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Old 11-17-2014, 12:41 PM
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Question about running a massive mini!

A few of us in my neck of the woods are talking about running a massive mini. A non sanctioned event but with a rather large cash pot and fairly expensive entry fee. We're green on this and would like some comments about anything legal we will need to figure out before we jump into this. Thanks for any comments.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:47 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Originally Posted by DiscFifty View Post
A few of us in my neck of the woods are talking about running a massive mini. A non sanctioned event but with a rather large cash pot and fairly expensive entry fee. We're green on this and would like some comments about anything legal we will need to figure out before we jump into this. Thanks for any comments.
Contact the course you plan to use and find out what they require for you to run the event there such as permits, use fees, insurance, etc.

And for good measure, contact whatever local club or organizer that usually runs events at that course. It's your best way to ensure there are no conflicts of schedule and you don't inadvertently step on any toes. Odds are someone involved on that end will be more than happy to give you all the assistance and advice you might need.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DiscFifty View Post
A few of us in my neck of the woods are talking about running a massive mini. A non sanctioned event but with a rather large cash pot and fairly expensive entry fee. We're green on this and would like some comments about anything legal we will need to figure out before we jump into this. Thanks for any comments.
Find your local club and work with them. If there are none at all in your region, then don't start "big", start small. Do not go in over your heads and buy a massive players pack for everyone, you'll get burned.

If you want a "big" event, one round, hold a skins challenge. Those are very fun, and no divisions needed except how much they want to spend (20/40/100 etc).
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the comments so far. We just want to run a few massive minis a year, nothing weekly or monthly. What about the financial end of it? What road blocks would we run into about having large payouts? I'm guessing anything over $350.00 would have to be turned into the irs for one.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:32 PM
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Bultx1215 Bultx1215 is offline
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Around here, the "fairly expensive" entry fee would result a low to very low turnout. Have see just a 5 clam difference impact the turnout in a bad way.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DiscFifty View Post
Thanks for the comments so far. We just want to run a few massive minis a year, nothing weekly or monthly. What about the financial end of it? What road blocks would we run into about having large payouts? I'm guessing anything over $350.00 would have to be turned into the irs for one.
Based on these questions alone, I highly highly highly recommend that you go to your local Club and ask to shadow them during their next few tournaments. You don't sound ready at all to start venturing out on your own. Get some real life experience with seasoned tournament directors and you'll have a better grasp at what you need to do.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:58 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Originally Posted by DiscFifty View Post
Thanks for the comments so far. We just want to run a few massive minis a year, nothing weekly or monthly. What about the financial end of it? What road blocks would we run into about having large payouts? I'm guessing anything over $350.00 would have to be turned into the irs for one.
Pretty sure $600 is the point where you should be reporting to the IRS (and having all your players fill out W9s). The PDGA handles that for most of the larger events. No idea how an independent event would handle it short of flying under the IRS radar and keeping everything cash-based and untraceable.

As suggested, you probably want to either start small or seek out more experienced help. Gotta crawl before you walk and walk before you run.
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:50 PM
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Thanks again...shadowed a bunch of minis & tournaments already. Plenty of small'ish minis / tourneys in the area, no need to compete with or do things the same way, if we do this..it's going to be big...very big. So far the biggest hurdles are irs reports, insurance (but all the minis have waivers from liability that we've seen), permission from the city, etc, etc.

I totally agree with getting together with the local club and get their blessing and help, we 100% plan to do that.

As far as getting word out about the event, that's why we only want to do a few of these a year. Have plenty of time to market the events. We have vast marketing experience so getting the word out will not be a problem, but getting players to ante up the entry fee will be a challenge I'm sure, that's why we're still in the thought process about just how large the payout needs to be to attract a good number of players. Locally here, Paul McBeth won an open and only received $1500.00, we would love to double or even triple that for the winner of one of these massive minis.

yah...I know this almost sounds crazy...but we've already did some initial calculations on our cost, and it's all doable. We're not doing this for our livelihood so a small net profit or breaking even is acceptable.

Right now we're still researching the cost per player. Obviously higher entry fees = fewer players, but there's also benefits to having smaller entry fees and more players. For a chance to win $4000.00 first place, how much do you think the entry fee would need to be to attract a decent number of players? One thing to keep in mind, we're planning on playing a course that "anyone" can win. You won't need 500ft drives to be competitive.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DiscFifty View Post
Thanks again...shadowed a bunch of minis & tournaments already. Plenty of small'ish minis / tourneys in the area, no need to compete with or do things the same way, if we do this..it's going to be big...very big. So far the biggest hurdles are irs reports, insurance (but all the minis have waivers from liability that we've seen), permission from the city, etc, etc.

I totally agree with getting together with the local club and get their blessing and help, we 100% plan to do that.

As far as getting word out about the event, that's why we only want to do a few of these a year. Have plenty of time to market the events. We have vast marketing experience so getting the word out will not be a problem, but getting players to ante up the entry fee will be a challenge I'm sure, that's why we're still in the thought process about just how large the payout needs to be to attract a good number of players. Locally here, Paul McBeth won an open and only received $1500.00, we would love to double or even triple that for the winner of one of these massive minis.

yah...I know this almost sounds crazy...but we've already did some initial calculations on our cost, and it's all doable. We're not doing this for our livelihood so a small net profit or breaking even is acceptable.

Right now we're still researching the cost per player. Obviously higher entry fees = fewer players, but there's also benefits to having smaller entry fees and more players. For a chance to win $4000.00 first place, how much do you think the entry fee would need to be to attract a decent number of players? One thing to keep in mind, we're planning on playing a course that "anyone" can win. You won't need 500ft drives to be competitive.
I'm saying this as bluntly as I can, and as nicely as I can. This formula won't work.

If you are going to use high entry fees to get $4,000, and let's just have fun and say there is only one winner and no players pack, you will need at LEAST 41 entries @ $100 a piece. Or 82 entries at $50 a piece, or even 164 entries at $25 a piece. Plus, on top of that, you would need to have a guaranteed prize of $4,000 for 1st. Meaning, if you get less competitors than advertised, then you'd pay those fees out of pocket.

A tiers, heck even MAJORS don't pay that much for 1st place. The only way you could do this is if you had a corporate sponsor willing to fork over that cash, but for what return?

Instead of biting of way more than almost every single TD and tournament and the world can offer, why not just hold a mini for your first event ever? Or just a nice tournament to start off? I fear that you are going to get stuck with something you can't deliver, and you'll end up on the wrong side of a deficit, and probably won't host another event for a very long time (if at all).

You need to start smaller, or guarantee your payout of $4,000 personally, no matter the income. And if you play a course where truly "anyone can win", then those baskets must be in the wide open flats and only 50 feet apart. The Pros and Adv would gobble up everything else.

I've seen very well-intentioned TDs get stuck with a fat bill, I've seen very prominent state reps get stuck with a fat bill. I've been in the red a couple times personally (weather, competing events etc), but nothing to which I'd expose myself that great of a risk. You're talking about a mini in which you need at least 100 people to commit to spending $40 with no further return on their money, just not going to happen.

The #1 phrase in which I know a TD doesn't know what they're doing, is when they say "the more players that come, the more money we'll have!". Sounds like a bad TV marketing ad.

I'm not posting this to derail dreams, just brings things into reality a little bit. A lot of new TD hopefuls have visions of grandeur, only to find their events get half the responses and suddenly they're scrambling to make ends meet, much less payout. If you truly want to have a great event, don't just offer money, offer something unique that isn't just throwing cash at a winner.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:17 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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I understand that the term "mini" is being used here as a euphemism for an unsanctioned tournament, but there's nothing mini about what you're talking about. It's a big unsanctioned (and why unsanctioned?) tournament that you want to run, just call it that.

And I agree with Whitey in one respect...an event promising a huge payout to the winners cannot rely solely on entry fees to raise the money. You have to have someone or something providing that kind of bank. There simply aren't enough players good enough to gamble a huge entry fee like that. It sounds like you're envisioning a poker tournament kind of thing where everyone buys in for five grand and 100 players give you a $500K purse. Well, with poker, anyone can win if the cards break right and they play smart. That just isn't the case with disc golf, no matter what the course.

And that isn't even addressing that few disc golfers have the kind of disposable income needed to "gamble" like that in the first place.
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