Game 1 - Pontoon Dribble
The first game - ‘Pontoon Dribble’ - was played individually in the lake over
two minutes duration and featured two male competitors from each team and a
2ft wide (0.61m) floating wooden pontoon with three large hoops located along
its 45ft (12.2m) length. On the whistle, the first competitor had to dribble a
football along the pontoon and, on reaching the first hoop, had to get the
ball through it to the other side. He then climbed through the hoop and
repeated the process at the second and third hoops. Once he had accomplished
this, he then dribbled the ball to the end of the pontoon and then the second
competitor repeated the game. If at any point the ball fell into the water,
the competitors were permitted to retrieve it with their feet. However, if the
ball strayed too far from the bridge to be retrieved by foot, the competitors
had to get into the water - which was only knee-high in depth - and retrieve
it, but had to restart the game at the hoop they had just negotiated. The team
completing the greater number of crossing would be declared the winners.
The first heat saw the participation of Liverpool and, despite a few mishaps,
they completed three complete runs plus one hoop on the third run. The second
heat saw the participation of Arsenal and their competitors adopted an unusual
method to pass the ball through the hoops. Whereas their rivals had used their
feet to chip the ball up and through the hoop, the Arsenal competitors held
the ball between both feet and jumped up in the air with it and flipped it
through. This appeared to be the better method and it gave them the edge on
their rivals, but disaster was to strike at the end of the third run, when
their competitor failed to make a clean run to the end of the pontoon and the
ball strayed into the lake. Referee Arthur Ellis instructed the competitor to
get in the pool and retrieve it and then restart from the third hoop to
complete the run. This delay cost the team valuable seconds and with the time
running out the second competitor commenced his second run. However, just as he
jumped up with the ball to flip it through, the whistle was sounded to end the
game. The team were deemed to have only completed three runs.
The first 2pts were awarded to Liverpool and they were leading Arsenal 2-0.
Game 2 - Target Soccer
The second game - ‘Target Soccer’ - was the first of only two to be staged on
terra firma and an almost exact copy of a game played in the Domestic heat
staged at the venue, the previous day. It was played individually over 1
minute 30 seconds duration and featured two male competitors from each team
and a large target board. On the whistle, the competitors had to kick a
maximum of 40 footballs and try to hit the large board whilst two opposition
members stood underneath the board holding a net. There were three ways of
scoring, but the score achieved would be declared as the opposition’s.
Firstly, any football that hit the board would not count towards the final
score but, if it was caught in the net on the rebound by the opposition, it
would. Secondly, any ball that missed the target completely and went into the
crowd would be deemed as scoring. Thirdly, all balls that were not used would
also count towards the final score. This meant that the teams had to be
accurate and fast with their execution of the game in order to keep their
rival’s score to a minimum. The team with the greater overall total would be
declared the winners.
The first heat saw the participation of the Arsenal kickers and they missed
the target on 19 occasions, had 6 of the balls caught by the opposition and
had 7 balls that were not used. This gave a total score of 32 to Liverpool.
The second heat saw the participation of Liverpool and they missed the target
on 20 occasions, but only had 2 of the balls caught by the opposition and 2
balls that were not used. This gave a total score of 24 to Arsenal.
The 2pts were awarded to Liverpool and they were now leading Arsenal 4-0.
Game 3 - Trampoline
The third game - ‘Trampoline Football’ - was the second of the two games to be
staged on terra firma and witnessed Liverpool presenting their Joker for play.
It was played individually over 1 minute 30 seconds duration and featured two
male competitors from each team and a trampoline located behind some
scaffolding. On the whistle, a female team-mate released a ball down a chute
to a podium where it was then kicked by the competitor towards the
scaffolding. However, the ball had to pass through a rectangular area at the
top of the scaffold and then be caught in a net by the second competitor who
was located at the other end of the course, tethered to the ground by an
elasticated rope. A female opposition member was on the trampoline to block
any balls that passed through the scaffold and prevent it from reaching the
second competitor. The team scoring the greater number of catches would be
declared the winners.
The first heat saw the participation of Liverpool and despite their kicking
competitor getting six balls through the rectangle, only one was caught
correctly by the second competitor. The second heat saw the participation of
Arsenal and after catching 1 ball at the very start of the game, it appeared
that the game would end in a draw. However, two balls caught in during the
latter stages of the game brought the final score to 3-1 in Arsenal’s favour
and nullifying their rival’s Joker.
The 2pts were awarded to Arsenal and they were now trailing Liverpool 4-2.
Game 4 - Knocking the
Footballs Off the Poles
The fourth game - ‘Knocking the Footballs Off the Poles’ - was played twice at
the venue, though only the second run was seen on television. It was the first
of four consecutive games to be staged in the lake and was played in unison
over two minutes duration and featured a male competitor from each team. On
the whistle, the competitor had to wade into the water and mount a team
colour-coded circular pontoon, from which he had to throw a football -
tethered to the floating pontoon - and dislodge a ball from the top of a tall
pole. Once this ball had been dislodged, he had to wade to a second pontoon
and dislodge a second ball from another pole, before boarding the final
pontoon from which he had to try to displace the third and final ball. Once
the third ball had been knocked off the pole, he had to get out of the water,
signifying the end of the game. The team completing the game in the faster
time would be declared the winners.
This proved all very well in theory, but a disaster in practice. Neither of
the two players was able to make the tethered balls reach the top of the
poles, and after much frustration and splashing about in the water, referee
Arthur Ellis declared the game a draw and awarded both teams 1pt each.
However, as neither team had made any progress up the course, the game
appeared very tedious to watch and therefore it was decided to replay the game
with some subtle tweaks. The revised game saw the tethered ball idea dropped
and replaced with a floating barrel of balls. These would be handed one at a
time to the competitor by a team-mate standing in the water. The revision to
the game made all the difference, and the Liverpool team quickly knocked the
first ball off, but Arsenal equalled the score five seconds later. As the
players got the hang of the new format for the game, the game progressed to a
tight finish. Arsenal then went 2-1 up, but Liverpool equalised once again
within the blink of an eye. It would all be on the final ball - a beach ball
in a hemi-spherical cage atop the final pole, and the Arsenal team managed to
free it from its cage after 1 minute 1 second, a little more than a second
before the Liverpool team did likewise.
The 2pts were awarded to Arsenal and the scores were now level at 4-4.
Game 5 - Sharpshooters
The fifth game - ‘Sharpshooters’ - was played individually over 1 minute 30
seconds duration and featured a male competitor from each team located on the
pathway surrounding the lake and a large football net in the lake itself. On
the whistle, the competitor had to kick balls towards the net and score as
many goals as possible. However, standing on podia in front of and to the left
and to the right of the goal, there were two opposition members armed with
large caricatured hands attached to long wooden poles. These would be used to
block goals from reaching the back of the net. The team scoring the greater
number of goals would be declared the winners.
The first heat of this straightforward game saw the participation of Arsenal
and they scored a total of 5 goals. The second heat saw the participation of
Liverpool and their competitor was more accurate with his kicking and scored a
total of 7 goals.
The 2pts were awarded to Liverpool and they were now leading Arsenal 6-4.
Game 6 - Footballs Through
The sixth and penultimate game - ‘Footballs Through the Ring’ - was played
individually and witnessed Arsenal presenting their Joker for play. It was
played individually over two minutes duration and featured two male
competitors from each team on a high scaffold and a further four competitors
standing on podia in front of poles of varying height in the lake. At the top
of the scaffold there was zip wire descending to the ground and attached to it
was a large hoop on pulley wheels. On the whistle, the two competitors on the
scaffold had to lower the hoop by releasing the rope and lining it up with the
first and highest pole. The competitor standing on the podium then had to
throw a ball through the hoop to dislodge a beach ball from a hemi-spherical
cage at the top of the pole. If unsuccessful, a further two balls could be
thrown. Successful or not, the hoop then had to be lowered to the next highest
pole and the game repeated by the next competitor. Any balls that were still
in their cages after all four competitors had completed their throws, could be
retried if time permitted. However, the hoop had to be pulled back to the top
of the scaffold before this could be attempted. The team dislodging all four
balls in the faster time would be declared the winners.
The first heat saw the participation of Liverpool and after dislodging two of
the balls, the pulley wheel jammed on the wire and the hoop was unable to be
moved. Despite this, referee Arthur Ellis stated that it was the competitors’
error and it was their responsibility to ensure that the rope did not get
entangled. The score for Liverpool was declared as 2. The second heat saw the
participation of Arsenal on their Joker and, unfortunately for them, ended in
disaster. Not only did the competitors on the scaffold fail to line up the
hoop correctly with the poles, making it difficult for the podia-based
competitors to hit the beach ball, but the throwing skills of those
competitors were something to be desired. At the end of the permitted time,
Arsenal had failed to score and their poor performance had also nullified
their own Joker.
The 2pts were awarded to Liverpool and, with just one game remaining to play
and now leading Arsenal by 8-4, they had secured overall victory in the
Game 7 - Stretchers Across
The seventh and final game - ‘Stretchers Across the Pontoon’ - was played in
unison over 4 minutes 30 seconds duration and featured three competitors (two
males and one female) and eight floating pontoons. Above the course there were
six balls attached to a rope and at the end of the pontoons there was a large
basketball net. On the whistle, the female had to kneel down on a litter and
be carried across the pontoons by the two males. Before reaching the end of
the course, the female had to pull one of the balls from the rope and then she
had to score a goal by throwing the ball into the net. The game was then
repeated with the female being transported backwards and forward along the
pontoon to grab a ball on each attempt at goal. The team scoring the greater
number of goals would be declared the winners.
This was a straightforward game which witnessed both teams struggling to find
their feet, balance and scoring and appeared that it would end in stalemate.
Despite two early attempts from the Liverpool female, it was Arsenal that took
the lead after 3 minutes 21 seconds of elapsed time. Liverpool equalised after
3 minutes 35 seconds and Arsenal regained the lead after 4 minutes 23 seconds.
An Arsenal victory appeared to be on the cards until a final attempt by
Liverpool saw them equalise two seconds later. The game ended with the scores
Both teams were awarded 1pt each and the final scoreboard showed that
Liverpool had beaten Arsenal by 9-5.