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SURVEY - Q2: Subscription Fees

Posted By: Chuck Bower
Date: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, at 5:25 p.m.

In Response To: SURVEY - Q2: Subscription Fees (Mr Majestyk)

Not sure I'm answering this the way you want. I have detected some possible British vs. American word usage here. I think what you mean is "how would you like the money you spend at tournaments to be distributed?" or probably more appropriate for this scoring method "do you think the current distribution of money is OK, or can be changed, and if the latter, how?" My answers are: low score means don't add money to this and if you're putting much in, stop it. High means put more money/effort into this. 5 means I think what is being done now is about right.

Market/Advertising -- 5 (neutral). For the most part I think the current method works.

Computerised Formats -- 1 (not a dime). For tournaments that still use paper drawsheets (most/all in the US), sure I'd like to see computer projected draws+results. But this is one of the things, IMO, players can contribute for free (i.e. software and use of laptop and/or projector).

Backgammon Prizes -- 5. I assume you mean "do you like the way the prize money is distributed?" In the US it's typically 12-18% range in Open. That's fine. Deeper payouts (30-40%) to novices is probably good. Not sure about the tweeners.

Gala Dinners -- 2. For most US tournaments there just isn't time for this. They can be fun for a Calcutta, for example, but as the cost goes up the participation goes down. Maybe these work in Europe. I doubt they'll work in US.

Lower Entry Fees vs. Higher Entry Fees -- 5. I would like to see more events where ALL players participate for a low entry fee but with optional (good-sized) sidepools. In addition to those, though, there should be some bigger entry fee events (as was done in London). Here you might need more than just a weekend.... I prefer the $250-300 entry fee range for Open Main as it's contested now but have paid more (e.g. in LV) without complaining.

Lectures -- (pay more = 1; volunteer = 10). Again, I would hope these are voluntary. I know they didn't used to be -- I don't know what the status quo is. A Sunday morning lecture would be great for every Ty, and two (as was done in Chicago) for the longer weekends is excellent. The latter allows lectures to be aimed at different skill-level audiences.

Lower Hotel Fees -- 1. In general we get pretty decent hotel fees ($80-100 / night) in the US. I don't see how they can be lowered without sucking money out of the prizepools (i.e. winners subsidizing losers), or playing in seedy hotels.

Ranking System -- 1. I think USBGF provides this for free in US. Once you've set a precedent of 'free' it's hard to start charging....

Trophies -- 5. I think quality over quantity at the high levels (Open+Masters) and more quantity for the lower levels. E.g. for Open, 1st in Main, 1st in Consolation.

Match recording Equipment -- 5. (Status quo in US is working, IMO, thanks to volunteers and USGBF help.)

Lower Registration Fees -- 5. I assume you mean %-age rake. This is like hotels (everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die). 85% payback should be the minimum in the bigger entry fee events, with higher returns welcome (of course). But that's pretty typical in US. Rather than %-age, maybe it should be amount (oh, yeah, a reg. fee :). E.g. something like $35-45/person/event for the higher (Open and Masters) entry fee events. The novices ought to get a big break. Tweeners I'm not sure, probably a small/moderate break.

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