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Old 04-24-2013, 01:52 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Default League question with no clear answer, so letís argue about it

Here is the dealio: I run a doubles league that has 8-10 teams in it. Itís a ďsign up for eight weeks with a partnerĒ type of league with a cumulative score and the pay out at the end of eight weeks, not a drop-in when you feel like it-pay out every week league.

At 8-10 teams the numbers are low. We have run as low as five teams at one point. Part of that it the fact that we got our course in the fall of 2009 and started the league in 2010, so itís new. Part of that is that we are an isolated town of 15,000 and we probably are never going to be huge. At any rate, we need to try to keep numbers up.

To encourage play, Iíve allowed a flex starting time. Sometimes teams will have a conflict and need to play early, so I let them if they can find another team that will play early. Itís a college town so we usually have teams that can show up before 5:30.

The down side is that the course is very wind dependent, so if you play at different times it can change the way the course plays. It can be calm in the afternoon and somebody will put up a 45, then a storm system will move in with high winds and the teams at night will struggle to put up a 50. Itís not often that it happens, but it happens and it really pisses the competitive teams off when it does. Of course you really canít prove that the scores were due to the weather, but the perception is that it is due to the weather and perception is the reality Iím dealing with.

The other thing that happens is that since I donít force teams to be there at 5:30, some teams make no effort at all to be there at 5:30. They will have a standing conflict and go ahead and sign up knowing they can play whenever. They end up playing with the same teams that can play early over and over, and there is no social interaction between them and most of the league. They are just a score that pops up every week.

But, they DO sign up. We need the numbers. You get the mixed perception that they are doing something wrong to gain a competitive advantage when they are actually following the league rules and so far as I know actually have conflicts that keep them from being there at 5:30.

This spring has been bad for weather so it seems to have exasperated the issue. I now have teams that say they wonít sign up again because they feel punished that they play at 5:30 when they are supposed to.

So Iím at a crossroads. I either start to enforce the start time and lose teams that canít make the start time or I leave it the way it is and lose the teams that feel like they canít compete with teams that play whenever they want to. Either way I feel like Iíll lose teams when I canít afford to lose teams. Damned if I do, damned if I donít.

So what would you do?
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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Thumber Thumber is offline
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Change it to a match play league. That way you can keep the flexible times, teams have to flex as well, and the matches are fair because the competing teams have the same conditions.

Or go to a singles match play league
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:59 PM
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The Hammer The Hammer is offline
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You probably want my opinion like you want a brain tumor, but here you go:

I would go with the set start time, and hope for the best. It will encourage more social interaction, and if you are persistent and consistent in playing every week at the same time, the crowd will likely slowly grow. I've noticed the local leagues that die out are the ones that try to cater to everyone, and are inconsistent in the weeks they do, and don't play, and their start times.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:07 PM
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notroman notroman is offline
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From my experience you usually get more wind during the day time, and things tend to calm down by evening. Unless there is a weather disturbance passing through in the evening, I would argue that weather conditions are better in the evening than they are earlier in the day. I'm sure there have been a few instances where the weather took a turn for the worse after 5:30, but I would try and look at the other days and see if the opposite isn't true.

I personally never liked the flex start league idea, but I really doubt the weather would affect things that much between the different groups on a weekly basis.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:07 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hammer View Post
You probably want my opinion like you want a brain tumor, but here you go:

I would go with the set start time, and hope for the best. It will encourage more social interaction, and if you are persistent and consistent in playing every week at the same time, the crowd will likely slowly grow. I've noticed the local leagues that die out are the ones that try to cater to everyone, and are inconsistent in the weeks they do, and don't play, and their start times.
If I didn't want opinions I would ask.

That's how I was leaning since it is how I would run it if I wasn't begging for players. I figure if I'm going to go down in flames I'll go down doing things the way I'd like to run them instead of making excuses for doing things a way I really don't care for. Your explanation sounds better, though.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:10 PM
Royal Hill Royal Hill is offline
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I would first let this session roll on as promoted, no changes.
How close to the end are you? two weeks in or at week 6?

Regardless, if you are going to change, get it clear on whats coming and stick to it. Have print sheets available for the next session/season details and pass them out as you promote.

stay the same, set a fixed time,or go to a match play, whatever - just be consistent in all promo materials and answer questions gracefully and with a friendly smile... even if you're not feeling friendly at that moment.

Setting a regular start time does has advantages when it comes to future growth. People like knowing solid times to craft their schedule around. If its an activity of value, people will generally find a way, or at least understand that its how the accountable world works.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:14 PM
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bradharris bradharris is offline
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I would go with a set start time and switch to singles play. If your numbers increase and you get stronger consistent turnout at the allotted time, then you can go back to doubles. But it sounds like you just don't have the player base to support doubles play.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:16 PM
bthoma1 bthoma1 is offline
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I would also go with the same start time, if they cant make it they cant make it. Do something else during the week as well? I personally wouldn't go to a league where people played at different times
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:19 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Hill View Post
I would first let this session roll on as promoted, no changes.
How close to the end are you? two weeks in or at week 6?
We are at week 5. No way would I switch rules in the middle; it's a question of what to do moving forward in the summer. Changing the rules in mid league would be dumb. I had a mini-revolt over allowing substitutes two years ago that required a rule change, but it didn't take effect until the next league. No way was I going to strip a team of a win because we changed the rules retroactively.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:23 PM
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In our leagues we let people/teams play out if they can't make it that week but only once per league. Once that's used up play at the scheduled time or forfeit.
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