Many years ago we played Heidelberg students in a private environment a similar game - but with chips! At that time it was really cool to throw the ball over very long distances and catch it. The many different tricks made the game even more exciting and fun. A total eye-catcher for the passengers who passed us by. However, after completing my studies I never played again ...
But it was only in February 2011, when I quit my employment after 7 years of freight forwarding, that it started ...
The memory of this game came back to me about 11 years later, when I graduated from the end of 2010 as a certified leisure and outdoor guide. Here it was also about Funsport- and leisure activities in the indoor and outdoor area.
As part of this training then visited us an entrepreneur (games inventor), who had already brought two sports and game products on the market itself. When he explained to us after the performance of his games, how he had come up with the idea and he told us his story from the foundation up to this day, we were very curious and then suddenly my "chip game" from back then shot into my head.
And my first thought was "so ... you can make something out of every shit ..." That should not sound down-grade towards his or my current product. It just made sense. Because most ideas are simple and work. See frisbee discs, hula hoop tires, and all the play equipment. Even with common sports such as basketball, football & co, the players run after only one ball. It needs a good presentation and correct rules, done!
Of course, I did not tell anyone my idea at that moment - after all, I did not want anyone to steal anything from me. :) And so I passed the exam and worked normally in the employment relationship. At that time still in an international forwarding as transport manager. I earned well, had no money worries and no idea what to expect in the future.
When I needed another change, I finished my work at the employer and looked for the first time a job that had nothing to do with shipping. And in sales for an Internet company. This was (fortunately or unfortunately) then something of not my case, so I quit after 2 weeks. Without a new job. But sometimes I do not like to know what's coming. You let your life run free and wait for something to find.
So while I did not know what to do, I came back to my game idea and decided to tell this game finder about it. He found the idea very good and tried it out with his daughter (7 years old at the time). His feedback: "Wow, that's really addictive"! So I wanted to test it myself. Before that, I needed a name. Because I wanted to start "advertising" during the test phase.
My mother was at my home in Tyrol at that time. She is originally from Venezuela and always speaks a mix of Spanish and German to me (and generally). When we played back and forth in my apartment in the hallway, she kept calling me in Spanish "Marco, pasala, pasala", which means "pass him by". Then it came to her and she exclaimed suddenly and enthusiastically, "MAAARCOOO, that would be a great name for your game, PÀSALA"!?!
After checking the already existing product names and domains, the word "pasala" quickly changed to "Bassalo" and is now the registered brand name of the product. Now it could start.
I immediately bought 20 chips (ate everything quickly, no fun - it took weeks) overpainting them and writing 'BASSALO' all over and testing it first in our village school, where the director quickly and amiably accepted my test request , The balls were then completely different (for example, tennis balls, beach balls, hopping and rubber balls). At first the kids were skeptical (in the beginning it's still like that.) But after the motto "What the farmer does not know, he does not eat", then things really got down to business and the students were really excited The balls just flew around and the recurrent surprise and success moment was visibly in the backstroke! A great feeling to see if you can make others happy, especially with something simple.
In short: Everyone was thrilled, and so I was also thrilled - I went out of school and thought "Cool, project BASSALO must start!"
In the next 8 months, I tested in many different schools and at various sports and family festivals in Tyrol to filter out which product and which game rules would be the best for my idea in question. All ages were tested, many different doses, containers and all sorts of balls tried. At the same time, I searched everywhere for suitable cans or cups, also companies that already had them as standard in the range. The length of the cups of at least 25 cm was very important. Because only with this length is the special throw technique, as well as the wide throws up to 30 - 50 meters possible. That's the special thing about the game! Throw throws on 20, 30 - 50 meters and then catch again with the cup. So they also have to be very stable. That was a hard and long search. In the final defect, no one had this special requirement - a tool had to be specially made for it. And it cost so much !!! That's why I first continued searching.
During my playing and testing, I was always surprised how well my game arrived with the players! The surprise to catch the ball so fast inspired everyone. There was hardly anyone who did not like the game. And then, when I had the following two incredible experiences, I encouraged myself to actually tackle this project and also consider buying a tool specially made for me:
Imagine, half a football field with about 30 - 50 people of all ages play YOUR game, ALL at the same time! Granny with grandson, dad with daughter, teenager with each other, grandparents, young and old and all mixed up .... balls fly around each other, people are lying on the ground, running after the ball, laughing, are surprised, moving, screaming with joy up and just have fun! That was this moment, this sign from above or from somewhere else. So I had to tackle it.
Now began the serious development of the rules and various game disciplines that did not really exist until 2011. Many events, interesting contacts, and many enthusiastic players, gave me insightful feedback for further development.
By mysterious ways I found then finally my current German manufacturer from Bavaria, who still produces my bassalo mugs to this day and we have also built up a very good, friendly business relationship. (Special story)!
I also told my story about all high and lows at the FUCKupNIGHT Innsbruck.
The determination for the current balls was funny and not easy. You'd think the game could be played with all the balls. Then try it. Of course you can play anything with anything. But I wanted the best. It had to be good enough to be able to do long casts, even in very strong winds. They were not allowed to be so light, not too hard etc ... also the color had to fit. Because the fact that you should play overrun and the balls are relatively small, they must be easily recognizable.
I had almost given up, until at a sporting event suddenly a player said: "Try it with squash balls"? - I went to the nearest sports shop and bought one .... And "WOW! So that's it!" The puzzle was almost finished, after just as long search of the many ball manufacturers (most from the Far East, since it was here in the EU as good as none exist), sending samples back and forth, I finally found my manufacturer from China, who delivers to me today the great and high quality balls.
In short: From the initially applied cans and cups, as well as numerous different ball styles, a specially designed sports product has now been developed, which offers players an unforgettable gaming experience! If you do not believe me, play with chips cans and other balls and then with my product. You will not regret it!! In the worst case, you can give it to someone who will certainly enjoy!
Finally, after I asked some banks for a loan with my business plan and finally got one, I had the cup tool made, ordered the first 5,000 balls from China and started selling my "Bassalo Baby" in January 2012.
Well, the rest I can not really write down here, because that would go beyond the scope.
Just this: After my first business plan, I would actually be millionaire after the third year!! :) And if I had known then how much effort, how much trouble, worries and how much it would have cost and above all, that all this takes so long, I probably would never have started at that time. Luckily I just fell blind and without real preparation into the pool and had to learn to swim.
This time was probably the greatest maturity of my life so far. Even though it was so strenuous and hard, I got up again and again and just continued. Partially with only 5 € to nothing in the purse, up to 3 months in arrears, cell phone locked, because I could not pay etc ... I lived in the day, without knowing how I "survive" the next day , If you are really interested in this story, I can tell you personally!
I can definitely recommend this step to self-employment. But it is not for everyone. At least not without good preparation. And there are some important tips for you!
In retrospect, I am delighted to have brought such a great product on the market and to have taken this path and to share this with all my fellow human beings. Always listen to your feeling!
And now, enough from me, order my game and test it yourself. Be part of my vision, spread it and live your life. Trust yourself! Have courage yourself for uniqueness! :) Here we go!!!
Have fun!! ;)