Thursday, March 25, 2010

Episode 20 - Tournament checklist

We run our series on tournament management into the ground end our series on tournament management with a checklist. Cruz was out of electricity and was unable to join the other three peanut farmers, but don't hold that against him. He was willing to stand out on Manhattan's 14th Street with a kite and a key and an extension cord into his apartment, but we begged him not to do it because, well, there wasn't any lightening. That didn't stop him, though.

(Jeesh. This blog is beginning to sound like so many other things I write...)

The link is here.

And here's the checklist:

Get teams registered. We recommend a service like Joy of Tournaments or

Get rooms from your facilities people. You need rooms for rounds, tab, meals, judges. Make sure there's a place for everyone to congregate. Keep tab close to the ballot table. If necessary, assign a room (key) person, and whatever you do, maintain great relations with your custodial staff. (Bribes won't necessarily be a bad idea.)

Get judges: Hire 5 or 10 totally neutral extras for each division, depending on the size of the fields. Do NOT assume that arithmetic will somehow allow you to sell judges to fulfill hire requests if you haven't specifically hired judges to file those requests. And your judges filling hired requests DO NOT count as extras.

Get tabbers: Don't do it yourself, even if you do it for everyone else. Get someone experienced with the software.

Set up housing. If you're housing people, get a person assigned to this at the earliest opportunity.

Prepare your supplies: computers with the correct printer drivers, printers, extra printer cartridges, four times as much paper as you think you need, tape, scissors

Set up judge lounge. This should be a comfortable spot with lots of good eats and drinks.

Set up meals. You're feeding hundreds of people. Or more to the point, you're assigning someone else to manage the feeding of hundreds of people.

Set up concessions. You can make money selling water. Don't get carried away: kids don't need an assortment. They mostly just want water and a few assorted snacks. Chips aren't a bad idea, btw.

Get finalized data as accurately as possible to tab from registration. A big problem at many tournaments is that table changes inevitably don’t get through to tab. If you're a tournament director, you should probably run registration yourself. It isn't fun, but it's the best way to insure the fewest problems.

Put a process in place for starting and stopping rounds and collecting ballots. You've got to keep your tournament moving. Develop a system proportional to the scope of your event.

(And after you've run it, watch this video; NSFW for vulgar subtitles.)

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