I think the time has come for a review of how (and perhaps how often) we start new games. After another slightly painful first quarter game selection, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘beauty parade’ approach is not a particularly good way to determine which games will run. Part of the problem is the lack of certainty on the part of both referees and players: prospective referees will undoubtedly spend time preparing to run a game, only to find there’s a lack of interest; likewise, players gear up to play in a game only to find that it doesn’t run, or it’s oversubscribed.
I don’t think that there’s a perfect solution to this problem: we have a lot of players – some regulars, some less so – and it’s difficult to determine in advance of a new quarter who will be available and, even if they are, whether there will be a game they want to play in.
The question, therefore, is how do we get more certainly? One suggestion I’ve had is that games are offered up four weeks out from the start of a new quarter and a final decision regarding the games that will run and who’s in each game, is made in the final week of the quarter. It will be the responsibility of each referee to advertise their game and secure players by the final week. This is similar to the Survey Monkey approach we used for a little while, but puts the emphasis on referees and players to arrange things directly.
Another (possibly throwaway) suggestion, was to switch from quarters to ‘trimesters’, so that there are only three sessions in a year, reducing the amount of messing around and increasing the opportunity for longer games.
Now I may be the only one that thinks changes are needed. If so, we can carry on as before. However, if I’m not and anyone else has any ideas for improving things, leave a comment.