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#1 2008-08-18 11:06 pm

Icithis
Swilly
Registered: 2008-05-29
Posts: 1

Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

I figured with a solid interest in Ultimate, and not knowing anyone who would be willing to get on a team with me, I would try the hat league. Wow, what a disappointment. The first two games were good; we had a turnout of 90%++ of our team, and people played, etc.

Unfortunately, as DiscNW advocates, there is a heavy 'interest' in this league. Interest, as I found, does not equal attendance. Today our game had 3 people show up between 8 and 8:15 (with the game starting at 8) including me. Thirty minutes later, 2 members of the other team show up.

I paid 40$ for this? To make matters worse, there has been little organization as far as the games are concerned, it's assumed that someone knows what is going on and where the field is at the park we're assigned.

The icing on the cake is that one of the Board/Chair/etc members, Barney Ahouse, showed up to I believe two of our games. Two? Why would you sign up for a hat league if you don't plan on attending, or communicating with the team about your lack of attendance? Why aren't the hat teams sized 20+ people with this kind of attendance? I think, honestly, we had maybe 3 games where both teams had 7 members show up.

Somehow, I'm not so disappointed I was not picked in the first draft of the Fall League. This way I won't be showing up to games that don't have proper attendance over 50% of the time.

Honestly, I understand the inability for DiscNW to do anything about this, but at the same time, there are things that can be done (allowing people to get kicked off of teams who don't attend, increasing team numbers, etc) to better facilitate games actually happening.

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#2 2008-08-18 11:44 pm

DanHostetler
Air Bounce
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 114

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Was this men's hat?  For some reason, men's hat always has terrible attendance.  Mixed hat seems to have really good male attendance and rarely enough women.  Maybe the guys think hat leagues are a good place to meet women?  Thus the poor attendance at men's hat - what a sausage fest!

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#3 2008-08-19 01:44 pm

Joseph
Push Pass
From: Green Lake
Registered: 2006-05-11
Posts: 71

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

First, this forum is for feedback about the website.  You might get more attention if you post in the General Discussion forum.

It does seem that your case is extraordinary.  Summer seems to be worse than spring or fall, when people find themselves busy with other activities.  One year, I played in the weekend playoff tournament with only 4 men in attendance.  That was a tough game.

This is an issue that people are aware of.  DiscNW has a Leagues Committee which, among other league issues, has begun to think of why this happens and how to fix it.

joseph

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#4 2008-08-19 02:13 pm

DanHostetler
Air Bounce
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 114

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

It's a pretty legitimate gripe, though, don't you think Joe?

We tell all the guys who can't get on teams to go play men's hat, and then men's hat is incredibly lame.

It's also really hard to find any decent pickup in Seattle, unless you're willing to drive to Redmond.  <not that I have any answers>.

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#5 2008-08-19 03:09 pm

Joseph
Push Pass
From: Green Lake
Registered: 2006-05-11
Posts: 71

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Even if most teams don't experience the same attrition, they do (from my experience) have some trouble getting consistent numbers.  Yes, I think it is legitimate, but all I can say is that people are trying to figure out what to do about it.

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#6 2008-08-21 05:22 pm

leftydisc
Air Bounce
From: Seattle
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 171

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Icithis,

Your concern is warranted - I'm both a leagues committee member and the Men's Hat Coordinator and I, too, am less than thrilled with attendance in hat leagues in general.

I'll take any and all blame for Men's Hat disorganization - I was incredibly unorganized and non-responsive and to the extent that my shortcomings have led to anyone's dissatisfaction with the league I apologize.

Some of your concerns, however, are problems that I've encounted with leagues as a player, captain, and organizer and those problems boil down to individual players not taking the responsibility to commit fully to the league.  Two examples:

1)  Atttendance:  if players sign up for the league and subsequently don't show up for games, can we really hold the organizers responsible?  It's virtually impossible to screen for attendance other than asking the questions already on the signup form, and spotty attendance is a problem across all leagues, regardless of how well organized, communicated, etc.  As for kicking people with poor attendance off of teams - how do you propose to re-populate the team?  If you pull people in off of the waitlist, what league fee do you charge, pro-rated based on number of games played?  Believe me, I've thought a lot about this issue and there aren't any easy, organizational fixes.

2)  Fields:  It's a simple fact that many players pay little if any attention to the field number or even the team name of their opponent - they'll only remember as far as "I'm on Magnuson" and then hope to wander the field until they recognize someone on their team or someone who looks official (ie, someone laying out cones for - likely - a different game) and ask if they know where team XXX plays. 

Can leagues be better organized?  Yes, absolutely.  Can players be better organized?  Positively.  It takes two to tango.

Eric

Last edited by leftydisc (2008-08-21 05:24 pm)

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#7 2008-08-22 08:17 am

Virus
High Release
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 23

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

In looking at attendance issues, some of the cause can be connected to whether or not team captains set expectations and communicate information in a timely manner (where to show up, what time, whether the team is going to work on a specific O or D, etc.).  From my own experience, I think that when captains do this, team members feel more accountable and show up more frequently.  When captains don't do this, team members tend to be absent more often.

The Leagues Committee might want to consider developing a checklist for all captains to use both at the beginning of a season and for each weekly game. For example, the pre-season checklist might include: (1) Register your team and post your schedule on RosterManager, (2) Ask everyone to tell you before the season starts what days they will not be able to play, (3) Tell people to bring cleats, water, light/dark shirts, (4) Do introductions before the first game.  And so on.   

And then you could do a shorter checklist for weekly tasks: (1) Send out a reminder 4 days before the game (RosterManager does this automatically), (2) If the field location changes week to week, include a comment to that effect, (3) Give the team a goal for the week ("We're going to play zone this week, so everyone show up 20 minutes early so we can practice before the game.").

This sounds pretty basic but there has been some research done in hospital emergency rooms that shows that providing checklists as reminders does actually help people do their jobs better. I don't see why the same sort of job aids wouldn't help hat league captains do their jobs better as well.  And if captains are more active, that might keep the team members more invested in the team as the season goes along.

DiscNW could post these checklists on the site so anyone could download.

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#8 2008-08-22 09:12 am

Woodiepaddler
Air Bounce
From: Tacoma
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 237

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Even if the teams do not go to the full blown Roster Manager site and register their teams, isn't there an option within the DiscNW site to have reminders automatically sent out to players?  I don't recall getting those e-mails in my Master's hat league, so perhaps the coordinators need to make sure that option is turned on.

But I whole heartedly agree--use Roster Manager.

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#9 2008-08-22 10:10 am

wondergirl
High Release
From: West Seattle
Registered: 2006-05-17
Posts: 22

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Well after captaining a few times, always using roster manager, telling people to get there early and bring cleats, saying we will work on zone or ho-stack....

there are still attendance issues. We had mulitple games this summer when we were light on both guys and girls.

The real problem? Friday night games in the summer. Too many people go away for the weekend.

Maybe summer hat should be on a different night next year.

-Sara

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#10 2008-08-22 11:11 am

cnccola
Flick
Registered: 2006-05-16
Posts: 17

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

Attendance is also subject to the random nature of the hat... I play almost every hat league and my last 5 or 6 teams have had spectacular attendance, but I know that it's an outlier.  And despite my own spectacular attendance, I lost the initial lottery for fall hat.  :-/.  (I know that it's the only fair way to do it, just needed to vent!)

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#11 2008-08-22 04:18 pm

meignacio
Blade
Registered: 2007-08-05
Posts: 6

Re: Hat Leagues? What a terrible...

hmmm roster manager might have been nice if my Men's team had a captain...

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