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Thread: Compensation for tournament organizers and directors

  1. #1

    Default Compensation for tournament organizers and directors

    A lot has been said about the dearth of good organizers and quality tournaments both publicly and privately.

    It seems that most organizers are pure volunteers, receiving no compensation at all for theri efforts. Would thre be more TD's and better tournaments if TD's and Organizers received some compensation for their efforts

    What would be a fair amount? 1% of Entrey Fees? 15%? 20%?

    iIs it better to have more tournaments that are better organized but with a smaller prize fund than fewer tournaments with a larger prize fund? Is this actually the option?

    Do most players play for fun, or for the $50 class prize?

    I'd love to know the thoughts of TD's and of players.

  2. #2
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    Default what happens in Manitoba

    1. We pay our regular TD around $10-$15/round to direct an event. It's not much but it's something.
    2. The sectional tournaments and class prizes are popular. We also have a good variety of events - even unrated Active and Blitz events - to reach all sorts of chess players.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lavin
    What would be a fair amount? 1% of Entrey Fees? 15%? 20%?
    Hi David. Regarding tournament chessplayers, I think the most you could narrow it down would be: they play for fun and/or money.

    Regarding the quote I pulled from your post, I hope this isn't a prelude to the CFC trying to establish TD compensation guidelines. I think TDs/organizers should be compensated. I think they should declare in their tournament announcements how much they intend to take (or how they intend to calculate their fee) and then chessplayers can decide for themselves whether or not the fee is exorbitant and whether they'll play.

    Regards,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McKillop
    Regarding the quote I pulled from your post, I hope this isn't a prelude to the CFC trying to establish TD compensation guidelines. I think TDs/organizers should be compensated. I think they should declare in their tournament announcements how much they intend to take (or how they intend to calculate their fee) and then chessplayers can decide for themselves whether or not the fee is exorbitant and whether they'll play.
    Regards,
    Would CFC guidelines hinder the process? Perhaps not if they were suggested rates. I think having the CFC strongly endorse TD/orgs being compensated would be a good thing in general... Considering the flack that Jon Berry took over the tournament in Ottawa (he was crucified as I recall, but he seems to be recovering slowly -hehe) perhaps the CFC should specify a "directing fee" not to exceed $x for National events like the C.O. the C.C. etc. That might be sensible...

    As you point out, the marketplace will be the judge as it usually seems to be.

  5. #5

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    I have no interest in mandating fees for TD's. I am interested in changing the culture that makes it a crime for organizers to make any money at all for the time the commit. I'd like to encourage, not discourage, good organizers.

    I also strongly disagree with the notion that a TD or Organizer should post what they are earning. Do you know the income of all the people you work with? Some things are simply private.

    Really, if the tournament is well run, has a decent prize fund, and you enjoy the experience why should it matter what the organizer earns?

    It seems strange that chess has cash class prizes yet most other sports, hobbies, or pastimes do not.

  6. #6
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    Default TDs, prizes, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lavin
    I also strongly disagree with the notion that a TD or Organizer should post what they are earning.... Really, if the tournament is well run, has a decent prize fund, and you enjoy the experience why should it matter what the organizer earns?
    If there is controversy about paying the TD anything at all, for whatever reason(s), then an above board approach can be helpful. We used to require our TDs to post a financial statement before the end of every tournament in that regard.

    It seems strange that chess has cash class prizes yet most other sports, hobbies, or pastimes do not.
    Have a deeper look. Doesn't hockey have separate leagues for the different levels of play? Baseball? Presumably the rewards are also spread around. I would strongly agree, however, that too much emphasis is placed upon cash prizes in general. I hate to say it, but chess players can be sooooo cheap; perhaps this is the result of being spoiled?

    We've also found sectional events, in which players at roughly the same level play each other, to be popular. Gross mismatches don't seem like sporting events at all, frankly, but rather more like blasting at fish in a barrel. So having segregated groupings, with separate prizes, isn't such a bad thing.

    Come to think of it, an American player from Minnesota, now in Canada, used to talk about other chess players, not as strong as he, as fish ...

  7. #7
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    Hi David, and congratulations on winning the CFC Presidency.

    Is this "culture" you refer to endemic, or is it specific to the Toronto region? The Toronto region seems to be the key area of decline right now.

    The EOCA does allow TD's to earn renumeration for running an event, and I have not witnessed any negative reaction to this. Coincidentally, the EOCA still seems to be running well despite the decline in numbers across Canada.

    As an aside, some of the TD's do choose to donate their fees back into the tournament they are running. This is a personal choice.

    I guess the point is that the tournament directors should be free to run local tournaments the way they wish, as long as the buyer is aware of what he is paying for.

    I assume that this is for personal information only? It's hard to see how the CFC can help on the grass roots level.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Leaving for some other place and time the question of "crucifixion", eh, I charged $120 per onsite day to be chief TD of the CYCC and CO in 2007. That was to direct a 2-section Canadian Open with one (max two) GM(s), and thus no special pairing system would be required. It was slightly more than what I charged in 2003 to direct the same events. But then the committee changed the event to a single section, and after I put them in touch with Nigel Short, they started to bring in GMs left and right. That put a huge $ investment in the GMs and I thought it only right that such an investment should pay off in the possibility of norms, for up-and-coming Canadian players. As experience had shown, that just wasn't going to happen with a single-section Swiss, even one which used the Haley Accelerated Pairings.

    If we're looking at an hourly rate, a typical working day at the CYCC-CO was about 14 hours. In addition, there was unpaid time in research, computer programming, and interacting with the committee. This last should not be overlooked. In 2003 I dealt with one organizer, who was demanding but decisive. I don't know whether the 2007 committee was typical of committees or .... And I didn't write down the hours. But I'd have to say that at least 100 unpaid hours were devoted to attempting to interact with the committee alone. So if you're looking for a net hourly wage, it was about 5, for the 2007 CYCC-CO.

    After the nasty letter, I discussed dollar figures with Larry Bevand, who estimated that a TD for a tournament such as the Canadian Open should charge about $3,000, in 2007 dollars. Looking at it another way, that's 9 days X $333 per day.

    On the other hand, as pointed out elsewhere, you also get TDs, many of them excellent, who refuse to take any money for directing tournaments. But in consequence you get players expecting free TD service. When the volunteers thin out, as can happen at any time, suddenly there are no chess tournaments in an area.

    One option would be to set a fee. If the TD refuses to take the fee, he could direct that it be donated to a segregated fund of the CFC, say the Olympic Fund. Just a for instance. That would get players more accustomed to professional TDs.

    If the CFC chooses to keep out of the matter of fee setting, that is also a good option! But they should provide "perqs" for steady TDs and organizers of rated events. The provision of titles such as "Club TD", "Regional TD", "National TD" might be necessary, but strikes me as a dweeby perquisite. Maybe listing all those who have TD'd or Org'd in the past year as "Builders". Maybe access to a special area inside the CFC website (and I mean something more substantial than a forum). Or maybe a cash rebate.

    Decades ago I imagined the invention of a "Club One" for every person who had directed a CFC tournament (the idea was in fact exactly one tournament, but let's not think of that right now) in each calendar year. The idea would be to have a membership card and even a pin (they were unbelievably cheap from Taiwan in those days) and develop a kind of cachet for the concept of directing a rated tournament.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garland Best
    It's hard to see how the CFC can help on the grass roots level.
    I have the opposite opinion. As well as dealing with FIDE and other international stuff, a major concern of the CFC should be supporting and encouraging local organisers.

    When I wanted to promote the CFC at a kids tournament last spring, I was astonished to find the CFC had zero advertising material... none at all. No brochures, no flyers, nothing. The only thing available was the pamphlet "Passport to Chess" - 30 years old - and I was handing them out to winners of our playoffs. These are kids that had qualified for their school teams, won their section at our annual big tournament, won a trophy at the playoffs, and I'm giving them a brochure on how to play chess! Seemed like an insult!

    If players in this area decide to join the CFC, it will because someone has organised a tournament for them to play in, likely with the promise of additional future tournaments. If the CFC wants members, then supporting local organisers is essential.

    I'd go so far as to suggest that the CFC exec/governors should be TDs or organisers themselves... if someone isn't in the business of organising chess, why is he on the board of governors? (Exceptions MIGHT be made for retired organisers.)

  10. #10

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    I'm not in favour of the CFC mandating TD fees and I believe that in one of my pre-election missives I stated that the CFC should be helping local organizers, not interfering with them.

    Perhaps it is time for National Tournament Director to be an Executive position. The mandate would be to help organizers and TD's across the country.

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