Leauge tips

Discussion in 'Archive' started by cattdreams, Oct 7, 2003.

8 league13 468 60
  1. cattdreams

    cattdreams New Member

    I was toying with the idea of writing a big ol' post on how to run a league but then thought, "hey, I bet others have some good tips on what works for them."

    So, going on that train of thought I figured I'd start a new thread that hopfully everyone who runs a league will post some good tips to.

    With that, here are a few things that I find helpful

    First and formost, remember that leagues are supposed to be fun! I know this is a silly tip, but I've seen many a leauge leader (for pokemon and other games) forget this (usually when they try to turn a small profit or get promo's for themselves).

    My other tip for the day, Make a league binder. I used to carry the papers in a folder, the promo's were in a box, rules on my pda, etc, This created a big clutter that was relativly unmanagable. plus, when someone wanted a specific promo, they'd go digging through the box to try to find what they wanted making a big mess. So, when we switched league locations, I consolidated everything into a large binder, putting the promo's in page sleeves, deviders for rulings, paper work, forms, etc, and this has done wonders for organization. Cutting down clutter and time needed to get organized play and tournaments underway. Plus when it comes to players picking out promo's or figuring out what I had to give away, everything was easily displayed.

    My third tip for the day, I dont know how many times I can stress this, HAVE A DECK MEDKIT! throw a bunch of ok cards(not bad, not great) and some energy together so that if someone shows up that's new at league that has a horrible deck or if one of your players needs a few cards you have some on hand to help them out. I know alot of people have large collections, surely you can donate a few of those cards to enhance the enjoyment of your members in need.

    To be sure, I have many other tips I'd like to share, but I'd also like to hear things that other league leaders do.
  2. Dek

    Dek New Member

    I dont know much about being a league leader, but I really need to know. How old do u have to be?
  3. marril2k

    marril2k Member

    Basically a league leader is someone who runs an offical Pokemon-e TCG League... or other games and thier leagues...

    I run the Pokemon League over here in New Hampshire (the only one on the league locator), and I recently changed around some of the ways I manage things like paperwork. I used to use a minella folder, but over the summer I got sick of loosing papers out of it and then having all those paper clips. I went over to staples, and picked up a plastic blue expanding multi-pocket folder thingy, which has 12 platic devidres in it and closes by an elastic like band. I found this to work much better than the folder or binder, because the paperwork was inclosed in a waterproof (well, kinda) item, and each of the pockets can be used for different forms of paper work... I personally soarted them as:

    1. Pens, Link Cable
    2. League Instructions and Letter From Dave
    3. Active Score Sheets
    4. Blank Score Sheets
    5. Blank Sheets of Paper
    6. Ruling Docs and current rule book

    they work so well. Another thing i did, i redesigned the score sheet back during season one. I couldn't stand the lack of writting room and just how it didn't seem to attractive. I designed a newer one that looked kinda like the BattleZone score sheet, created it as an adobe acrobat file and printed up 50 copies... which should last me till the end of the year ;)

    Those are the tips I can think of now, I will see about writting up some others,

  4. White Gryphon

    White Gryphon New Member

    It's always good to have one or two good players as assistants... Well, I haven't been to a POP league yet, but back in the WOTC leagues the assistants helped in stamping books/licenses, getting new players signed up, straightening out rulings and such...

    Make sure that parents don't drop their kids off and expect the league leader to pose as babysitter for them, that's not what the league's for. Parents have to stay with their kids through the duration of the league to make sure they act responsibly. When signing up new players, give them a release form or contract for them to take back to their parents that will make them agree to this.

    The binder/divided portfolio is a great idea. When I get a league going sometime in the near future, I'm gonna decorate my binder with stickers... :D

    Don't wear flashy clothing, since young kids have their own sense of dignity, they'll think you are just trying to please them and aren't really interested in the subject of Pokemon. Dress in muted colors, and perhaps wear one emblem that denotes you as a person who's in-depth on Pokemon (I wear a necklace with a Pokemon dogtag or medallion). But then again this may be just me.

    I would have had some other tips but I can't remember them right now... may reply back later when I do. :D
  5. Sensei

    Sensei Team Compendium Emeritus Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Make sure that parents don't drop their kids off and expect the league leader to pose as babysitter for them, that's not what the league's for. Parents have to stay with their kids through the duration of the league to make sure they act responsibly. When signing up new players, give them a release form or contract for them to take back to their parents that will make them agree to this.

    Sorry to say this WG,but if we did that,then we wouldn`t have many people in our leagues.This is a sad and unfortunate truth.

    Cattdreams,this is a great idea!I started something similar to this on the old `Gym but was geared more towards helping a League get turned around and get more players signed up.Good job!

    There have been quite a few good tips mentioned here and it definately helps alot to be more organized when you are running a league.Some "little" things I do:

    •I still use the "BattleZone" League forms as they are easier to read then the new Nintendo ones(I have many extra copies-you can just xerox some old ones too).Plus,it has room for me on the sides of the names(and on the other side if needed) to make extra columns for which I use.These columns include:

    1)"Promos"-This helps me keep track of who I gave promos out to so no one can say they didn`t get theirs.
    2)"Paid"-Keeps track of who paid for the League(for the owner).
    3)"New"-To keep track of new blood coming in.
    4)"Puzzles"-Who did the puzzles for extra points(my idea to give 50 points to anyone who did them) but this hasn`t been done in awhile since we haven`t had them.

    I also keep these forms in a plastic little "binder" so all months are available at all times if I ever need any info.Doesn`t take up much space in my backpack as well and I could leave it at the store...:)

    •I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of damage counters and a container to hold them in(real cheap...).I don`t know how many times you tell the kids to get some counters and/or dice and they never do so I finally wised up and did this.I leave it at the store in the back area so no problems with carrying it around...

    •I print a monthly calendar and put on the days/times when League is.I also put what the "Featured Match" prize is on it so everyone knows in advance what the prizes are for that days Featured Matches(My featured matches are people picked randomly to play for a given prize.Usually like the winner gets 20 points and the prize(A pack,a deck box,card sleeves,etc..) and the loser gets 40 points).

    •I went to Wal-Mart and bought a roll of "tickets"-the ones they hand out for drawing prizes(that have #`s on them).I use these for the "random picks" for featured matches as well as for "random" prizes that I give out at all my tournaments.As a side note,I also put their name on the back of "my copy" so that if they lose their ticket,I know who it was that was picked.

    Thats all I can think of for now.If I remember anything else,I`ll post it. :)

  6. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    If I had to let parents stay while my league is in progress, then there was no league.
    Parents overhere are not that much involved i think, they bring the kids and arrive at the time league ends.
    If i demand them on staying, none of the kids would ever play, because parents don't want to hang around untill their kid finished playing.

    I always buy the latest starterdecks (one of each) and kids who forgot their deck or newbies can use those.

    There is always paper and pencills available for those who want to make a drawing.
    Today we made a whole book of drawings for a kid moving to another town and leaving the league.
    You be suprised how creative some of them are.

    Last week i started with the new playingrules out of the rulebook. All the kids are sitting in a circle and i'm asking f.e. How many cards in a deck and they all together yell: 60. Then i ask how do you start the game? They all yell : Shuffling your deck. This way i'm going through all the new rules and every week i repeat quickly from the begin and add more playinginfo. this way they learn to play correct and have fun learning it.
    I can't learn them all rules another way 40 kids versus 1 adult need another way to run a league.

    We also celebrate birthdays if the kid wants that. We sing happy birthday and they can give everyone a candy (but only if they want to do this).

    My paperwork is not yet good organized but we are having fun.
  7. TheDancingPeanut

    TheDancingPeanut New Member

    What happens if parents DO leave their kids? Isn't that a liability issue?
  8. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    I have a sign-in sheet for parents who drop their kids at the store; the parents are essentially agreeing that:

    1) they will be back before the store closes (so we don't have to hang around waiting for them, since league ends at closing time)

    2) that they understand that being able to leave their child is a PRIVILEGE and not a right, and can be withdrawn at any time on a case-by-case basis (if the child is a discipline or other problem);

    3) agreeing that the store (and I) are not responsible for the child during league..after all, if the kid decides they want to leave, what can we do, physically restrain them from leaving?

    I also have them leave a phone number (cell or home) and where they will be while the child is at league. I don't know if this is 'legal'...but it was necessary, after certain parents wouldn't show up to pick up their kid until 10 or 15 or more minutes till after store closing; stupid ;) me, I'm not comfortable leaving until all kids are picked up, although it's tough on my youngest since it's a school night.

    I haven't had to withdraw privileges for any parents, though I have had to lay down the law a few times, telling them that if they continue to pick up late, I won't let them drop off. There is a bakery, Starbucks, and other stores in the general area; I don't mind if people run errands while their kids are playing, as long as they respect ME and pick up before store closing...

    More stuff later; I just got back from League myself...

  9. Skywolf1

    Skywolf1 New Member

    All these are very good suggestions. As a TO myself and soon to be "league leader" for another store, there are some suggestions that I would like to expound on just a bit:

    1. Monthly Calandars are a GREAT idea, and have proven to be a very successful promo tool for me, and have also acted to stimulate interest in the league, because players in essence, get to choose what they want to do for an upcoming month, and everything is listed on the calendar about 10 days before the new month begins, so ALL players know what to bring and what is going to be played.

    2. Extra Decks. Now I realize that this one is strictly dependent on the TO, however, if I have a new player who wants to play, and cannot because they either have the wrong deck, or NO deck (as is in most cases), I always make sure that I have one or two on hand. Usually the players do better with my decks that I DO with them. :D

    3. Encourage the atmoshpere: Hey, I'll be honest I am a 32 year old who is a "big kid at heart". Every Sunday I wear my Pokemon wears, and I encourage my players to do the same. It makes some of them feel that it is okay to like Pokemon, especially if they see an adult who enjoys it as much as they do.

    4. Be firm yet gentle: I do NOT tolerate poor sportmanship or cheating or the use of vulgarity in my leagues. I am cognisent of the atmosphere, and I try to keep such incidents to a minimum, and GENERALLY this is effective. Yet, I realize that there are many small children, and so I don't EVER raise my voice or ever act in a "condesending" manner towards any of my players REGARDLESS of who is at "fault".

    5. Encourage parents and/or families to play: Definately a BIG improtant one here. I feel that this game is a family game, and one that can be enjoyed by everyone REGARDLESS of age.

    My ten cents.

    Take Care,

  10. cattdreams

    cattdreams New Member

    a note on drop in childern. each state/country has differant laws on what is considdered child day care and most need license. I would check local laws to see if you're putting yourself at some sort of risk of being considdered an unlicensed drop in clinic.
    Luckily at the two leages that I run/help run we dont have any people who drop in small childern. however when the case comes up, I do not claim responsibility for the child in question and generally want them to appoint a guardian that is available on the premises(sp?). I know that if I ever have to leave the league meeting for any reason, (even to goto the bathroom) I ask one of the others that I know there if they will watch my daughter and inform her who's in charge. (i.e. I need to go get a soda, so I ask chrisbo to watch my daughter for me).

    And now for more tips:

    never eat green cheese! Also, keep your eyes peeled for other things that make great prizes. you'd be surprised what kind of pokemon related things you can find cheap at the oddest places that can make great prizes. On occasion I've seen cool pokemon shirts and toys wind up at the 99cent store. at a buck a shirt, I'll kick down the 5 bucks to give away a few shirts.
  11. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Make sure to keep your older players involved.

    We are lucky enough to have quite a number of older players, who are great young people in the 16-21 age group. This group has been playing for years, and enjoys the company of their friends.

    Make them feel wanted and needed. It is amazing how great a league works when you have the big guys to look up to.

    It is also great because you can give them the little perks that keep them coming for a long, long time....

    A group of us took a road trip to Origins this summer, great time. Great reward for the professors.

    We have also held some cash tourneys, nothing to get the juices flowing like some good old cash. Store owner was REALLY supportive of these efforts.

    I hope all areas come up with the same type of group we do. I was asked to staff the TCG area for Pokemon Rocks America in St. Louis. Anyone coming to the event will see 8 of the best young people our area has to offer (not to mention us two elders keeping everyone in check)

    Can't wait to see what the future holds through Nintendo. If the beginning is any indication, this is going to be a GREAT era for Pokemon. By my estimation, the greatest will take place when the US and Japan are getting sets released AT THE SAME TIME, which should be close to Summer 2004 by my calculations!

    Another great idea, is the no lose tourney idea we came up with. On Wednesday nights at Dragon King in St. Charles Missouri, and on Saturday Afternoons at the Gathering Ground in St. Louis, Missouri we hold tourneys where for a $3.00 entry everyone who plays gets a pack. Winners get more, and people who do well get more. Gets players used to playing in the tourney atmosphere, and I do bring my "God Box" of playable cards to help the younger players starting out. Amazing how quick you can get to a playable deck if you start with either Echo, or one of the Ruby/Sapphire decks....Add a few packs, and POOF, you have the trainers, and the cards you need!!!!

    Some tourney style competition is needed once your players get to a "serious" level, and want to play. It also keeps everyone playing the same type of deck. There is nothing less fun than a modified player playing an unlimited player, and getting Pwned by energy removal, which they did not prepare for, or have an answer for. Now that Shiftry is here, I know, I Know.......

    Just a few suggestions that have worked for us.

    If you go tourney style, remember, do not be obsessed, with time constraints to having just one winner. If you have 2-3 undefeated players, and only time for 3 swiss rounds, just make sure all of your winners get the same prize. Tiebreakers should be avoided if at all possible, until the big events. Winners are winners. One 3-0 winner should not get less than another 3-0 winner. They beat who they were paired against, that it that.

    This of course does not apply to big tourneys. Gloves come off then!

    In order to make pairings fair, our gym loves to "Pick their poison" as we call it.
    This makes pairings perfectly random, in that the TO gets two copies of a number of cards (with one copy of one if a bye is needed), and all the players get around the table and randomly select a laid out card. They play who they match with. Some nights I will age modify this, but usually, it is all against all. This also works for future rounds with people of matching records. This way there is no mysterious computer "sticking" them with a pairing, they are doing it to themselves, in essecnce, picking their own poison.

    It is amazing in that I have had NO complaints about pairings since going to this system....

    That is my two cents, probably worth over 4 cents, but you will end up charging me for reading it all!

  12. cattdreams

    cattdreams New Member

    lately I've taken to paring people with die rolls, that is, I make a list (say 8 people) then roll a 20 sided die, then starting at the top I count down the list if I get to the end, I start at the top again (1-8, then 9-16 and so on. when I stop at a player, I write a letter by their name, a, b, c, d,... then roll the die again and count down the list from wherever I left off skipping anyone that's already been given a letter. the two a's pair off, the two b's, and so on.

    I have done the pick your own poison method before as well and that's a great way of doing pairings, though I usually just use pokemon cards, the two players who match play eachother. (like two mudkips, two torchics, two groviles, a ditto as the buy)
  13. TheDancingPeanut

    TheDancingPeanut New Member

    "3) agreeing that the store (and I) are not responsible for the child during league..after all, if the kid decides they want to leave, what can we do, physically restrain them from leaving?"

    I work with a program called The Community Youth Devlopment project - we provide "Safe zones" for teens throughout the county. We recently got into a lot of trouble because one of our teens left an event unnoticed. It is my understanding that, whether or not the parent signs a release, once the minor is in your custody, he or she is your responsibility.
  14. League Leader Terry

    League Leader Terry New Member

    One thing I used to do with my old League is special events. Now, these suggestions work best with a large league. In fact, I haven't tried them with my new league since it's still small.

    1) Rankings & the Elite Four. Now, this was something started by the original Gym Leader of my old league. He had a tournament which established rankings for everyone who entered. The top 4 became the Elite Four and had another small tournament between themselves to decide their order. In order to challenge the Elite Four, you had to work you way up the ranks until you were number 5. Originally, the Elite Four was just something for bragging rights because it worked just like any other rank challenge. If you beat the 4th one, you took his rank and even if you lost to number 3, you would still be number 4. Still, it did help give the kids some incentive to become better players.

    2) Gym Leaders. I didn't do this that well myself, but I've thought it through more and have improved it. Anyway, have a tournament for each gym. To enter the tournament, you had to have a deck based around the type of that gym (I just had them have to have at least 3 pokemon of that type, but that lead to people throwing in 3 random pokemon of the required type and never using them). The winner of the tournament becomes that Gym Leader. For instance, with the Flying Gym, you have to have a deck with flying pokemon (I still think of the guy who won that one as Faulkner instead of his real name. :) ) and is automatically given that badge. What I had intended to do was to have an actual Gym Challenge. If you could beat the 8 Gym Leaders, you could challenge the Elite 4 like in the video game and if you beat them, you would be the League Champion. And the next time someone beat the Elite 4, you would have to defend your title. This idea fell apart, though, as the League began to shrink.

    3) Dark Masters. This was something I came up with after all of the other Elite 4 except me quit. First of all, me and my friends Adam and Erick got together a shoebox full of Pokemon cards. There was some good stuff and rares in there. The 3 of us all had decks based around Dark pokemon, so we decided to be the 3 Dark Masters. I had a Flamethrower deck with Houndoom, Adam had a Hunter deck with Murkrow and Dark Raichu, and Erick had a Sneasel deck he called Aku (such an evil deck that people started making what they called "Samurai Jack" decks designed to "beat" it, but that's another story). Now, here's how this worked. First, the challenge would face Erick using a different, much weaker deck than his Aku. Then, they would face Adam. Then if they beat me, they would face the "True Master", aka Erick with his Aku deck. If by some chance they beat Aku, they got the box. We had one guy actually make it to the True Master. I think Erick still has that box of cards. :)

    Anyway, the point of this longwinded post is that throwing in some theatrics does wonders sometimes. It makes the game a lot more interesting.
  15. mysterioustrainer

    mysterioustrainer New Member

    What I do for my league:

    TCG Battles: Players have the right to play Unlimited or Modifed and one-on-one or two-on-two. Battles are worth 20 points for a win 10 for a loss. Players that face me, the leader, is worth double since I am considerably good against any of them. However this bonus is only good when I have the time and once a week.

    GB Battles: Players earn half of what a TCG is worth, and no double for facing the leader. Also players are allowed to fight against other players with any game pack (Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby and Sapphire)(of course the other player must have a matching pak). TCG for GBC: Sorry but no, its too outdated to the real TCG. No Points for such battles.

    Activities: I have made some activities that are worth 10 points and only one per week. Last season I made a Crossword Puzzle that where the clues were Ruby and Sapphire Pokedex entries (so players could use their Ruby or Sapphire game or the e-reader), a simple 10-question quiz about the starting parts of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and a drawing activity where players had to draw Treecko, Torchic, or Mupkip in it's Natural Enviroment. This season kids can do a Pokemon-ex Wordsearch, a Who's That Pokemon quiz, and another drawing activity drawing an EX Pokemon.

    How I host league:
    For the first three weeks, players come and earn points as above. At the end of the season I host a Swiss tournament and other players can still earn points by each battle they play. Prizes are additional promo cards along with other league prizes. At the end players with the most points get the winners and the jumbo(s).

    Organizing paperwork. I keep completed activities at home, keep a binder for all of the rules and the compendium, I keep a notebook for tracking scores on players. Then I sort these papers in my pockets in my office suitcase. It works.

    Clothes: Professor Shirt, and pants.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2003
  16. cattdreams

    cattdreams New Member

    it's late but I'm still up, so that means it's time for....

    Something that I've taken to to help keep my league players sharp is to give them a "Deck Challenge" each week.
    To do the deck challenge, I give our players various limitations on how they can build a deck, (challenges have been things like, wierdest deck, no using the same pokemon twice, commons and uncommmons only [max 5 uncommons], special energy only). the subjective contests I judge the deck, on the others, I let the player play against eachother to figure out who wins.
    The deck challenges are optional so the players dont have to do it if they dont want to, but for those looking for a little more spice, they can compete with other members for an extra prize using the decks that they made for the challenge.
    I find this to be a good tool to help keep the leauge from stagnating. and also brings new combos and fresh ideas to the table for our players to see how things work and incorperate them into their main decks.

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