How Do We Make Our Leagues Better???

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by Ez1, Jan 30, 2004.

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  1. Ez1

    Ez1 New Member

    I want to increase the number of players in my league while making it more fun.
    I would like your ideas and suggestions on things that you have done
    that have worked.

    Example: 1. I found that when I brought 3-4 extra decks(good
    decks that were capable of winning), to the league that attendance increased
    because some new players didn't have decks(or very poor ones). This
    was especially true among newer and younger players. They felt
    better about themselves and felt that they could actually compete
    without appearing ignorant. As they learned how cards worked
    together they began building their own decks.

    2. We continually emphasized that it was very important
    that older and more experienced players didn't tease, ridicule or
    make fun of the younger or more inexperienced players. If they don't
    feel welcome they won't return.

    I'm sure that there are many more and better ideas out there.
    Please share your suggestions and successes.............thanks.....
  2. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    At the gamers guild we encourage players to donate their common cards and use them to help newer players build better decks, we try to do the same with uncommons but due to the current collation issues we have to charge for them.. they are just too hard to get hold of.

    We also try to regulate the first trades newer players make and we encourage all players to ask one of the gym leaders if they think a trade is a little wrong. One of the risks if you don't do this is that the sharks in your player base rip the newer players off in trades and they never come back once they realise.

    I try to stress fairness and equity in trades after all if you help them build a better deck they will stay around to trade some more.

    Also try to ensure there is variety at you league, we run league play, tourneys and GBA play together with drawing competitions and other activities .. Oh and advertise advertise advertise :)

    Maybe this is in the wrong place tho' perhaps the topic should be in tournaments and organised play?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2004
  3. P_A

    P_A Active Member

    I actually have a few suggestions, mostly not mine, but I'll pass them along as I have time.

    Challenges: Gym leaders in our gym took an example pioneered by a gym just outside of Toronto. A person can challenge the gym leaders for their "badge". These badges were made up by a person there that was able (a lot of work was put into their construction - hand painted as well). Those that challenged and won a battle with the leader got their badge. As time went on, some were more valued than others - some leaders were just more skilled at playing. Keeps the leaders sharp, and gives attendees a bit of a challenge, and chances to learn about the better decks.

    Bounty challenge: Up here we picked up some pokemon odds and ends, mostly at the flea market - little toys, videos, figurines etc. Each week after league the gym leaders pick a name from the attendees and challenge these persons. If the leader loses, the attendee gets to pick from the bag of loot we have, and there's quite a bit of it. The name of the challeged person gets taken out of the pile for the next week to give everyone the chance to get something if they work hard.

    Those that have a digital cameras could try this: Keep a running total of the attendance, and who in particular. With 10 tournaments take their picture and put it on the wall. Kids love to see their picture, and gives them incentive to go regularly.

    That's it for now.
  4. Adv1sor

    Adv1sor New Member

    Rule number one: Keep if fun!

    (And a special kudos to `Sensei for doing such a great job of always making sure that everyone has fun at our league!)

    If you have a lot of players that are new to the game, and if everyone can afford it, have booster drafts! This is a fun way to build your collection and you can suggest that some of the more experienced players donate extra commons and uncommons to help newer players build up their collections.

    Have regularly scheduled tournaments.

    Ask the winner of the previous tournament if they are willing to lay out their decks and explain to some of the less experienced players why they choose the cards they choose.

    If you have one person who consistently wins all the time, set a bounty on them! (I saw this done at Star City for their Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments.) Offer a reward of one booster pack for the first person to beat the champion at the next tournament. (Talk this over with the champion first to make sure they understand the spirit in which this is being done.)

    Advertise! Put up league posters, flyers, tournament announcements, Premere event advertisements, etc. Most places that have Pokemon also have Yu-Gi-Oh! Where are the Yu-Gi-Oh! Nationals and Worlds being held? (Is there any such thing?) Everyone reading this board likely knows all the known details about the Pokemon States, Nationals, and Worlds, but does that big group of Yu-Gi-Oh! players at your store know anything about them? Advertise!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2004
  5. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    We also have a clubranking.
    It's a system for who played the best in a month
    Who was the best in the months end tournament
    These 2 numbers give a total (after a simple formula) and the outcome is the players rank.

    We do that every month so we have monthly winner and overall winner.
    Kids like that.

    We have medallions for the # 1-3 in a larger tournament.
    Kind of ribbon with a pokemon charm on it.
  6. sneaselsrevenge

    sneaselsrevenge New Member

    Our GL does the same thing for tournaments.

    Anyway, 1 idea I had was to have a few experienced players come an hour before league, and run demos. The place I play did the same thing for War Hammer 40K miniatures game, and got a huge response for it. All you need is an extra deck for the kids to borrow while you teach them.
  7. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    I agree with the toys and trinkets, as my league is generally aged 13 and under. I also have a league box where I keep my extra commons/basics, so I can help rebuild new players' 1-1-1 line decks into something that will work in gameplay.

    I also have to agree with making SURE that all trades are inspected, especially if you have a lot of younger/inexperienced kids and/or a large age difference between members. I just broke up a trade the other night...which was not shown to me first...between an older player and one of my younger ones: SIX uncommon modified-legal trainers for ONE of the Base Set 'big three' holos...*sigh* :nonono:

  8. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Well, while that may not sound like a good trade to a "player", I know my kids would be pretty happy with it.
    Seems like both sides got what they wanted there.
    The younger kids would prefer the "shiney" over the "stupid trainers" while the older player gets rid of the unplayable card for some cards that can be used in decks.

    I don't see the problem there.
  9. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    My main problem was that the trade was attempted WITHOUT my approval, though I always make sure I inform the league members that that is our policy before 'trading time' begins. I also have the impression that the younger child in question stripped all the trainers from his modified-legal preconstructed decks, which is going to leave him trainerless when we start playing Modified to gear up for the City Championships.

    I did let the trade go through, after suggesting that the older player add to his offer. He had no problem with that; I think he knew he was STILL getting a good deal...

  10. annisarich

    annisarich New Member

    What has been succesful for us in Tecumseh MI

    I have a deck library (made and premade) that kids can sign out to play at home and learn from.
    I also deck doctor at league. A seperate table that I can teach at.
    I have been using cards I have obtained from tourney and friends to give first time players a Promo. I also have been giving foil energys to each player the first time they make it to league each month. These additions to the POP Promos make the kids happy. I also spend time keeping the parents engaged. My enthusiasm shows and that helps grow the league.

    We started in November with two sundays. Had only me, my two sons and one other boy and his mom. December we added another family with two kids. My son recruited a friend and the last weekend we had another new player. Total of 11 registered players. Wheeeee

    Then everyone brought a friend. Someone read about us on POP's site.
    The end of January we had over 20 players registered and ended the month with a Sanctioned Unlimited Tourney. 15 players participated. It was great. They players loved the promos. I put in a few boosters and old promos as prizes. They loved the league pins.

    We plan on playing three times in Feb. Come join us.
  11. Ez1

    Ez1 New Member


    I believe it was Einstein who said "Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% theft."

    If every league has one unique idea that we can share with the other leagues
    then our sum becomes much greater than the individual parts.

    There are some really great ideas listed above.......

    Someone mentioned advertising......what have you found that works and
    is inexspensive.

    Some additional ideas that were given to me but not listed include
    1. Pair a strong player with a weak player(this is not a team match).
    The combined wins between the two during league play determine the winners.

    2. Everyone brings a deck. The decks are then numbered and the numbers
    are then drawn. You must then play that deck.

    3. Make deck lists for 15 or more possible deck ideas and make them available
    as starting points for the inexperienced(or anyone for that matter). Make
    sure to have 15 or more so that the league doesn't end up with only 1 or 2 decks
    being played.

    4. Give a prize each week for the most original deck idea.

    5. Make a list of the most playable trainers and explain how to use them in a deck.

    We can shape the future of pokemon and help to make it better by responding in a positive way.

    I'll put together and post a list of successful ideas in a few days.

    Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming.
  12. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    yeah Advertising:

    I use A4 colour posters at 30 council run sites around the region to promote the league, we also run a website for the club we meet at and of course there is the southeast challenge website too at:

    We print flyers out and drop them at all events to promote the next one and send them to other local leagues too.

    The local press are sometimes helpful and of course there is Freddy K writing articles for Pokemon World Magazine. We get some very good press from there..
  13. annisarich

    annisarich New Member

    Remeber do not ask what POP can do for you, ask what you can do for Pokemon!

    Appologies to JFK

    I know that there are "'issues" with POP in some areas. Or in some peoples opinions. But I dont live for yesterday. I have had a boy playing in leagues for three and a half years. we discovered WOTC OP about a year and a half ago. Trying to get a league in our town. It was impossible. We have had success here beacuse of Nintindo. I think the Leagues are the best place to grow the game. Most new players (and parents) dont know there is OP and championships etc. Its all new and they dont know that "POP Sucks". The attitude of the Professors and the Gym leaders is what will make this grow.

    So make sure you paint a nice picture to new players. (Go Smeargle)
  14. P_A

    P_A Active Member

    One thing that I was involved in at another gym is to hold a tournament for a charity. Two of the kids at that league had juvenile diabetes, so an event was scheduled 2months in advance. Then because all money's raised went to charity, we asked for sponsors for the kids, and help from the community for prize support. This went to radio stations, papers, and such for community calendar events. It was actually well thought out. A box of boosters went to the person with the highest sponsor amount. It ended up well over $100 and the whole event raised $2000 I believe for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Part of the advertising came directly from them. So we helped a charity, and raised awareness of pokemon in the area. Sometimes that draws a few people too.
  15. pokeprofRaymond

    pokeprofRaymond New Member

    I was thinking ideas like having mini-tourneys for cards that are widely used in decks for the winners and common cards and basic energy cards as consolation prizes (altough I'm not a league leader here this is one of the things I'm thinking). I also let players play some of our decks and they can earn even points.

    This thread is very, very good to discuss so that in the event we have problems in attandance will grow while waiting for the kits for the league (like now :p ) for prize support.

    Let's brainstorm!!!!! :thumb:
  16. P_A

    P_A Active Member

    Another idea we came up with is have a draw each week for a booster pack of the latest product. Also as the supplies in the league kits became available (for example any extra posters or window clings) we do a draw for them as well. One more thing, for a while we were doing this as well: each week that I attended I brought an extra pack along to use. Usally I asked the person that placed last in the standings if I could show everyone his/her deck. Then we all took a look, and helped to make it better, and taught that person what works and doesn't work with their deck, and perhaps what they can do to hurt the top deck. For their trouble they got some deck building help, or at least some tips, and the pack of cards that I mentioned earlier. Sounded like a good deal to me. Another thing, we've tried to mix up the format as well. Some weeks we try unlimited, and others modified, and we even have a week dedicated to 2-on-2 play. Most of the people here have more than one deck, so it works well. Keeping it fun, with a possibility that everyone has a chance to walk away with something, keeps them coming back. Our biggest problem right now is that hockey tournaments have taken a lot of our members. When that ends, our attendance will get much bigger.
  17. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    We know exactly what POP can do for us ;)

    The other thing we do is run an email list and make sure we email regularly with event details and news.
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