poolSynergy, volume venti

this is volume twenty of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume 20 is “what makes for a great tournament”.

for the main page of volume 20, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume 20

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.


below is my post for this month.  enjoy.

this month our host mike fieldhammer has decided on the topic of what makes for a great tournament.  i’m not much of a tournament person, but i have played them in the past, and i always love watching one, so i’ll donate my couple of cents for what they’re worth.  because it’ll be almost impossible to write about all types of tournaments, i’ll concentrate on larger events here.

being in socal, i’ve always remembered the l.a. open and the bicycle club tournaments with fondness, so some of my requirements will come from those tournaments.  i think tournaments should have very friendly staff, especially at the gate.  i mean, if the gate person looks dour or mad, it’ll begin a spectator’s day badly and most likely drive that person away.  bye-bye ticket sales!  a smart event coordinator will put his/her friendliest employee at the gate so people will want to come back.  also, large, clear signs of how much the tickets cost are also helpful.  and it may be smart to set up for credit card payments, since credit/atm cards are such a huge part of everyday life now.  just saying.  if not, directions to the nearest atms can be handy.

the tournament area should be spacious with plenty of seating for spectators.  if i were the event organizer, i’d put soft paddings or cushions on the bleacher seats.  have you tried to watch a match for two hours while sitting on those hard aluminum bleachers?  get some cushions so the spectators won’t have chapped cheeks.

food and beverage, of course, are a must.  it’s a boon if the organizer can find a decent caterer so spectators can buy yummy food without leaving the venue.  i think that’s a win-win: the tournament makes money, and spectators as well as players won’t have to go elsewhere just to eat.  however, the food area should be far away enough from the playing area so the match won’t be disturbed.  if tables and chairs can be set up near the food area that’s even better.  (that’s not always possible depending on the tournament location.  of course, if the tournament is in a casino or a large hotel with a restaurant, then food won’t be a problem.)  same thing with vendors’ booths area: ideally, it will have a lot of room and far away enough from the playing area, so people can browse and chat with sellers without bothering the players.

one idea i’d love to see at tournaments is an etiquettes poster at the entrance to the playing area.  the poster would list how spectators should behave once inside the playing area.  this way, there is no confusion on how people should act.  if possible, bouncers or security will throw out unruly spectators so they won’t disrupt the matches.  as for players, i think players’ meeting should be canceled.  in its place, tournament rules will be printed out and posted online so players can read it themselves.  the referees monitoring the matches should be trained by the tournament director, so calls will be more or less consistent.

this is a selfish idea, but i’d love to see the sportsmanship rule enforced more thoroughly.  tournament director should not be afraid to throw out unruly or unscrupulous players; these people are bad for the tournament and bad for the game.  pool doesn’t need idiots to thrive.

lastly, the tournament should have decent media presence.  at the very least, there should be a constantly updated tournament brackets online, so fans can keep up with the progress.  live streaming is always a good addition, if the cost is reasonable.  of course, pre-tournament promotion is a must; at the very least, the tournament promoter should contact some pool forums and popular blogs to promote the event.  if feasible, promoters should consider some press passes to the major pool magazines, as well as to the local tv and newspaper reporters.  if your local abc puts your tournament on its website, it’ll bring that much more exposure to the event.  i think we need every bit of exposure as we can get.

that’s all i got.  you guys can read the other posts for different takes on the topic.

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