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12 Teams competing at Youth Nations Cup 2009

The Youth Nations Cup 2009 (YNC) was played on the 28th to 31st May in the small German town of Waldshut on the banks of the Rhein River, near to the Swiss border.

The tournament was hosted by local club Minigolffreunde Waldshut 74 e.V. and was played on the old concrete course built in the 1960's, which been refurbished, and the newer Miniaturegolf course.

12 teams from eight countries competed. Germany had three teams, Austria and Switzerland two teams each, and Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy sending one team each.

The opening ceremony was held on Thursday evening at the courses. Some not so long speeches were held by the president of the local minigolf club, Victor Kern, the vice president of regional federation of Baden, Wolfgang Schumacher, the WMF Sport Director and president of the German federation Dr. Gerhard Zimmerman as well as the WMF Youth Officer Pasi Aho. After that all participants had some snacks and drinks.

The local organising team operated the tournament on the highest possible level. The atmosphere at the courses was really cosy - a small kiosk with summer cafe offered good meals, snacks, ice-cream and drinks. Sitting at the cafe spectators could easily follow some of the first and last concrete lanes. The organisers also made a special fenced area for the spectators in the middle of the concrete course. Spectators could also follow the game behind the fence which surrounds both courses. The public swimming pool is located nearby the courses and using the official accreditation cards players, coaches and officials had free entry to the pool. This will also be the case at the Youth European Championships in August.

Before the tournament it was decided to use Swedish electronic score-keeping system using iPods connected with Bangolf Arena software but on Friday some unforeseen technical problems with the Wi-Fi router appeared and the system did not work. Organisers and technicians tried to solve this problem but without success. Until Saturday morning the problem with the electronic score-keeping system was not solved and the competition started by using ordinary paper score cards. The organisers worked hard to make the iPods work but unfortunately without success. On Saturday the complete tournament programme (3 double rounds) were played nearly in time - with just a slight delay. At the same time the participants of the WMF referee education were doing some field work, which got the interest of many teams. All players' concentration and preparation times were measured on two lanes, one on concrete and one on eternit. It is planned that the teams will get access to their own team data afterwards.

There was a mass start on Sunday morning. All players started to play at the same time on different lanes. This saved some very valuable time for the finals and semi-finals. The very tough and exciting two rounds decided which eight teams would take part in the play-offs.

In the semis a very exciting match was played between Sweden and Germany-3 where Sweden succeeded to enter the final only one point ahead German team. In the other semi-final Germany-1 won against Austria-2. In the finals Germany-1 won the gold medals, Sweden got silver and Austria-2 received the bronze. All in all the YNC 2009 was more exciting than usually with many tight situations in the groups and good matches in the play-offs.

The awards ceremony took place on the courses. The best boy and girl youth players were awarded, as well as the best teams. The closing ceremony was held at the local shooting club restaurant in Waldshut. The winning teams were awarded by winner cups and diplomas.

The organisers of the 2010 Youth World Championships in Sochi, Russia were also in Waldshut to obtain valuable experience for the organization of such level competitions. At the closing ceremony the head of Dagomys Olympiysky Minigolf Club Mr Evgeny Kaplun presented video material about the Sochi minigolf course, city and offered accommodation and spread this DVD to all countries. Mr Kaplun kindly invited all players and coaches to visit Sochi in the autumn to participate in the Sochi Open tournament. The interest in Sochi seemed to be very high and the response mainly positive.

Before Sochi 2010 it is however time to visit Waldshut again in August for the 2009 YEC. We look forward to seeing all minigolf fans in August to cheer for their own heroes, or just to follow top youth minigolf in beautiful surroundings in Waldshut.

Verners Kirss & Pasi Aho
WMF Youth Committee

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