Running Smooth Tournaments

NIKKEI Tournament

It seems that it is harder than ever to get students to attend Tournaments these days and yet tournaments can be great tools in teaching. While adults usually have their reasons for training, sometimes kids or young adults do not. Training for an event can bring your students to class. How many times have you had 15 to 20 people signed up for a tournament and when you arrived, you only had one or two? If you are an instructor, this isn’t too bad, however, if you are the promoter, it can be disastrous.

What is the most prevalent reason most people go to a tournament? FUN! A tournament should be fun. If you go to a tournament that is poorly run, you could be there from 10:00 AM in the morning until 3:00 AM the next morning. I have seen this happen. There is no need for ANY tournament to go past 6:00 PM of the same day the tournament started.

.All tournaments should start on time, not 5 minutes late, not 10 or 15 minutes late. ON TIME. That means that all contestants should be signed up, ready to go and in the ring waiting for the judges. The Black Belt meeting should only take 10 or 15 minutes, but schedule 30 just in case. One of the best things is to have a Black Belt meeting the night before, you won’t get everybody, but you will get some key people. The next day you can have the regular meeting. You are going to hear me say this a lot, DO NOT ARGUE!!! State how YOU want things to run. When others have their tournament, they can run things their way.

When the tournament is over the promoter should thank people for coming, especially the Black Belt judges. There would be no tournament without their help.

Everybody enjoys a well run tournament. In the next section of this series I will cover tournament set-up and offer some of our best ideas on running a smooth tournament. I will also show the forms we use and show you how we set up the rings. Stay tuned!

By Shihan Andy Rodda