Britain (3pts) on 32pts each. These teams were followed by Switzerland (4pts) in 3rd place with 28pts, Italy in 4th place (2pts) with 25pts, Belgium (5pts) in 5th place with 21pts and France (1pt) in 6th place with 19pts.


Game 8 - The Rolling Carpet

The eighth game - 'The Rolling Carpet' - saw the West German team blow their chances to represent their country in the International Final, purely through their own determination to win. Five men had to stand inside a large ‘rubber band’ which was mounted on a small raised podium. On the whistle, the idea was to roll the ‘carpet’ along the podium bringing it forward above their heads and lifting the carpet that was now behind them up and over their heads - this was done by the fifth man in the row. Whilst doing this, they had to ensure that all their feet stayed inside the carpet and also on the podium itself. If a player’s foot came off the carpet or podium, the competitors had to stop and recompose themselves. The French, playing their Joker, went off at a cracking pace and the West Germans, positioned in the next lane, followed them along with the Belgians. However, in their haste towards the end of the game when they overtook the French, the West German ‘carpet’ was not moving as smoothly as it should and began to buckle (due to the team trying to move forward quicker than the ‘carpet’). This caused the team to consistently put their feet outside the playing area but they failed to recompose themselves when doing so and continued on. The West Germans crossed the line first and the crowd erupted because this would have been the fourth game they had won, had still to play their Joker and were also leading the contest at that point. The Belgian appeared to have crossed the line in 2nd place followed by the Swiss and the French, with the last two to finish being Italy and Great Britain. The game came to an end and the judges huddled around each other and then Guido delivered the bad news - that he had disqualified the German team and relegated them to last place on the game, costing the team 5pts. The crowd erupted with boos and whistles that were so loud that they almost drowned out Guido’s explanation.

However when the points were awarded, amidst boos and jeers, they did not reflect the way the game appeared to have finished. The Swiss were awarded 6pts although they had finished behind the Belgians and the French, and the French were awarded 10pts for 2nd place. The Italians were awarded 4pts for 3rd place although they actually finished in 5th place, and Belgium, who had appeared to have finished in 2nd place were awarded 3pts for 4th place. Great Britain who finished the course in 6th place were awarded 2pts and as previously stated West Germany were awarded just 1pt for the disqualification.

With these points added to the scoreboard, Switzerland had moved up to share 1st place with Great Britain with 34pts with West Germany dropping to 3rd place with 33pts. France and Italy were now sharing 4th place with 29pts each and Belgium had now dropped to 6th place with 24pts.


Game 9 - Water Slopes

The ninth and penultimate game - 'Water Slopes' - involved giant cloth slopes and buckets of water. Played over three minutes duration in two heats of three teams, two players from each team had to carry an empty bucket up the large cloth slopes and fill them with water from a barrel. The players then had to descend the slope in the classic slide position and empty any remaining contents into a large barrel which was then weighed at the end of the game. The final two Jokers from West Germany and Italy were presented at the start of the game. An uneventful game witnessed Italy collecting 66.5kgs of water, Great Britain 63kgs and Switzerland 59kgs in the first heat. The second heat saw the West Germans collecting 77kgs of water, France 63.5kgs and Belgium 56kgs.

The result of the game now meant that West Germany (scoring 12pts) could not be beaten as they headed the master scoreboard with 45pts. Italy (10pts) had moved up to 2nd place with 39pts whilst Great Britain (3pts) had dropped to 3rd place with 37pts. Switzerland (2pts) had dropped from the top of the scoreboard to 4th place with 36pts, whilst France (4pts) had also dropped a position to 5th place with 33pts. Belgium (1pt) were now destined to finish the competition in the position they now held, lying in 6th place with 25pts.


Jeu Handicap - Human Wheelbarrows

The final game - 'Human Wheelbarrows' (Jeu Handicap) - was a straight race down a 70m course with two team members adopting the classic children’s ‘wheelbarrow’ pose. The player at the front of the wheelbarrow holding the wheel was wearing a helmet which had a cup attached to it, in which sat a football, whilst the ‘pusher’ was on roller-skates. As this was the Jeu Handicap, the teams were separated by a 1.5m advantage on their neighbour dependant on their position on the current scoreboard. This resulted in Belgium having a 7.5m advantage over West Germany at the start of the game. On the whistle, the teams set off together and had to traverse a small obstacle course of humps, platforms and a see-saw built on narrow podiums. If the ‘barrow’ came off the course or the ball became dislodged from the helmet, the teams had to reposition themselves before continuing. On reaching the end of the course, the teams could dispense with the ball and then turn around and return to the start, negotiating the course in reverse order. A straightforward race saw the West Germans claw back the 7.5m deficit immediately and they won the game in 56 seconds (their fifth victory of the night) with Great Britain finishing in 2nd place in 1 minute 9 seconds (5pts), followed home by the Italians in 1 minute 13 seconds (4pts). The Belgians finished in 4th place in 1 minute 28 seconds (3pts) and the French finished in 5th place in 1 minute 43 seconds (2pts), narrowly beating the Swiss time of 1 minute 44 seconds (1pt).

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

Throughout this heat, presenter Camillo Felgen referred to the British team as ‘Sunny’ Worthing. Did he know something that the British people didn’t about the weather on the south coast of the country?

Additional Information

With the error by the West German judge in the fourth game, the teams of Straubing and Solothurn were both robbed of an addition point, and the British team awarded an additional 2pts! If this error had been corrected at the time, the final result would have read:

 

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th

D • Straubing
I • Arona
GB • Worthing
CH Solothurn

F • Anne masse
B • Arlon

52
43
40
38

35
28

 

If this error had been corrected, it would have meant that both Bardenberg from International Heat 2 and Straubing from this heat would have scored 52pts each. However, Bardenberg would still have qualified for the International Final for two reasons. Firstly, they had scored 52pts from only nine games played (an average of 5.77pts per game) and Straubing would have had the same score from ten games (5.20pts per game). Secondly, if they had been able to play the abandoned game then their score would have been at least 53pts (as the team were guaranteed 1pt from each game)! This can be seen illustrated in the table below:
 

Team

AVERAGE POINTS
(actual pts scored ÷ games played): Actual Final qualifying criteria
MINIMUM
SCORE

(if ALL 10 games had been played)

MAXIMUM SCORE

(if judging error not made)

ACTUAL
SCORE

(with ALL 10 games played)

Bardenberg 52 ÷  9 = 5.77pts 53pts --- ---
Straubing 51 ÷ 10 = 5.10pts --- 52pts ---
Duderstadt (*) 46 ÷ 10 = 4.60pts --- --- 46pts

(*) It should be noted that Duderstadt, who would go on to win the final International Heat in two weeks’ time, are shown here purely for comparative reasons, as they would not have qualified for the Final in either of the scenarios.
 

The refereeing error also affected the British team in this heat. Worthing had finished third, which would equal the highest position (at the time) of national rivals Lytham St. Annes from International Heat 2. However, even if the error had not been made, it would not have affected any of the qualifying criteria for the Final, as their average points and overall score would have actually lessened, and would not have displaced Cheltenham Spa, who also finished in third place in the final International Heat in two weeks time. This too can be seen illustrated in the table below:
 

Team

AVERAGE
POINTS

(actual pts scored ÷ games played): Actual Final qualifying criteria
MINIMUM
SCORE

(if ALL 10 games had been played)

AVERAGE /
SCORE

(if judging error not made)

ACTUAL
SCORE

(with ALL 10 games played)

Cheltenham Spa 43 ÷ 10 = 4.30pts --- --- 43pts
Worthing 42 ÷ 10 = 4.20pts --- 4.00pts / 40pts 42pts
Lytham St. Annes 35 ÷  9 = 3.88pts 41pts --- ---
 

At the presentation of the trophy at the end of the contest, the British team captain, clearly perturbed by the scoring for some reason, refused to take his position on the 3rd place podium, instead electing to join the Italian on the podium for 2nd place.

No female team members participated in this International Heat..

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

GB

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

Heat 6

Event Staged: Wednesday 23rd August 1967
Venue: South Promenade and Bathing Pool, Blackpool, Great Britain

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 23rd August 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 23rd August 1967, 9.05-10.15pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 23rd August 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 23rd August 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 23rd August 1967, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Leslie Pilkington, Mayor of Blackpool

Theme: The British Seaside Resort

Teams: Forest (B) v. Luzern (CH) v. Duderstadt (D) v.
Armentières (F) v. Cheltenham Spa (GB) v. Riccione (I)

Team Members included:
Duderstadt (D) -
Willi Arnaud, Monica Bruder, Wiltner Eisel and Erica Müller.
Cheltenham Spa (GB) -
Barrie Lewis (Team Captain), Norman Allen, Susan Arkell, Penny Bridge, Maureen Christie, Lynn Davies, Tony Davies, Mary Eggleton, Pauline Hurst, Heather Newman, Susan Parkinson, Pat Switzer, Ron Tapsell.

Games: The Mini Jelly Rally, Waiter! Waiter! Waiter!, Apples from the Barrels, The Grand Piano Smash, Do We Have Eggs for Tee?, Tote That Moke, The Pyjama Game, Tossing the Pancakes, Canoe Obstacle Race and Hobby-Horses and Tricycles (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 JD 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 2 4 12 1 5 3 5 3 1 2

CH

4

5

4

1

1

2

4

5

6

3

D

5

4

2

1

1

12

6

4

6

5

F

3

4

4

8

3

1

1

2

1

6

GB

6

1

1

12

6

4

1

6

5

1

I 1 6 6 5 5 10 3 1 4 4
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 2 6 18 19 24 27 32 35 36 38

CH

4

9

13

14

15

17

21

26

32

35

D

5

9

11

12

13

25

31

35

41

46

F

3

4

11

19

22

23

24

26

27

33

GB

6

7

8

20

26

30

31

37

42

43

I 1 7 13 18 23 33 36 37 41 45

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th

 D • Duderstadt l
 I • Riccione
 GB • Cheltenham Spa
l
 B • Forest
 CH • Luzern
 F • Armentières

46
45
43
38
35
33

The Host Town

Blackpool, Great Britain

Blackpool is a Lancashire seaside town, situated on the England’s Irish Sea coast. It is located 43km (27mi) north of Liverpool and 64km (40mi) north-west of Manchester, along the north-west coast between the Ribble and Wyre river estuaries.
 

At night, Blackpool offers visitors a dazzling light show

 

It was a coastal hamlet until the mid-18th century, when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast during the summer to bathe in sea water to improve well-being. In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool's 11km (7mi) sandy beach were able to use a newly built private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton. Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was governed by its own town council and aldermen. In 1881 Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000 and a promenade complete with three piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. In addition to its sandy beaches, Blackpool's major attractions and landmarks include the Blackpool Tower, the annual Blackpool illuminations, the Pleasure Beach theme park and the UK’s only surviving first generation tramway dating back to 1885, which stretches 18km (11mi) from the airport at Squires Gate all the way to the fishing port of Fleetwood.

The Venue

South Promenade and Bathing Pool

The games at this heat were staged in two locations along Blackpool’s famous promenade opposite its famous Pleasure Beach and they were separated only by the wall of the South Promenade Bathing Pool. Six of the ten games were played on the promenade whilst the other four were held in or around the bathing pool itself.
 

An aerial view of the South Promenade and former Bathing Pool

 

Built in 1923, the South Promenade Bathing Pool was affectionately referred to as Blackpool’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and was frequented by the rich and famous in its early years. The cost of building the classical-style Coliseum with its Roman pillars around the pool alone was in the region of £75,000. Many stars of the cinema even took time out to bathe in its beautiful surroundings which included Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950) in 1932 and Hollywood blonde-bombshell Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967) in 1959, and in 1934 Associated Talking Pictures used the pool for scenes in the Gracie Fields (1898-1967) musical Sing As We Go. Within a year of opening the pool had attracted over 94,000 bathers and by the end of the decade the number of visitors had totalled over nine million!

Said to have been the largest pool in the world, it was set amongst the large promenades, nestling on the edge of golden sands within the bracing air. The stadium received the world’s press, television and cinema, as a result of being the venue for the Miss Blackpool and Miss World Contests. The pool had an unusually shaped oval perimeter, the pool itself being D-shaped, and having a concaved pageant platform. There was a "cut out" for the diving boards at one end, where the depth of the water was 4.5m (15ft). The pool area was of huge scale, approximately (114m long x 51m wide) (376ft x 170ft). The shape necessitated a swimming events area which was partitioned when necessary. There were of course refreshment areas and restaurants. The diving board area was the order of the day, having 2 x 3m (9ft 10¼ins) springboards, 2 x 7.5m (24ft 8ins) firm boards and a 10m (32ft 9ins) high-board (which on windy days was claimed to have swayed!).

Sadly the pool and its buildings no longer exist. Due to its very expensive running and maintenance costs and the trend for holidays on the continent, its viability could no longer be sustained, and was closed to the public in 1981. The new leisure complex The Sandcastle Water Park has occupied the site since 1986.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Mini Jelly Rally

The first game - 'The Mini Jelly Rally' - was staged on the promenade and was one that had been featured in the British Domestic series earlier in the year. Played out over three heats of two teams, it featured two British Leyland Minis (registration numbers JON 769E and JON 770E) being utilised to transport eight female team members up a slalom course. On the whistle, the eight girls each had to grab a plate with a jelly on it from a table and then all clamber into the small Mini car. The driver then had to carry out a number of manoeuvres up the course, and then return back to the start in the quickest time. However on reaching the end of the course, the girls had to alight from the car and then place the jellies back onto the table, and along with the driver run to a finishing line in order for the time to be taken. There were 5-second penalties for any jellies that had been damaged and any of the obstacles that had been hit by the car. The French and Italian teams played first and finished the game with total times of 1 minute 20 seconds (1 minute 10 seconds + 10 seconds in penalties) and 1 minute 34 seconds (1 minute 19 seconds + 15 seconds) respectively. The second heat saw the Belgians attain a total time of 1 minute 30 seconds (1 minute 20 seconds + 10 seconds), whilst the Swiss made a flawless run in 1 minute 11 seconds. The final heat was between old adversaries West Germany and Great Britain, and was a closely fought heat with both teams’ cars returning to the starting point together. It now all depended on how quickly the girls could alight and get to the finishing line. The times were announced and Great Britain had finished a flawless performance in just 58 seconds, and although the West Germans had finished the game in 59 seconds, they were penalised for having struck one of the obstacles, and finished the game with a total time of 1 minute 4 seconds.

First blood went to the home team from Great Britain and were leading West Germany at the top of the master scoreboard by 1pt. In 3rd place were Switzerland with 4pts and France were in 4th place with 3pts. With the worst total time on the game, the Italians were awarded just 1pt and were trailing behind the Belgians who opened their account with 2pts.


Game 2 - Waiter! Waiter! Waiter!

The British team were riding high but this was not to last very long as the action moved inside to the pool area for the second game - 'Waiter! Waiter! Waiter!'. The game featured all six teams and was played in the pool by three waiters from each team, and like its predecessor had previously featured in the British domestic series, in this case from the 1966 series. Each waiter was holding a tray and balancing on individual floating pivoted wooden planks. On the whistle, a fourth team member in the middle of the pool handed the first waiter a Coca-Cola bottle filled with water, which he had to place on his tray. He then had to walk along the plank, keeping his balance in order for the next waiter to retrieve the bottle and then place it on his own tray. He then had to repeat the same and hand over to the third player, who finally handed the bottle to a female team-mate on the poolside. It was a straightforward game with the team collecting the greater number of full bottles winning the game. The result of the game revealed that Italy had collected 20 bottles and scored 6pts, followed closely by Switzerland with 19 bottles and scored 5pts. Three teams - Belgium, West Germany and France - all collected 17 bottles and were awarded 4pts each. This left only Great Britain with 1pt for collecting just 13 bottles.

With no Jokers played, the British lead had vanished and the master scoreboard was now headed by Switzerland and West Germany on 9pts each. Great Britain had dropped to a tied 3rd place with Italy, who had now moved off the bottom spot, and France on 7pts each, whilst Belgium were now lying in 6th place with just 4pts.


Game 3 - Apples from the Barrels

The action returned to the promenade for the third game - 'Apples from the Barrels' - which was based on the classic children’s game of apple bobbing. On the whistle, a player from each team with his hands tied behind his back had to ‘bob’ for apples from a barrel of ‘crazy foam’ using just his mouth to retrieve them. He then had to run with any collected apples to the end of the course and drop them into another barrel. To assist them, as their faces would be covered in foam, and having the possibility of not being able to see, each of their six team-mates was given a different small musical instrument to play, to assist them with direction up the course. Described by West German commentator Camillo Felgen as a modern-day Pied Piper of Hamelin (Rattenfänger von Hameln), the game was timed with a duration of just one minute only. The Belgians were the first to present their Joker on the night and the game was to prove lucrative to them but disastrous for the home team. With the final whistle came the results and, for the second successive game, the Italians had finished with 6pts for collecting 7 apples. The Belgians had also collected the same number of apples and, with their Joker having been played, were awarded the maximum of 12pts. Switzerland and France tied for 3rd place with 6 apples (4pts each), whilst West Germany, having only collected 4 apples, were awarded 2pts. The British team now found themselves in the embarrassing situation of having finished two successive games at the bottom of the scoring with another 1pt.


Objection!

Although the British team captain lodged a protest with Gennaro Olivieri regarding the result, it was overruled and there were no surprises as the master scoreboard was displayed. Belgium were now leading the other five teams with 18pts, followed by Switzerland and Italy in 2nd place with 13pts each. West Germany had slipped to 4th place with 11pts (despite the scoreboard showing them as having 12pts) and were now tied with France, whilst Great Britain, who had led the competition after the first game, were now trailing in 6th place after three games with just 8pts.


Game 4 - The Grand Piano Smash

The action stayed on the promenade for the fourth game - 'The Grand Piano Smash' - which, in common with the second game, had featured in the British Domestic series of 1966. The game saw the British and French Jokers presented for play and involved six upright pianos which, after a few bars of British pianist Russ Conway’s Roulette (described by West German commentator Camillo Felgen as "backroom Hunky-Tunky piano music") had been played, the whistle was blown and four team members from each team emerged and had exactly five minutes to rip their pianos apart. Each team were provided with a sledgehammer and it was just a simple case of pushing all the pieces of the broken piano through slots that had been cut into the faces of large wooden caricatures. After two disastrous defeats, the British team on this game - all members the Cheltenham Spa Rugby Club - were declared the winners after posting all the pieces of their piano in 3 minutes 22 seconds, and were awarded 12pts for their efforts. Italy finished in 2nd place (5pts) after completing the game in 4 minutes 45 seconds and the French completed the game in 4 minutes 47 seconds to finish in 3rd place (8pts). The remaining three teams from Belgium, Switzerland and West Germany all failed to complete the game and were awarded 1pt each.

The master scoreboard now showed that the three teams that had played their Jokers were all heading the competition. Great Britain were in 1st place with 20pts, closely followed by Belgium and France in tied 2nd place with 19pts. Italy were now in 4th place with 18pts whilst Switzerland had dropped down to 5th place with 14pts. The West Germans, although still showing with the incorrect score of 13pts, were in fact in 6th place with 12pts.


Game 5 - Do We Have Eggs for Tee?

The fifth game - 'Do We Have Eggs for Tee?' - was played inside the swimming arena on the poolside and, like its predecessor, was a copy of a game played in the 1966 British Domestic series. The game involved a team member from each country attempting to hit 12 golf balls balanced on top of eggs into various scoring targets floating in the pool, within the time limit of 1 minute 15 seconds. However, if any of the eggs were broken by the golfers, then a 1pt penalty would be deducted for each one from the total scored. The first heat of two featured Belgium, West Germany and Great Britain, with the British player getting off to a good start by chipping a ball into the highest scoring target of 4pts on his second attempt. The Belgian player had decided to take his time but hadn’t realised that the time limit was approaching and made only 10 attempts of the 12 before British referee Eddie Waring stepped in to prevent him from making any further attempts once the final whistle was blown. The result of the first heat revealed that Great Britain had scored 13pts with no breakages and Belgium had scored 5pts, also with no breakages. However, although the West German had scored 4pts, they were wiped out by him breaking 4 eggs and therefore was given a score of 0pts. The second heat saw Switzerland, France and Italy participate but none were able to beat the British score. Italy had scored a total of 5pts without breakage, whilst France had also scored 5pts but had broken 4 eggs and finished with a total of 1pt. Switzerland scored only 1pt but had broken 2 eggs, and whilst they should have been given a total of -1pt, were instead given a total of 0pts, which would cost the West German team 1pt.

With the points added to the scoreboard, the second successive British win (6pts) showed them maintaining the lead with 26pts. Belgium (having scored 5pts) were now lying in 2nd place with 24pts, with the Italians (5pts) in 3rd place with 23pts. France (3pts) were now in 4th place with 22pts, with Switzerland (1pt) in 5th place with 15pts. With the refereeing error, West Germany were also awarded 1pt (which in reality should have been 2pts) and remained in 6th place with 13pts overall (even though for the third game running their score was showing incorrectly as 14pts). However, the West Germans were about to make a remarkable comeback.


Game 6 - Tote That Moke

The sixth game - ‘Tote That Moke’ - was, like its two predecessors, based on one that had been utilised earlier in the 1966 British Domestic series, and saw West Germany and Italy both presenting their Jokers for play. The game was played on the promenade and featured another car from British manufacturer British Leyland, the Mini-Moke, taking its name from the Mini, the car used earlier in the programme, and Moke, an archaic term for a donkey. The game involved six male competitors from each team standing adjacent to their wheel-less Moke, in which sat a female team-mate. On the whistle, up to five of the six competitors could run to the end of the course in order to retrieve the four wheels and twelve wheel nuts required. Although it was possible to collect all the required parts immediately, some teams chose tactical play, and any remaining parts had to be collected on a second run. The teams then had to lift the car, with the girl inside, and attach the wheels and corresponding nuts onto the Moke without the aid of a car-jack. It was only after the nuts had been sufficiently tightened by hand and the wheel was on the ground, that the teams were permitted to use a small wheel-brace to tighten it securely. Once all four wheels had been secured, the car then had to be carried to the end of the course by the six players and once reached, five of them had to climb inside whilst the car was pushed in reverse back to the start by the sixth player. On reaching the start line, the whole process then had to be reversed where the nuts and wheels had to be removed and taken back to the end of the course, and a time was taken only when all competitors had returned to the start line once more and were standing adjacent to their wheel-less car. The first of the two heats saw West Germany (registration number JOM 130E), France (JOM 128E) and Great Britain (JOM 127E) competing in what proved to be a very strenuous game to play. The West Germans set the pace immediately and were the first to complete the game in a time of 2 minutes 3 seconds. The British finished in 2 minutes 28 seconds whilst the French lagged behind in 2 minutes 56 seconds. The second heat featured Belgium (JOM 128E), Switzerland (JOM 127E) and Italy (JOM 130E), and was not as quick, with the Italians finishing in 2 minutes 15 seconds, followed by Belgium in 2 minutes 36 seconds and Switzerland in 2 minutes 49 seconds. A point to note from this game was that both of the winning teams had utilised the same car in their heats and both had played their Jokers.

With two good-scoring Jokers played, the master scoreboard had changed dramatically with the Italians (10pts) now leading with 33pts. Great Britain (4pts) had dropped to 2nd place with 30pts, whilst Belgium (3pts) had also dropped down a place to 3rd with 27pts. West Germany (12pts) had began their comeback and had moved up to 4th place with 25pts (the scoreboard operators finally correcting their mistake), whilst France (1pt) dropped to 5th place with 23pts and Switzerland (2pts) were propping-up all the other teams in 6th place with 17pts.


Game 7 - The Pyjama Game

The cameras returned to the poolside for the seventh game - 'The Pyjama Game' - and featured six couples (one male and one female) lying in bed and on the whistle they had to get up an get dressed into bed-wear attire. The male had to don a pair of pyjamas whilst the female had to don a baby-doll nightdress and nightcap. They then had to dive into the pool and swim to a small round podium and climb onto it. Once both team members were aboard they then had to undress and swap attires, and then swim back to the poolside and return to bed. A straightforward simple game which saw West Germany finish in 1st place in 1 minute 37 seconds followed by Great Britain in 2nd place in 1 minute 49 seconds. Belgium finished in 3rd place in 1 minute 58 seconds, Switzerland 4th in 2 minutes 1 second and Italy finished in 5th place in 2 minutes 4 seconds. The French team finished the game in 6th place in 2 minutes 20 seconds. However, when the times were revealed, there was some disappointing news for the British team, as the male competitor had failed to dress himself correctly before starting the return journey and they had been disqualified. Although this was also the case for the French team, they had already finished the game in 6th place.

Following two consecutive wins, the master scoreboard showed that the West Germans were making progress up the rankings. Italy (3pts) had retained their 1st place with 36pts, whilst the Belgians (5pts) had improved to 2nd place with 32pts. West Germany (6pts) had moved up to 3rd place and were joined by Great Britain (1pt), who had dropped down from 2nd place following their disqualification, with 31pts each. France retained 5th place with 24pts and the Swiss were still languishing in 6th place with 21pts.


Game 8 - Tossing the Pancakes

The eighth game - 'Tossing the Pancakes' - saw the cameras move back outside to the promenade for a game which featured the six teams tossing pancakes. Each team comprised two players (one male, one female), and on the whistle the male competitor, who was wearing roller-skates, had to collect a pancake (in reality a water-soaked slice of household sponge) from a bucket on a table and place it in a skillet. He then had to toss the pancake backwards over his head in order for it to be caught in another skillet by his team-mate who was standing some 3-4m away. This was repeated throughout the 1 minute 30 seconds game and the team catching the greatest number of pancakes would be declared the winner. In a weird twist to the game, although Great Britain had caught 5 pancakes and won the game, none of the teams had a score equal to any other. Switzerland had caught 4 pancakes (5pts), West Germany 3 pancakes (4pts), Belgium 2 pancakes (3pts), France 1 pancake (2pts) and the competition leaders Italy had not caught any pancakes at all (1pt).

The master scoreboard was now hotting up with only two points separating the first four teams. Great Britain’s win had promoted them back to 1st place to join Italy with 37pts each. West Germany retained 3rd place and were joined by Belgium, who had dropped from 2nd place, with 35pts each. The remaining two teams from Switzerland and France were in joint 5th place with 26pts each.


Game 9 - Canoe Obstacle Race

The ninth game - 'Canoe Obstacle Race' - saw the cameras return to the pool for the final time and also witnessed the last of the six Jokers being played by Switzerland. This game was played by female competitors in two heats of three teams, and it involved a canoe and an obstacle race of hurdles, climbing frames and nets. On the whistle, the first competitor already inside, had to set the canoe in motion using only her hands and arms, in order to get to the first obstacle and retrieve a wooden paddle. After collecting the paddle, a team-mate in the pool joined her in the canoe by clambering inside. The second obstacle required the teams to stop underneath a bar in order for each of the two girls to retrieve a bucket of water hanging down. On completion, a third team-mate could then join the other two already in the canoe in the same manner as before. The next obstacle was for all of the three competitors to pass their bodies through a lifebuoy hanging down from a bar, whilst the canoe passed underneath, after which a fourth and final team-mate joined them inside the canoe. The final obstacle was for the team to steer the canoe underneath an inverted ‘V’ netted frame whilst they all had to climb over it. Once all competitors were back in the canoe, it was a straight race to the finishing line. The first heat saw Belgium, West Germany and France competing and it was a complete whitewash by the West German quartet finishing the game in exactly 2 minutes, whilst back up the course the other two teams were only just reaching the third obstacle. The West German team however, were very fortunate to complete the game, because as they made their final approach to the finishing line, the canoe began to take on water, and just as the front of the canoe crossed the finishing line, the canoe sank to the bottom, unseating all of its occupants. The Belgian and French both failed to complete the course within the 3 minutes 30 seconds time limit, with both teams only just clearing the final obstacle before the whistle was blown. The second heat saw the home team of Great Britain competing against Switzerland and Italy, and after a slight mishap at the start of the course (which ultimately cost them the win), the British team made a rapid demolition of the game and finished in 2 minutes 3 seconds. They were followed home by the Italians in 2 minutes 25 seconds and the Swiss team playing their Joker, in 2 minutes 29 seconds.

The West Germans had won their third game, but Great Britain, after picking up 5pts, and having won four games overall, were now ahead on the master scoreboard with 42pts. The West Germans (6pts) moved up to 2nd place to join Italy (4pts), who had been knocked off the top spot, on 41pts. Belgium (1pt) had now blown their chances of winning and dropped down the scoreboard for the second consecutive game, now in 4th place with 36pts. Switzerland (6pts) failed to make any impact after playing their Joker and retained 5th place with 32pts, and the French (1pt), who were now destined to finish the competition in their current position, dropped to 6th place with 27pts.


Jeu Handicap - Hobby Horses and Tricycles

The final game - 'Hobby Horses and Tricycles' (Jeu Handicap) - was the second of the night to feature only female competitors, and was played outside on the promenade. It was however, of very poor quality for a game that would decide the Silver Trophy. On the whistle, six competitors sitting on small carousel-like horses on wheels, had to bounce up and down in order to move up a course, negotiating a small hillock and a wooden table-like obstacle. After completing this part of the course, they then made her way to their team-mates who were waiting on small tricycles, and it was a simple case of them cycling up the course, passing over two small ramped platforms, and crossing the finishing line. Although this was the handicap game, all the competitors began the game on the same line, but as it was being played on an ‘L’ shaped course, it resulted in the leading team at the start of the game having to travel the furthest to tag their second player. The French naturally won the game (6pts) as they had had the least to travel, but the West German duo made up a great deal of ground to finish in 2nd place and score 5pts. Like West Germany, the Italians made up ground on those that had received an advantage, and finished in 3rd place with 4pts. The Swiss finished in 4th place with 3pts followed by Belgium in 5th place with 2pts. The British team failed to make any progress on the teams that had received an advantage and finished in 6th place (their fourth such placing of the night) with 1pt.

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

Unlike at International Heat 4, when the referees shared responsibility at both areas of the venue, this heat saw referee Gennaro Olivieri overseeing events outside on the promenade with British presenter David Vine, whilst Guido Pancaldi was poolside with co-presenter MacDonald Hobley.

Italian presenter Renata Mauro was not taking any chances with her pet being lonely at home in Italy and brought her seven-month old bulldog, Andanazi to Blackpool and had it in the commentary box with her and co-presenter Giulio Marchetti!

At the end of the programme, West German commentator Camillo Felgen explained that the International Final would be held in two weeks time at the Kohlscheid Stadium at Bardenberg (in reality it is situated in Kohlscheid itself, a neighbouring town close to Bardenberg). Meanwhile, British presenter David Vine appeared not to have been as well informed and stated that the Final would be held somewhere in Germany! Camillo Felgen repeated what Vine had said and somewhat raised a small titter. Despite this, the British presenter then read a screen-displayed board and announced the teams that had qualified for the International Final - and showing clearly at the top of the board was Bardenberg as the venue!

Returning Teams and Competitors

The British team of Cheltenham Spa included four female members who had participated for Southport in the domestic It's A Knockout series - and who were ‘drafted in’ by the Cheltenham Spa team!

Additional Information

Before the games began, David Vine presented a mini-scoreboard displaying the current teams that were qualifying for the International Final. Due to the cancelled games in earlier programmes, the qualifying criteria were based on average points. However when the teams were displayed, the BBC had some of the information incorrect. The Swiss team of Martigny were shown as having an average point score of 5.00, where in fact they had scored 51pts from 10 games = 5.10 average. French team Nogent-sur-Marne were shown as having an average of 5.33 where in fact they had scored 54pts from 10 games also = 5.40 average!

The British team secured qualification to the International Final with their overall 3rd placing by just one-tenth of a point over Worthing. This year’s qualification criteria was based on the highest placed teams and their average points and therefore Cheltenham Spa had an average games points score of 4.30pts (43÷10) as opposed to Worthing’s score of 4.20pts per game (42÷10). (More details are shown in the table at end of International Heat 5).

As stated earlier, the West German team made a remarkable comeback to win this competition. Having only scored 13pts from the first five games, the team then scored the remaining 33pts on the next five games!

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

Teams Qualifying for International Final

Country

 Team Qualifying Heat Position Points
B  Ath 3 CH 1 46

CH

 Martigny

1 F 2 51

D

 Bardenberg

2 B 1 52
F  Nogent-sur-Marne 1 F 1 54

GB

 Cheltenham Spa

6 GB 3 43
I  Montecatini Terme 1 I 1 45
 

D

Jeux Sans Frontières 1967

International Final

Event Staged: Wednesday 6th September 1967
Venue: Oststadion (East Stadium), Kohlscheid, West Germany

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
RTB (B):
Wednesday 6th September 1967, 9.00-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 6th September 1967, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Wednesday 6th September 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 6th September 1967, 9.05-10.20pm (Live - DST)
RAI Due (I):
Thursday 7th September 1967

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: The Mayor of Kohlscheid

Theme: Fairground Attractions

Teams: Ath (B) v. Martigny (CH) v. Bardenberg (D) v.
Nogent-sur-Marne (F) v. Cheltenham Spa (GB) v. Montecatini Terme (I)

Team Members included:
Ath (B) -
Francine DeCategere;
Martigny (CH) -
Isabelle Genau;
Bardenberg (D) - Stefan Bulsch, Peter Claßen, Manfred Eschweiler, Willi Simons and Kristel Woch;
Nogent-sur-Marne (F) -
Eveline Berntine;
Cheltenham Spa (GB) -
Barrie Lewis (Team Captain), Norman Allan, Susan Arkell, Penny Bridge, Lynn Davies, Tony Davies, Pauline Hurst, Susan Parkinson, Pat Switzer and Ron Tapsell;
Montecatini Terme (I) - Giovanni Bellini, Bella Semara.

Games: The Siamese Quintuplets, The Tangled Maze, The Water Carousel, The Dragons, The Giant Dolls' Maze, The Drunken Husbands, The Human Weavers, The Swinging Giraffes and The Frogs (Jeu Handicap);
Jokers: Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 6 2 3 1 2 3 2 4 4

CH

1

0

1

6

3

12

1

3

5

D

2

6

12

3

6

4

4

6

6

F

4

1

10

4

5

2

6

1

3

GB

5

5

2

10

4

1

3

3

2

I 3 4 4 2 1 10 5 5 1
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 6 8 11 12 14 17 19 23 27

CH

1

1

2

8

11

23

24

27

32

D

2

8

20

23

29

33

37

43

49

F

4

5

15

19

24

26

32

33

36

GB

5

10

12

22

26

27

30

33

35

I 3 7 11 13 14 24 29 34 35

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
3rd
5th
6th

 D • Bardenberg l
 F • Nogent-sur-Marne
l
 GB • Cheltenham Spa
l
 I • Montecatini Terme
l
 CH • Martigny
 B • Ath

49
36
35
35
32
27

The Host Town

Kohlscheid, West Germany

Kohlscheid, a town known as Pannesheide until 1908, is located in the district of Aachen in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. The area was known for its rich coal deposits and is built on a high elevation. The name Kohlscheid derives from the local dialect Kohl-Scheet loosely translated into English as ‘up from a vertex’. This can clearly be seen from the Market square that stands high above the town and from there all roads lead downwards.
 

Kohlscheid's mining past is commemorated by a monument
which stands near St Katharina's Church

 

In 1972 (as was the case in many countries in post-war Europe) the town lost its own identity and was merged under municipal reorganisation with the small neighbouring communities of Merkstein and Herzogenrath to become suburbs of the newly created the larger new city of Herzogenrath. The city is so close to the Dutch border that lengths of Niewstraat, the main route from Kohlscheid into the centre, is actually split down the middle by the national borders. Travelling north, the houses on the left-hand side of the street are in Netherlands, whilst the houses on the right-hand side are in Germany!

It is believed that Kohlscheid was inhabited over 2000 years ago, but it was not until around the 12th century that the rich coal deposits were discovered and began the initial industrial development in the area. In 1913 the Eschweiler Bergwerks Verein (EBV) (Eschweiler Mining Association) moved its headquarters to Kohlscheid, and it became the centre for the coal industry in Germany.

The Venue

Oststadion

The games at this International Final were staged in the north-west of the town at the football ground of local non-league team Kohlscheider Ballspiel Club 1913 eingetragener Verein (Kohlscheider B.C. 1913 e. V.) loosely translated into English as Kohlscheid Ballplay Club 1913 Registered Association, which was established, as its name suggests, in 1913.

 

An aerial view of the relatively small Oststadion,
home to local club Kohlscheider B.C. 1913

 

The Rehearsals

Colour home movie footage of rehearsals for this International Final can be seen in an interview feature at the WDR website which includes comments from Bardenberg team member Peter Claßen. The home movie footage can be seen separately and is in three parts - Part 1 (4 minutes and 14 seconds), Part 2 (2 minutes and 27 seconds) and Part 3 (3 minutes and 50 seconds).

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Siamese Quintuplets

The first game of the programme - 'The Siamese Quintuplets' - was a straightforward three-legged race with a difference. Five team members from each team were joined together in the classic ‘three-legged style’ and were wearing an elongated conjoined five-coned hat. On the whistle, the teams had to race up the course negotiating a number of obstacles comprised of ski-slalom gates, a seesaw, a podium of small hillocks and a raised narrow beam. On reaching the end of the course, the teams had to circumnavigate a slalom pole and return back up the course over the obstacles. The Belgians finished the course in 1 minute 15 seconds, followed by the British just ahead of the French, both finishing in 1 minute 16 seconds. The fourth team to cross the line was Italy in 1 minute 19 seconds and then there was a considerable wait (based on the closeness of the first four teams to finish) until the home team of West Germany crossed the line just ahead of the Swiss in 1 minute 26 seconds.

Confirmation of the results was shown on the master scoreboard with Belgium leading with 6pts. Great Britain had got off to a good start with 5pts and France were in 3rd place with 4pts. These teams were followed by Italy in 4th place with 3pts whilst the home team were placed 5th with 2pts, and despite their efforts to make up ground at the end of the game, the Swiss team were in 6th place with just 1pt.


Game 2 - The Tangled Maze

The second game - ‘The Tangled Maze’ - featured an all-female competition and saw the first Joker of the night being played by Belgium. At the end of the game, viewers would witness the first team ever to be awarded 0pts in the new style JSF where a last place finish would ordinarily be rewarded with 1pt (a change from JSF 1965 and 1966 when points were only awarded for games won or drawn). At the start of the game, each of the six girls was attached to one end of a rope and stood next to their own podium which was attached to the other. Each of these ropes had been wrapped around 10 of the 20 poles supporting podiums within the playing area and had been entwined over, under and through each of the other ropes. On the whistle, the girls had ‘reel the ropes in’ by turning their bodies in circles throughout the game in order to keep the ropes taut to reach each of the podiums. On encountering ropes in their path, they had to ‘untangle’ their one by going over or under the other rope concerned. When the girls reached the 10 podiums, they had to collect a flat rubber ring which they had to wear around their neck and keep with them throughout the game. After collecting all 10 discs they continued to reel in the remainder of the rope until returning back to their podium where the girl had to lift a final black disc to reveal the national ident letter. Although all the teams finished the course, there was a surprise when the scoring was announced. The West German girl had collected all of her discs and completed the course in 1 minute 30 seconds, followed by the British player in 1 minute 41 seconds and the Italian in 1 minute 54 seconds. The French girl had failed to complete the course correctly by only collecting 5 rings and was awarded 6th place. The Belgian girl had collected only 6 rings and were also placed in 6th place. However, the Swiss team of Martigny were awarded 0pts on the game, a consequence of failing to comply with the rules. Although it would have made no difference to the other two teams’ positions (because they had not collected enough rings themselves to have been affected by it) the Swiss girl had collected more rings than were required, and was penalised because she had in theory prevented the other teams from collecting the correct number each.

With the points awarded to the master scoreboard, Great Britain were leading with 10pts (having scored their second consecutive 5pts), with Belgium (1pt doubled to 2pts with the Joker) and West Germany (6pts) in 2nd place with 8pts each. Italy were now in 4th place with 7pts and France trailed in 5th place with 5pts. The Swiss team remained in 6th place with 1pt following their penalty score.


Game 3 - The Water Carousel

The third game - 'The Water Carousel' - was very straightforward, but featured an unusual twist on the classic Jeux Sans Frontières carousel game. Played on a carousel located inside a large pool of water, it involved a large hexagonal container divided into six sections annotated with each country’s ident letter. Before the game started, both the West German and French teams presented their Jokers for play, and the carousel was set in motion. West German commentator Camillo Felgen explained that it would spin at 28rpm (revolutions per minute) for the first three minutes and for the final minute it would be increased to spin at 32rpm. On the whistle, the competitors had to jump into the pool, collect water in small buckets, leap onto the moving carousel and then empty the water into their designated section of the container. They then had to jump back into the pool and repeat the action until time limit was reached. It was clear from the start that the end result was inevitable as the West German section of the container began to be filled at a rapid rate. Two minutes into the game, it could be seen that most of the competitors were beginning to tire as their energies were drained and their attempts to board the carousel began to lessen. However, by this time, the West German section of the container was already twice as full as those of any of their competitors, and with the speed of the carousel yet to be increased, it was a case of just waiting for the game to finish for confirmation. After the allotted playing time the whistle was blown and a wooden ‘bridge’ was placed between the edge of the pool to the carousel in order for referees, Gennaro Olivieri and Guido Pancaldi to cross and to ascertain the exact amounts of water collected by each team. Guido then shouted the scores to presenter Camillo Felgen, who in turn wrote them onto a small blackboard. This was the first time it was known for a presenter to have done this, and as was clear from the outset, the game ended in victory for the West German team after amassing 91cms of water (12pts). They were followed by the French in 2nd place with 66cms (10pts), who finished just ahead of the Italians in 3rd place with 62cms (4pts). Belgium finished in 4th place with 37cms (3pts), Great Britain in 5th place with 29cms (2pts) and the Swiss team finished in 6th place with just 15cms of water (1pt).

With the two Joker-playing teams finishing in the top two places on the game, the positions on the master scoreboard had now changed considerably. West Germany were now leading with 20pts, France were in 2nd place with 15pts and Great Britain had dropped to 3rd place with 12pts. Belgium and Italy were both lying in joint 4th place with 11pts each, with the Swiss trailing behind in 6th place with just 2pts.


Game 4 - The Dragons

The fourth game - ‘The Dragons’ - witnessed Great Britain playing their Joker and was designed for only the fittest, strongest team members and most certainly not for the weak-minded. Although simplistic in design, it will be remembered as a classic Jeux Sans Frontières game. It involved five men in a long cloth tube, with the first - the only one able to see where the team were going - having a large dragon’s head. On the whistle, the team had to ‘walk’ on their hands and knees in a myriapodan motion along a 55-metre course negotiating obstacles such as stairs and see-saws by following their ‘leader’. However, on reaching the end of the course, the teams then had to turn round and it was then a straight race back to the finishing line. On the whistle, all the teams set off at a steady pace with the West German team taking an early lead. One minute into the game, the Italians had closed the gap, with Great Britain and Switzerland both hot on their tails. At the turnaround point, nothing could separate Switzerland, West Germany, Great Britain and Italy as they all circumnavigated their poles at the same time. However of the four, Switzerland achieved the better turn and gained the lead. It was now just a matter of waiting to see which of teams kept their propulsion in rhythm. At the end of the game, the teams all seemed to come out unscathed, but there were some sore knees for sure. The Swiss team, who had only scored 2pts from the first three games, finished in 1st place (6pts) in a time of 2 minutes 31 seconds, followed by the British team of Cheltenham Spa in 2nd place, their third such placing in four games, in 2 minutes 36 seconds. On the far side of the course, the French had made up considerable ground, finishing in 3rd place (4pts) in 2 minutes 44 seconds. Despite leading throughout the outward journey, the West German team finished in 4th place (3pts) in 2 minutes 52 seconds, closely followed by the Italians (who had been joint leaders with them at the midway point) in 5th place (2pts) in 2 minutes 56 seconds, whilst the Belgians finished the course in 6th place (1pt) in 3 minutes 2 seconds.

Despite the British Joker being played, the West German team had maintained their lead on the master scoreboard with 23pts, with Great Britain moving up to 2nd place with 22pts. The French team had dropped to 3rd place with 19pts but were still ahead of Italy in 4th place with 13pts and Belgium in 5th place with 12pts. The Swiss having won the game, were still in single figures, lying in 6th place with just 8pts!


Game 5 - The Giant Dolls' Maze

The fifth game - 'The Giant Dolls' Maze' - featured six male team players inside large conical dolls which had to be guided through their own individual large maze and eventually through a cleverly shaped cut-out wall at the end of the course. Although all the mazes were of the same shape, starting positions were determined by a draw before the game started. After declaring Great Britain as the team in the first maze, referee Gennaro Olivieri had a mishap and tripped over the small fence separating the mazes. Always the professional and without embarrassment, he was helped to his feet by fellow referee Guido Pancaldi, and simply raced to the next maze section. This was met with cheers of “Bravo, bravo, Gennaro!” from West German presenter Camillo Felgen. After all the teams had been allotted their mazes, a starting pistol was fired and the dolls were let loose. A very straightforward game which resulted in West Germany completing the course in just 41 seconds, winning their third game of the night and collecting another 6pts. France finished the course in 43 seconds and scored 5pts for 2nd place, with Great Britain picking up 4pts for finishing in 3rd place in 49 seconds. The Swiss team were next to finish in 54 seconds, picking up 3pts for 4th place, whilst the Belgians finished the course in 1 minute 6 seconds and scored 2pts for 5th. There was then a prolonged wait for the Italian to finish in 6th place, but he eventually crossed the line in 1 minute 46 seconds and picked up 1pt.

The scoreboard now showed the West Germans were beginning to open up a gap at the top with 29pts. Great Britain had retained their 2nd place with 26pts, followed by France who had also retained their placing, in 3rd with 24pts. Both Belgium and Italy were now in 4th place with 14pts each, whilst the Swiss were still in 6th place with 11pts (despite the scoreboard still showing 8pts!).


Game 6 - The Drunken Husbands

The sixth game - 'The Drunken Husbands' - was held in two heats of three teams and saw the Swiss and Italian teams both playing their Jokers. The camera then returned to the scoreboard to display the Jokers as having been played and it could be seen that the Swiss score from the previous game had now been rectified. The game involved two girls from each team, one sitting on a bench with a bicycle at one end of the course, whilst at the other end of a course was a seated foam rubber ‘drunken husband’ and her compatriot, with another bicycle, sitting on a table. On the whistle, the first girl had to mount her bicycle and race down the course in order to retrieve her husband. She then had to return to the start of the course with the husband through a slalom course of ski-gates. Once she had crossed the finish line and taken her seat back on the bench with her husband, a signal was given by a touch-judge for her team-mate to cycle straight back up the course to retrieve the husband again. She then had to negotiate the slalom course, finally place the husband back into the chair from whence he originally came, and then sit herself back on the table, at which point the time was taken. The first of the heats featured Switzerland, Great Britain and West Germany, with the British girl getting off to the best start. However, this was to be short-lived as the Swiss and the West German had overtaken her by the end of the first leg of the game. The Swiss girls finished the course in 1 minute 44 seconds, followed by the West Germans in 1 minute 54 seconds and Great Britain in 2 minutes 34 seconds. The second heat saw the Belgians, French and the Italians competing and this time it was the Italian girl that got the better start. By the end of the first leg, the Italians had a time of 53 seconds (equalling that of the Swiss in the first heat) and it appeared that the Italians could overhaul the Swiss team’s time from the previous heat. However, towards the end of the final run she began to tire and eventually finished the course in 1 minute 53 seconds, followed by the Belgians in 2 minutes 6 seconds. The French team finished the second heat in 3rd place in 2 minutes 10 seconds.

With both of the countries playing their Jokers taking the two top positions on the game, the master scoreboard showed that West Germany (4pts) had further increased the gap and were now ahead by 6pts, leading with 33pts. Despite only scoring 1pt on the game, the British team continued to retain their 2nd place with 27pts, followed by France (2pts) once again retaining their 3rd place on 26pts. The Italians (10pts), although boosting their points score, were still in 4th place with 24pts. Meanwhile, Switzerland (12pts) had finally moved off the bottom of the scoreboard and were now in 5th place with 23pts. This resulted in the Belgians (3pts) dropping down to 6th place, having registered just 17pts by this point in the proceedings.


Game 7 - The Human Weavers

The seventh game - 'The Human Weavers' - witnessed the first outing of a concept that was to be repeatedly used in many guises in future series of the programme, and involved a large loom made up of eight rollers which had to be used to weave large elastic ropes. On the whistle, a player attached himself to an elastic rope which itself was attached by a hook in the ground. He then had to begin weaving through the rollers using the ‘over and under’ method, in order that each roller was negotiated differently to the previous one. On reaching the end of the loom, he had to attach the rope to a wooden board in order to raise an individual piece of a caricature figure board. After completing this, he attached himself to another rope and repeated the course in the reverse direction in order to raise boards displaying his country’s name. In total, twelve crossings of the loom had to be made so that all pieces of the caricature and the full name of the country were displayed and then the time was taken. All individual sections of the weave had to be completed in the correct manner and any incorrect sections were given a 5 second penalty. The team finishing in the fastest time with all sections completed correctly was declared the winner. Although the game was closely fought with several different methods of weaving, the French completed the course first in a time of 3 minutes 8 seconds and were awarded 6pts. West Germany, came in next with a time of 3 minutes 31 seconds, but were penalised by 5 seconds (giving a complete time of 3 minutes 36 seconds). This promoted the Italians to the 2nd place finish (worth 5pts) as they had completed the course in 3 minutes 34 seconds. With the penalty, the West Germans had to settle for 3rd place, scoring 4pts. Great Britain completed the course in 3 minutes 45 seconds and finished in 4th place (3pts), Belgium in 5th place (2pts) in 3 minutes 53 seconds and the Swiss team in 6th place (1pt) in 4 minutes 10 seconds.

The master scoreboard revealed that although West Germany were still in the lead with 37pts, the gap had been closed slightly by France moving up to 2nd place with 32pts. Great Britain had dropped to 3rd place with 30pts whilst Italy had maintained 4th place with 29pts. Switzerland, despite only having scored 1pt, also maintained their 5th place with 24pts and Belgium still trailed in 6th place with 19pts.


Game 8 - The Swinging Giraffes

The eighth game - ‘The Swinging Giraffes’ - would ultimately decide the fate of the competition. It involved a large semi-circular rocking podium with the long neck and head of a giraffe attached to one end, and which was surrounded by a circle of 28 water-filled balloons. On the whistle, each player had to kneel down on their podium and, holding onto a small handle at the base of the neck, rock the podium forward and burst the balloons with the head or neck. In order to move the giraffe around the circle to burst the balloons, the players had to utilise their strength on the upward swing to pull the front of the podium around. The game was played in two heats of three teams and had a duration of 2 minutes 30 seconds. The first heat, contested by Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, was somewhat of a non-event with none of the teams being able to burst all the balloons. Italy had managed to burst 19 balloons, Belgium 18 balloons and Switzerland 17 balloons. The second of the two heats saw the leading three teams on the master scoreboard competing against each other. Again like the first heat, none of the teams were able to burst all their balloons, with West Germany bursting 25 balloons, Great Britain 17 and France only 12.

The points were added to the scoreboard and West Germany (6pts) had now increased the gap to 9pts with their score standing at 43pts. With just one game remaining, the West Germans had guaranteed victory and the Jeux Sans Frontières Golden Trophy. Italy (5pts) had moved up to 2nd place with 34pts, with France (1pt) and Great Britain (3pts) holding joint 3rd place on 33pts each. Switzerland (3pts) retained 5th place with 27pts whilst Belgium (4pts) continued to bring up the rear with 23pts.


Jeu Handicap - The Frogs

The ninth and final game - 'The Frogs' (Jeu Handicap) - commenced with teams starting in reverse order of the current master scoreboard positions. The game involved all six players dressed in frog costumes standing in individual rattan baskets, and on the whistle they had to jump up the course inside the baskets holding onto the handles. At the end of the course, they had to cross a line in order to release a second frog which repeated the course in the opposite direction. At the end of the second run, a third and final frog made the journey back up to the finishing line. Despite the destination of the Golden Trophy already being known, the West Germans did not stand on ceremony and stormed the game, finishing all three runs in just 59 seconds (6pts), closely followed by Switzerland (5pts) in 1 minute 2 seconds. Finishing the game in 3rd place were Belgium (4pts) in 1 minute 5 seconds, with France finishing in 4th place (3pts) just one second behind in 1 minute 6 seconds. The last two teams to finish the game were Great Britain (2pts) in 1 min 7 seconds and Italy (1pt) in 1 minute 9 seconds.

Memories of JSF

   

At that time of the programme, the success of the Bardenberg team in Spiel Ohne Grenzen / Jeux Sans Frontières was exuberantly celebrated by the local citizens. The then owners of the Alten Mühle Hotel-Restaurant (The Old Mill Hotel), Peter and Trudi Zopp, even went as far as commissioning a charming 2.5m (8ft 2½ins) tall monument dedicated to the team’s success. Manufactured from stainless steel, it stands on a concrete plinth and is a replica of the Golden Jeux Sans Frontières trophy. An engraved iron plaque recording the town’s achievements is situated on the ground at the foot of the monument. It was originally located on a grassed traffic island at the junction of Jüderstraße and Kirchenstraße near to the parish church of St. Peter and Paul (Pfarrkirche St. Peter und Paul) in Bardenberg. Recently however, and following years of weathering and the deaths of its originators, the monument has been moved in their honour to a new permanent home close to the (now closed) Alten Mühle Hotel itself in the idyllic Wurmtal (Wurm valley), located a few hundred metres south-west of the town.

The Spiel Ohne Grenzen monument,
pictured at its original location,
commemorates Bardenberg's success

   

Additional Information

As was fitting for the first true Jeux Sans Frontières International Final, the teams were introduced into the stadium down the steps of the small Oststadion, along with their respective commentary teams in their boxes, with a fanfare of trumpets and music. West German presenter Camillo Felgen then went on to explain that not only would the winner of the International Final receive the Golden Jeux Sans Frontières Trophy, but they would also receive a cheque. He continued by reading out each of the amounts that would be received by the winning country - either 7.6 million Italian lire, 4,390 British pounds, 53,100 Swiss Francs, 60,000 French Francs, 607,310 Belgian Francs or 48,870 German Marks. After this arduous and long-winded task, he looked into the camera with a wry smile and received a round of applause from the stadium audience.

Similar incidents like the one in the second game have re-occurred where teams have been deducted points for breaching the rules. In 1978, Italian team Verbania were deducted 1pt for wearing footwear on a non-footwear game, and in 1992 Portuguese team Olhão were disqualified and they were also awarded 0pts.

This International Final was played out over nine games, which was one less than had been played in each of the 1967 International qualifying heats. The exception to this was of course Heat 2, which ended up being played over nine games rather than ten after the first game had to be abandoned.

Thirteen million viewers in Great Britain watched this Jeux Sans Frontières International Final.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites