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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 10:25 
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Dusty054 wrote:
Accidents can happen. If it's to a non-member, the principal/director can be held responsible. At my very small country club registrations are renewed annually and everyone pays the social level fee except for a couple of us who play state or national level tournaments and register at competition or national level. We do take some risk and allow the odd new player to 'try out' during the year without paying registration, but when registrations are due all current players must pay.

The social level is important. Our club wouldn't exist without a handful of regular kids and I'm not sure how their parents would react if they had to pay competition level fees on top of the normal weekly fee that covers the hall hire. It's quite a jump from $10 to $70.


Wouldn't it be easier just to provide insurance to the clubs rather than individuals? The club does have fees for membership/playing, right? And it's probably quite a bit more than $10 a year. If the club sends money to the state organization for insurance, then all accidents at the club are covered. I suppose it amounts to the same thing but it's more convenient. What I was writing about earlier was players who DON'T belong to clubs, and can play where they have permission to play without need of insurance. I'm sure there are lots and lots of these players. I don't see why any of these would willingly pay an organization for insurance they don't really need.

As for the social players in clubs, I don't suggest everyone start paying $70 a year. What I am suggesting is that the state and national organizations open up the state and national tournaments to players of lesser ability by implementing a ratings system. You don't have to charge $70 a year, you can charge them, say, a $10 registration fee per tournament and $20 per ratings event they enter (people usually will enter 3 or more events at a larger tournament) and current membership would be mandatory to participate. This way, the tournaments get a LOT bigger, and the social players have something more to participate in. And once the ratings system is in place, you can use it to run local/club tournaments and for setting up teams and leagues at all levels. This is what they have in the US - HUGE tournaments where it's not only the elite players who show up, it's everyone rated 800 and up. Aside from the playing, this guarantees a large audience for the elite matches, and this audience is an interested audience because they're also playing.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 10:42 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Wouldn't it be easier just to provide insurance to the clubs rather than individuals? The club does have fees for membership/playing, right? And it's probably quite a bit more than $10 a year. If the club sends money to the state organization for insurance, then all accidents at the club are covered. I suppose it amounts to the same thing but it's more convenient.
Iskandar


Is that possible? I don't know much about insurance but I don't think that's how it currently works. The insurance covers the individuals that have paid for membership rather than the club as a whole. At least that's what I gather from the benefits summary at the bottom of this page:

https://www.ttnsw.com.au/home/index.php/members


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 10:56 
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Iskandar wrote:
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As for the social players in clubs, I don't suggest everyone start paying $70 a year. What I am suggesting is that the state and national organizations open up the state and national tournaments to players of lesser ability by implementing a ratings system. You don't have to charge $70 a year, you can charge them, say, a $10 registration fee per tournament and $20 per ratings event they enter (people usually will enter 3 or more events at a larger tournament) and current membership would be mandatory to participate. This way, the tournaments get a LOT bigger, and the social players have something more to participate in. And once the ratings system is in place, you can use it to run local/club tournaments and for setting up teams and leagues at all levels. This is what they have in the US - HUGE tournaments where it's not only the elite players who show up, it's everyone rated 800 and up. Aside from the playing, this guarantees a large audience for the elite matches, and this audience is an interested audience because they're also playing.


Yes, but the state (and other bodies within the state) does organize tournaments with events other than open. Previously they were called grades A, B, .. E and novice only for first tournament ever, where you could not enter a grade if you had won it once or come runner up twice or something. Now it is based on Ratings Central Ratings but still called grade A ... E. Going back to the extreme example given earlier of 6 guys out in the country who previously played in a farm shed but now can only hire a hall but need insurance to do so who are absolutely not interested in doing anything other than play each other and only affiliate for the cheap insurance, they are not going to go to tournaments. I have not mentioned people playing in garages or basements or games rooms at hotels / motels, resorts, bars, lobbies or verandahs.

Here in Oz we mostly restrict the national tournaments to open events and state based representative team event, in age groups for national juniors and national veterans. However with the teams part of it there can also be B and C teams from a state and there is also Presidents teams for excess players who qualify from a state but there is no team for them.

This (not having events for lower players at nationals) may well be a cultural thing between us and the US.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 12:28 
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Dusty054 wrote:
iskandar taib wrote:
Wouldn't it be easier just to provide insurance to the clubs rather than individuals? The club does have fees for membership/playing, right? And it's probably quite a bit more than $10 a year. If the club sends money to the state organization for insurance, then all accidents at the club are covered. I suppose it amounts to the same thing but it's more convenient.
Iskandar


Is that possible? I don't know much about insurance but I don't think that's how it currently works. The insurance covers the individuals that have paid for membership rather than the club as a whole. At least that's what I gather from the benefits summary at the bottom of this page:

https://www.ttnsw.com.au/home/index.php/members


Yeah, that's how it's structured now. And I suppose it works for those "social" players who belong to clubs. The clubs CAN impose a rule that says that all their players MUST be members of the association and are covered. But what drives this is that the club (and the people who own the space) need to be protected against lawsuits caused by accidents. You could do this just as well by insuring the clubs directly.

I suppose the way it's set up now, you could say that the answer to my earlier question "What do social members get out of paying the fee" is "being able to belong to a club". I suppose that's enough, really, though I can't see why people who DON'T belong to a club would ever voluntarily pay the fee, since there are no other benefits (no newsletter, even). If you extended the benefits to "being able to participate in ratings events at tournaments", and then organize tournaments they'd be interested in attending, then they'd have an incentive to join.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 12:34 
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Retriever wrote:
Yes, but the state (and other bodies within the state) does organize tournaments with events other than open. Previously they were called grades A, B, .. E and novice only for first tournament ever, where you could not enter a grade if you had won it once or come runner up twice or something. Now it is based on Ratings Central Ratings but still called grade A ... E. Going back to the extreme example given earlier of 6 guys out in the country who previously played in a farm shed but now can only hire a hall but need insurance to do so who are absolutely not interested in doing anything other than play each other and only affiliate for the cheap insurance, they are not going to go to tournaments. I have not mentioned people playing in garages or basements or games rooms at hotels / motels, resorts, bars, lobbies or verandahs.

Here in Oz we mostly restrict the national tournaments to open events and state based representative team event, in age groups for national juniors and national veterans. However with the teams part of it there can also be B and C teams from a state and there is also Presidents teams for excess players who qualify from a state but there is no team for them.

This (not having events for lower players at nationals) may well be a cultural thing between us and the US.


OK, so are the social members allowed to attend these Grade A..E events? If they are, then you could have answered my earlier question with "the ability to attend Grade A..E competitions". Opening up the larger tournaments to lower rated players would be a great step if you want more participation at those tournaments, I suppose. And a bigger audience.

I'd argue that the people who play in verandahs, garages, etc. and who aren't interested in anything else wouldn't be interested in social membership anyway. How many of these are social members?

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2018, 18:02 
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The question is. Are the players who play in the local club teams pennants but do not attend none of the state graded events need only pay "social" fees? Also with the lack of enforcement or checking of what level members buy in at it is regularly that these players get into the other state graded level events without paying what fee they should be for that competition.

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PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 06:39 
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Iskandar,

Theoretically social level people cannot play in state sanctioned tournaments full stop. Some "social only players" are actually social level members. The local state organization is trying to find all semi-organized table tennis, not necessarily to coerce or whatever them to pay social level but to bolster the number of participants they can quote to the government.

apophis,

It would appear that people want these levels of membership:

1. Insurance only - don't bother me with anything else
2. Club or social only - I just want to play at the local club but nothing else
3. Pennants only - I don't want to know about anything outside the local association
4. Tournaments - but I will never participate in national events
5. National - but I don't travel outside the country
6. International - this is as high as it gets

Perhaps 1 & 2 are really the same existing "social level".
When you get to 4 and above you get emails about tournaments etc.
Also there may be no practical difference between 5 & 6.

At the moment we have nothing between "social" and "competition", so maybe a "pennant" or "local team competition level" and rename "competition" to be "tournament". Have the state body enforce their own rules in tournament entries.

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PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 13:21 
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I don't really see that there'd be many people in category 1. I mean, if you AREN'T in a club, or aren't running a "club" where the people who own the facility (church, community hall, etc.) want individual proof of insurance, then you'd not be interested in the insurance. If they're in a "club", then they belong in category 2.

Not really sure what a "pennant" is, I suppose it's a regional tournament? Or league? But to participate you have to be a "competition" member. If you want to organize something competitive for social members you'd need something less serious, perhaps - maybe "club open" tournaments held at clubs but open to non-club members. You'd still need some way to divide the players according to ability, though, if you want the lower strata of players interested. You're still charging for entry, perhaps if each tournament pays a sanction fee that would be enough to cover the expense of running the ratings system without having to increase the social member dues.

As for why people would "never enter a National tournament", the reason why many (most!) people would fall in this category is because they CAN'T enter the tournament. You need the ability to PLAY at the National level (or at the Regional level for large Regional tournaments). If you don't, you can't enter or it wouldn't be worth entering. Running ratings events at the same tournament will attract people who could play in those events. You might not attract the lowest level of player, but there surely are many, many, many serious players who are the equivalent of US 1700-2200 level (good players by ANY means, just not the best) who'd be willing to travel to a big tournament and spend money on travel, entrance fees, hotels, etc. for the chance at winning something, if just ratings points, and more importantly, for the experience of it. Not only would it be a weekend of playing matches against opponents of your own level and those somewhat above it, you also get to watch National level players play against each other in real life. Sure, some people might attend just to watch, but I'll bet you'd get 10 times as many people to watch if they also had something else to do other than watch. So you'd have a 50 table tournament rather than a 6 table tournament. Yes, this would mean added expense (a LOT of added expense) and need for manpower, but you could set it up so that the entry fees cover that. You could also arrange for volunteers, and sponsors.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2018, 02:24 
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iskandar taib wrote:
I don't really see that there'd be many people in category 1. I mean, if you AREN'T in a club, or aren't running a "club" where the people who own the facility (church, community hall, etc.) want individual proof of insurance, then you'd not be interested in the insurance. If they're in a "club", then they belong in category 2.

Not really sure what a "pennant" is, I suppose it's a regional tournament? Or league? But to participate you have to be a "competition" member. If you want to organize something competitive for social members you'd need something less serious, perhaps - maybe "club open" tournaments held at clubs but open to non-club members. You'd still need some way to divide the players according to ability, though, if you want the lower strata of players interested. You're still charging for entry, perhaps if each tournament pays a sanction fee that would be enough to cover the expense of running the ratings system without having to increase the social member dues.

As for why people would "never enter a National tournament", the reason why many (most!) people would fall in this category is because they CAN'T enter the tournament. You need the ability to PLAY at the National level (or at the Regional level for large Regional tournaments). If you don't, you can't enter or it wouldn't be worth entering. Running ratings events at the same tournament will attract people who could play in those events. You might not attract the lowest level of player, but there surely are many, many, many serious players who are the equivalent of US 1700-2200 level (good players by ANY means, just not the best) who'd be willing to travel to a big tournament and spend money on travel, entrance fees, hotels, etc. for the chance at winning something, if just ratings points, and more importantly, for the experience of it. Not only would it be a weekend of playing matches against opponents of your own level and those somewhat above it, you also get to watch National level players play against each other in real life. Sure, some people might attend just to watch, but I'll bet you'd get 10 times as many people to watch if they also had something else to do other than watch. So you'd have a 50 table tournament rather than a 6 table tournament. Yes, this would mean added expense (a LOT of added expense) and need for manpower, but you could set it up so that the entry fees cover that. You could also arrange for volunteers, and sponsors.

Iskandar


US Open/Nationals are a week-long events with 150+ tables. Many folks, myself included, are viewing it as an excellent TT vacation (can't make it this year, unfortunately, went to World Vets instead).

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2018, 03:37 
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My main experiences with a big tournament was the Duneland in northern Indiana, near Michigan City. I attended it two or three times, it took place over a weekend and occupied an entire convention center. Something like 50 tables, three or four vendors, etc. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. There are a few tournaments this size that take place all over the US, this one drew players as far away as New York - the Boggans and the Seemillers were usually there. Chicago was maybe an hour away, Indianapolis three hours to the south, and lots of players in Ohio and Michigan. They'd have ratings categories all the way down to 1000. Anyone remember Arunkumar (forget the first name)? First really high level chopper I'd ever watched play, he had just come over from India and would regularly get second place in the Mens' Open (Danny Seemiller was the usual winner).

For Australia, if you guys want to expand the Nationals or another big regional tournament I'd suggest beginning with adding maybe two tiers below the Open category (which the Elite players will be in, but should also be open to anyone). These two tiers would have pretty high ratings caps (e.g. equivalent to US 2300 and 2000). This will attract players equivalent to US 1700 and above, of which I am sure there are many in Australia. Invite vendors to open booths, maybe even hold a General Meeting for the national organization one of the evenings. If this is successful then add more classes to attract lower level players in subsequent years.

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2018, 19:11 
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Retriever wrote:
It would appear that people want these levels of membership:

1. Insurance only - don't bother me with anything else
2. Club or social only - I just want to play at the local club but nothing else
3. Pennants only - I don't want to know about anything outside the local association
4. Tournaments - but I will never participate in national events
5. National - but I don't travel outside the country
6. International - this is as high as it gets

Perhaps 1 & 2 are really the same existing "social level".
When you get to 4 and above you get emails about tournaments etc.
Also there may be no practical difference between 5 & 6.

At the moment we have nothing between "social" and "competition", so maybe a "pennant" or "local team competition level" and rename "competition" to be "tournament". Have the state body enforce their own rules in tournament entries.


I personally think that the split here will result in players at the regional level just paying the lowest fee possible and still play in local club teams events as I cannot see any local association/club forcing the issue. To be observational, no one locally will know whether or not they can play in state sanctioned tournaments before paying their fees, so pay the least possible. National events? How does a player know they will qualify for that level of play? Again, they pay the least amount possible. International? That field is so small its pointless at a state level to charge it.

In that vein I think that adding more differences to the fee structure is only going to confuse the player base more, as it is players just pay the lowest fees they can get away with and in the end that means only numbers for the state body, not really capital it can use.

Essentially, there is no generosity at the regional level for the state body, as I've said, there is no state involvement at the local club level. So players just don't want to pay more for the same outcome, if they pay $10 or $100 the regional guys get the same things from the state body which is a card with a number on it. Makes is hard to sell a higher cost to players when that is the only thing we get out here.

My angle would be to have only one registration fee and an add on for state level tournaments, A NSWTT Player Registration Fee and a State Tournament add on fee to registration. It then makes the cost for registration even across all so its simplified, then adds a gratuity to play in tournaments. Then if the registration gets enforced players can pay that fee to the State Body at the time of entering that tournament if they have not already at registration time.

I think if the state body got a little more involved in regional TT people would be more then happy to pay more for their registration, failing that, the only way to get people to pay more is to remove choice.

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2018, 07:17 
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apophis,

You may remember in my OP I said a few times that table tennis players are frugal.

What should the state organization do at the area or regional level? Run tournaments at various regional centres (good luck getting entries if players have to be competition level to play in it)? Put on a group training session per year at various regional centres? Make grants available similar to the recent grants that TTA made available (funnelled not originated by them)? Other things?

I agree that less options would be better. At one stage there used not to be a social level, so only a competition level. However I think the social level was what brought a number of country members in. Removing the social level would probably lose those people again. Table tennis players are frugal, remember. In fact the 2018 membership form has trouble explaining that country players who play competition centrally can be social level while St George & Sutherland, a Sydney Metro association that does the exact same thing, must be competition level. This (country players playing a competition while paying at the social level) is the reason that my local association is not happy with the state membership levels. With around 300 competition players paying competition level fees we feel that we are effectively financing the state organization. Even lour local association players are frugal while paying what we should.

I agree that you often don't know ahead of time that you will be wanting to be national level. I believe that there is the option to up your level during the year by paying the difference.

Each association that affiliates theoretically by affiliating should be enforcing the state rules. Now as it seems that the state does not enforce its own rules at its own tournaments, how could it audit the affiliate associations that they are enforcing the state rules? As I have said a few times in this thread, our association makes every effort to enforce the state rules regarding every player in our competitions being a state competition level member, even when the state hasn't exactly made it easy.

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2018, 12:58 
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I wish I had some answers that were not idealistic. I fully understand the reason it is how it is currently and I do not begrudge the state association for all the decisions it has to make and the feedback they get is not at all positive.

Its good to hear from the City associations as well, as we don't get that much, and it seems that everyone is confused or at least not happy with the current fee structure from this little break out:
Quote:
In fact the 2018 membership form has trouble explaining that country players who play competition centrally can be social level while St George & Sutherland, a Sydney Metro association that does the exact same thing, must be competition level. This (country players playing a competition while paying at the social level) is the reason that my local association is not happy with the state membership levels. With around 300 competition players paying competition level fees we feel that we are effectively financing the state organization

The above makes no sense to me as an administrator, to allow two different levels for essentially the same thing and I would feel the same in their shoes. It's why I think standardising is better in this regard as it removes the feelings of inequity the player base feels.

I think you hit it on the head when you say that the state doesn't even enforce its own rules. This is the biggest issue. Associations, I agree, should also enforce these rules. Although if the state will not enforce them at their own events, how can associations be reasonably expected do it.

Having the set double standard that's stated in your quote is just damaging to the state body and its image. I have never understood the move to split registration levels and fees. They could have just lowered the fee and taken the best of both worlds.

Even if people payed, lets say, $22 for the state registration as a base level club/player fee instead of the $10/$33 split as it is now. Then its much more even, still relatively cheap and is not a bank breaking amount. I think one big issue in is that people still think its 1985 when it comes to paying the registration fees and not 2018.

In my experience at running events, people will always disagree with the costings, no matter what its always too much, at least this example is a compromise at both ends of the scale. It also is not a huge change in costs realistically and brings it in line to standardise fees.

I think the biggest mistake was adding in a cheap entry point for players and setting up the double standard. I don't know a seamless way to move away from what I feel is an unsustainable fee structure.

Its a very tough corner to be in on all accounts I think.

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 11:01 
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I have just sent off my entry to a certain round robin tournament in the country that is at least sanctioned by the state. I have just properly read the Tournament Conditions. Condition 20 states:

Players must have current TTNSW registration. Eligibility extends to players who hold a "Social" ($10) Registration. (Register with TTNSW at http://www.ttnsw.org.au/ or at the control desk before playing).

Note that the emphasis (but not necessarily the same emphasis) is in the original.

My understanding was that "Social" level players could not play in NSW Tournaments. This may be tempered by the tournament being run by a local TT club or association, and that it is a one-off towards the end of the TT year when most of the action is over.

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 11:20 
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Retriever wrote:
I have just sent off my entry to a certain round robin tournament in the country that is at least sanctioned by the state. I have just properly read the Tournament Conditions. Condition 20 states:

Players must have current TTNSW registration. Eligibility extends to players who hold a "Social" ($10) Registration. (Register with TTNSW at http://www.ttnsw.org.au/ or at the control desk before playing).

Note that the emphasis (but not necessarily the same emphasis) is in the original.

My understanding was that "Social" level players could not play in NSW Tournaments. This may be tempered by the tournament being run by a local TT club or association, and that it is a one-off towards the end of the TT year when most of the action is over.


I would have thought the same as the last paragraph here, just adds to the confusion for me. Maybe it's tempered by the timing or its not a "state" tournament? Just supported by the state body?

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