Likely to be an ongoing work in progress as more features are added, this page was created for novice tournament directors, but seasoned directors may find it's reminders useful as well ....
This guide is offered as a reference to insure no stone is left unturned as you plow your way through to a successful event! It's intention, is that it will lessen the burden and stress levels that accompany directing a tournament. Whether your event is sanctioned, or just a local competition, these guidelines should assist in offering an enjoyable (and successful) tournament!
Name your event: With the growth of the sport there are many annual events you'll be competing against. If you're introducing a new tournament, choose a name that describes the event, it's theme/holiday/date, or charity in which players can identify.
SanctioningPDGA, Southern Nationals, Ice Bowl?
Is your tournament for charity, competition, fellowship, or just a fun day at the course? Should you sanction it? Make this decision early to insure there are no conflicts regarding other tournaments. Most sanctioning organization place mileage restrictions on how close events may be to each other. Be sure your event is not competing with other events nearby. Sanctioning can divert some of the payoutSNDG=$3/player ... 50 Ams = $150 PDGA C Tier is $50/event, plus $2/player, plus $5 for non-members ... 50 Ams 25% members = $335
Does sanctioning benefit the sport, or a 3rd-party organization? We offer this Mississippi tournament database to allow clubs to bypass sanctioning and keep more dollars within their club! dollars to a third-party organization. However, they are normally are attended from a larger area and bring in great attendance. But many local, non-sanctioned events pulls great crowds as well. Know the costs of sanctioning and be sure to communicate to the players how they'll be covered and handled.
Courses: Decide what course(s) are to be played. Do the courses need to be reserved in advance? Will it be a one day, two day, or longer event? How many rounds/holes will be played? How many players will the layout accommodate? Are your start times early enough to accommodate two rounds during daylights savings time? Are there any bottleneck holes that could use spotters?Non-playing volunteers who assist 'spotting' where discs may land on long or challenging areas of the course. They can prevent lost disc delays and players will appreciate the extra help! Are navigation and tee signs maintained? Should out-of-bounds or Mando'sA mandatory directs throws along a more restrictive route for players to make legal throws on the hole without penalty. be marked, trash can's emptied, tee pads swept? Player's will remember well kept, well managed course layouts. They'll also remember slow play and poorly designed layouts.
Advertising: If you hold it, they will come, but only if they know about it! How will you get the word out? Posters at local courses, club Facebook pages, club forum pages, sanctioning organization forums, word of mouth at local mini and events ... these are all great portals to get the word out! However you deem to advertise, start early, promote payouts and player packs, custom discs, special offerings, and orchestrate your event better than advertised!
Player's meetingsHeld by the TD, normally 30-45 minutes prior the start of the round to designate and explain the course layout, OB's, mando's, plus to answer player's questions regarding the tournament. , meals, overnight accommodations, and awards all need "someone" and "somewhere" to be held. Decide who will manage these tasks and where they will be held. Reserve them, if necessary.
Printed Materials: The day of the event is too late to think about what you need to properly run the tournament. Think about and have these items prepared well before the event. We've included downloads of several of these items via the menu above. Important items include advertising posters and flyersSlap these up at local courses, businesses, or as hand-out at events prior to your tournament! , ace pot lists, divisional sign up sheets, scorecards, leaderboard cardsBesides the cards, you'll need a way to display them accordingly to divisional scores and the next round start holes! Most clubs have a canvas leaderboard you may be able to borrow. , layout maps, O.B. and CTP descriptions, CTP cards, banners, sponsor signs, sponsorship forms.
Sponsorships: To insure a financially solvent event and pay-outs that exceed even the player’s expectations, tournament directors need sponsor money for their tournament. Sponsor dollars can cover expenses such as trophies, meals, ring-of-fire awards, or any expense that may arise. Participants appreciate expenses such as these being paid by someone else and not from their payouts!
There are various means in which sponsor dollars can be generated. Many TD’s sell Hole Sponsorships to local businesses, organizations, or individuals where a small advertisement sign is located by the tee of their choice. These signs communicate their support of the sport and the players of the event. Sponsorship can also be generated in the form of T-shirts, banners, tournament literature, flyers, custom discs, or even even including larger sponsors in the name of the event. Businesses support those that support them, so be sure to advertise and thank your sponsors via social media, at the player’s meeting, at the awards, and online results threads. Good communication to the players will remind them to also support these businesses! If sponsors are see results, they’ll likely keep sponsoring!
One point of reminder: TD’s have a tendency of picking the low hanging fruit first and regularly. Be careful and review your regular sponsors to insure they’re not abused and called upon too often.
(still to come)
Payouts & Awards:
What will the winners receive? A trophy, plaque, bag tag, or something special? Many vendors have long lead times so plan to order your awards well in advance of the tournament. Payout in Am divisions expect lot’s of plastic. Do you order it, or present them with merchandise certificates for a local vendor? Relieve stress and make sure the “plastic” is handled! Players expect “cutting edge” molds that they’ll never toss and shun cheap plastic! Have a good selection of the best and most desired molds from a variety of manufacturers. The players will notice and your TD’ing prowlness will grow! Give cheap plastic and your TD’ing abilities and overall character will cheapen as well. Players made a choice to attend your event. Give them a reason to come back!
Think out of the box as well. Plastic is normal. Give em’ towels, bags, dinner coupons, or tickets to special events. Make your awards “prized” offerings and the player’s will respect you.
Directing an event doesn’t mean you handle everything, recruit and “direct” others to handle various tasks. The event will be the better, and it will be even more enjoyable to you …. and the players!