Tournament Director Guide

Version 1 – June 27, 2015

 

Purpose of this Guide:
This tournament director guide is intended as a tool to assist tournament directors in the planning of a USAPA sanctioned tournament and can be used for the planning of a non sanctioned tournament as well. It provides an easy to follow step by step checklist. Your experienced USAPA staff is available to answer any questions you may have along the way. Let’s start planning!

 

 

1.  Appoint a Tournament Director and/or Co-tournament Directors

  • Select a Tournament management software
  • The tournament director is highly encouraged to use one of the two USAPA-approved tournament management systems: USAPA Brackets & Software or pickleballtournaments.com
  • Read the USAPA Sanctioning Requirements
  • Choose an approved format and events (WD, MXD, Singles, Age, Skill, etc.)
  • Set a tournament date
  • Decide on the number of participants in each event (set parameters)
  • Set opening/closing due dates for registration
  • Decide on registration fees and refund policy

 

 

2.  Choose a Venue

  • Number of courts will be a deciding factor on how many players and/or events the tournament can accommodate.
  • Permanent nets preferred but not limited to, most larger or indoor tournaments use temporary courts/nets
  • Check for Wi-Fi availability and electrical outlets
  • PA/Sound system
  • Lights
  • Room for and availability of vendor/sponsor spaces/tables
  • Restrooms
  • Check with the venue regarding need of approved food vendors if any.

 

 

3.  Create a Budget

  • Decide on compensation if any for referees and/or referee management team
  • Factor cost related to the use of tournament management software See pickleballtournaments.com fee schedule
  • Court rental
  • Medals and/or rewards
  • Food, water
  • Supplies (tape, scissors, paper, pencils, etc…)
  • Prize money (if any)
  • Goodie bags, T-shirts (if any)
  • Wristbands for first servers
  • Order portable nets if needed (USAPA Store)

 

 

4.  Sanction the Tournament

 

 

5.  Create a Flyer with Complete Tournament Info

(following are some but not all items to be listed)

  • Tournament title
  • Registration and Entry Event fees
  • Format USAPA Approved Events
  • Date(s) and times of tournament
  • Website where and how to register
  • Type of Approved Ball you will be using
  • Contact information for questions regarding registrations and tournament info
  • Location of and directions to venue
  • Sanctioning Logo/Tier Level (will be emailed to you after sanctioning approval and fee has been paid)
  • Rain day plan

 

 

6.  Posting on Websites

  • After sanctioning has been approved USAPA will advertise and list tournament info (and flyer) on the USAPA Tournament Calendar
  • Registration information
  • Contact information
  • Players needing partners
  • Players list
  • Events
  • Directions
  • Lodging/Accommodations information
  • Cancellation policy
  • Rules/format of play
  • Any other info pertaining to your tournament
  • Waiver (USAPA Waiver example)

 

 

7.  Solicit Volunteers

  • Recruit volunteers from your local clubs. You will need an average of 5-6 volunteers/day. Not including referees! USAPA sanctioned tournaments require referees for every match.

Volunteers Needed:

  • Front desk/check-in desk/event desk (at least 2)
  • Score poster (1)
  • Announcer (1)
  • Safety/medical (2)
  • Food/snack table (1)
  • Vendor/sponsor coordinator
  • Set up/clean-up crew (2)
  • Choose a referee management process/Referee coordinator (can be done on pt.com)
  • Registrations (someone familiar with the software if using pt.com)
  • Bracket committee (preferably people who know a lot of players/different skill levels)
  • Somebody to sing the National Anthem
  • Volunteer for the USAPA registrations desk
  • Volunteer management can be done thru software when using pickleballtournaments.com

 

 

8.  Supplies

  • Computers (At least 2 USAPA or PT.com may be able to provide for fee)
  • Printer (USAPA or PT.com may be able to provide for fee)
  • Referee Clipboards/One for every court
  • Stopwatches for referees
  • Balls (Cost saving Tip: ask manufacturers for donation)
  • Wristbands (Cost saving Tip: only give to first server during check in)
  • Medals (order 2 to 3 months in advance) For Doubles events, make sure to order 2/team
  • Snacks for players
  • Bottled water
  • Paper plates, napkins, forks, knives, plastic cups, utensils
  • Pencils/markers/tape
  • American/Canadian Flag
  • Board to post paper brackets
  • Legal size paper to print brackets
  • Ream of paper cut 1/2 to print match score sheets
  • Referee board/magnetic name tags
  • Medal stand
  • USAPA banner (ask your local or Regional Ambassadors)

 

 

9.  First Aid Recommendations

  • Find and schedule volunteers to work the first aid station (first aid/CPR training preferred)
  • If outdoors, establish a covered medical space (tent) and clearly mark it
  • In indoors, establish a medical space near the courts and clearly mark it
  • Have a basic first aid kit (bandages, gauze, medical tape, etc)
  • Determine if an AED unit is on property. If so, make sure the1st aid team knows where it’s located
  • Paramedic or EMT shears (scissors)
  • Splinter forceps (tweezers)
  • Standard oral thermometer: digital, mercury, or alcohol
  • Wooden tongue depressors (“tongue blades”)
  • Small flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • CPR mouth barrier or pocket mask (such as a Microshield X-L Mouth Barrier)
  • Sterile (hypoallergenic or latex) surgical gloves (at least 2 pair); if you are allergic to latex, bring nonlatex, synthetic, nonpermeable gloves;
  • Have cold water on hand (sports drinks with electrolytes are even better)
  • Ice bags or instant chemical cold packs
  • Ziploc bags (to hold ice for ice packs)
  • Rescue blanket
  • Cell phone
  • Incident Report forms and a pen (USAPA sends a copy to all tournament directors)
  • For emergencies, call 9-1-1.  Also know the local emergency phone numbers and addresses of the nearest hospital or urgent care facility)
  • It is not recommended that you administer medication to players or volunteers.  This includes over the counter drugs.

 

 

10.  Marketing

  • Use your email contacts to distribute flyer
  • Distribute flyer in surrounding pickleball communities
  • Use social media, such as Facebook
  • Post flyer/tournament info on USAPA website or Pickleballtournaments.com
  • Create sponsorship packages:
  1. Determine your needs & Goals
  2. Do you need sponsor revenue?
  3. Does the revenue fall to your club or will some/all offset event cost?
  4. Cash versus In-Kind donations. Sponsors are more open to donating product.
  5. Examples of goods & services donations: water, player shirts, pickleballs, etc…)
  6. Items for raffle or silent auction
  • Contact possible vendors/sponsors. Make sure to have tables and chairs available.
  • USAPA Promotes Free Trade and encourages TDs to have a choice of vendors present at the tournament

 

 

11.  Registrations

  • When using pt.com, players can register online, sign waiver online, and make payment via PayPal
  • After players register, send player confirmations
  • Facilitate partner search
  • Keep emails short and to the point
  • Check USAPA Ratings AND USAPA Membership, update if needed (pickleball tournaments.com software provides the tools to do this.
  • When using pickleballtournaments.com software, run the dayplanner frequently to give you an idea of the duration of your brackets, how long and how many matches will be played. Management of brackets (entries per events) is important during the registrations process to avoid too many/too few players in a bracket, long waits or long days with no referees/line judges left to cover matches. If there are not enough players you may want to consider Round Robin formats for smaller brackets.
  • Keep players informed by email regarding:
  1. schedule of events
  2. brackets
  3. payment of registration fees
  4. signing of liability waivers
  5. non registered partners
  6. registration deadline and more…

 

All of the above is easily managed with the pickleballtournaments.com software

 

 

12.  Bracket Committee/Seeding of Brackets

  • This must be done AFTER the due date for registrations
  • Invite a small group of knowledgeable players representing all skill levels
  • Meet a couple days before tournament date to create brackets
  • Pickleballtournaments.com provides first round checks to avoid teams from the same club having to play each other right away
  • Decide if chosen format still applies, if not, change formats and inform players before the start of the event

 

 

13.  Day Before the Tournament

  • Tape Courts if needed (Official Measurements), set up nets, tables for registration, vendors, food, etc.
  • Put up any promotional/sponsor banners if any
  • Post the brackets on the board so participants and spectators can keep track as the tournament progresses
  • Put up signage for check in, numbers of courts, restrooms, snack table, etc.
  • Post the schedule for upcoming events/days

 

14.  Day of the Tournament

  • Have players check in at least 30 minutes before the start of the brackets
  • Keep hard copies of blank waiver forms available at check in
  • All registration fees need to be paid before participants can play
  • All participants must have signed the waiver before they are allowed to play
  • Starting 01/2016 all players have to be USAPA members (Sanctioning requirements)
  • Welcome players to the tournament
  • Inform players IFP rules apply
  • Inform referees to check equipment for compliance (List of Approved Paddles)
  • Thank all the volunteers/Wish good luck to all participants
  • Start the tournament on time
  • Start all available courts with games and keep them occupied throughout the tournament
  • Have warm up courts available if possible
  • Limit warm up time to 2 to 3 minutes
  • Let participants who are “on deck” know, so they can start their warm up and be ready to play when match is called
  • Award medals to the winners of each event

 

 

15.  During Tournament

  • A USAPA sanctioned tournament requires a referee for every match
  • Make sure brackets run on time, no empty courts
  • Make necessary adjustments to events if there is time constraint/rain
  • Keep announcements to minimum
  • Run the tournament and address any and all questions that come up during the event.
  • Check in with your vendors/sponsors/players for feedback
  • Have incident reports available in case of serious injuries. If an injury occurs during play, fill out incident report and pass on to USAPA
  • Have an updated official rules IFP Rules Handbook available as well as USAPA membership forms for players who wish to join the USAPA or renew their membership

 

 

16.  After Tournament

  • Submit results to tourney-sched@usapa.org within 1 week so the results can be posted (sanctioning requirement). The USAPA provides tournament management software that includes all required reporting information. Within one week of the end of a tournament, notice that results are complete must be reported to the USAPA Tournament Points Chair or through the link on the USAPA software or pickleballtournaments.com software. This information must include USAPA member numbers. USAPA member numbers must be provided to ensure accurate identification. The newest USAPA tournament software and the pickleballtournaments.com software have an entry field for this number. Address telephone and email information are no longer required.
  • Forward your rating recommendations to the USAPA rating chair
  • Keep All documentation/paper on brackets and results until all result posting and point awarding has been completed by the USAPA Tournament Point Chair
  • Thank all volunteers, players, vendors and sponsors

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

USAPA Affiliate Partners

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