FIR. Fédération Internationale de
After an e-mail vote among its members the International Racketlon Federation hereby announce that their official acronym is changed from the previous "IRF" to "FIR".
The underlying reason behind this change is the desire to make racketlon an official sport. Now, what does that have to do with the acronym? you might ask. Well, one significant step towards making Racketlon officially and internationally recognised would be for its international federation to become a member of AGFIS, the General Association of International Sports Federation (see www.agfisonline.com ) and it is strongly recommended by them that new members adopt an acronym that is unique among its members. That made "IRF" a problem since it is already in use by the International Racquetball Federation, who is an existing member of AGFIS.
FIR. The official acronym of the International Racketlon Federation
Therefore, the idea came up to adopt a French name to be used in parallell with its established English name "International Racketlon Federation". And the natural choice for a French name was "Fédération Internationale de Racketlon", which gave the acronym FIR which, in turn, was unique in the AGFIS context.
The idea to turn to the French language might seem somewhat far-fetched but is, in fact, a fairly standard pattern among international federations, due to the traditionally prominent position of the French language within international affairs. The most famous example is probably FIFA, the International Football Association (or Fédération Internationale de Football Association) but they are not alone. AGFIS themselves derive their main acronym from the French "Association Générale de Fédérations Internationales de Sports" and many of their members have the same arrangement, out of which some of the bigger ones include:
FINA International Swimming Federation
- Fédération Internationale de Natation
FIS International Skiing Federation - Fédération Internationale de Ski
FIG International Gymnastics Federation - Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique
FIBA International Basketball Federation - Fédération International de BAsketball
In addition, it might be argued that the international racketlon community have very good reasons to try to get the attention of the French. There are several signs of a multi-racket sport tradition in France (see e.g. this article from last year about a multi racket sport tournament on the French island of La Reunion) and there is no doubt that it is a country with great potential for racketlon far beyond what is indicated by its present 15 players on the racketlon world ranking (see nationality count). And a break-through tour event in Paris has been scheduled more than once without actually happening (although France has been a member of the International Racketlon Federation ever since its foundation in September 2002).
France, ready to take the step from tournaments like this "Tournoi des 4 Raket" to real Racketlon on the international scene? Do you get the message? Do you hear the WELCOME? Then, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org !
It should also be noted that if an "E" is added at the end of FIR one gets the English word "FIRE". With potential to spread quickly once it catches on. Often used as a symbol for enthusiasm. Not a bad metaphore for Racketlon!
1) For some of the discussions behind the decision to change acronym, see analysis
2) In practice, the old acronym (IRF) will be replace by the new one (FIR) gradually. This means the old acronym will continue to appear in some older documents on this website.