The Title of “Coach” Must Go!

GettingRippedWe need another title to replace the one we have been using over the years…… “Coach”.   I have been involved with this hobby for over ten years.  I also, like many of us, have been a real coach, coaching football.  I see kids I had coached over 5 years ago, and they still say “Hi Coach”.  It makes me happy that they remember me, hopefully, like I remember my coaches from my youth.

A coach is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sports people.  Many times a coach is a mentor to a player, and helps his players learn lessons not only playing the game, but in life as well.  This is one of the reasons I feel the word “Coach” should no longer be used in our hobby.

There are many guys in this hobby, who have actually coached real sports.  There are many who have not.  There are some in the hobby that are not worthy of the title of coach. I think using it in the hobby cheapens the word itself.

When outsiders see the “coach” title used in this hobby, I think many tend to snicker, …………….”Yeah, right, …………..coaching little plastic figures…..not real people…”

This is a very unique hobby.  Most unique things create titles or classifications that are unique to themselves.  Look back at the internet and the new users were classified as “Newbies”.  This environmental hysteria has coined a few new words, one being “Carbon Footprint”.  Or another new word, “frenemy”, one who pretends to be a friend, but really is an enemy.  “Tweeting” comes from the Twitter web site. And WE have even coined our own term “TWEAKING”!

I think you see where I am going with this.   We need a title that describes what we do AND IS UNIQUE TO US!

I know there would be issues about changing the name of the association and things of that sort, but trust me on this, ……………………………….if we can come up with a new, inventive title in lieu of “coach”, it would enhance the hobby.  It could even be an acronym.

Coach, Collector,  Tweaker,  Team Owner, Player, General Manager, Miniature Football, are all words that I thought help describe us to the outside world…………..there are other aspects/words too.

There are words that take on new meanings, ……………… “gay” for instance.  There are words that are invented, like Ed Scott’s “Pleff”, ………a player/referee.   I like “EMeffer” which stands for Miniature Footballer………………I know there can be raised eyebrows when you say you are an “EmEffer”, ……………”you’re a what??” EmEffer, …………….Miniature Footballer…………….which opens the door for you to tell them what we do in this hobby!

Maybe the MFCA should look into this more, perhaps a contest is in order?


Comments (42)

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  1. Since I use coach in my name, I feel obligated to respond. It is true that coaches are leaders of people not objects. The coach title should not be thrown around loosely. That’s why it is important for one to take care how the word is used. That’s why I set the word “Electric” in front of the Coach title.

    The word that comes first makes a huge difference. The MFCA title clearly demonstrates that the “coaches” in this hobby are miniature football coaches.

    Among us hobbyists, we can refer to one another as coaches because we understand what we are talking about. Perhaps in the presence of non-hobbyists, we may want to be careful not to refer to one another as coach. It’s no harm in doing that. It’s that you may want to reduce the chances of misleading someone.


    The Electric Coach

  2. Frank Johnson says:

    In the game of miniature football, we are “players” not coaches. We play a game. We don’t coach or direct anyone. I agree that technically, the term “coach” should be reserved for a person who leads other people. Sometimes people refer to miniature football as a “moving chess game.” The people who compete at chess tournaments are called players. They don’t refer to themselves as coaches, generals, or kings and queens. So to be accurate, we should just refer to ourselves as “players”. We don’t need a contest to consider any other term.

    I think that in our game, the main reason that we stopped calling ourselves “players” is that we decided to apply that term to our game pieces. Read any tournament or league rule set, and you’ll probably see the game pieces referred to as “players”.

    If we want to be accurate, we should stop calling ourselves coaches. But just as importantly, we should stop calling the game pieces “players”. A player is a person who plays a game. A player is not the game piece. I would suggest using the word “figure” to refer to the game piece. The game piece separated from a base could be called a figurine.

    Figure = figurine + base

  3. NEW CASTLE HiTMEN says:

    I agree with Coach Rip. How about the Title Hobby Coach or Miniature Football Coach. Just my opinion.

  4. Weirdwolf says:

    Miniature is a copy on a much reduced scale. Miniature Football is an attempt to copy real football in a much reduced scale including terminology. I find no harm in calling ourselves coaches as we are just attempting to copy the real life aspect. We are not directly on the field as our figures or players are and must coach or tweak our “players” to perform as we want them to. I disagree with Rip this time and all though “real” coaches may take offense to us calling ourselves coaches, we know that is done in a harmless and fun way. I think calling our selves coach adds to the fun and since Rip is against all this political correctness to begin with, I find his argument an attempt to begin his journey to political rightness! :) Welcome to the Democratic Party!

  5. detroitchild says:

    Rip and others make an interesting point but I have to disagree. When I was reintroduced to this hobby I thought it strange calling guys “coach”. To me, it showed how dedicated many were to this hobby and that this game has come a long way since my youth. The one thing I think many should consider is that this is a HOBBY which lends itself to a measure of fantasy. Part of that fantasy is imagining yourself coaching “football players” or “athletes”…regardless of how you want to define them (figures, figurines, little plastic men, etc.). If a guy wants to call himself a coach then why should I (or you) care? Who am I to dictate how he or she views themselves in their hobby/fantasy. And if a group of them (us) want to get together and form an association of “coaches” then so be it. I also doubt that “real” coaches are offended by this. If so, then they may have issues that are outside of this discussion.

    As for those outside of the hobby looking in, perhaps they can view us as we probably are…hobbyist! Personally, I could care less if they’re laughing at us or not. I play this game for my enjoyment, not theirs.


  6. the F.O.T.H. says:

    Yeah we are trying to be like football. If that was the case we should just stop using real football sayings and everything.

    Why is the sound track to NFL films playing at Buzzfest?

    The term coach is harmless and needed. We are not players. I’m not on the metal board hitting anyone, sometimes I wish I was!!!!

    When I’m playing I feel like I’m coaching my players ie, figures.

    We could also be player/coaches right? Ala Bill Russell!

  7. the F.O.T.H. says:

    The hobby part is painting, tweaking, all that other stuff. But when we are playing another person or COACH, this is a sport!!!!

    Sport is competition, and that’s what we are engaging in. Bowling, horseshoes, darts, poker, and even rock/paper/scissors are all sports!!!! Why can’t this be a sport?
    That’s what makes this the greatest board game ever….it has it all. Hobby & sport…a perfect marrige!

  8. artlax says:

    Coach is fine. I have been and continue to be a real coach for over 30 years. Using the term coach in no way bothers me. We ARE coaches in almost every sense of the word.

  9. bignasty fm says:

    I like some have coached on some level of football. I don’t have a problem with the term coach used here though. I seen coaches with play books and or charts at league play. It doesn’t cheapen the term and who’s to say just because you were a coach that you were any good. Or for that matter a better coach that haven’t coached real athletics. just my .02$ Fred

  10. Lindyhopper49 says:

    I think it is a cool part of the hobby! I would doubt that anyone would be going around saying “I’m a football coach” in reference to participation in the hobby. Also it is a different term that separates those who “coach” MF (practice and tweak your team and set up your schemes and plays) from all the people who “Play” madden (in madden the computer sets everything up for you).
    I think that ‘coach’ is fine

  11. CoachRip says:

    I too have coach in my name…….but I think some we need to stretch ourselves and our minds to come up with something that is unique to us……as many of you who know me, know that I don’t go with the flow or status quo, and I’m not complacent, I do feel if WE came up with a title that was unique to us, it would help the hobby.

    there have been some good points made looking forward to seeing some more!

  12. Chris Stacey says:

    I honestly can’t believe that this is even being
    debated.Come on,it’s just a “term” in a “hobby”!
    A kids game that we have never out-grown.Does it
    really matter that we use the term “coach”.It seems to me that there are more important issues
    in this hobby that need addressing/debated.
    Don’t get me wrong,I respect “everyones” opinions
    here, but don’t necessarily agree with eliminating
    the title of coach.Hey,if it ain’t broke,don’t fix
    it.Just my opinions.

    Chris Stacey

  13. CoachRip says:

    They even use terms on this web site like GRAVATAR, Globally Recognize Avatar, this is a BLOG……. Some of you clowns need to calm down and stop being sooo sensitive and have some fun with this….Frank, you made some valid points as well………you EmEffers!

  14. the F.O.T.H. says:

    Hey the title is Getting Ripped. Sometimes you are the one ripping, and sometimes you will get Ripped! LOL
    I guess some guys feel or like the term COACH!!!!

    Either way this blog has gotten many comments and looks and that’s the main objective.

    Great job Rip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought I made some good pts but I got no props, what’s up with dat?????

    Face Of The Hobby

  15. Weirdwolf says:

    Yah F.O.T.H….me too! No props…that’s just NOT P.C. :)

  16. CoachRip says:

    CorEy, ……….or MOTH, or whatever you call yourself these days…………….you only get part of it! you made my point………..player/coach, ………my point is make a NEW word out of those and perhaps other words…… I did with Miniature Footballer EmEffer!

    Wolf: ……………….political rightness????? Are you still drinking beer at 9 AM???

  17. eflfanatic says:

    When I am developing a team, I am tweaking bases to get a desired result from a figure, I am setting up plays to make the most effective use of that player and developing the game plan for my team. Is that not what a “coach” does?

  18. JerryM says:

    I like the word coach in MFCA. Although our coaching prowess is not within the accepted norm of a coach who coaches a team of living breathing players, I believe we do coach and mentor each other in the hobby, we coach and mentor the brotherhood/fraternity that we are living breathing people making up this MFCA organization.

    Over the last 11 years in this the new cyber age of this hobby of ours I have learned much from all of my friends I have. I have been to many a mentor, to some an antagonist, to others an opponent in the way of a title hope and and most of all a friend to all. We are all in some way or fashion all of these qualities to each other. We are coaching each other in skill, technique, life’s challenges, divorce, births, deaths, weddings, and economic challenges. We are all going through the same thing that real football teams or any sports team is going through at the individual level.

    My friendships in this hobby have been long lasting and a great source of comfort and escape for me personally as I have dealt with the ups and downs of this experience of life. We are all coaching each other and we have a social network of living breathing coaches who love this hobby of little plastic football players where we all escape in a hobby to provide, if only for a moment, some personal time to get away from real life, enjoy each other’s company, compete, reflect, acknowledge, mentor and lift up each others spirits, just like a coach.

    I say we keep the coach in MFCA.

    Jerry McGhee
    Tamp FL

  19. CoachRip says:

    Wow Jerry, ………..pretty DEEP!

    Think OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!!!!!!

    There is sooo much more to this hobby other than playing the game, collecting, painting, customizing, team building, tweaking, board building………..the word coach has us boxed in!!!!!!!!!
    It’s a travesty, ……..It’s a shame!!! come on I’m trying to get input like a democracy, ……but you are making this a TRAVISHAMOCRACY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT!

  20. JerryM says:


    You must be getting ready to settle down for a long winter’s nap up there in PA. Come to Florida, it’s the sunshine state, I’ll take you to the beach and we’ll discuss the issue over a beer and watch some women’s beach volleyball. That’s not in the box.

    I’m ready for your upcoming Buzzball tournament.


  21. Dimitri says:

    I’ll try to tell what I feel in english…not so easy.

    The coach name is accurate in a certain point : the MF is a game where we don’t have really “physical” involvement in the play. It’s different from table soccer or table hockey, for example. Especially when you use simulation technics (like the buzzball passing sim) : in MF, you make the decisions for your team, and give orders for strategy and play, like a real coach for that side of the job.

    It’s why I’m quite confortable with the coach name. Even if of course, we doesn’t train real people, and personaly I’m probably less skilled in football rules and strategy than an average 12-15 years old american kid.
    But after all, see the RC world or slot car racing world : they call themselves drivers, they speak about their activity like they are really driving real cars…but they’re not.

    But perhaps you think “coach” appelation is too serious, too ambitious ? So let’s speak simply about “MF players”. Here in France, when I try to explain the game to people, I say “mf players”, it’s simplier.

  22. charlie says:

    i have to agree with rip. i coached high school football and basketball for 25 years. and i believe that the “coach” term is too losely used in miniature football. there are too many variables that go along with coaching on the emotional aspect of human relationships between a coach and his players. i love the game of electric football and my 2 sons and i still play the great game today. i still collect the old teams from the 60’s and 70’s and it has brought me alot happy memories. but my sons call me dad and the people i deal with in electric football call me charlie or capanther.

  23. CoachRip says:

    WE need our OWN WORD, unique to us!

  24. NATIONAL says:

    How about “Poach” or “clayer”

    I rarely call anyone coach anyways, but when writing articles or such I may use the word coach. I have noticed that reporters want to know what we call ourselves inside the hobby, and when I said “Coach” there was no chuckle, or anything like that.
    We can try to make all kinds of new words but the term Coach is what it is, and probably what it will stay.
    We have come up with the term Buzzball, and Miniature Football, but what is it….. Electric Football!


  25. Although we are not coaches of actual football teams, the term coach is ideal for what we do. Given the nationwide opinion of this hobby, we may want to continue to use the term coaches because we want this hobby to be taken seriously by those outside of it.

    When I talk to non-hobbyist about the hobby, I tell them that I play electric football and we refer to ourselves as coaches because we have to build teams, which have to compete.

    The Electric Coach

  26. CoachRip says:

    “Coach” leaves out the painters/detailers, and collectors etc.

    I have probably been interviewed more times than many of you in this hobby, so I KNOW what I’m talking about when the term “coach” is given as a title to the media!

    CorEy, or MOTH,……. whatever, ……….you are on the right track,….. I also thought of those terms, but they just didn’t “git it”……..if you know what I mean. ploach = player/coach.

    We don’t have to have a term as long as “travishamocracy” either……………..we could come up with a term short like “Nerp” …..I know WE can come up with something…..

  27. detroitchild says:

    I’m still sold on “coach” but if we are like anything resembling real football it’s GM or Team Owner. How about EFGM or EF Hobbyist?

  28. Rip,

    Correct me if I am wrong. The people who you have been interviewed by are non-hobbyists. Non-hobbyists are concerned more about how the game is played more than anything else. Therefore, the other aspects of the hobby such as painting, detailing, and collecting are not as important to them because of the reputation the game has developed over the decades. In fact, painting and detailing discussions can be taken by the non-hobbyists that we are trying to deflect from the players actually playing.

    I believe if you focus your discussion more on how the game is played, it would justify the title of coach being used. Furthermore, if some other name is found, it better be a cool sounding name. As far as I can tell, a name like “ploach” will only bring this hobby more disrespect.

    Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t change a thing. Changing the title of what we do in this hobby is a compromise of its integrity. And you would be allowing the non-hobbyists to dictate what we do. Stick to your guns and you will be respected. By doing that, this hobby will be taken seriously.

    The Electric Coach

  29. CoachRip says:

    I ask for water and I get vinegar! Along with all the other points I have made, …………”Coach” is sooo complacent! ………so borrowed!!!!

    I ask for you to reach for the stars and I get earthworms!

    I have some great responses, but I also have many comments that come from the timid feeders in the legume is life!

    WE are better than this! We CAN come up with OUR OWN moniker!

    Of course “poach” and “ploach” wouldn’t work! BUT at least they are pure in the earnest sense that the terms were created by US! THAT ALONE MAKES THEM BETTER TERMS THAN COACH!

  30. bignasty fm says:

    Why not call us little plastic painting, customizing, positioning, collecting football hobbyist?…. LOL

  31. Dimitri says:

    Here in France, “ploach” is an onomatopoeia for organic sounds and noise (toilets for example) 😛

    More seriously, this discussion is interesting. Here in my country, since the hobby is totally unknown, I tried to find a catchy name for it.

    Since here football means soccer, I find that name : “football américain miniature” (wich means “miniature american football”). IN short, we obtain F.A.M.

    SO we (yes I know…we’re just 2 for now, but…) could easily call ourselves Famers (even if as I said, for now I prefer speak about MF players). It can globalize painters, players, coaches, collectors.

    Perhaps it could be a basic way to find a name (using initials and make a work from it) ?

  32. CoachRip says:

    Okay Dimitri……. you are on the right thought process, …………GEEZ I’d never thought in a million years I would ever agree with a Frenchman!!!!!!!

    Dimitri you have only been in the hobby for a short time, but there is no rush, good wine take time! I’m sure something will pop into your head after a while.

    Another possibility could be a word from another language………….like ” French Fries” …….no,…….. wait.
    ,…….. that’s still English!

  33. Chris Stacey says:

    I see where you are going with this NOW.Your
    initial comments lead me to believe that you
    you just plain “disliked” the term coach.But
    if I’m reading this right,you’re looking for
    an original monicker for said term coach.
    i.e.something WE can call our own.Not something
    borrowed , perse.I still think coach is fine
    for this hobby,and still not sure I agree with
    a ” title” change,BUT I see what you are after
    now.Not sure what to change it to,though…..

    Chris Stacey

  34. JerryM says:

    Rip…how about “Hobbycoach”?


  35. CoachRip says:


    I appreciate the effort…. but we need something different.

  36. Dimitri says:

    How about “boardballers” ? so we have the reference to the sport, the MF game, without being too focused on coaching or modelling…

    or perhaps why not “feltballers” ? refering to the tiny felt balls historicaly used in the game ?

    Since the game of football is refering to the ball used, perhaps in MF we can do the same, refer to the ball used too.


  37. coachrip says:


    That is a good one, ………….I’m partial to “BuzzBallers” myself………………….but heaven forbid we use that term with the PC police within the hobby!

    Feltballers reminds me of the mothball joke, ……….so that’s a definite no….

  38. PraiseDaddy says:

    Just some words that come to mind that describe the people and the different facets of this endeavor.
    Innovators……Entrepeneurs,….Coordinators,…….Enhancers,….Geeks……Enthusiasts,….Vibration Engineers,….Gridiron Electricians,

    That’s all I got right now. Maybe stimulate the imagination, at least.(LOL)

  39. CoachRip says:

    Good!!!!!!!!!!!the last few are what we should be looking for!!!!

    Vibration Engineers, and Buzznessman are GREAT!

    Take Vibration Engineers = Vibra-neers!

  40. PraiseDaddy says:

    There ya go!The wheels are turnin’.

  41. Mike Pratt says:

    Short answer, right under everyone’s noses… BuzzBaller. NO! WAIT!! That’s been mentioned already. Plus it seems as though it has already taken…. for YEARS!

    Well there ya go Rip. Ya did it again. Ya came up with your own acronym, of sorts – one we coulda used for the ENTIRE hobby. Talk about a fermented gene pool!

    All kidding aside, this shoulda been done YEARS ago. But we’re pretty much (majority of “us”) a stuck-in-the-mud crew. You know, set in our ways to a severe fault.

    I like Flartist – Felt-Flicking Artist. Could also be used to point the finger at someone in the game room who just broke wind!

    Great Topic!

  42. coachrip says:


    You are right, ……..BuzzBaller is a great one, ………….and I’ll be using that one when RM and I get interviewed for TV on Tuesday night, for the Harrisburg BuzzBall League, by one of the local news stations….

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