An Argument for Age-separated Major Events

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by SteveP, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    I've been looking at the attendance numbers for the recent major events and one thing is particularly disturbing. The number of 10-under players seems to be VERY low.

    We really need to make an improvement somehow to increase the number of our younger players. Otherwise, Pokemon will soon loose its title as being a "Family" game for all ages.

    One of the main reasons I feel that the 10-under numbers have declined is the practice by many PTOs out there to use Age-modified (instead of Age-separated) at their major events. At my league, the only time I ever see the younger kids playing the adults are when 1) they're in the same family, or 2) they're playing me for prizes. It's just not natural for 10-under players to compete against adults, yet we're FORCING that upon them at our major Pokemon tournaments.

    PUI is making a very good initial effort at reversing this trend by requiring PTOs to separate the age-groups for the Top X. As we strive to increase our 10-under numbers, hopefully PUI and PTOs will carry this one step further and COMPLETELY separate the age groups even in the Swiss rounds.

    If there are at least 6 players in a particular age-category, I see no reason not to separate them out. Sure, their swiss rounds may actually end up being a round-robin tournament, but IMO, that's a better choice than making them play adults.

    So, I really feel that the main reason we're loosing younger players at major tournaments is because we're forcing them to compete against adults.
  2. mysterioustrainer

    mysterioustrainer New Member

    Agreed I fear there is a lack of young players overall that is interested in the POP community. In fact new players seem to be becoming more hard for me to attract. Overall I would love to see an extensive mall tour with features like how to play the game to be ran to attract players into the community.
  3. ultimate_healer

    ultimate_healer New Member

    I really feel that PUI needs to make a 4th division. If they were to make a 30+ division then i would be happy. At the States i felt bad that i, a 15 year old, had to face a guy who was in his 30's. It would really help out for some of us to play more around our age.
  4. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    ...or, allow the PTO to separate the 15+ into Young Adult and Adult. I know of a TO in the "olden days" who used more age categories than just the three when entering players into the DCI Reporter. Personally, I wouldn't separate the 15+, but if the software allowed, I'd create the Adult and Young Adult categories and set the tournament as Age-modified for the 15+ group. That way, age-category would be a factor when pairing.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2004
  5. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    The problem with age seperated tournaments is the lack of numbers to run a 10-Under tournament for so many rounds. At the Gainesville and Orlando EX: Dragon Prerelease, when we were still seperating ages instead of age modified, we were forced to pair the 10-Under with the 11-14 group. There were simply not enough 10 and Under players to run a seperate tournament. We were lucky to manage eight players at the Florida State Championships... we've had to send back so many prizes in the past.

    League is what attracts younger players. If we could cut out some of the "useless" POP supported events to put some more money into starting the Professor Program and making the League program exciting, the local player base would increase. At this point in time, with so many primere events each month, most League Leaders (Gym Leaders) are not at the League. They're playing in the big events, while their players switch over to Duel Masters. If we have Professors signing up to run leagues, for incentives of course, we would attract a bunch of new players and individuals who can manage a League if the main Leader is at a big event.
  6. TheGame

    TheGame New Member

    Yup, personally I would love to see the age groups seperated as the 'fear factor' would be nullified. At my upcoming CC I will probably have a maximum of 4 in the 10- category so will not be practical but would love to see more younger players coming into the game!
  7. Water Pokemon Master

    Water Pokemon Master <a href="

    That's a good idea. As soon as I hit 15, I had to face tough adults and teenagers. Maybe they should do 15-18 and 19+.
  8. Dek

    Dek New Member

    or, to expand on that note, Make it a 15-21 Age group and then a 22+ age group.

    Personally, I really dont see a problem with the entire age bracket thing. Then again, Im from Illinois and there are so many kids running around like chickens with no head. With that brought up, I think there could be a possible reason for not having so many 10- competitors:

    -something with a state's Population (highly doubt it, but its possible)
    -Families probably dont want to spend so much on a young child (most likely, i have about $500-$1000 in Pokemon cards)
    -Not enough kids intertested in Pokemon (maybe interested in sports, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.)

    i really dont know. Those are just some ideas I could think of.
  9. Articjedi

    Articjedi Active Member

    I would still support age modified events for the sake of giving younger players to do. In a age separated enviroment, tourneys with 5 or 6 10- players while there are about 15 11-14 players wouldn't make much sense. The 10- tournament would be over in three rounds, and they won't have anything to do. I guess this really depends on the situation. If the age groups are relatively equal, then age separated tournaments should be the way to go.

    There is one problem I would like to address, it's mostly a software problem. At the CC, I think that players in the same age division should play each other until there is a decisive #1 player in his or her division then start mixing the age groups. However, when the pairings were put up, the 11-14 division wasn't "completed" and the top two players each got paired against the top 15+ and 10- players.
  10. davechri

    davechri New Member

    I have never seen a problem with playing outside your age groups. My daughter has done it ever since the first leagues started and there have never been any issues.

    If anyone is having a problem with it, it seems like it's the parents who "perceive" a problem where there is none.

    I'd love to have a 30+ age group though. I'm tired of getting clobbered by teenagers!
  11. sneaselsrevenge

    sneaselsrevenge New Member

    I agree with Phil that the problem comes from not recriuting the younger players enough for league. Our league only has 1 10- player, and he's almost never there. We have so many 15= because alot of us have grown up with the game. Solution: invite some of your younger neighbors to league one week. With luck, they'll get hooked like I was.
  12. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    I'm trying to focus on 10-under playing adults (18+). If people think it's okay for 10-under to play adults in a highly competitive environment (major tournament), they're not being truthful.

    It's fine to recruit younger players to our leagues, but if we then force them to compete against adults at the major events, then we could loose them.

    Finally, I understand the problem when there are very few 10-under players at the major events (5 or less players). But, I'm seeing PTOs with 8 or more 10-under players STILL forcing them play adults in Age-modified tournaments. And, those PTOs are so "hung-up" with playing the minimum number of Swiss rounds (log-base-2) that the idea of extending the number of rounds (round-robin or nearly round-robin) is unacceptable to those PTOs for some reason.

    So, IMO, 6 or more 10-under players should be enough to run Age-separated.
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Finally, I agree that to increase 10-under, we need the support of their parents. IMO, two things need to happen:

    1. The tournament time for 10-under needs to be shorter than the older groups. Therefore, running a couple less rounds (if their numbers are few) would appeal to parents of these kids.

    2. The only way to do #1 above is to Age-separate. Plus, I can garrantee that the LARGE majority of non-playing parents would prefer their kids NOT playing adults. davechri in the above post is most likely a playing adult, so his opinion is understandable. But, I say his opinion does NOT represent the majority of 10-under parents out there.
  14. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Take CA states for an example: we had 16 -10s, and 57, what are the kids in -10 whose parent/sibling is still playing supposed to do for those extra rounds, once they've done their run on each table at the free Pokemon Pinball tourney and played the max amount of times for boosters at the free GBA tourneys? Run around unsupervised?

    Assuming that any of the -10s DID pay to be in a booster draft, there would still be the 'playing an older player' thing once that's not a real option either...

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2004
  15. Water Pokemon Master

    Water Pokemon Master <a href="

    Hey, wait a sec. Aren't the only ways of finding out about these tournaments are by going online? How does anyone expect a 9 year old to go on the internet and look up this stuff. Maybe Nintendo should do some TV advertising and refer people to their site.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2004
  16. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    I'm going to have to disagree with that... there are 10 and Under players that enjoy playing all day. There are parents who enjoy seeing their kids having fun for a day. Some of these parents are playing in the events themselves and a shorter time spent playing means more supervision on the parent's part (since the judging staff isnt keeping them occupied). Reducing rounds for 10 and Under players is a bad idea. Once the children, who you assume become bored from playing many rounds, hit eleven do you think that they've automatically matured enough to jump from four rounds to six? If a 10 and Under player, unfortunatly, cannot keep their attention to six rounds... I do not think one or two less rounds will make a bid dent.

    There was a time when fourteen year olds feared fifteen for lack of prize support, but I think every Pokemon parent has dreaded the year eleven for their children. Adjusting to a new age group is hard, but it is needed. I'm going to take for example Orion (10-Under) and Miranda Craig (11-14), Heidi Craig's children. Orion and Miranda have attended every Primere Event in Florida and the large events like Worlds, Origins, GenCon, Stadium Challenges, ECSTS, WCSTS, and others. They've progressed to a level above most others in their age groups due to their experience playing older players in various tournaments.

    Age Modified is not a BAD paring format. It's needed. We've seperated players into three imaginary boundaries for prize structure and general pairing purposes. It's not fair to the player to have no experience playing against experienced older players if the rest of their age group has no playing skill what so ever. You truly learn things in Pokemon by losing. And if they reach age eleven, into a truly different enviroment (metagame/socially), we're doing a disservice to the player and his/her parents. More often than not, if their wins start slipping and the losses go up when they transfer to the new age group, they'll move on to something new. We dont need that!
  17. ScythKing

    ScythKing Member

    I agree that the experience against *slightly* older players is needed. I think the age groupimgs are whacked though. An 11 yr old simply does not think like a 12 yr old. That's why many cultures make 12 a "coming of age" event. I would like to see the age groups modified to 11-, 12-15, 16+
    I dunno about the old fart vs teenager thing. If I can't keep up with a 16 yr old it's simply because the daily grind and family responsibilities keeps me from having the same "quality time" with my Pokemon that is available to a single, mostly fancy-free teenager. They simply know the cards better and have more time available to play - but ability isn't a factor like the mental processes of a 10 yr old.
  18. HypnosProjectHQ

    HypnosProjectHQ New Member

    I do agree that the tournaments NEED to be advertised more. There is a maximum of two 10- players that attend Brookfield, WI tournaments. In Manitowoc, WI, there are quite a few more younger kids, but not enough to split the ages into "seperate tournaments". In Niles, IL, there is usually one or two 10- players at tournaments. There needs to be some SERIOUS television commercials for a bigger 10- division. Why? Because 10 year olds do not check websites for Pokemon tournaments, 10 year olds do not read Scrye or other gaming magazines to see the advertisements, and 10 year olds do not call up their local hobby store to check on the gaming events happening in the next month. Agreed?
  19. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member


    All valid arguments on forcing 10-under to play adults, but I ask you to consider why Nationals and Worlds will separate the age groups. Is it just because there will be enough players?

    I haven't seen anybody shoot down my suggestion to make the younger players play more than the minimum number of rounds (log-base-2).

    Once again, the adults who are responding to this topic are most likely players also. I ask you to think about what non-playing parent feel on this topic. Maybe there really are some non-playing parents out there who prefer leaving their young-uns to compete against adults so they can have the day off and not take care of their own kids. Also, I ask you to query your children and see what they say. I can almost bet that every single child would say they'd prefer NEVER to play adults in major tournaments.

    We're all basing our opinions on our own adult, player (or judge) perceptions, not on the perceptions of the children and the concerned, non-playing parents.
  20. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Yes, reaching the age 11 is a "coming of age" for Pokemon Children. I can also argue that there's a big difference between an 11-year old and 14-year old. But then again, there's a big difference between a 7-year old and a 10-year old, just like there's a difference between a 15 year old and a working adult you can get any card he needs to make his deck.

    Age-modified is NOT flawed, I agree. It's necessary. But, let the children gain experience from playing adults at LOCAL tournaments, not the major events like the Championship Series.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2004
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