Turf insider January 2021

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Round winners[edit]

Congratulations to the winners of round 126: Jonte67 from Skåne went straight for the Gold medal without stopping for a Silver or a Bronze, féarglas from Scotland biked home her second silver and Björke from Östergötland turfed home a thrid bronze to his collection. Well done, mates!

Turf Forum Issue[edit]

If you registered or used the Turf forum when it had a "white and blue" design in the beginning of January, you need to re-register or re-post. This is because we had to do a roll-back due to technical issues. Work is being done to upgrade the Forum, so bear with us on the somewhat bumpy road to a future Turf Forum :)

2020 Flashback[edit]

2020 has been a different year, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping over the world. For most of us, life changed in big and small ways. I am myself very glad that I've had Turf to keep me busy when my other hobbies such as swing dancing, going to concerts and the cinema were cancelled. Turf has been a great way to keep healthy, both mentally and physically. When the pandemic hit in early March, I was very busy co-captaining the Region Uppsala team towards a win against Region Östergötland in my very first Region Battle. Especially turfers age 70+ felt that Turf was really what kept them going at the start of the pandemic, it gave them both a social dimension of at least being able to interact on the Turf map and in social media with others and the very necessary physical activity that kept them from feeling too isolated in their own homes. All in all, it has been a lot of focus on Turf this year in my life. Apart from the daily to-and-from-work Turf sessions, I have explored many small and not-so-small Swedish cities on day- and weekend trips with my turfing partner, our bikes and our cat :)

Covid-19 is the main reason Turf has literally EXPLODED in the UK during the later half of 2020, I don't think any active turfer this year has missed this. My fellow Crew member Kingslayer will tell us more about this in his contribution to this Turf insider. There has been time for outdoor adventures, as Shitty will tell in his contribution. As a result of the heavy increase of turfers in the UK, we have increased our zone maker group and three of the newbies together with three 'oldies' have supplied me with their positive highlight(s) of 2020. Enjoy!

Turf celebrated ten years in July 2020. This was celebrated with a special ”Cake day” medal and a new feature for supporters only, a party hat, if you took at least ten zones on July 10th, Turf's birthday. I think I am more fond of the party hat than the medal. The hat comes on most Fridays to celebrate the weekend is here :)

Finally Calmare1 will write about an often forgotten feature of Turf, but just as important: The school events, where PE teachers can use Turf as part of their gym classes. 2020 saw an increase in school events and the biggest school event ever was held in Stockholm in December. If you want to know more about how to use Turf as part of your PE curriculum contact skolevent@turfgame.com and Calmare1 will send you instructions and help you set up a special school Turf account :)

The UK Explosion by Kingslayer[edit]

"I am CO (Country Organizer) for zone making in UK and was a year ago a lonely zone maker in a lonely Scotland, leading a quiet life. I did not have much to do, it was basically a handful of turfers in the whole of UK and that was it. Then came March and corona and many members of Edinburgh South Orienteering Club (ESOC) started turfing. Thanks to successful information campaigns from CSL, ESOCWalter and others in ESOC the Turf evangelium spread and more and more turfers appeared in the whole of Scotland.

All of a sudden I had to work hard to ensure everyone had a meaningful number of zones available. I spend many hours during the summer on creating Scotland zones and when things started to look good I figured I could finally get some rest. Then came féarglas. She quickly claimed a seat on top-10 World scoreboard and then followed up with silver medals in both November and December. This brought attention from media and after having appeared on national radio and TV-shows the whole UK map suddenly exploded with new turfers. All members of Turf crew worked hard to try to keep up with the needs from so many newbies but we quickly realised we needed more hands on deck so we “hired” a bunch of new zone makers (we all work voluntarily). Some of them have been trained now and the rest will be graduating in January. This means we will be better equipped with managing the demand. But zone making is a manual, relatively slow process, so we have a few pleas for you who are newbies in UK:

1. Be patient. We are not ignoring you, but we can’t do everything at once.

2. Use the Turf Forum to suggest zones in your vicinity. Please include actual suggestions, not just a general request to have zones in town xyz. This will speed things up. If you have registered on the forum but not been approved for a few days, please drop an email to issues@turfgame.com

3. If you have no or few zones in your vicinity, leave the Turfapp with the Turf avatar on (visible on the map). We scan the UK map several times per day and if we see turfers in need we try to help (again, as time allows).

4. Use the in app suggestion feature, but bare in mind zone makers get no notification when you make suggestions that way, nor can we see who made the suggestions. But they are useful for us. Combine this with a post in the Turf Forum for better success rate in getting your zone(s) approved :) If possible, include the name of the closest existing zone to your suggestion, that way we can search for it in the zone making tool. We can not search for suggestions, only already existing zones. For in detail information about the magic of zone making, visit Zonemaking 2.0 :)

5. Report bad zones using the Issues link on turfgame.com. Zone issues are typically zones that can’t be taken, are dangerously placed or otherwise inappropriate. We are tremendously happy about the huge interest in Turf in so many places in the UK. We want to ensure you get a fun and rewarding way to exercise and see new places you didn’t know existed.

In Sweden, turfers often say “I would never have seen this without Turf!”. We hope to be able to give you the same experience. A huge thanks to féarglas for promoting Turf and showing that we can all do it! And of course everyone else in UK who has helped spreading the word! I know there are many of you out there who has helped. And finally thanks to all my colleagues in crew who has been working hard with UK the past month."

A Turf Story from 2020 by Shitty[edit]

"It will have to be the time me and my old time friend Mangadang went to Värmdö, an island in the inner Stockholm archipelago, looking for places to put future zones. As a zonemaker you can't always get the information you want on google streetview and general surfing the web, sometimes you actually have to go there and see for yourself - so, time for some climbing ;)

We had an awesome day! Visiting a series of old forts, exploring, laughing - like the old days. A nice break from everything you don't wanna remember about 2020. And the result? The zone 'Klätterverket', something like ”climbingventure” in English. If you ever find yourself in the area, go have a look! It's a cool place, but please be careful!


Turf Advent Calendar by Battigoal[edit]

"When asked by Munin to contribute to Turf Insider, I will tell you about my invention to brighten up December with a type of Turf Advent calendar where you had to perform small tasks that hid behind each hatch (one for each day). We have run it for a number of years in the Örebro region in different ways, but this year we got participants from all over Sweden and Åland. There were 100 participants from the start, and 75 of these made it through the entire calendar, which was really fun.

The idea was that it would suit everyone to participate. Another development with this year's Turf advent calendar was to use several social media channels, for example a messenger group where participants wrote stories about zone shots and sent pictures in the flow. I have only heard happy comments about the Calendar which of course is very pleasing. It was a bit of a job, at least a few hours a day when checking everyone's zone takes so they coincided with the day's task , but even that was just a pleasure. And in this pandemic era, this worked really well to organize. I also did a thing during the calendar which I thought I would never in my life do. Swim and take a water zone in mid-December and in Santa costume. This year's Turf Advent Calendar was carried out together with MiniHolger and Olleklunk."

Photo from Battigoal

Turfing in Edinburgh, 2020 by CSL[edit]

"I’ve been turfing since 2014, and telling people about Turf all the time, but only managed to persuade a few to take it up. There have never been many turfers in Scotland - just enough for me to keep winning the Region medal, but rarely enough in the UK to win the Country medal. Like most people, I had more time available in the spring of 2020 for walking and cycling around Edinburgh. Turfing seemed an ideal lockdown activity for people who like maps, so I sent an article to the editor of our orienteering club newsletter, hoping to persuade others to join in. One or two tried it. Then a strange thing happened – on several days in succession, new zones appeared in places where I had just been.

I now know that Kingslayer also had time on his hands, and was putting it to good use by creating more zones, but at the time it seemed very spooky, as though someone was stalking me! So I put another article in the next orienteering club newsletter, telling everyone about all the new zones. More people tried it, and our club president, ESOCWalter, became very enthusiastic. We organised a small competition within the club at the start of the August Turf round, and this monthly challenge has turned into a regular thing, with various club members going to enormous lengths to achieve high scores. ESOCWalter and I wrote articles for CompassSport (the UK orienteering magazine) and also SCORE, the Scottish Orienteering members’ magazine, which spread the word to other orienteers, and the UK Toplist started to grow.

Following media interest in féarglas’s exploits, the UK growth has recently exploded. The change in Turf through 2020 has been amazing – in January, there were 240 zones in Edinburgh, and 4 turfers. At the end of December, there were 885 zones and 210 turfers here! For me, it’s been quite strange suddenly having so many people around, stealing zones from me, but it’s been fun meeting some of the new turfers. The effect on our zones’ points has been dramatic too – occasionally we would have a few zones that were 170/2, but they were nearly all 185/1. The take points have gone down, and although the points per hour are much higher, you don’t keep zones for very long these days. Having so many new zones has been fun, taking us on expeditions to many parts of the city that we didn’t know.

We’re eagerly anticipating all the new opportunities for Turf tourism in other parts of Scotland, as soon as we can travel out of Edinburgh. But before that, we have the Skåne Turf Challenge to look forward to, in March. This is an inter-region competition in the usual Swedish format, but we’ve never done it before and need all the help we can get! Any Scottish turfer reading this who would like to know more should have a look at this article.

Another big change for me this year is that following persuasion from Kingslayer (and rigorous assessment), I’ve recently joined the Turf Crew as a zonemaker. It’s more difficult to set up good zones than many people realise, and I’m now enjoying virtual exploration of some UK places I haven’t ever visited. Hope the new UK turfers will like the results and continue with the game."

The year 2020 by MiniHolger[edit]

"The previous year has offered challenges of different forms, unfortunately this has affected how we turfers in 2020 have been able to meet, have events and practice this fantastic game together. Despite this, I want to highlight something that me happy and hopefully many more. The Swedish Region battle took place in September 2020 and was a fantastic "event" that allowed us to compete together in these times, but still on our own. I liked that you could always follow day by day how the position was, a good setup. I personally hope this is a recurring concept that many will take part in, I intend to do it anyway! I look forward to when we can once again hang out unhindered between Turfers and do what we are passionate about together, I do not want everyone's great ideas to create these unique events (Region battles, Turf Advent Calendar) to disappear either.

Turf is life!"

School event 2020 by Calmare1[edit]

"The year 2020 has been marked by Covid-19 and all the negative consequences of this, but every cloud has a silver lining. The year 2020 was also the year when all sports teachers around Sweden were looking for good outdoor activities to be able to carry out despite restrictions on Covid-19.

During 2020, the number of school Turf events mushroomed. We have now passed over 500 schools in Sweden that hold an account for the event tool. If we play with the idea that there is an average of at least 2 teachers per school, there are now over 1000 PE teachers in Sweden who can organize school events. If we then play with the idea that each teacher organizes a school event with a class of 30 students, we immediately have 30,000 potential new turfers. This with the presumption that each teacher only runs school events with one class. Feel free to repeat the calculation example with 3 teachers per school and two classes per teacher …….

During the year, I have had the privilege of lecturing on Turf and school events for no less than about 100 future PE teachers at Linnaeus University in Växjö and in Kalmar. All these students are now ready to take on the task of building their own courses and conducting events at their upcoming internships."

The world's largest school event by Calmare1

"I got a really big challenge on December 1st. At the beginning of November, I was contacted by a former classmate in Stockholm who needed help arranging a school event. Of course I said, when I thought it was about one or two "regular" events with at most a couple of classes. It turned out that they wanted a full-day activity for the whole school. Marina Läroverket is a high school in Danderyd with about 450 students. What a challenge!!!

In order for the event area not to cover half of Stockholm, we decided to divide the event into 4 different sub-events of 1.5 hours each, with about 100 participants in each event. Despite the prevailing pandemic, the result was that we registered a total of 321 participants on the same day. It was a breathtaking feeling to organize a school event in almost Bonanza size. And I was a little nervous before: Will everything work as it should? Have I managed to lay the zones so that they can be taken? How many zones have I blindly from Kalmar (editor's note: Calmare1 lives in Kalmar and was setting up the school event zones from home) managed to put in private gardens or on private piers in Djursholm? Fortunately, everything went well and the school was very happy with the event. It was probably not the last time we get to see Marina Läroverket in Danderyd arrange Turfevents of this caliber.

I look forward to a spring where school events will increase even more and even more of our children and young people around the country will have the opportunity to get acquainted with a fantastic game and an opportunity to exercise outdoors without the risk of spreading infection."

So, not everything about 2020 was doom and gloom. I am sure you have your own happy Turf moments to hold on to. And let's make new ones in 2021!

Turfa lugnt!/Safe turfing!


...if you want to contribute to future Turf Insiders, send your story to insider@turfgame.com :)