Chapter 1: Tournaments and The Tournament Director.

Welcome to the thankless job of Tournament Director for Billy Aardd's Club.   Long hours, no pay, and damned little respect for your authority.   Low man on the the totem pole of club hierarchy.   And with that said, now on to your job...

The Job of Tournament Director:

The Tournament Director (heretofore known as the TD) has the awesome responsibility of planning, arranging, financing, running, and coping with tournaments run by Billy Aardd's Club (B.A.C.) at New Mexico Tech.   The job is not a simple one, but it won't end up consuming every spare moment either.   In fact, if everything works right and all your plans come to fruition, the job can be realitively simple.   Greater detail will be given to all the functions of the TD later, but for right now, let's outline some of the important areas:

  1. Deciding which tournaments to run,
  2. scheduling those tournaments during the semester,
  3. deciding on the rules governing the tournaments and the games themselves
  4. funding - setting entry fees, putting in budget requests, setting pay-offs, etc.
  5. running tournaments - setting up match times, arbitrating disputes, etc.
  6. paying off tournament winners and keeping up on all the paperwork.

There are of course subcatogories and details not displayed here, but you get the general idea.   Working through these steps one at a time should make your life relatively hassle-free.   When there are snags, referring to these steps can help you solve some of your problems.

Getting Started:

So, you're the TD.   What's the first step.   Well, the best thing to do is get a hold of past tournament matetials (posters, rosters, rules, sign-up sheets, etc.) and see what others have done in the past.   In the B.A.C. file cabnet in the Gameroom should be a folder containing all previous tournament info.   In addition, the club account over at the T.C.C., contains files and directories which have even more information.   When you become TD, you'll be given access to the account by the previous TD or one of the club officers (default is Ray or John).   All this information will be a great help, but you may still find it overwhelming, so here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1. First off, you have to consider what semester you're in, and what the school schedule is like for that semester.   You have to contend with school holidays (49er's, Spring Fling [or whatever it mutates into]), major holidays (Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.), Spring Break, and any other special ocassion events that might occur (Science Olympiad, Science Fair, etc.).   It's never a good idea to start things too early in a semester, like the weekend everyone gets back, or too late in the semester, like finals week.
  2. In light of the first pointer, you must then decide how many tournaments you can possibly hold.   Once you've accounted for anything that might interfere with the running of a tournament, that will probably not leave a lot of time during the semester.   You may have enough time to run about three tournaments; you can a ways run less, but more might be stretching your resources just a bit.   Considering all the time and effort you will have to put into scheduling and running a tournament, you want some breathing space in between so that you can work on the next one properly and make sure the previous one is all wrapped up.
  3. Once you've decided on how many tournaments, the next step is to pick what types.   Each type of tournament has its own complexity, based on the rules of the game(s) being used, the format of the tournament, whether or not there will be one or more divisions, etc.   Good planning can make the actual running of a tournment easier than its set up.   Some simple rules of thumb are:
    1. try not to run too many big, complicated tournaments during the same semester; i.e. trying to run Cut Throat, Straight, and Snooker tournaments one semester after another the same semester may lead to a death wish.
    2. try for a balance; start the semester with something easy (like 7-9-8) to attract people to the club and its tournaments; once you have people interested, you can make later tournaments more challenging, and keep people interested.
    3. publicize each tournament well; announcements for the NMT calendar should be sent to, notices for the weekly "New Mexico Tech Events" email should be entered by Monday (by going to, posters around campus and in town, maybe even mailbox flyers.   Getting a notice posted on the electronic display by the stairs would also help.   By making sure people can find out about the different tournaments, you can attract people who might not ordinarily play, or better yet people who will play in certain kinds of tournaments.
    4. keep size in mind; a 7-9-8 or 8-Ball tournament might attract more participants than a Progressive Red Ball Bi liards or Snooker tournament.   While you should always plan for the worst, try and get some idea of how popular a particular tournament is by studing old sign-up sheets, or simply asking people in the club.
  4. Try and keep tournaments as simple as possible; don't add rules that will slow down play or make strategy more complicated, keep divisions as even as you can, and make sure the tournament can run with the minimum of intervention on your part.
  5. Remember: you are the TD.   As far as what goes on before, during, and after a tournament is concerned, your decision is final.   You can of course make things go more smoothly by observing some simple rules (to be expounded later), but there will always be one or two sore losers, who will claim any number of things.   Don't let them bother you.   You have the authority.

And so, with some of the bare basics out of the way, it's time to start looking into things in depth, beginning with the general tournament rules and the types of tournaments available.

Billy Aardd.