Any advice for starting a new tournament?

0 votes
asked Oct 21, 2014 by jonesydesign Kubbnoob (320 points)
Kalamazoo Kubb is planning to hold a tournament this spring. I was hoping to gather some feedback from more experienced tournament directors on what we should be thinking about and doing to get it going.

How do we best approach potential sponsors?

How do we get more of the community involved?

What are the best ways to promote it?

In general, what's worked and not worked in your experience hosting a tourney?

Any advice you could share would be greatly appreciated!
commented Jan 30, 2015 by JHalvorson Kubbnoob (220 points)
Write a letter that quickly explains Kubb, how many people you expect will attend your tournament, and what you will do with the money.  High light the range of ages and distances people may travel to play.  I think those are distinct advantages for kubb tournaments.  Around our area, most tournaments are for softball and cornhole.  Sponsors might be impressed they could be reaching a new audience.  If you decide to raise money for a cause, include that in the letter and you might find people more willing to help sponsor.  Leave the letter with the managers at various businesses that you use yourself.  When possible, introduce yourself to the manager or manager's assistant.  Home depot, your dentist, the local super markets... even small one-person self-owned construction or painting business might help out.

Play in the park where others will see you.  Kids often are less shy, will ask to play and then tell their folks.  If there is a community education program, you can probably sign up to offer a few teaching sessions.  If a bar is willing, has space for a pitch or two, maybe lights, you can inquire about playing certain nights of the week.  You might develop a following.

Attend other tournaments, even non-kubb ones, and make notes of what you like or dislike.  You might notice setups that work great or don't work well.  For example, keep the music/speakers away from the area where the players report their scores is beneficial to the both the workers and players.  Remember that people huddle around the bracket screens or boards, allow them more space than you think.  Players and workers will need food/beverages/water - be clear what is available or what they should bring.  Which also leads to requiring access to restrooms on premise.

I am still working out a way to quickly setup many pitches.  I had a system for making the pitches perfect rectangles (90 degree corners) but the pitches were not square to each other.  If you can paint or chalk the corners the night before, it will be less of a headache on the day of the tournament.

Have a good group of volunteers to help out with the setup.  You'll get pulled in lots of directions during the setup time.  Assign tasks to each person prior to the tourneyment to lessen the burden on you during the setup.  Many of the players will lend a hand too.  They are an amazing group of people.

Plan out all of the tables and chairs you will need for sales, scoring, or displays.  Know what items can be covered up or what items need to be put away if it rains.

Everything you've planned, expected, or thought about should be shared with at least one other volunteer/helper.  It will help resolve questions much quicker while your busy working on three other tasks/small fires at the same time.

Once the matches start rolling, it's pretty awesome.  At some point the event will feel more like your hosting a party than doing a task.

1 Answer

+2 votes
answered Oct 21, 2014 by KubbCanada Kubbnoob (860 points)
We held our first Canadian National Championship this year with much help from Eric Anderson and many others.

Promotion is just getting the word out, get playing in public parks, get people talking about it.
Sponsorship may be hard for a first tournament unless the sponsors are already familiar with Kubb.  It may take a tournament or two to get them knowledgeable and ready to donate.

As for advice.  Make sure you have enough sets for the matches as well as helpers to assist in setting up pitches.  I'd recommend a quick-pitch system to make the time fly for setup.  Make sure you have a way to let people know upcoming matches, etc.  A bullhorn, PA system, whatever you have (a cone to talk through).  

Have a backup plan in case of really bad weather.  Will you hold it another day, play on in the rain/snow/hail/tornado what have you...(I don't recommend playing in a tornado or anything too nasty).

When the tournament has started, my wife gave me the best advice ever.  Take a few moments while the matches are being played and just look.  Enjoy what you have done.  Especially your first tournament.  It's a one time thing seeing it for the first time...cherish it.
commented Oct 24, 2014 by Dano Ironkubb ✭ (2,330 points)
Good advice, Had a great time at The 2014 Kubb Canada tourney. I  also enjoyed the night before meet up.
commented Nov 14, 2014 by KubbCanada Kubbnoob (860 points)
Was great to meet you Dano!  I'm hoping that more organizers will comment on this thread as I could still use some ideas for the 2nd Canadian Nationals.