Friday, August 19, 2016

Tournament Director is Like a Supervisor

One of the things I have learned by running a large tournament, is it's very similar to being a boss or supervisor at work or a company.  The players are kinda like coworkers and many things can be going on in their lives.  As a supervisor or Tournament Director, we have to take care of tough situations (bad behavior) and also be friends and understanding to those who are going through tough times.

I think people just show up on weekends and play pool and think it's easy to run a tournament.  But, there are not only the logistics of running a tournament, but there are some leadership principles that much be utilized.  Especially empathy, servant leadership, speaking up for others, communication skills, understanding, etc.

To give a flavor of the type of situations that can come up, that not many people realize, I'll just list a few from the past 3 months.

I want to be clear I am not complaining about my role - if anything I think I have the temperament and leadership experience to handle situations.  Further, I also learn quickly which helps in this role.  What I am trying to do is just express there is much more to running a tournament than just moving names around on a bracket, calling matches, and figuring out the payouts.  There are PEOPLE and EMOTIONS and LIFE involved.  And as the Tournament Director, you are kinda responsible for handling these situations that may come up.

Again, just in the last 3 months:

  • One of the players found out two days before a stop he has throat cancer.
  • A player contacted me that there was a restraining order against her ex, who might show up at the tournament.
  • Someone had a tough break up who helps out with the Tour.
  • Someone got married.
  • Someone tried to forfeit at the end of the tournament in front of a large crowd.
  • A player lied to the Tournament Directors.
  • A player snapped at one of the helpers of the Tour.
  • A player called the week before a stop to let me know he could not play because his wife has lung cancer.

You can see the range of emotions and life situations that came up in just the last 3 months.   These are NOT examples. 

Just a different perspective to think about....

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