History of the kayak-sports shirt
Birth of the kayak-ball
It is currently while going up in 1880, in Scotland, that one finds the trace of a popular play to which one can connect the kayak ball directly, known under the denomination of Kayak Sports shirt .
This play, which put in scene " cavaliers" overlapping barrels and operating their very unstable boats using " palettes" fixed at the two ends of a handle, is recognized officially like the ancestor of the Water Sports shirt . Indeed, " montures" were so unstable, that the players ended up giving up overlapping them, and generally finished the part in water. However, one can believe, without wanting to engage of polemic partisane, that this play, very snuffed at the time of the water festivals of the villages, finds a filiation more logical with the kayak sports shirt, since it highlights the use of one conveying nautical, and especially the existence of a " pagaie" , if antiquated were it, symbol even of the membership in the world of the Canoe-kayak.
As regards new practices, the innovations are often the fruit of a loan to already existing activities, actions, attitudes, behaviors or techniques. These " modèles" , confirmed by popular body practices, often ancestral highlighting an impact on the imaginary one of the practitioners and generally translating a will of valorization, are used as supports with a parody of sporting or ludic practices. The example shown here of these demonstrations of " Barrel-horses " show well the equestrian symbolism of these meetings, and the transposition, for the popular classes (without means) of physical practices, therefore social, of a certain elite.
First steps of the kayak-ball in France
If it seems undeniable that the kayak-ball finds its roots in Great Britain, like besides much of other sports activities, he is not less true than its development in addition to handle seems to have sudden the perverse oscillations of the British company. The sources which we have do not make it possible to judge a real continuity of this practice, and organized the very well British Canoe Union, equivalent for the the United Kingdom of the FFCK (French federation of canoe-kayak), does not give traces of a championship of “Canoe Sports shirt” (since the " term; kayak" do not exist in English…) that with beginning of the year 70.
In France, certain traces, on the contrary, report us the existence of demonstrations. The first would go up on June 23rd, 1929, with Chalifert (77 - Seine-et-Marne), where, during the nautical meeting of the Canoe Club of France, structure mother of FFCK, Mr Jaubert directed a competition by team of " fishing out of balls in canoë".
This demonstration correctly translates environment within the nautical companies of canoes and kayaks, which organized these festive meetings regularly. Community life, richer because less dispersed, of this time the organization of these water festivals allowed. Moreover, the means of transport still little popularized, allowed only few exits on the rivers or other sites of practices.
Thereafter, a true payment of the “Canoe Ball” was printed in the review " The rivière" in 1935. This last is carried out by: “ an group of expert made up in equal parts players and referees of Rugby and enthusiasts of the water polo, all good paddlers by addition… ”.
The authors however made a point of specifying their intentions: “ Far from us, of course, the idea to create competitions, less still a federation of “Canoe Ball”, it acts simply, specify the good, to allow the paddlers eager to vary their drive or, one meeting or feastday, to measure their address, not to have not to recreate with each part rules of the game. ”
It should be noted, already, how much the word even " Compétition" , seems to take a bitter taste in the mouth of these “ idealistic of the paddle, enthusiastic defenders of a natural practice ”. Design of the Canoe-kayak activity, at least that of the " Voice officielle" exit of the monthly magazine " Rivière" , any compromise letting suppose any opening could not accept towards a sporting practice.
And yet, the fact of even proposing a payment, in 13 points, “Canoe Ball”, was already, obviously, a beginning of structuring of the activity, which was to lead one day to matches " officiels".
With the reading of this payment, one can some precise points however not very showing the affirmed wish not impose a regulatory yoke on this play: length of ground 60 with 100m, width: that of banks, teams from 3 to 4 or 5 boats, as well as fuzzy rules concerning the faults and the arbitration…
If the payment of 1935 seems well to show the will of the players of the time, to preserve this play in a festive practice, the situation is quite different for the payment which saw the day in 1943 pennies the feather of Marcel Stibbe.
Meanwhile, the C.C.F had become the K.C.F and the “Canoe Ball”, the “Kayak Ball”. This change, more than one simple initials, indicates now sitted prevalence of the Kayak on the Canoe.
Kayak-ball… with the Kayak Ball
For the first time also, one notes a real will to propose for this activity a payment built around logic: - behavior of play - rules - sanctions.
The rules suggested are also much more precise (three referees, ground 80mx35m, maintaining ball, material, rule of except play, etc)
However, once more, it is noted that many preliminary points show the will posted to make this play activity, preparatory with the descents of rivers very appraisals at the time.
Marcel Stibbe introduces the document in the following way:
“ KAYAK mailbox is not only one play which requires excellent athletic qualities and a great virtuosity in the handling of the paddle, but it is especially a drive and a marvellous school for the candidate with the sporting descents, aim set by any kayaker. Just as to become a good player of sports shirt, it is necessary for all, being excel riding, in the same way can become a good kayak-to ball only that which can operate a kayak perfectly. ”
“ Gold in the majority of the cases, the sporting rivers are far away from the centers where reside the owners of a kayak and those Ci must be satisfied to evolve/move on generally calm rivers where the operations of propulsion and direction remain within the most elementary framework. ”
“ It was thus necessary to find something of diverting and educational at the same time, thus was born the kayak ball. Its practice gives to its players the opportunity to achieve requiring to be spent while being distracted. A ball to be handled and an adversary to be overcome, that there moreover is trying for the man, who of instinct, like to play and fight?. Thus the player broken with all the smoothnesses of the paddle by matches and especially a followed drive can it face does not matter that it rivers also torrent-like is she, it will be Master of his boat and will be able to thus practice sporting nautical tourism without risk nor danger,… ”
The reading of this text shows well the frame of mind in which the kayakers of the time evolved/moved. The " goal of all kayakiste" was the descent of sporting river. Hedonic design of the body practice where only the pleasure of running water, the body, the eyes was important. This corresponds besides with creation in the Thirties of the G.H.R. (Group of High River), resulting from the polemic between the followers of the excursion and those of the " premières" in sporting river
The latter enjoyed to face the increasingly difficult obstacles. Undoubtedly too constrained by the policy of the moment which reigned within the Canoe Club of France, they founded the autonomous group of the G.H.R, which will disappear in 1954 when the majority of the rivers are " ouvertes". These people lived if not a " compétition" at least a " émulation" permanent by drives and sophisticated material, contrary to the followers of the nautical excursion.
The rivers, far away from the centers where the practitioners of the canoe-kayak were most numerous, were difficult to reach, the individual means of transport (to take along its boat…) being not very widespread. It is thus logically that one sought activities of drive " divertissantes" and " éducatives".
This period disturbs had reinforced the associative links within the clubs of canoe-kayak. The few years which followed, because of the economic difficulties according to war, continued to see the various demonstrations of KAYAK mailbox developing in various demonstrations of Kayak Ball to develop in various areas of France. The documentary resources miss unfortunately for this period, but some old still testifies.
Adolphe Tesnières reports matches of Kayak Ball which proceeded in 1947 worms Périgueux (the Dordogne), Daniel Bonigal often also of competitions gathering several teams come from various areas, (Paris, Laferte Bernard) in 1948 on the channel of the small Marne in Paris region.
These some memories do not enable us however to affirm that real championships of Kayak Ball were organized. It seems, just like in the past, that these meetings gave place to local festivals, and that no authority controlled the national organization of these ludic demonstrations.
A phenomenon, which one can find the trace in the monthly review of the CCF since 1947, was however going to modify the associative behaviors: the authorization of the practice of competitions for the followers of running water (the race on line being registered with the program of the Olympic Games since 1936…)
In an article entitled: " Canoe and compétition" , Jean-Jacques Languepin wrote:
“… up to one relatively recent time, we had regarded the canoe not an end but as a means, marvellous instrument allowing the exploration of an contained and particularly beautiful nature, that of the river; means allowing a differently true social life that of the city, that of the camp (…)Today suddenly, our good old man boat became an instrument of competition… will have to cry last time or to delight us by an evolution which, in certain connections, can seem natural… ”
Another important phenomenon, which one finds the trace in 1951, was also going to modify the behaviors to him, and consequently, to reduce considerably these festive demonstrations which were used as supports hitherto with the Kayak Ball.
Indeed, Mr Jacques Jubert noted:
“ the generalized practice of the sports in France very old is not compared with other great nations… is it is for these reasons which the spirit of club” is if not very widespread in our country. ”
“… the fact is due simply so that members practitioner more or having left the area, not remaining more faithful to their colors… ”
This report shows well how the practitioners themselves felt to move away what they called " the spirit of club".
The technological revolution of the plastic
As of the beginning of the year fifty, a new technology was also going to revolutionize the world of the canoe-kayak.
The " plastique" or more exactly the Polyester, made its appearance in the construction industry, hitherto very heavy, of the canoes and the kayaks. The “undermined” manufacturer presented for the first time in France, at the nautical trade fair International of Paris in 1953, a canoe with hull moulded out of plastic:
As of the following year, in 1954 , this construction material seemed to make the quasi-unanimity grace “ to its qualities of stability and resistance… ”.
Only the problem of the artisanal construction of the boats, remained a point which could compromise the serious one, industrial quality and a low cost price.
How this technological revolution did modify the practices of the canoe-kayak deeply? The answer is given to us by Mr Daniel Bonigal:
“ appearance of the plastic kayaks about 1955 to replace the " toilés" or even the canoes out of lathed wooden, started again the individual practice of running water. Each one could then build its own boat since moulds circulated in the regional sections. The GHR, which started not to find a " more; rivers extrêmes" navigable, took again its activities for " ouvrir" some new portions hitherto unrealizable. "
This sudden youth for the activities of running water, was going to contribute to accentuate the problems which the " had; life of club" because of " the individualisme" practitioners. This remark does not want to in no case to correspond to a value judgment of our share and this type of behavior is only the premise of methods of practices that from no was going to call: " the practices californiennes" , about the Sixties.
This " démocratisation" canoe-kayak (the cost price and especially the facilities of construction made it possible all to get " son" kayak) was to go from pair with the development of the individual means of transport (automobile) and especially with the increase in the " time libre".
During these fifteen years, one does not find the trace of demonstrations of Kayak Sports shirt in France, and the foreign documentary sources, sometimes tiny, do not enable us either to affirm the perenniality of this practice in Europe.
A national championship from now on is organized in England, every year as from 1970. This championship which gathers ten teams, is in fact a " coupe" , formula which proceeds over one weekend, at the time of the nautical trade fair of Crystal De luxe hotel to London. This point is very important because, it is while going to this nautical trade fair, to follow the technological changes there, that a French technical framework, Rene Tragaro, will discover the Kayak Sports shirt and will import it into Brittany.
The Kayak Sports shirt thus returns, in what one could describe as " period moderne" as from the years 1970.
Stopwatch-geographical study of the emergence of the Kayak Sports shirt in France (of 1979 until our days)
It seems that " the entrée" kayak Sports shirt in France is done towards 1978/79 starting from the area of Brittany. Rene Tregaro regional technical adviser of this league, organizes with certain clubs, of the matches of Kayak-ball (or Kayak Ball) at the time of local festivals, very appraisals in the area. The payment uses is very close to that of English.
Local installations are carried out to allow the practice of this new activity: use of kayak surfing (of shoe type in particular since these boats were often used by the Breton ones…. The festive life in Brittany being very developed, even still nowadays, the Kayak Sports shirt will be structured rather quickly in a small regional championship.
In 1981 , Rene Tregaro, return from a voyage to Cristal De luxe hotel to England (place of the " living room nautique" English) with a translation of the English payment and images of full play eyes. A " sélection" from Brittany takes part the following year in the tournament which is organized there every year.
The cuisante demolished on the score from 7 to 0 vis-a-vis the English team, shows the important variation which existed at this time between the two nations. However, with saying players present at the time, it is at this time that the Kayak Sports shirt will make really its entry in France. The English play was so pleasant and spectacular that each one felt motivated in practice it.
As of February 1983 , the Norman ones, which had these echoes of the match of Breton in England, send a " délégation" to Cristal De luxe hotel, and return they also, filled with enthusiasm by the play of in addition to Manche. The Kayak Sports shirt, (term accredited officially in France with the meeting of September 1983 in Paris) will know its first national competitions in July 1983.
At the time of the championships of running water France of Thonon-the-Baths (74 - Haute-Savoie), the French federation of Canoe Kayak entrusts to François Parmentier, then adviser technical regional Dauphine Savoy, the organization of a tournament entitled " cut France of Ligues" , in order to fill, by a new and spectacular animation, the " trou" between the slalom and the sporting descent.
The presence of the running water candidates in certain selections of league, will allow an important participation in this demonstration.
However, among the sixteen teams present, several are made up players (prepared more or less well) having made displacement only for the Kayak Sports shirt. It is the case in particular of the Norman team, which finally carries it in front of the selection of Alp-Provence, made up, as for it, exclusively of slalomeurs of good level (all among the 20 best nationals…)
This " opposition" between dominant the " canoe-kayak" and dominant the " sport collectif" , on the level of the players, perdurer of long years goes. One can find this duality which existed with leaving years 40/50 between those which recommended the practice of the Kayak Sports shirt like " means of formation and drive with running water " and those which considered that the KAYAK SPORTS SHIRT was a discipline where control of the balloon carried it.
1984 was to be the year of the " clubs". Indeed, after the test of a cut of France of Leagues, the any " jeune" sub-commission Kayak Sports shirt of FFCK, decided the installation of a cut of France of the clubs.
Three stages of selections:
- two representatives per league are selected for a final of zone
- the four zones distributed on France give two selected
- final hen to Saint-Pierre-of-Ox (42 - the Loire) with eight clubs
One notices on the chart, the extension of the areas taking part in this cut.
They are Norman club of Bridge-in Ouilly (14 - Calvados) which carry it in front of Breton Hennebont (Lorient). One can already speak about tradition for these areas at the origin of the Kayak Sports shirt in France.
1985 : for the first time, a championship of France is set up. However, one notes the existence of a final stage (in Caen) for this championship.
There is thus little difference with a formula " coupe" , but the heading even of " championnat" bring a new dimension to the " statut" kayak French Sports shirt.
The true championship of France of Kayak Sports shirt will begin in 1986 . Following the results of the formula of 1985, a group of 8 teams is selected for a championship of the first division, with matches outward journey and return. A championship of the second division is organized with 80 teams. This selection will be at the origin of a closing down of certain clubs (too high cost of the displacements generated by the new formula). Certain areas thus will see their club headlight dying out.
Once more it is the club of Lochrist which carries it in front of Bridge-with Ouilly. 1986 will be also the year of the real structuring of the arbitration of the Kayak Sports shirt in France.
1987 : international year for the Kayak Sports shirt. The International federation, which found into 1985 that: “The Kayak Sports shirt slows down its evolution because of the disparity of the payments in force… ”, entrusts at its commission Kayak Sports shirt, the development of a single international payment. The fight was rough between the two tendencies: play with dominant with the hand with elevated goal (England, Australia, France) and play with dominant with the paddle with goal on water (Germany, Italy, Netherlands).
It is the first which was to carry it thanks to the important weight of the Australia in the decision. This decision was going to allow a new dash for the France, which since the beginning in 1983 had adopted this formula. A choice reverses had been catastrophic in our country where many clubs would undoubtedly have been discouraged.
In 1988 and 1989 , the Kayak Sports shirt primarily sought to be structured with the more high level, seeking more with " fidéliser" participating clubs, that to promote the Kayak Sports shirt in areas where it was only little represented.
The policy options of this period show this will of crédibiliser well initially what was made, rather than to disperse energy in the tracking of new clubs. The championship of the first division was to pass to 12 clubs, while the championship of the second division saw setting up a final hen at 12 clubs, after selections in six zones (interregional).
The determination of the zones left little place to the already disadvantaged areas and the essential criterion remained the level of play. This deliberate choice could perhaps be judged later on, but for the moment, it seems well that it allowed a much better structuring of the elite and especially to maintain an excellent level of play, taking into consideration performance of the French clubs at the time of the international meetings. It is besides into 1989 that the decision to set up a national team was taken.
In order to avoid too great displacements for the initial clubs or not very committed, the third division (at the regional level) was also installation, with a final hen of accession in main road 2. One can note a great percentage of disaffection on this level of play, and the clubs which reach at the higher level are sometimes in impossibility (manpower of players or financial problems with to carry out the season in main road 2).
1990 was not to bring which can of modifications on the level of the Kayak Sports shirt installation of on the French territory. Only the effective installation of a national team and first " Cut Europe of Nations" in March with Strasbourg are to be noted.
The Kayak Sports shirt, like other recent sports, finds its filiation directing within the " family of the Canoe-Kayak". At all times, that it is about a ludic and festive practice, of a drive for running water or a practice of competition to whole share, they are the practitioners of the canoe-kayak who quasi exclusively compose the population of the players of Kayak Sports shirt.
With the wire of the time, subjected to fluctuations important, the ones for economic reasons and/or technological, the others for political reasons and/or sociological, the Kayak Sports shirt sought its way among the sporting world. Never it deviated from its origins: the canoe-kayak.
To take again the expression of Mr Daniel Bonigal who spoke thus about the Canoe-kayak: “ Our identity, our specificity that one is canoeists or kayaker, follower of waters running, the sea or plain water, that one seeks to fight against his adversaries, the elements or oneself,… it is love of the paddle ”.
The fact of adding a ball to it was nothing to change.
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