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Subject: One Last View From the Directors Chair rss

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Andy Latto
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Statalyzer wrote:
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I was struck by Don's comparison to the US Chess Federation in this regard. I was a member of that for over 20 years and until I read what Don said, I never really thought of the BPA in the same way.

In other words, "membership" in the BPA just seemed like a technicality to go to a game convention. I didn't really feel like a member of anything in the same way I felt a member of the Chess Federation.


But for many people it is a technicality in order to go to thfe convention, because that's their only option if they want to go play in gaming tournaments. They may not care who is on the board (and it's hard to be able to distinguish one option from another) and may not be a good choice for a GM or know a game well enough, or plain just not want to, which is fine too. Nobody's wronging anybody here.

And I also think it's a mistake to think that the pool of potential GMs is equal to the pool of potential players. I've played in a lot of events at WBC over the past decade. The only ones I could have competently GM'ed are Successors (no longer an event), Victory in the Pacific (am an AGM for, might GM in the future, and has about 15 guys any of whom could GM it), War at Sea and Britannia (both have dedicated GMs who are there every year), Can't Stop (don't care about it enough to run it), Here I Stand (and that's no longer true now that there's a new edition), and Football Strategy (not sure of situation). So out of all that, there's 1 game that there's any reason for to submit a form for - and since that event happens every year with a GM who is much more of a regular at the event than I am, what would be the point?

If you recognize and appreciate that the volunteer work of a hundred GMs contributes to your enjoyment of the event, there's a lot you can do to help out even if you don't GM an event. There's a lot of space in between "GM an event" and "Just play the games and let other people volunteer to do all the work". You could be an assistant GM. You could go up to a GM and ask them if there's something you could do to help. Even just talking to GM's and telling them you appreciate the work they do would be helpful. If you can't even manage that, they least you could do would be to avoid posting things like this:

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I wish they'd require AREA reports too, especially since this would only take about 5 minus of work per GM, but I understand why they don't do this.

The first rule of volunteer organizations is that you get to volunteer your own time, but you don't get to volunteer other people's time. The second rule is that you don't belittle other people's contributions by claiming that they take much less time than they actually do.

"This event would be more fun for me if the people who volunteer their time would volunteer more of their time" is a bad attitude, and makes the volunteers feel unappreciated. Do you want there to be more AREA ratings? Don't complain; volunteer to do AREA ratings. I'll happily send you the game record sheets from all the Thurn and Taxis games, and you can type in all the names and WBC numbers and send it to the AREA people. It will only take you five minutes, right? It takes me a lot longer to enter four names and badge numbers for each of 85 games, but if you can do it that fast, that's great!

And no, these names aren't already entered into a computer; during the tournament, I only have to enter first and second place for heat games, and nothing at all for quarter and semi-final games. And I either have to re-enter the names for the firsts and seconds or do some programming to get it re-formatted for the AREA ratings report. If you'd like to do the programming for me, you're welcome to help out with that, too.

If you post here, I'm sure there are other GM's who are also willing to send you their game record sheets and have you type them in and send them to AREA, probably including some who currently don't AREA rate their games. At five minutes per game, in the time it took you to post complaining that GM's should be required to do more work, you could get 3 or 4 more games to be AREA rated. Are you volunteering? If not, stop complaining about how other people should be doing more volunteer work. You explain why you can't GM a game, but I see no reason why you can't help out by typing in AREA rating data for current GM's.
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Eric Brosius
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I'd give Andy's post more than one thumb if I could.

As another example of how to help a GM, I'll tell you about Claire's Ticket to Ride tournament. For each heat, more than 100 people show up, all about the same time. It's like the start of the big Filene's Basement sale used to be (do they still have that?) There are several people who support Claire by showing up 30 minutes or an hour early and help her with various tasks: putting table signs on tables, serving as a runner to get help from the hotel staff as needed, registering people by writing their names and numbers down as they queue up -- she even has one person who stands at the end of the sign-up line to explain to people that "yes, this is the end of the Ticket to Ride line!"

Claire even made a special hat for the line-end wrangler:

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Marty Sample
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Filene's Basement sale used to be (do they still have that?)


Filenes is now web only, so no mass hysteria like the old days where a crush of people rushed the door.
 
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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Thank you Andy and Eric for the ideas on helping out GMs.

I think I thanked all my GMs last year, but this year I will be sure to show up early and see if I can pitch in.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
If you recognize and appreciate that the volunteer work of a hundred GMs contributes to your enjoyment of the event, there's a lot you can do to help out even if you don't GM an event. There's a lot of space in between "GM an event" and "Just play the games and let other people volunteer to do all the work". You could be an assistant GM. You could go up to a GM and ask them if there's something you could do to help. Even just talking to GM's and telling them you appreciate the work they do would be helpful.


Great point and I agree with all of that. My issue was the "A lot more people need to step up to GM" / "We ought to have multiple people sending in forms for each game" type of comments. I don't have any issue with "hey everybody support your GMs" stuff.

Quote:
The first rule of volunteer organizations is that you get to volunteer your own time, but you don't get to volunteer other people's time.


I think that's an unfair summary of what I said. After all, we currently require AARs, so anyone whose position isn't "we should end that requirement" is volunteering other people's time. (And yes I've volunteered to help write up those before). Looking back over my post, I think I came across a lot harsher than I meant to - so I understand the reaction after taking a second glance. But I also think there's an assumption here that I think my job is to sit on my ass and never be helpful to anyone, which I don't think I ever stated nor implied.

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I'll happily send you the game record sheets from all the Thurn and Taxis games, and you can type in all the names and WBC numbers and send it to the AREA people.


I'd be glad to do that, yes.

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If you post here, I'm sure there are other GM's who are also willing to send you their game record sheets and have you type them in and send them to AREA, probably including some who currently don't AREA rate their games.

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And no, these names aren't already entered into a computer; during the tournament, I only have to enter first and second place for heat games, and nothing at all for quarter and semi-final games.


Thanks; I wasn't aware of that. I had a few specific games in mind where I could look at a computer sheet (or physical standings tracker like Vince Meconi has for War at Sea) and see everything myself. I should have stopped a little longer to think that a lot of GM's records, especially for 3+ player games, may only include individual places for each player and may not require a record of who played who.

In some cases I had even said "Hey what about sending that into AREA? Don't worry about formatting, just attach what you have to an email and I'll clean it up and organize it" and got either a "no thanks" or a "sure" that turned into a silent nope later .... which I'll follow up on once, but that's it, as I don't see the point of bugging someone with emails saying "send me the stuff please, if you still want to" over and over.

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And I either have to re-enter the names for the firsts and seconds or do some programming to get it re-formatted for the AREA ratings report. If you'd like to do the programming for me, you're welcome to help out with that, too.


I think part of this is an issue communication on AREA's part. The report form they suggest isn't the only option - anything where we can tell who played who and who won and who lost is good enough.

But if some programming is required to get it working on a computer .... I assume this is Excel programming? I'm not especially experienced at that, but yeah, I'd take it as a challenge to see if I could get something workable for it.

Quote:
If not, stop complaining about how other people should be doing more volunteer work.


I didn't complain or whine, I simply said that if it were my choice I'd require X but that I totally understand why the people whose choice it is don't require it.
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Peter Stein
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I know of at least one GM who would be eternally grateful if you brought food to his event. Like chocolate. cool
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Andrew E
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Statalyzer wrote:
Don't worry about formatting, just attach what you have to an email and I'll clean it up and organize it

Do you need the scores or just the places? And, how many years do you want? I have three. PM me an email address and I'll transcribe the elimination rounds and send you my excel sheets for Egizia.
 
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Scott Saccenti
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I'm dimly aware of what AREA ratings are. I was an Avalon Hill kid in my distant youth, and would follow this kind of thing in the old General magazine.

Still, with deference to the old-timers (among whom I have just placed myself with that General reference!), for the Euro scene, I would greatly prefer that WBC sync up with the Meeple League for tracking national tournament performance in this genre of games.

Without recognizing WBC results, the Meeple League isn't all that it should be. And without participating in the Meeple League, WBC isn't all that it could be. What--if anything--is in the way of making these two great things come together?
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Andrew Drummond
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saccenti wrote:
I'm dimly aware of what AREA ratings are. I was an Avalon Hill kid in my distant youth, and would follow this kind of thing in the old General magazine.

Still, with deference to the old-timers (among whom I have just placed myself with that General reference!), for the Euro scene, I would greatly prefer that WBC sync up with the Meeple League for tracking national tournament performance in this genre of games.

Without recognizing WBC results, the Meeple League isn't all that it should be. And without participating in the Meeple League, WBC isn't all that it could be. What--if anything--is in the way of making these two great things come together?


I agree with this thought as well. Having only recently discovered the Meeple League (and noting that it uses WBC laurels for seeding), I have no idea why WBC results aren't included in their standings for games... like say Splendor...

But that said, AREA does a vs. ranking for every player. It creates a much stronger standard than what I believe that the Meeple League is doing.

In short, the 2 organizations perform different functions, but I don't see why WBC isn't supporting both (but it's certainly possible there is something I don't know)
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